Patterico's Pontifications

7/14/2023

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:04 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

This is both horrifying and unsurprising:

The Ukrainian civilians woke long before dawn in the bitter cold, lined up for the single toilet and were loaded at gunpoint into the livestock trailer. They spent the next 12 hours or more digging trenches on the front lines for Russian soldiers.

Many were forced to wear overlarge Russian military uniforms that could make them a target, and a former city administrator trudged around in boots five sizes too big. By the end of the day, their hands curled into icy claws.

Nearby, in the occupied region of Zaporizhzhia, other Ukrainian civilians dug mass graves into the frozen ground for fellow prisoners who had not survived. One man who refused to dig was shot on the spot — yet another body for the grave.

Thousands of Ukrainian civilians are being detained across Russia and the Ukrainian territories it occupies, in centers ranging from brand-new wings in Russian prisons to clammy basements. Most have no status under Russian law.

And Russia is planning to hold possibly thousands more. A Russian government document obtained by The Associated Press dating to January outlined plans to create 25 new prison colonies and six other detention centers in occupied Ukraine by 2026.

In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in May allowing Russia to send people from territories with martial law, which includes all of occupied Ukraine, to those without, such as Russia. This makes it easier to deport Ukrainians who resist Russian occupation deep into Russia indefinitely, which has happened in multiple cases documented by the AP.

Many civilians are picked up for alleged transgressions as minor as speaking Ukrainian or simply being a young man in an occupied region, and are often held without charge. Others are charged as terrorists, combatants, or people who “resist the special military operation.” Hundreds are used for slave labor by Russia’s military, for digging trenches and other fortifications, as well as mass graves.

As Ukraine fights for its very survival, Western support is critical to its success. While it was agreed that Ukraine should join NATO sometime in the future, no immediate invitation to join was extended at the Vilnius conference. Frustratingly, “”We will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance when allies agree and conditions are met,” the declaration said, without specifying the conditions Ukraine needs to meet.” And still, “countries such as the United States and Germany have been more cautious, wary of any move that they fear could draw NATO into a direct conflict with Russia.”

Meanwhile, as part of an $800 million security package, Ukraine has already received cluster munitions from the US. :

“We recognize that cluster munitions create a risk of civilian harm from unexploded ordnance,” Sullivan told reporters. “This is why we’ve deferred the decision for as long as we could.”

“But there is also a massive risk of civilian harm if Russian troops and tanks roll over Ukrainian positions and take more Ukrainian territory and subjugate more Ukrainian civilians because Ukraine does not have enough artillery,” Sullivan said.

Second news item

Why President Biden is right to send cluster bombs to Ukraine:

Imagine it’s nighttime, and your home is invaded. You wake up shocked and numb but recognize the danger. Invaders have made it clear they want to kill you and your family. Determined to fight, you grab your shotgun and load it with shells.

In such circumstances, most people would agree you should use any means available to stop an attack on your family — whether via gun, knife or even baseball bat. Anything is better than watching your family suffer.

Still, some might question how you respond without truly understanding the context of what’s happening. It’s easy to criticize from the safety of locked gates and police patrols.

Ukraine faces a similar situation nearly a year and a half after Russia’s brutal invasion, with critics operating from the safety of nations not at war questioning Kyiv’s requests for more weapons. Some say military fire should only be directed in a limited and precise way. Or Ukraine should refrain from attacking military targets outside its borders. Or Ukraine doesn’t need fighter jets.

This dilemma over ammunition has come into focus especially since the Biden administration’s announcement last week that it would be sending cluster munitions to Ukraine as part of a new military package…

[T]hink back to that analogy of a home invasion. Maybe those critics would say your ammunition should be limited to one single shot from a pistol instead of a more effective spread from a shotgun? It’s inherently dangerous to fire any weapon, but a shotgun has a bigger chance of hitting more area, even if isn’t the best weapon for close quarters.

By the end of this war, millions of rounds of artillery likely will have been shot over a significant part of Ukraine. And Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said the Russians have been using cluster munitions with a dud rate as high as 40%. The rate refers to how often bomblets that are scattered across a large area fail to explode, and a higher rate indicates more bomblets have failed to explode on impact. Notably, the Pentagon has vowed to provide munitions with a significantly reduced dud rate.

Unfortunately, there may be casualties from unexploded ordnance all over Ukraine for years to come as a result of Russia’s decision to attack an innocent country.

But one nation, and one nation only, gets to determine whether to use cluster munitions on its land — Ukraine. Its interest in using these controversial weapons is to destroy the Russian invaders while minimizing the loss of its own citizens’ lives. It will likely be as judicious as possible while inflicting as much damage on the enemy as possible. And Ukraine’s defense minister has vowed not to use the munitions in Russia.

Yes, Kyiv will live with the scars of war, but ultimately, these munitions will save Ukrainian lives.

I’m curious as to whether anyone who is complaining today about President Biden’s decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine complained about Russia’s use of them over the past 500+ days, including targeting civilian areas?? What a terrifying life and death situation Ukraine has been forced into by Russia. And while cluster munitions are certainly dangerous and innocent lives could be inadvertently impacted by their use, they unfortunately are a necessary evil. Ukraine has pledged to use them in a limited capacity, avoiding civilian centers and using them “only for the reoccupation of Ukrainian territories”. In a blunt nutshell: Ukraine uses them to repel invaders on their soil. Russia uses them as a tool of conquest.

A reminder:

Ukraine’s victory and Russia’s defeat are in the interest of all democracies. Especially NATO states. We should be jumping at the chance to do what we can, not criticising Ukraine – they are dying for our free common future.

Third news item

President Biden cancels some student debt:

The Biden administration announced Friday it would automatically forgive $39 billion in student debt for 804,000 borrowers.

The relief is a result of fixes to the student loan system’s income-driven repayment plans. Under those repayment plans, borrowers get any remaining debt canceled by the government after they have made payments for 20 years or 25 years, depending on when they borrowed, and their loan and plan type…

To bring people over the line for forgiveness, the Biden administration counted payments for borrowers who’d paused their payments in certain deferments and forbearances and those who’d made partial or late payments.

Fourth news item

The state interferes or intervenes, depending on your point of view:

Gov. Gavin Newsom is intervening in a recent decision by a Southern California school board to reject social studies curriculum over its inclusion of gay rights activist Harvey Milk, marking his latest attempt to thwart book bans in the Golden State. Newsom announced Thursday that the state would be purchasing the rebuffed textbooks and distributing them to students in the Temecula Valley Unified School District “in short order.” His office also unveiled that the governor plans to sign legislation that would prohibit the restriction of teaching materials for political reasons and levy fines against any school district that fails to provide adequate instructional materials.

Fifth news item

Hunter Biden lawyer to Trump: Knock it off!:

An attorney for Hunter Biden sent a cease-and-desist letter on Thursday to former President Donald Trump’s legal team, claiming that Trump’s rhetoric on social media and elsewhere “could lead to [Hunter Biden’s] or his family’s injury.”

“This is not a false alarm,” Lowell wrote. “We are just one such social media message away from another incident, and you should make clear to Mr. Trump — if you have not done so already — that Mr. Trump’s words have caused harm in the past and threaten to do so again if he does not stop.”

Sixth news item

House passes defense bill with amendments re abortion and transgender surgery:

The House narrowly passed an annual defense policy bill on Friday after Republicans added provisions on abortion and transgender surgeries — measures that were a nonstarter for Democrats.

The legislation, which will have to be reconciled with the Senate’s version, passed in a 219-210 vote.

The amendments…would ban the secretary of defense from paying for or reimbursing service members for abortion-related expenses and transgender surgeries and hormone treatments…

The House also narrowly adopted an amendment…that would bar military health insurance and the Department of Defense from providing or covering transgender surgeries and hormone treatments for transgender people…

The defense legislation will eventually need to be reconciled with a version of the bill under consideration in the Senate. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., is seeking a similar measure to block Pentagon payments or reimbursements for abortion services, which Senate Democrats are unlikely to back.

Seventh news item

Idiot representative suggests Russia be invited into NATO instead of Ukraine:

“If we had to choose between Russia or Ukraine for NATO, one could reasonably make the argument that Russia probably provides more benefit long term.”

Eighth news item

Good to see a majority of Republicans say “no” to Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz Ukraine bills:

Five House Republican-backed initiatives to curtail aid to Ukraine using the annual Pentagon policy bill were shot down Thursday afternoon in votes that saw a consensus from both sides of the aisle to keep money flowing to Kyiv.

The Ukraine-related amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would have effectively limited or rolled back U.S. involvement in Ukraine, but a majority of Republicans joined Democrats in opposition to the proposals.

MISCELLANEOUS

Color me shocked: I never thought there would be a crossover audience for the just-released Oppenheimer (running at 3 hours) and Barbie (running at almost 2 hours) movies:

Fresh data from movie theaters shows that fans are actually planning to see the highly-anticipated “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” movies on the same day — a five-hour, popcorn-fueled marathon social media has dubbed the “Barbenheimer.”

The world’s largest movie chain, AMC Entertainment, has already sold more than 20,000 double-feature tickets to its AMC Stubs members, according to Variety.

AMC Theatres’ executive VP of worldwide programming, Elizabeth Frank, told the outlet that since Friday, there’s been a 33% increase in the number of moviegoers who have made their own double-feature by purchasing tickets to see both movies on the same day.

Have a great weekend!

–Dana

304 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Good morning!

    Dana (560c99)

  2. The Secret Service is dropping the cocaine investigation at the Whitehouse.

    I have some thoughts…

    I really, REALLY hope it belongs to Hunter Biden or one of the Biden family members.

    Like, I’m genuinely praying for this.

    Alleged corruption allegations aside, Hunter (or other family members) aren’t officially in any policy making roles.

    Because of that drug isn’t Hunter’s or other family members, does that mean that it’s some Whitehouse staffer’s coco?

    Do we have drug addict(s) giving Joe Biden advice while snort coco in the bathroom.

    Isn’t that cause for some concerns?

    (I mean, the fact that the SS is closing the investigation is prima facie that the coke bag belongs to one of the Biden family)

    whembly (5f7596)

  3. The Biden administration announced Friday it would automatically forgive $39 billion in student debt for 804,000 borrowers.

    The relief is a result of fixes to the student loan system’s income-driven repayment plans. Under those repayment plans, borrowers get any remaining debt canceled by the government after they have made payments for 20 years or 25 years, depending on when they borrowed, and their loan and plan type…

    To bring people over the line for forgiveness, the Biden administration counted payments for borrowers who’d paused their payments in certain deferments and forbearances and those who’d made partial or late payments.

    Robbing from Peter to give to Paul…

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  4. Just a reminder that the Supreme Court said Biden didn’t have the power to steal from the taxpayer and make student loan debt their prpblem and Biden gave a big middle finger to the rule of law by doing this.

    So much for the return to normalcy and the rule of law.

    Just a dictator doing what he wishes.

    NJRob (f31f3e)

  5. Re Misc:

    I’ve seen (in a theater) all of the original Planet of the Apes (8 hours), Alien (8 hours) and original Terminator series (5.9 hours) (in separate screenings), as well as the Apu Trilogy (5.7 hours) and the British crime series The Red Riding Trilogy (5.1 hours).

    Pikers. But for me, time well spent.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  6. Rip Murdock (eaf997) — 7/14/2023 @ 12:45 pm

    Forgot to mention all of Lord of the Rings Special Edition films (again, in a movie theater, 11.3 hours); watched them the same weekend when I saw The Apu Trilogy.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  7. Biden could be deliberate without being slow on providing munitions. He’s been slow. I’ve asked before about where is snitch Vindman now with old Joe on the phone and evidently someone did note that Biden cursed at Zelensky when Zelensky persisted in asking for more and better weapons systems and their munitions. Probably good Vindman was not there because he’d likely have fainted.

    steveg (237b84)

  8. I’m a big fan of the Manhattan Project and have read a lot of books on the subject, but I’m not sure I can sit for three hours. Good air conditioning will help.

    Mark (ed4856)

  9. Re the cluster munitions….
    Isn’t a bigger issue that we are running out of generic 155mm shells?

    Joe (78bd5e)

  10. @10

    Re the cluster munitions….
    Isn’t a bigger issue that we are running out of generic 155mm shells?

    Joe (78bd5e) — 7/14/2023 @ 1:51 pm

    Yes and no.

    We are depleting our stock storage, but not so much that we’re in immediate danger.

    Ammunition isn’t hard to manufacture, and when push come to shove, we can quickly pump these out if war breaks out.

    The cluster munition controversy really should be when adversary uses them to enemies outside of their recognized territories –cough–Russia-cough. Ukraine is requesting the cluster weapon system to be used in their own country to ward off invaders. They’re willing to accept future issues for a weapon system to help push the invaders back.

    whembly (5f7596)

  11. 9. Joe (78bd5e) — 7/14/2023 @ 1:51 pm

    Isn’t a bigger issue that we are running out of generic 155mm shells?

    yes it is.

    You wind up having whatever it is that for some reason you don’t use.

    The Biden Administration seemed to claim that in three months they’d be able to supply the generic 155mm shells again but I suspect that is optimistic.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  12. 4. Biden’s proposing using another law that would forgive even more debt (the authority to arrange for income based repayments.) Congress enacted it long ago but for a long time it was a broken and empty promise. (they cared about the deficit back then and thought they could fool people)

    https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief-announcement

    https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/biden-harris-administration-provide-804000-borrowers-39-billion-automatic-loan-forgiveness-result-fixes-income-driven-repayment-plans (He didn;t do this before because he had is own calibrate plan)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  13. This is both horrifying and unsurprising:

    It is surorising to me – not that Russia has the character to do it but that they’d go ahead.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  14. Gaetz has inhaled too much of his hairdo spray. Eh.
    The US will need to do some replenishing of its stocks, which we can handle.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  15. I never thought there would be a crossover audience for the just-released Oppenheimer (running at 3 hours) and Barbie (running at almost 2 hours) movies:

    Oh Dana, it’s elementary: Nerds who are dying to see Oppenheimer also want to check out Margot Robbie on the big screen. Nothing surprising about that.

    JVW (daf72c)

  16. Asa Hutchinson bursts into flames. Say goodbye to that dumpster fire.

    NJRob (f31f3e)

  17. Because of that drug isn’t Hunter’s or other family members, does that mean that it’s some Whitehouse staffer’s coco?

    I feel the exact same way, whembly.

    JVW (daf72c)

  18. Or donor’s, or lobbyist’s, or AOC’s, or Kevin McCarthy’s.

    nk (225daa)

  19. MTG, Gaetz: Putin is a white supremest, so is are fuhrer trump so whats the big deal?

    asset (a57085)

  20. steveg (237b84) — 7/14/2023 @ 1:23 pm

    I’m glad Vindman snitched on Trump’s attempt to shake down Ukraine.

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  21. Oh Dana, it’s elementary: Nerds who are dying to see Oppenheimer also want to check out Margot Robbie on the big screen. Nothing surprising about that.

    Ah, I never thought of it that way. Thanks for the insight!

    Dana (560c99)

  22. Trump Campaign, Keeping It Classy:

    Former President Trump’s campaign described Iowa state Sen. Jeff Reichman (R) as “lily-livered” for flipping his endorsement to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) following Trump’s attack on Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) earlier this week.

    In a statement to The Hill, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung stated, “There is no room for weak-kneed and lily-livered people on Team Trump.”
    ……….
    “The truth is that those who have been promised financial support are now regretting their deal with the devil because none of them have been able to schedule fundraisers with DeSantis,” the statement continued.
    ………….
    “Iowa Republicans must be united if we are going to take our country back and reverse Joe Biden’s failures,” Reichman said in a Thursday statement. “Governor DeSantis has achieved the same type of commonsense policy victories in Florida as we have in Iowa under Governor Kim Reynolds, and he will deliver historic success for the conservative movement as president as well.”
    …………..

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  23. Reichman Is a retired 29-year Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, having last served in Iraq.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  24. It’s funny, Rob being pleased about Hutchinson’s poor turnout. I take it as yet another sign that the GOP deserves to blow up and die.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  25. > Because of that drug isn’t Hunter’s or other family members, does that mean that it’s some Whitehouse staffer’s coco?

    Could be a random visitor, too.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  26. White House staff are routinely tested for drugs. We talked about it a while back about one guy who left because he tested positive for marijuana.

    nk (938025)

  27. Good to see a majority of Republicans say “no” to Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz Ukraine bills

    Hold on. The final result is somewhat reassuring, but 89 House Republicans (41%) voted for MTG’s amendment curtailing Ukraine aid, and 70 (32%) voted for Gaetz’s, which, according to The Hill, would have prohibited all security assistance for Ukraine. Meanwhile, every Democrat, including AOC and Ilhan Omar, voted against the amendments. I have to wonder if that article is missing something. I mean I realize Trump has dragged the GOP into the gutter, but is it really possible that 30-40% of Republicans are more Putinist than the Squad? What happened to my horseshoe?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  28. You’re using the wrong horseshoe. Pick up the one labeled “safe districts”. All these people you mentioned, as long as they remember what to kiss, they get to keep their phony-baloney jobs.

    nk (938025)

  29. Matt Gaetz: Russia Would A Better Fit For NATO Than Ukraine:

    ………
    Appearing on Newsmax’s The Balance, Gaetz ranted about funding and support for Ukraine, and the idea of the nation joining NATO — saying Russia would be a better fit.

    “By the way, why would you pick Ukraine? Why not extend NATO to Russia and make it an anti-China alliance?” Gaetz suggested. “Like, are we really thinking that we’re more afraid of the broke-down tanks from Russia than the fact that China is building a secret military base on the island of Cuba, 90 miles away from the United States?”

    “Like, if we had to pick Russia or Ukraine for NATO, one could reasonably make the argument that Russia probably provides more benefit long-term,” he said.

    “No question, no question,” Bolling agreed.

    Earlier in the interview, Gaetz took issue with claims that “NATO expansion” made the U.S. any “safer.”

    “They’re thinking of giving Ukraine Israel-like security status so that we have to pay to be the block captain of Ukraine forever. And I think one can reasonably ask the question: has NATO expansion made us safer? I mean, has it really? Are we safer today than we were before NATO expanded into the Baltics and put us now on the brink of war? ………”
    …………..

    One problem with Gaetz’s suggestion is that Russia’s authoritarianism has much more in common with China than western democracies. Why would Russia want to join an “anti-China alliance”?

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  30. Trump Continues to Dominate GOP Primary Field, More than Doubles DeSantis’s Support
    ………….
    Trump sits atop the field with 48 percent of support among registered voters who plan to vote in the GOP primary, placing him 26 points ahead of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) with 22 percent (according to a YouGov/Economist poll). ……..

    No other candidate in the current poll breaks double digits, with former Vice President Mike Pence at five percent in third place.

    Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) follow right behind Pence, with three percent apiece, while entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) tie at two percent.
    …………..
    Regarding a hypothetical general election race between Trump and Biden, YouGov found that 40 percent of the 1,500 U.S. adults in the full sample want Trump as the next president, while 39 percent support Biden. When the sample is reduced to just the 1,296 registered voter respondents, the foes tie at 42 percent of support, with 7 percent backing someone else. Another three percent are undecided, and six percent would not cast a ballot.
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  31. You’re using the wrong horseshoe. Pick up the one labeled “safe districts”. All these people you mentioned, as long as they remember what to kiss, they get to keep their phony-baloney jobs.

    Well yeah, but that doesn’t explain why, other than Trump, Putin has become the thing to kiss for the far right even more than he is for the far left. It wasn’t that long ago that I was mocking my left-wing friends for the striking similarity between their beloved Pacifica Radio and Russia Today. Now Russia Today is parroted more often by the likes of MTG and Goetz, and I don’t think it’s Russia Today that changed. How did that happen? How do MTG and Matt Goetz keep their RW paymasters happy by parroting the equivalent of far-left Pacifica?

    (Cue asset explaining that it’s somehow about populists rebelling against abortion bans and the DNC for picking on Bernie-bros.)

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  32. Gavin should let the school board do it’s job, even if he doesn’t like it. This is just straight up unnecessary stunting and is a lousy precedent to set.

    I’m not surprised that there are people who both have barbie nostalgia and an interested in history.

    @lurker@31 Because the answer is Trump, there is no “other than Trump”. What Trump wants is the only thing that matters to them and Trump likes Putin.

    Nic (896fdf)

  33. 1. Vindman is a snitch. Almost no one likes a snitch unless it is one of those “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” moments. Oh. I forgot. Vindman is a whistleblower. Totally different

    2. What did Ukrainian-American Vindman get so worked up about? Ukraine. Vindman bypassed his own chain of command because it was Ukraine being leveraged, not because the behavior was exceptionally egregious. Doesn’t make what Trump did right, but Vindman was looking out for Ukraine, not the USA.

    steveg (ff3c9e)

  34. Gavin should let the school board do it’s job, even if he doesn’t like it. This is just straight up unnecessary stunting and is a lousy precedent to set.

    Agree.

    Dana (560c99)

  35. @31 putin is white supremist and is doing to ukraine what hitler did to countries. This appeals to mtg, tucker and gaetz. Communists opposed lend lease to great britian until the day after hitler attacked russia. Their are pacifists on the left who oppose lethal aid to ukraine ;but most leftys like me and the squad know an evil bully when they see one.

    asset (8c4f7b)

  36. In addition to the small percentage of the population who are massive cinephiles, I reckon most of the Barbie/Oppenheimer crossover crowd are couples with varying tastes who agree to a trade-off.

    LYT (dc61ee)

  37. Vindman bypassed his own chain of command

    Oh, izzat so?

    On February 13, [2020], Trump’s former chief of staff, retired Marine General John Kelly, defended Vindman’s actions and testimony. “He did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave. He went and told his boss what he just heard,” Kelly said.

    Source: American Military News, “Gen. John Kelly: Vindman ‘did exactly what we teach;’ was right to testify in Trump impeachment” Feb 13, 2020 [1] Archived February 14, 2020, at the Wayback Machine

    nk (938025)

  38. Hopefully they didnt see both movies “Evergreen Park or River Oaks” style. I guess Fox Hills or Magic Johnson theatres would be the LA equivalent.

    urbanleftbehind (6f3fda)

  39. Here’s the short version why Russia is a sheethole country.

    More Wagner putsch fallout: former employees of Prigozhin’s troll factories admit victims of “Donbas genocide” were paid actors.

    Jonah has a longer version, covering the expanse of this sheethole country’s history.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  40. From the previous thread:

    When Trump is trailing indictments for insurrection, leaving nuclear secrets in unsecured rooms, conspiracy to commit election fraud and for being an all-round asshat, things may change.

    “May” is the operative word. Indictments of Trump are good for solidifying his base and gaining support among others who feel he is being persecuted (as well as fundraising. Only convictions will change anyone’s mind, and those will be along time in coming.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  41. New Hampshire Poll: Donald Trump Maintains 37-Point Lead over Ron DeSantis
    ………..
    (In the latest American Pulse survey), New Hampshire Republicans were asked who they support in 2024, nearly half, 47.5 percent, responded with Trump. Trump’s next closest challenger was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who polled at 10.5 percent. DeSantis is statistically tied with Chris Christie, who polled at ten percent.

    In fourth place was Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), who donors are reportedly eyeing instead of DeSantis, at 6.9 percent. Vivek Ramaswamy followed at 5.3 percent, while former Vice President Mike Pence came in sixth place at 4.8 percent. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum were tied at 3.3 percent.
    …………

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  42. The only difference between Lt. Col. Vindman and everyone else involved with Trump’s “perfect call” is that Vindman has a conscience.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  43. Trump’s Support Among Republican County Chairs Continues To Grow :

    ……….. County chairs are figures who will play a key role in shaping the race. They are highly attentive to the party’s internal dynamics and are influential in local GOP circles; they offer the kind of endorsements that candidates are eager to collect. They’re also still close to the rank-and-file grassroots, and their shifts are likely to signal where the rest of the party is going.
    …………
    The most recent survey, conducted in the first few weeks of June, came amid yet another criminal indictment — this time involving federal charges that he mishandled classified documents, including violations of the Espionage Act. Yet I found Trump’s support continued to increase. Roughly twice as many county party chairs are now committed to Trump as to DeSantis, and no other candidates have really broken through.
    …………
    The proportion of undecided chairs remains significant, but it dipped a bit to 47 percent, down from 51 percent in April. DeSantis’ share of supporters has not shifted, holding just under 14 percent. But Trump’s support continues to grow. He has 29 percent now — roughly double what DeSantis has — and up from 24 percent in April and 16 percent in February. Support for all other candidates added up to around 10 percent.
    ………..
    DeSantis still holds the lead (among county chairs considering for the presidential nomination), with 61 percent of chairs saying they’re open to the Florida governor’s nomination. But notably, that figure has dropped with each survey wave; it had been 67 percent in April and 73 percent in February. Trump’s numbers, while not as strong, continue to improve. He’s now at 53 percent, up from 51 percent in April and 43 percent in February, suggesting more and more Republicans are getting comfortable with him back at the top of the ticket. Again, that’s even as his legal woes grow.
    ……………
    The one non-Trump, non-DeSantis contender who saw a real bit of movement in my survey is South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. ……..

    ……….. (Chris) Christie led the pack (among county chairs whom they do not want to see as their presidential nominee) for the third straight time, with 57 percent of chairs saying they do not want him as the GOP nominee. ……..
    ………….
    Meanwhile, considerably more county chairs are now rejecting Trump’s candidacy than in the last wave, with 38 percent of chairs now opposed to him, up from 29 percent in April. Ever the polarizing force, it appears that the latest round of indictments may have increased both Trump’s supporters and detractors within the party.
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  44. It is more properly phrased as a “selective conscience”… that is if moles even have a conscience. I’ll be willing to listen if you can quote Vindman having an attack of sudden conscience about something other than Ukraine. I’m being intentionally provocative using Vindman because none of us really knows much about him, but we have put our own biases onto him because we are either defending Trump or prosecuting him via this guy we really do not know

    steveg (21709e)

  45. The GOP electorate remains broken and less than rational. It is in its interest to move on from Trump….who will break records for turnout in 2024…unfortunately it’s for the Democrats. However despite two impeachments, two indictments with more possible, a guilty verdict with regards to defamation over sexual assault, 3 consecutive poor electoral performances by the GOP, continued bloviating nonsense about the 2020 election, and remarkable non-repentance about his J6 sociopathic inaction, there’s been little movement….except curiously for DeSantis precipitiously dropping.

    One would hope that the Trumpless debates, a Georgia indictment, and possibly a J6 indictment would matter….from a pragmatic point of view. More and more people would simply drop from cognitive dissonance exhaustion…and want a fresh start.

    Like J6…the GOP has a mob mentality. Otherwise normal people are caught up in the equivalent of burning cars and breaking shop windows. They know its wrong, but can’t stop themselves from acting out. There’s a special place in hell for those that have enabled this madness…and profited off of enflaming the mob.

    So…if in the end, nothing moves any of the 50% off of Trump….and inevitability emerges, the question becomes will this be the end of Trumpism….or does it suggest that an even smarter propagandist…someone like Tucker Carlson….will slide in to continue the grift? We can agree that the problem is the GOP electorate, but probably more so the right-wing incubator that is keeping otherwise good people stupid. Only having Trump lose might be a Pyrrhic Victory. People will have to want to take their pants off their heads…..

    AJ_Liberty (4092d5)

  46. steveg (21709e) — 7/15/2023 @ 8:47 am

    I really don’t get that. He served a career in the military and wasn’t a public figure until he was made one by being trashed by the Trumpist Right as a “traitor”, which is a load of crap.
    To me, this speaks more to the shiddy character of Trump and his devotees than the guy who saw a blatant breach of the law and reported it.
    I don’t understand why one slimy con man is put above the Constitution and the rule of law.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  47. One problem with Gaetz’s suggestion is that Russia’s authoritarianism has much more in common with China than western democracies.

    Assuming that the anti-Ukraine Russophiles are actually devoted to western democracy and opposed to authoritarianism.

    On the far right, Putin’s regime is imagined to be a project of defending Christianity and tradition and national sovereignty from all the bad things being done by western (liberal) democracies.

    In that mental framework, the cause of Russia’s attack on Ukraine goes back to 2014, when the U.S. allegedly forced the pro-Kremlin Yanukovych out of office — and then somehow compelled Ukrainians subsequently to favor a Western orientation, and somehow this was so threatening to Russia that Putin had to force Ukraine back into its orbit, or else “Russian civilization” would be destroyed by the globalist “liberal imperium.”

    And now, the story goes, America is cynically using Ukrainians to attack Russia (though entirely inside Ukraine). It couldn’t be that Ukrainians are actually choosing not to be subjugated by Russia.

    It’s a ludicrous tale, but Putin apologists in the U.S. (some of whom label themselves “America First”) would rather pin fault on America than admit that Russia is engaging in a violent campaign of imperial expansion — even though it’s sometimes openly acknowledged by Kremlin mouthpieces.

    Radegunda (5c6483)

  48. steveg (21709e) — 7/15/2023 @ 8:47 am

    I’m not sure what your point is anyway, rehashing something that happened over two years ago. Trump beat the impeachment rap, and all the principals have left government.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  49. I don’t understand why one slimy con man is put above the Constitution and the rule of law.

    The extent to which so much of the GOP redefined patriotism and righteousness around the desires and ego of Donald Trump never ceases to astonish me.

    Radegunda (5c6483)

  50. Assuming that the anti-Ukraine Russophiles are actually devoted to western democracy and opposed to authoritarianism.

    Radegunda (5c6483) — 7/15/2023 @ 10:02 am

    I agree, I think Gaetz (and others) have a moral blind spot and and are just more comfortable with Russian authoritarianism.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  51. Vindman was the Director for European Affairs for the National Security Council. Ukraine was within his purview. Maybe they should have put him in the Asian desk and Wong Kim (fictional) in the European desk?

    nk (8c4866)

  52. Three Things To Watch This Summer That Could Impact The GOP Primary Race
    ……….
    …………(H)ere are three things to watch for this summer that may shake things up in the GOP primary.

    More Trump Indictments:

    It’s hard to believe that voters who have stuck with Trump through all of his current legal troubles — including two indictments and a battery and defamation lawsuit — are going to suddenly abandon him if a Georgia grand jury indicts him later this summer for alleged voter interference in the 2020 election.

    However, some Republican strategists I’ve spoken with argue that the weight of Trump’s legal troubles is taking an unseen toll. ………….

    August Debates:
    ………..
    Trump has every reason to be a no-show. No front-running candidate wants to give their lower-polling challengers an opportunity to attack and/or embarrass them.

    DeSantis’ situation, however, is a bit more complicated.

    Without Trump on stage, DeSantis is the obvious target for the lower polling contenders. Everyone there wants to dethrone DeSantis from his second-place perch. Why give them the chance to do that?
    ………….
    It’s hard to understate the importance of these debates for DeSantis. His performance either solidifies his place as the top challenger to Trump, or it dethrones him and offers another candidate a chance to get into the coveted second place slot.

    Iowa Polling:

    ……….Trump’s rivals understand that if Trump wins here, it may be impossible to stop his roll to the nomination. This is why you are seeing most of the GOP field camped out in the state.

    According to the Des Moines Register candidate tracker, the three candidates who have spent the most days in the state are Ramaswamy with 20, Haley at 13 and former Vice President Mike Pence at 11 days.

    While Scott (7 days) and DeSantis (3 days) haven’t spent as many days physically in the state, the SuperPACs supporting their candidacies have been very active, outspending all the other candidates and SuperPACs thus far. ……….
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  53. Trump’s GOP rivals struggling as they try hodgepodge of attacks on him
    …………
    …………With just over six months until the first nominating contest, here in Iowa, Trump holds a wide advantage in national surveys over a crowded field as his critics nervously confront the absence of a potent political argument against him — or a consensus on deploying one.
    ………..
    …………(M)any GOP primary voters still see Trump as their best chance of beating Biden. A Monmouth University poll in May found that more than 6 in 10 Republican voters said Trump was probably or definitely the party’s strongest candidate to beat Biden, and about one-third thought another candidate would be stronger. The Trump campaign pointed to some national polls showing him ahead of President Biden.

    Beyond electability, attacks against Trump include comments that Christie, a former New Jersey governor, has made on cable news networks about the ex-president’s character. They also include a Pence-aligned super PAC’s ads against Trump over Jan. 6 and for Trump’s favorable statements about Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Many of the criticisms Trump’s rivals have lobbed at him are meant to accentuate their unique pitches to be the Republican nominee.
    ………..
    Others are taking a less direct approach, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), when asked recently on “Fox News Sunday” about his differences with Trump, argued that primary voters “are starving for a message filled with optimism, hope, anchored in conservative values with a backbone.” He has also split with Trump on Ukraine.

    Some are trying to achieve a difficult balance: drawing a contrast with Trump but not angering Trump’s supporters. Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has centered his campaign on “America First 2.0” and suggested Trump is no longer an outsider. Yet Ramaswamy also led a push for candidates to commit to pardoning Trump.

    Haley, a former member of the Trump administration, has focused many of her attacks in the race on DeSantis, not Trump. …………
    ………….
    …………. Gunner Ramer, the political director of Republican Accountability PAC, an anti-Trump group, said the problem that has plagued critics in attacking Trump is that “voters like the job Trump did as president.”

    “Do I see a cohesive message? No. I think it’s muddled,” he said. “And I think that the best pitch that these candidates can make is electability, and, oftentimes, I think that these Republican candidates are afraid to alienate Trump’s base.”

    Trump continues to showcase strong enthusiasm among his backers. On Tuesday, his campaign rolled out endorsements from the entire GOP congressional delegation from Michigan. And last week, days after a crowded event in South Carolina, his supporters lined up in the rain to see him in Council Bluffs, Iowa. And several expressed confidence in interviews that Trump could win another White House term.
    …………
    “If you’re somebody who actually wants to be taken seriously and get yourself positioned at least to be competitive against him, to be an alternative to him, then, yeah, I think they’re going to have to, candidates are going to become more aggressive,” (Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said.
    #########

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  54. nk (8c4866) — 7/15/2023 @ 10:17 am

    Too funny, nk. I actually lived in a house with a guy named Wong Hak-Kim during my college days.

    (Extra points for putting the surname–Wong–first, as is done in Chinese. “Mao” was Mao Tse-tung’s family name.)

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  55. Second Item:

    The comparison is faulty. The more apt comparison is that someone across town (you’ve never met) had their house broken into. Are you still loading up the shotgun shells and firing away?

    You’re intentionally conflating an attack on us vs. an attack on someone who’s barely an ally.

    SaveFarris (614a29)

  56. It was Vindman’s job to handle Ukraine and the region for the NSC:

    I was the person most knowledgeable about and officially responsible for the portfolio. If I didn’t report up the chain of command what I knew, no one might ever find out what the president was up to with Ukraine and the 2020 U.S. election.

    DRJ (531157)

  57. The US has interests in the region, especially an interest in a weak Russia, and describing Ukraine as “barely an ally” is sad. Ukraine is an Americsn ally. Russia is not. Picking sides here is easy for everyone but Trump.

    DRJ (531157)

  58. Vindman’s job was to protect American interests, not Trump’s re-election plot.

    DRJ (531157)

  59. Vindman’s job was to protect American interests, not Trump’s re-election plot.

    DRJ (531157) — 7/15/2023 @ 12:44 pm

    If Trump were such a “winner”, he wouldn’t have any need to extort Ukraine.

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  60. Asa Hutchinson has a good claim to be the most qualified presidential candidate running, of either party:

    William Asa Hutchinson II (/ˈeɪsə/, AY-sə; born December 3, 1950) is an American attorney, businessman, and politician who served as the 46th governor of Arkansas from 2015 to 2023. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as a U.S. attorney, U.S. Congressman, and in two roles in the George W. Bush administration.

    In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed Hutchinson to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, which covers most of Fort Smith. In 1986, Hutchinson unsuccessfully challenged Democratic U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers. He later successfully ran for the House of Representatives in 1996, representing Arkansas’s 3rd congressional district until August 2001, when president George W. Bush nominated him as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2003, Bush appointed Hutchinson as the Under Secretary for border and transportation security at the newly established Department of Homeland Security; Hutchinson retired from the Bush administration in 2005.

    That his record isn’t better known is the fault of our news organizations, and, of course, the Loser, who craves, and gets so much attention.

    Jim Miller (3b785f)

  61. Miller, no question, Hutchinson has the best resume. He also talks like an adult that has had to actually get things done. The party elders should be pushing for him…meaning they should be on the shows talking him up. However, we really don’t have party elders any more and the news media prefers a different dynamic. Experience and knowledge should matter. Being able to attract moderates and independents ought to matter. The fact that he’s polling behind Ramaswamy is a GOP embarrassment.

    AJ_Liberty (4092d5)

  62. A_J – And I would just add that Hutchinson’s experience in drug enforcement, and border control, are much needed, now.

    It would be great if we could look at Republican nominees without blushing at some of those losers on our ballots.

    Jim Miller (3b785f)

  63. Not A Surprise:

    A federal appeals court has put a temporary hold on a district court judge’s unusual order restricting a wide swath of federal officials and agencies from communicating with social media companies about content on their platforms.

    A three-judge panel considering emergency matters for the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday granted the Biden administration’s request to put the far-reaching preliminary injunction on hold for now while the case is referred to another appeals panel that will consider a longer-term stay of U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty’s Independence Day order.

    That second panel will be the one to rule on the merits of Doughty’s ruling…………
    ………..
    ……….. The order Friday was issued by Judge Carl Stewart, an appointee of President Bill Clinton; Judge James Graves, an appointee of President Barack Obama; and Judge Andrew Oldham, an appointee of President Donald Trump.
    …………

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  64. @45 It is in your interest that they move on from trump not theirs. You and most posters here and them don’t make we. Keri lake told rinos to get out of the party and still barely lost.

    asset (c580e1)

  65. @49 You don’t understand because you are NOT ignorant southern white trash populist. I am NON-ignorant southern white trash populist and native american. That is is why I do understand them.

    asset (c580e1)

  66. The drawbacks to Hutchinson’s candidacy (which I would support if it made sense) is that he comes from a small Southern state and his politics are out of sync with current Republican voters.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  67. @61 Hillary clinton was the most qualified in 2016 so what? I voted green party ;but would have voted for trump before I would vote for her. BTW according to 538 young people are staying left/liberal longer then older generations.

    asset (c580e1)

  68. Trump Civil Litigation Watch

    The Justice Department has reversed course and said it no longer believes that Donald Trump should be entitled to immunity for his response to E. Jean Carroll’s accusation of sexual assault, allowing the civil lawsuit to move forward to trial in January.
    ………….
    DOJ lawyers said in a letter to attorneys for Trump and Carroll that “the Department has determined that it lacks adequate evidence” to conclude the former president was acting within the scope of his employment or serving the US government “when he denied sexually assaulting Ms. Carroll and made the other statements regarding Ms. Carroll that she has challenged in this action.”
    …………..
    Justice Department lawyers said they took into consideration Trump’s deposition that was played in the battery and defamation trial, as well as statements Trump made last October repeating the denials long after he left office, as an indication that he was not motivated to protect and serve the US when he first made the comments.

    Lawyers for the Justice Department wrote that after balancing and weighing the evidence “from Mr. Trump’s deposition, the jury verdict in Carroll II, and the new allegations in the Amended Complaint, the Department has determined that there is no longer a sufficient basis to conclude that the former President was motivated by ‘more than an insignificant’ desire to serve the United States Government,” lawyers for the Justice Department wrote…………

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  69. Rip Murdock (eaf997) — 7/15/2023 @ 3:13 pm

    Trump Reacts:

    ………….

    “The DOJ will not defend me in the E. Jean Carroll civil case, which is all part of the political Witch Hunt, lawyered up by a political operative who I just beat in another case, financed by a big political funder, and ‘judged’ by a Clinton appointee who truly hates ‘TRUMP,'” he wrote in the first of three posts. “The statements that I made about Carroll are all true. I didn’t Rape her (I won that at trial) and other than for this case, I have NO IDEA WHO SHE IS, WHAT SHE LOOKS LIKE, OR ANYTHING ABOUT HER….”

    “The Carroll civil case against me is a Miscarriage of Justice and a total Scam. The trial was very unfair, with the other side being able to do and present virtually anything they wanted, and our side being largely and wrongfully shut down by an absolutely hostile, biased, and out of control judge. My lawyers, due to their respect for the Office of the President and the incredulity of the case, did not want me to testify, or even be at the trial…..” Trump continued.

    “The net result of this horrible INJUSTICE, where a completely unknown to me woman made up a ridiculous story, wrote it in a book to increase publicity and sales, I correctly disputed the story and got sued for Defamation, whereupon a hostile Judge and Jury shockingly awarded a woman who I don’t know, have never known, and don’t want to know, $5,000,000, while at the same time throwing out the Fake Rape claim,” he concluded. “WE ARE STRONGLY APPEALING THIS TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE!!!” ……………

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  70. At what point will we become willing to go to war with Putin’s Russia. There must be one. Extermination camps? Carpet bombing of cities? Use of nukes?

    Putin is pretty much running through Hitler’s playbook and may be running extermination camps now. He certainly plans them for the Ukranians if he wins. Clearly he has no respect for the Geneva Conventions and his troops and he are not deserving Quarter.

    Cluster bombs are too good for them.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  71. As for “what are the limits to what we will provide Ukraine”, what do you suppose would be the limitations if NATO got involved? Those. No nukes, but anything else goes.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  72. I always thought that a plaintiff was entitled to only one satisfaction and bound by their election of remedies. Why wasn’t this case mooted when the jury was sworn-in in the other one?

    nk (8c4866)

  73. His office also unveiled that the governor plans to sign legislation that would prohibit the restriction of teaching materials for political reasons

    A week-long session on the racist history of the Democrat Party would be a solid response.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  74. I always thought that a plaintiff was entitled to only one satisfaction and bound by their election of remedies. Why wasn’t this case mooted when the jury was sworn-in in the other one?

    nk (8c4866) — 7/15/2023 @ 3:48 pm

    The case that was decided was for statements made by Trump after he left office. The second lawsuit is for statements by Trump while he was President.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  75. Trump asks Georgia’s top court to quash grand jury report, disqualify Fulton DA
    …………..
    The motion filed on Thursday asks Georgia’s highest court to put a halt to any ongoing proceedings “related to and flowing from the special purpose grand jury’s investigation until this matter can be resolved.” This would include any consideration of a possible indictment for alleged criminal meddling in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election by one of two regular Fulton grand juries that were seated on Tuesday.

    Trump’s attorneys — Drew Findling, Marissa Goldberg and Jennifer Little — acknowledged that the state Supreme Court had never once taken on such a request for extraordinary relief in the four decades it has had jurisdiction to do so. But the motion said if Trump’s case “is not sufficiently extraordinary for this court to exercise jurisdiction, no case could be.”

    “Even in an extraordinarily novel case of national significance, one would expect matters to take their normal procedural course within a reasonable time,” the motion said. “But nothing about these processes have been normal or reasonable. And the all-but-unavoidable conclusion is that the anomalies below are because petitioner is President Donald J. Trump.”
    …………..
    “The whole of the process is now incurably infected,” the motion said. “And nothing that follows could be legally sound or publicly respectable.”

    It asserted that the Georgia statute allowing for the operation of special grand juries was unconstitutionally vague. It said that publication of excerpts of the final report would violate the former president’s rights to fundamental fairness and due process and lead to “irremediable injury” to his reputation as he runs for the GOP nomination for president for a third time.

    “(Trump) now sits on a precipice,” his lawyers’ motion said. “A regular Fulton County grand jury could return an indictment any day that will have been based on a report and predicate investigative process that were wholly without authority.”
    …………..

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  76. Meanwhile, RFK, Jr. is showing why he is unfit to be elected dog catcher:

    Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. advanced a dangerous conspiracy theory this week that the coronavirus could have been a bioweapon “deliberately targeted” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people while disproportionately attacking White and Black people, according to a video of the remarks published Saturday by the New York Post.

    Good work by the New York Post — or, whoever gave them that story.

    Jim Miller (9f860e)

  77. However despite two impeachments, two indictments with more possible

    More impeachments are also possible. All it would take in the House is a handful of Republicans. They could impeach him for the classified documents scandal. Why wait for the courts? All you need to wait for is 15 GOP Senators to have had enough. There are probably 10 now. Keep it up, Don.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  78. The case that was decided was for statements made by Trump after he left office. The second lawsuit is for statements by Trump while he was President.

    Thank you. And that also answers how he let the statute of limitations expire on his own counterclaim for defamation against the author and publishers.

    nk (8c4866)

  79. Trump’s GOP rivals struggling as they try hodgepodge of attacks on him

    Mice waiting for someone else to bell the cat.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  80. More impeachments are also possible. All it would take in the House is a handful of Republicans. They could impeach him for the classified documents scandal. Why wait for the courts? All you need to wait for is 15 GOP Senators to have had enough. There are probably 10 now. Keep it up, Don.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/15/2023 @ 4:14 pm

    LOL! Comedy gold! 😂

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  81. All you need to wait for is 15 GOP Senators to have had enough. There are probably 10 now.

    Name them.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  82. @71 This is scary kevin. I completely agree with you!

    asset (ca74b8)

  83. Mice waiting for someone else to bell the cat.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/15/2023 @ 4:15 pm

    Usually the cat eats mice that get that close.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  84. Jim Miller (9f860e) — 7/15/2023 @ 4:09 pm

    RFK, Jr.’s entire campaign is to mainstream his conspiracy theories.

    Which why he would be the ideal VP for Donald Trump.

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  85. Put Up or Shut Up:

    The Georgia State Election Board is suing True the Vote over the organization’s failure to comply with subpoenas that would back up its allegation of a ballot collection scheme highlighted in the movie “2000 Mules.”

    The lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court on Tuesday asked a judge to compel True the Vote, a Texas-based conservative election organization, to turn over information about alleged ballot-trafficking during the 2020 presidential election. ………
    True the Vote has refused to provide details and documents supporting its allegations that several unnamed organizations paid unnamed individuals $10 per absentee ballot delivered to drop boxes across metro Atlanta. True the Vote objected to revealing information about an anonymous source who allegedly collected ballots and delivered them to drop boxes.
    …………
    “The allegations asserted in the complaint are serious allegations, and the SEB takes them seriously,” Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Vaughan wrote in a May 19 letter to an attorney for True the Vote. “Your main objection is that your clients ‘pledged confidentiality’ regarding certain information sought in the subpoena. You do not specify basis for this objection, and do not state that it is based on some legally cognizable principle or privilege.”
    …………
    True the Vote repeatedly fought the State Election Board’s subpoena over the past three months, saying it didn’t return contact information of its anonymous source, can’t verify his identity and has an obligation to protect him.
    ………..
    The (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) previously found that True the Vote hadn’t provided enough evidence to pursue a law enforcement investigation of ballot harvesting in the 2020 elections. Approximate locations of alleged ballot traffickers based on cellphone signals were insufficient without the names of witnesses or perpetrators.
    ………..
    The subpoenas sought documents, recordings, and names of people and organizations allegedly connected to ballot harvesting.
    …………

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  86. That his record isn’t better known is the fault of our news organizations

    Their job is to report news, not be a governor’s press agents. It was up to him to get his name and accomplishments out there and/or cultivate the network that is able to promote him. Neither Tim Scott nor Nikki Haley spent time tickeing over hornet’s nests like DeSantis and his role model did. YEt they got their names out there anyway.

    Boo hoo hoo. Besides, being boss of the Drug War isn’t a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  87. And I would just add that Hutchinson’s experience in drug enforcement

    I’m sure that Westmoreland thought his experience should count for more, too. But losing failing to win a war is not the best resume.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  88. The drawbacks to Hutchinson’s candidacy (which I would support if it made sense) is that he comes from a small Southern state and his politics are out of sync with current Republican voters.

    South Carolina isn’t that much bigger. Of course being pro-neutering is a problem.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  89. * tickeing

    kicking

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  90. Breaking NBC Desatan firing dozens of staffers in cost cutting move. Seems Lincoln was right you can only fool some of the people all of the time. The more people get to know desatan the less they like him. Donors getting nervous of trump if desatan loses.

    asset (ca74b8)

  91. Besides, being boss of the Drug War isn’t a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/15/2023 @ 5:42 pm

    Thanks for pre-emptively stepping on my intended point. 🙃

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  92. RIP pianist Andre Watts (77).

    ………
    ………. In 1963, when he was 16, he won an audition to appear with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic as part of the maestro’s nationally televised series of Young People’s Concerts.

    Mr. Bernstein was effusive as he introduced the young pianist to the crowd at Philharmonic Hall. “He sat down at the piano and tore into the opening bars of a Liszt concerto in such a way that we simply flipped,” Mr. Bernstein said, recounting the young pianist’s audition.
    ………….
    A couple weeks later, Mr. Bernstein invited him to make his formal Philharmonic debut, substituting for the eminent pianist Glenn Gould. He later credited Mr. Bernstein with handing him a career “out of thin air.”
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  93. South Carolina isn’t that much bigger. ………

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/15/2023 @ 5:47 pm

    Which explains why the two SC candidates are performing hardly any better.

    Rip Murdock (80f632)

  94. In more news from inside the GOP’s Putinist rabbit hole, Jim Jordan has invited RFK Jr to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. I trust Trump’s base will be bigly reassured by RFK’s kitchen table solutions to Chinese and Jews.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  95. If somebody better doesn’t step in to take on the pubescent hair sniffer (fox news had the latest disgusting biden) I will vote RFK as a protest vote against sniffer joe in democrat primary if they hod one.

    asset (53bbe3)

  96. RIP ‘60s icon actress and singer Jane Birkin OBE (76).

    Rip Murdock (eaf997)

  97. Money, Money.Money

    …………
    Here are six takeaways from a lackluster fundraising quarter:

    1. For real, everyone’s a little underwhelming
    ………….
    President Joe Biden’s numbers trailed where Donald Trump and Barack Obama were at this point in their reelection cycles. Trump’s topline number was less than expected, based on how enthusiastically a campaign official teased his post-indictment fundraising. DeSantis’ filing has several warning signs, including a fast start that he didn’t sustain and $3 million that he can’t touch until the general election. And Scott still spent more than he raised.

    . ……… Some of the bigger topline numbers came simply because candidates with personal wealth, like North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, gave their campaigns some of it.
    ………….

    2. Super PACs, your time has come.
    …………
    DeSantis’ super PAC Never Back Down is slated to report raising $130 million since forming earlier this year when it files its first FEC report later this month. That sum includes more than $80 million raised by DeSantis as a gubernatorial candidate in Florida. That means Never Back Down is building a shadow campaign with which DeSantis’ operation can’t officially coordinate — but will be counting on to deliver as the candidate scales back his staff.
    …………

    3. Trump is still the small-dollar king.
    ………..
    ……….. Trump continues to dominate the rest of the GOP field when it comes to small-dollar donors. DeSantis reported raising just $2.8 million from donors giving less than $200; Trump’s campaign reported receiving $14.6 million in unitemized contributions transferred from his joint fundraising committee.
    …………

    4. The pro-Biden spin is spinny.

    The president and DNC have $77 million in cash on hand. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. But some of the data points being pushed by his surrogates come with real caveats. ……….
    ………….

    5. The resume isn’t helping Republicans.

    ………..(F)ormer governors — and the former vice president — proved in their cash hauls Saturday that in the modern GOP, it doesn’t help much to have credentials.
    …………….
    Haley, the former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador, raised $5.3 million. But that was less than the $6.2 million posted by her fellow South Carolinian, Sen. Scott, who didn’t even enter the race until more than halfway through the quarter. And that’s to say nothing of former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who raised a paltry $583,000.

    Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who entered the race on June 6, raised $1.7 million.
    ………….

    6. The August debate is the next real opportunity to change the dynamics of the race.
    ……………

    Rip Murdock (4b3754)

  98. Finally……..

    Ukraine and 11 other nations have formalized a plan to train pilots, maintainers and support staff to operate F-16 Viper fighters, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced Tuesday in a Tweet.
    …………
    The training will start in August in Denmark, and a training center will be set up in Romania, Reuters reported, citing officials on the sidelines of the NATO summit. The War Zone posited that Romania would be the epicenter for Ukraine’s F-16 training initiative in mid June. ………
    ………..
    ………..(A) U.S. Air Force assessment earlier this year of Ukrainian pilots who came to the U.S. for simulator testing found that they could be trained in basic operations of American-made F-16 Viper fighter jets in around four months, far quicker than the Pentagon had previously suggested.
    ……….
    While the training will begin at the end of the summer, the first Ukrainian pilots won’t likely qualify on F-16s until next year. And there are no hard plans in place yet for when, or even if, Ukraine will get Vipers for those pilots to fly.
    …………..

    Rip Murdock (4b3754)

  99. Chris Wallace Straight-Up Asks RNC Chair Is She Cool With ‘Nominating A Convicted Felon’ In Trump
    …………
    ………… Wallace asked McDaniel if she has a problem with the GOP “nominating somebody who’s under federal indictment” (she expressed openness to that) and then asked the natural follow-up for a race in which ex-President Donald Trump is the frontrunner — “Do you have any problem with the Republican Party nominating a convicted felon?”:

    RONNA MCDANIEL: I think the presumption of innocence stands. And I think there’s a lot of Republicans who are very troubled.

    At the end of the day, Chris, though, it’s not up to me. It’s up to the voters. They’re going to make their decision. They’re going to hear this and they’re going to decide if this is an issue for them come November or come the primary process.

    I’m not seeing this in the polling right now creating an issue.

    CHRIS WALLACE: Do you have any problem with the Republican Party nominating a convicted felon?

    RONNA MCDANIEL: That’s hypothetical. We’re not even close to that. So I don’t think we’re even there…
    ……….

    ……….

    More:

    ………
    ……….. Wallace pushed the Republican chairwoman on whether Trump will be forced to sign the RNC’s loyalty pledge, and what effect a Trump snub would have on the debates:

    WALLACE: Are you standing firm on this, if you want to participate in the Republican presidential debates, you have to sign this loyalty pledge.

    MCDANIEL: It’s the beat Biden pledge. ………(I)if you’re going to stand on the Republican National Committee debate stage, and you make your case to the American people, and you take that time, at the end of the day, when the dust has settled, you should be able to support the nominee and beat Biden.
    ………..
    WALLACE: If the front runner who at this point is far ahead of the rest of the field decides to skip the debates. Isn’t that going to really cut into the credibility and the the importance of these debates?

    MCDANIEL: I think these debates are critical. I hope he joins the debate stage. I think he’ll be on the debate stage. I know his consultants, some of them are saying just skip it. I think anytime we can get in front of the American people is good for our party.

    WALLACE: And what if he skips it?

    MCDANIEL: And then he skips it. That’s his choice.

    More:

    ……….
    ………… Wallace spent a solid three minutes holding McDaniel’s feet to the fire for her organization’s resolution censuring Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, and calling the attack on the Capitol “legitimate political discourse.
    ………..

    CHRIS WALLACE: ……… The RNC voted to censure Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, both members of the January 6 committee, for their role in persecution of ordinary citizens engage in legitimate political discourse. ……….(Seventeen) months after the RNC that you were the head of passed that resolution, do you still think that January 6 was legitimate political discourse?

    RONNA MCDANIEL: So I love the spin on this because we said this immediately. Of course, violence is never legitimate political discourse. And that was not what was said in that resolution. It was not intended. I made it clear and it’s dishonest. It is absolutely dishonest for the media to anyway said that the RNC was saying that violence is legitimate political (sic).
    …………
    CHRIS WALLACE: Well, I must tell you, Ronna, I specifically read the resolution again today. But and and what the it’s about the January 6th investigation and it’s persecution. Well, it wasn’t in the resolution.

    RONNA MCDANIEL: Because you don’t have to say that violence isn’t legitimate political discourse. ……..
    …………
    RONNA MCDANIEL: I’m saying it right now and I did condemn it. Go read my statements.

    CHRIS WALLACE: I’m talking about the resolution that the RNC. Let me.
    ………….
    CHRIS WALLACE: Because the resolution is the resolution. It’s more than that statement said. This is the official position of the Republican Party and (sic).
    …………

    Rip Murdock (4b3754)

  100. Rip Murdock (4b3754) — 7/16/2023 @ 11:37 am

    More from Chris Wallace:

    ………
    ……….. Wallace played McDaniel’s testimony to the Jan. 6 committee about the fake electors, then proceeded to hammer her over the plot in a stunning exchange — and especially seemed to touch a nerve when he asked if she’s testified for Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 probe:

    WALLACE: Why did you participate in that?

    MCDANIEL: Well, it’s been done in the past. There’s precedent with Hawaii. And it was contingent, it was a contingent…
    …………..
    MCDANIEL: Chris, there were legal challenges.

    WALLACE: This was in multiple states around the country.

    WALLACE: There were going to be fake electors that you were gonna help…

    MCDANIEL: I don’t like the word fake electors.

    WALLACE: What do you do? What word do you prefer?

    MCDANIEL: …………. There were there were still challenges, legal challenges going through the courts. And they said if a state was overturned, these would be contingent slates if the state result changed. That’s all it was. It was not to be fake electors or replace the electors. It was contingent based on a legal challenge changing the outcome of a state. I think that’s very reasonable.
    ………….
    MCDANIEL: That’s not what (Trump and John Eastman) said to me. So that was not…

    WALLACE: But you understand that’s what they ended up wanting to do, was to tell Mike Pence, don’t accept the electors for Joe Biden in states that he won, but instead take these fake electors that the RNC was part of putting together.
    ………….
    WALLACE: ……….. Have you spoken to either the Office of the Special Counsel, Jack Smith, or to his grand jury?

    MCDANIEL: I’m not talking about anything having to do with that investigation.

    WALLACE: So you’re not denying.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (80f632)

  101. lurker (cd7cd4) — 7/15/2023 @ 9:18 pm

    I trust Trump’s base will be bigly reassured by RFK’s kitchen table solutions to .Chinese and Jews,

    RFK Jr seems to be slightly backtracking, in in that he “clarifies” that the supposed comparative relative immunity of Chinese, Jews and Finns was unintentional. Which makes him liar who changes his lies or someone carrying water for somebody else. It is hard to believe he could so fully believe his junk science.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/rfk-jr-covid-19-ethnically-targeted-to-spare-jews-and-chinese

    The Post also quoted an infectious disease expert, who said, “I don’t see any evidence that there was any design or bioterrorism that anyone tried to design something to knock off certain groups.”

    In a Twitter post on Saturday, RFK Jr. insisted—despite video evidence—that he “never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews.” Rather, he argued that he was simply pointing out that COVID-19 is “least compatible with ethnic Chinese, Finns, and Ashkenazi Jews,” during a conversation about how “the U.S. and other overnments are developing ethnically targeted bioweapons.”

    Now the only half truth maybe about that is that Chinese (in China) and Jews (in general, because of skiing vacations in northern Italy, somewhat popular in New York because of its large Italian population and popular in Israel, too) were among those populations first hit by Covid-19 (Chinese in China by an earlier variant of the virus) so at a certain point in time they had more immunity (naturally acquired) than average.

    And of course the vaccine promotion completely ignored or discounted immunity acquired from infections.

    Also the earliest people infected during an outbreak had milder cases because they got exposed to a lower viral dose than those exposed later as an outbreak intensified..

    This business of it being possible to design a virus to affect some ethnic groups more is Russian or Chinese propaganda, Otherwise he would have noted the apparent comparative immunity of Africans in East Africa, who regularly took anti-malaria medication.

    Sammy Finkelman (41dc2e)

  102. Although I never heard of it, I am assuming that there is some basis for RFK’;s claim – and that this would have been noticed in the fall of 2020 because it would make sense around then.

    You may ask why weren’t Italian-Americans noticeably infected when it started? It would have been Orthodox and semi-Orthodox Jews because you have weddings and other gatherings that made short connections between
    otherwise not closely associated people.

    The connection to skiing vacations in Italy is because there were direct flights between Wuhan and Milan because Milan was a center for the design of wedding dresses. Businessmen and workers traveled between Wuhan and Milan, The ski slopes are not that far away.

    I also read that when the central governnment of China quarantined Wuhan in January 2020. at first they made an exceotion for airplane travel.

    Sammy Finkelman (41dc2e)

  103. DeSantis’s campaign overspending reminds me of John McCain in 2007.

    But McCAin had something going for him.

    Sammy Finkelman (41dc2e)

  104. Rip Murdock (eaf997) — 7/14/2023 @ 7:31 pm

    Why would Russia want to join an “anti-China alliance”?

    Race or religion. (White Christian civilization. Of course Putin makes himself aa big defender of old fashioned cultural values)

    Putin was promoting this with regard to Islamicism. He still has links to old Com,umists though (Nicaragua, Cuba)

    Sammy Finkelman (41dc2e)

  105. Putin is not a white supremacist, but it’s one of his angles. He supports it, particularly in Europe.

    Sammy Finkelman (41dc2e)

  106. Rip Murdock (80f632) — 7/16/2023 @ 11:54 am

    Dear Ronna: You thing that was tough? Wait until you nominate a traitor. Wait until you have to explain to Republicans why Trump only got 23% of the vote.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  107. Dear Ronna: You thing that was tough? Wait until you nominate a traitor. Wait until you have to explain to Republicans why Trump only got 23% of the vote.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/16/2023 @ 3:04 pm

    Of course the RNC Chair has nothing to do with who is the Republican nominee. That is left up to Republican primary voters.

    Rip Murdock (9b407a)

  108. Wait until you have to explain to Republicans why Trump only got 23% of the vote.

    Why would McDaniel need to explain anything to Republicans? I’m sure they could figure it out for themselves.

    Rip Murdock (9b407a)

  109. The explanation is “that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

    Rip Murdock (9b407a)

  110. https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2023/07/at-wapo-an-epic-blunder.php

    Left wing liar Jenn Rubin pulled a Jayson Blair and used false information to create a story out of nothing. Anyone who likes to cite her and her stores has to be taken at face value. They enjoy the serial fabulist as long as it supports their agenda.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  111. Any Republican going on CNN is a fool. They clip anything to make a Republican look bad.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  112. That is left up to Republican primary voters.

    Only because the bylaws say so. I bet those can change pretty quickly if needed (and if anyone has the will). They can add 1000 special delegates if they want to.

    Question: If Trump is convicted of multiple serious felonies in April and is facing a recommended 20 years in prison, but has the nomination locked up, is the RNC really going to wring its hands when the earlier voters complain?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  113. The explanation is “that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

    The response is “why do we pay you?”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  114. Any Republican supporting Trump is a fool.

    FIFY.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  115. NJRob:

    Who cites Jenn Rubin?

    Appalled (aa7e46)

  116. Only because the bylaws say so. I bet those can change pretty quickly if needed (and if anyone has the will). They can add 1000 special delegates if they want to.

    Question: If Trump is convicted of multiple serious felonies in April and is facing a recommended 20 years in prison, but has the nomination locked up, is the RNC really going to wring its hands when the earlier voters complain?

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/16/2023 @ 5:01 pm

    If the RNC changed their by-laws to add delegates to thwart the will of Republican primary voters, they will have a much bigger electoral problem than Trump being nominated. There will be a Republican civil war.

    I don’t see the RNC interfering in the nomination process. It’s stacked with Trump supporters, including the Chair. The voters will have spoken.

    Rip Murdock (4b3754)

  117. Only because the bylaws say so. I bet those can change pretty quickly if needed (and if anyone has the will). They can add 1000 special delegates if they want to.

    This has as much chance as your impeachment prediction.

    Rip Murdock (4b3754)

  118. Will Nato step up if Putin goes here? Will the US?

    I have a good idea what Trump will say.

    DRJ (531157)

  119. Is the corrider why Wagner and his troops were sent to Belarus?

    DRJ (531157)

  120. Another Shoe Dropping:

    ………..
    Special counsel Jack Smith in recent weeks transmitted a target letter to the staffer indicating that he might have perjured himself during a May appearance before the federal grand jury hearing evidence in the classified documents probe, the sources told ABC News.

    The target letter to the employee, which was described to ABC News by sources familiar with it but not obtained or reviewed by ABC News, signals Smith’s growing interest in the Trump Organization’s handling of the surveillance footage and potential efforts to avoid sharing it with investigators.
    …………
    Reached Thursday by ABC News, the employee declined to answer questions about a possible target letter and his discussions with investigators, saying only, “It’s none of your business.”
    ………..
    Investigators have been scrutinizing the employee’s role in the handling of surveillance footage at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate that was sought by federal prosecutors last summer, sources said.

    Investigators are also interested in any subsequent conversations he had with other Trump Organization employees, including Walt Nauta……..
    …………

    Rip Murdock (4b3754)

  121. @99 Desatan running out of money laying off dozens of staffers. Grifters burning thru desatan’s gov. war chest and donors not liking voters reaction to desatan in Iowa and new hampshire. @116 fools vote counts the same.

    asset (843b7d)

  122. they will have a much bigger electoral problem than Trump being nominated. There will be a Republican civil war.

    If they did it because some voters in previous primaries were upset that they had voted for a felon, they would have every reason. This is a unique situation, and the RNC is digging a hole that will be hard to get out of. And they keep digging it.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  123. This has as much chance as your impeachment prediction.

    Well, when Trump loses 75-25 and the GOP has 32 Senate seats, there will be more than a civil war after.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  124. Will Nato step up if Putin goes here? Will the US?

    I’m having trouble finding a “corridor between Lithuania and Poland.” I see a gap between Russia and Kaliningrad, but that “corridor” appears to be actually inside Poland. Invading that will start a bigger ear.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  125. Or, new rule: “No candidate many have more than 15 felony charges pending.”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  126. If they did it because some voters in previous primaries were upset that they had voted for a felon, they would have every reason. This is a unique situation, and the RNC is digging a hole that will be hard to get out of. And they keep digging it.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/16/2023 @ 7:33 pm

    I’m sure that voters who cast their ballots for Trump prior to any indictment or conviction know the risk of doing so, so they only have themselves to blame.

    The RNC cannot determine whether a candidate can’t be a felon or not; candidate qualifications are governed by the Constitution. Nor can the parties regulate who runs as a Republican or Democrat-otherwise there r wouldn’t be 277 Republicans or 152 Democrats filed with the FEC.

    Rip Murdock (4b3754)

  127. Good news for the Ukrainian freedom fighters: At least one of the spans on Kerch bridge are knocked down (thread here), presumably by missile(s).

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  128. @125 vote early and “often” for curly. People have been elected from jail cells let alone felony convictions. Utah 2 idaho 4 south dakota 6 north dakota 8 Iowa 10 kansas 12 oklahoma 14 texas 16 missouri 18 indiana 20 kentucky 22 tennessee 24 louisiana 26 missippi 28 alabama 30 floriduh 32 south carolina 34 north carolina 36 montana 37 wisconsin 38 (just elected 2022) west virgina 39 (soon to be 40) alaska 41 (plus murkoski) Ohio 42 wyo 44 neb. 46 How would you get only 32 from these states? 25%? latest polls have trump nearly even with biden despite prosecutions. Trump only lost presidency by 43,000 votes in az, ga. and wi. despite losing popular vote by 7,000,000+ votes.

    asset (e49d33)

  129. Kevin:

    Opinion article on the Suwalki Gap/Corridor, which is what they call the border between Poland and Lithuania. The article was written over a year ago, so the author is not only qualified but seems prescient.

    DRJ (531157)

  130. Nor can the parties regulate who runs as a Republican or Democrat

    As long as they are not discriminating on the basis of race, they can. Primary elections are party functions in many states. They don’t have strict rules most places, but they could.

    Florida, for example: Florida GOP will require DeSantis, Trump to sign loyalty pledge to make primary ballot

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  131. DRJ:

    My point is that it is POLAND, not some DMZ. THe author of the article you linked says:

    A Russian move to seize control of the corridor may seem far-fetched, as it would explicitly involve an attack on NATO territory, triggering a U.S. military response….

    Obviously, seizing the Suwalki corridor would entail attacking Lithuania or Poland or both, leading directly to a war between NATO and Russia. This seems illogical or at best strategically unwise for Putin.

    He goes on to say that Putin might not care, but NATO acquiescing to occupation of NATO land would be the end of NATO. The likely reaction to Russian tanks trying to seize a portion of Poland would be devastating to those Russian tanks. Flat land with no where to hide results in a shooting gallery for aircraft.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  132. It strikes me as ironic that the Supreme Court is being attacked on ethics grounds by America’s only distinctly criminal class — Congress.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  133. Florida, for example: Florida GOP will require DeSantis, Trump to sign loyalty pledge to make primary ballot

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/16/2023 @ 11:32 pm

    We’ll see if that is enforceable.

    Rip Murdock (4b3754)

  134. As long as they are not discriminating on the basis of race, they can. Primary elections are party functions in many states. They don’t have strict rules most places, but they could.

    National and local political parties (or state election laws) can’t add qualifications to be candidate, such as barring those who are under investigation, indictment, or conviction. Qualifications are fixed in the Constitution.

    Rip Murdock (4b3754)

  135. National and local political parties (or state election laws) can’t add qualifications to be candidate,

    Metric and imperial wrench sockets (or deep fried camel tongue) do not belong in a Waldorf salad.

    Political parties (as opposed to state election laws) are pure First Amendment organizations, and they can choose to support only one-legged, red-headed, Tibetan dwarfs who sign a pledge to make campaign speeches only in Swedish and wear their underwear on the outside while on the campaign trail.

    And the principles governing such pledges are as different from ballot laws as socket wrenches are from camel meat. Maybe more.

    nk (1fb7cb)

  136. Can the RNC prevent someone from filing as a Republican with the FEC?

    Rip Murdock (4b3754)

  137. I would guess not, but the FEC is only tangentially incidental to who is on the ballot in the election.

    nk (1fb7cb)

  138. The power of the political parties is no where near what it was during the Gilded Age, or even as recently as 1968, when Hubert Humphrey was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate without running in one primary. This action lead to the current open primary system.

    The power of the two national party organizations has declined so dramatically that they sometimes appear to be bystanders to a political system in which they were once central actors.

    ……….The decline of party organizations has opened the way for the rise of more extreme voices and, crucially, turned much of the financing of campaigns over to less-accountable players. The extremes of left and right have been strengthened in the process, and the center hollowed out. Paradoxical as it may sound, the decline of the parties has led to more ferocious partisanship.
    ……….
    ……….(I)n an ideal world, the two national parties still would function as the adults in a more open political space—vetting candidates, providing transparent funding for campaigns and making sure responsible leaders are heard. They would give a voice and a home to millions of Americans in the center of the political spectrum who are neither activists nor ideologues but who nonetheless want a seat at the table.

    Traditionally, political parties have provided three big M’s for candidates and campaigns: mobilization, message and money. Today, a combination of technology and legal changes has sapped the parties’ power in all three areas.

    The parties’ role in mobilizing foot soldiers at the local level has been taken over to a large extent by social media, while their role in vetting candidates has been supplanted by primary elections in which the barriers to entry are low and extreme candidates often stand out.
    …………
    Most important, the parties’ critical mission of providing money to candidates has been eclipsed by independent outside groups, ultrawealthy individual donors and online fundraising, all of which are as likely to reward extreme candidates as centrist ones.
    ……….
    This state of affairs exists in part because of the law of unintended consequences: A series of well-intentioned reforms brought about some desirable changes, but their boomerang effects have contributed to undermining the parties.
    ………

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  139. Candidate primaries cannot be pure creatures of the political parties, since their nominees appear on ballots during elections conducted by the state.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  140. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/17/2023 @ 8:31 am

    More:

    ………
    How to fix the parties?

    The most important changes would bolster their power to finance campaigns and curb the influence of outside groups. “You’ve got to reverse the current system, where outside groups have money throughout the [election] cycle and set the agenda,” says Ben Ginsberg, a longtime Republican elections lawyer. “I would make parties the main source of funding.”

    Two changes to existing laws could make that happen. The first would be to reverse the reforms of McCain-Feingold that stopped parties from raising large amounts of money and spending it on programs to build the party and indirectly help campaigns. To prevent outside money from finding another route into the system, Mr. Ginsberg suggests stipulating that individual candidates could only raise money from within their own state or congressional district.

    Second, the law could be changed to significantly lift current limits on so-called “coordinated spending.” Coordinated expenditures are funds a party committee pays for goods or services needed by a campaign, without giving money directly to the candidate. Current federal law limits a party’s coordinated expenditure for most House nominees to $59,400.
    ……….
    In addition, the parties themselves could reduce the power of candidates to sway presidential primary elections by winning only a small share of the vote. That would require Republicans to do what Democrats already have done: Switch from winner-take-all presidential primaries, where a candidate who wins only, say, 30% of the vote in a state primary can get 100% of the state’s delegates to the nominating convention, to a system that awards delegates proportionally.

    Republicans also could follow the Democrats’ example and have party leaders appoint a substantial number of “superdelegates”—mostly current officeholders—to the nominating convention (though Democrats moved in the opposite direction in the 2020 cycle by reducing the power of such delegates).
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  141. Candidate primaries cannot be pure creatures of the political parties, since their nominees appear on ballots during elections conducted by the state.

    And the states are allowed to enact rules, under strict scrutiny, which are the least restrictive means necessary to an orderly election. Filing fees which a candidate cannot afford do not pass muster, for example.

    nk (1fb7cb)

  142. nk (1fb7cb) — 7/17/2023 @ 9:02 am

    Would a state (or political party) be allowed to deny a presidential candidate a place on the ballot if he is indicted or convicted of a felony? I don’t see either happening.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  143. The state no except for treason or insurrection. The party probably yes.

    nk (1fb7cb)

  144. The state no except for treason or insurrection. The party probably yes.

    nk (1fb7cb) — 7/17/2023 @ 9:22 am

    If the RNC (or any state party) worked to deny Trump a place on their primary ballot, assuming he met the signature and/or fee requirements, there would be an insurrection of a sort against the Republican Party (especially if he hasn’t been convicted of anything).

    Republican nomination process fantasy camp.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  145. Yeah, Trump has swallowed them whole and is digesting them slowly.

    nk (219eba)

  146. National and local political parties (or state election laws) can’t add qualifications to be candidate, such as barring those who are under investigation, indictment, or conviction. Qualifications are fixed in the Constitution.

    Did not say they could. But that’s qualifications for serving. States cannot add qualifications to serving, but parties can add qualifications for access to their primaries.

    Southern states did it all the time under Jim Crow, on an explicitly racial basis, asserting that party primaries — paid for my the party — were strictly private operations. This kind of racial discrimination was struck down by federal courts, but not the idea that party primaries are not government functions.

    Even today, you cannot get onto a LP primary ballot if you don’t forswear the “first use of force.” To this day, some state parties nominate some candidates by convention, where nearly any non-racial litmus test can be enforced.

    Back in 1960, JFK’s electors were not on 2 state ballots, and Harry Byrd got 15 electoral votes (one from a disloyal Nixon elector, 14 from “unpledged” slates in MS and AL).

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  147. Candidate primaries cannot be pure creatures of the political parties, since their nominees appear on ballots during elections conducted by the state.

    There are no primaries for third parties in any number of states, and even where they are conducted by the state, the state has VERY limited control over what names may appear. California tried to force the GOP to allow Democrats to vote in its primaries and the courts slapped the state down hard. So they went to the current Top Two jungle primary which has different problems, but does NOT interfere with party labels on the ballot.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  148. This is what you call the Hugo Chavez Method For Maximizing Executive Power, and let’s not forget that Trump openly stated that he wanted to “terminate” the Constitution (because he lost), who tried to get his VP to flout the 12th Amendment, and who seeks to flout the 14th Amendment in his 2nd term.

    I use Chavez as an example because the former strongman used the levers of his available powers to amass more power unto himself, successfully so, such as converting the legislature from bicameral to unicameral, nationalizing numerous companies and industries, and adding supreme court seats and filling them with Chavista hacks.
    Unfortunately for the Venezuelan people, their constitution is weak and easy to change, but it’s interesting that Trump is taking a page from a dead Bolivarian communist, and we saw how his country has fared in the aftermath.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  149. Here’s how to cripple parties, at least in legislative elections: Elect multiple legislators from each district with each voters getting only ONE choice. This avoids “slate” issues, makes a gerrymander (racial or otherwise) largely ineffective, and makes it possible, even in single-party districts (e.g. Manhattan), for party factions to contend without party approval.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  150. Re Suwalki Gap:

    Isn’t it interesting that the Corridor is about the same distance as the Wagner coup? And now Wagner’s troops are in Belarus and will be the ones trying to take over the corrider.

    DRJ (949533)

  151. One of Trump’s plans is useful: giving the president more control over executive agencies.

    Many apolitical Civil Service positions are not actually apolitical and can alter presidential policy without fear of dismissal. Making those positions to be subject to the same tules as are higher-ranking ones would allow more presidential control over the bureaucracy.

    The “Deep State” meme is overused, but there is a cadre of left-leaning officials embedded into policy-making, frustrating right-leaning policy, while being protected under Civil Service. Changing that would be a good thing.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  152. Another reform, reducing executive power, would be for Congress to pass a law restoring the single-house legislative veto over executive regulations. This would be quickly enjoined (INS v Chadha, 1983) but I suspect that the current Court would see it differently than the Berger Court did.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  153. Isn’t it interesting that the Corridor is about the same distance as the Wagner coup? And now Wagner’s troops are in Belarus and will be the ones trying to take over the corrider.

    It’s also about the same distance as the road from Kuwait City back to Iraq, which in 1991 was quite littered with burning tanks.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  154. North Dakota Initiative Begins to Circulate to Propose Age Limits for Service in Congress (Ballot Access News)

    An initiative idea has been filed with the Secretary of State of North Dakota. Signatures should start to be collected soon. It would provide that no one could run for Congress who would be as old as age 81 by the end of the term. See this story.

    In 1995 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that neither states, nor congress, can add to the constitutional qualifications for service in Congress. U.S. Term Limits v Thornton. But the vote was 5-4 and the composition of the Supreme Court has changed since 1995. Also, the North Dakota initiative provides that in case the main point of the measure is held unconstitutional, and North Dakota can’t limit the age of congressional candidates, that the ballot should show for each candidate the age he or she would be at the end of the term.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  155. Fantastic piece of Russian propaganda

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1680680110704189444

    steveg (52caff)

  156. If you read through the current postings on Ballot Access News you will see that ballot-access is a cesspool of special pleadings and legislative and judicial bias.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  157. Goodness, steve. That was a…uh…performance.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  158. I don’t know but my guess is the Russians can shoot down planes better than Iraq could. The Wagner Group shot down several including a command and control plane.

    DRJ (531157)

  159. Seventy-eight years ago yesterday.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  160. I don’t know but my guess is the Russians can shoot down planes better than Iraq could

    And we have better planes now, not to mention anti-radar missiles and counter-battery fire. Of course, we’d need air superiority.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  161. So (California) went to the current Top Two jungle primary which has different problems, but does NOT interfere with party labels on the ballot.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/17/2023 @ 11:04 am

    Which has no bearing on federal candidate races.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  162. Seventy-eight years ago yesterday.

    https://youtu.be/4gcoGYcHk5k

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  163. Which has no bearing on federal candidate races.

    No, but their attempt to control presidential primaries did. The Top Two system ignores presidential races for that reason, among others.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  164. Fifty-Four years ago yesterday:

    https://youtu.be/ygBxN5UiOaM

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  165. Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/16/2023 @ 3:04 pm

    Wait until you have to explain to Republicans why Trump only got 23% of the vote.

    That would be good if it could be achieved. That’s the percentage of the popular vote that Taft got in 1912.

    But Taft wasn’t seen as the prime Republican.

    Sammy Finkelman (bd4963)

  166. Delay, Delay, Delay:

    Lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump asked a federal judge on Monday night to indefinitely postpone his trial on charges of illegally retaining classified documents after he left office, saying that the proceeding should not begin until all “substantive motions” in the case had been presented and decided.
    ……….
    “This extraordinary case presents a serious challenge to both the fact and perception of our American democracy,” wrote the lawyers, Chris M. Kise and Todd Blanche for Mr. Trump, and Stanley Woodward Jr. and Sasha Dadan for Mr. Nauta.

    “The court now presides over a prosecution advanced by the administration of a sitting president against his chief political rival, himself a leading candidate for the presidency of the United States,” they wrote. “Therefore, a measured consideration and timeline that allows for a careful and complete review of the procedures that led to this indictment and the unprecedented legal issues presented herein best serves the interests of the defendants and the public.”

    The lawyers also took note of the unusual intertwining of law and politics in the case, suggesting that Mr. Trump’s status as a presidential candidate should be factored into the timing of the trial.

    “President Trump is running for president of the United States and is currently the likely Republican Party nominee,” they wrote. “This undertaking requires a tremendous amount of time and energy, and that effort will continue until the election on Nov. 5, 2024.”

    “Mr. Nauta’s job requires him to accompany President Trump during most campaign trips around the country,” they continued. “This schedule makes trial preparation with both of the defendants challenging. Such preparation requires significant planning and time.”
    ……….
    “While the government appears to favor an expedited (and therefore cursory) approach to this case, it cannot point to any exigency or urgency requiring a rapid adjudication,” they wrote. “There is no ongoing threat to national security interests nor any concern regarding continued criminal activity.”
    ……….
    In making their case to delay the trial, Mr. Trump’s lawyers cited the expansive discovery evidence provided to them by the government.

    The first discovery disclosure, they said, contained more than 833,450 pages of material, including about 122,650 emails and 305,670 other documents. The lawyers said that after subsequent troves of evidence were handed over, they would most likely make more requests to the government for further information.
    ……….
    “In general, the defendants believe there should simply be no ‘secret’ evidence, nor any facts concealed from public view relative to the prosecution of a leading presidential candidate by his political opponent,” the lawyers wrote. “Our democracy demands no less than full transparency.”

    Aside from its request for a delay, the filing served as a preview of Mr. Trump’s legal strategy as the lawyers laid out ways in which they planned to attack his indictment.
    ……….
    “There is simply no question any trial of this action during the pendency of a presidential election will impact both the outcome of that election,” they wrote, “and, importantly, the ability of the defendants to obtain a fair trial.”
    #########

    Related:

    Special counsel Jack Smith told a federal judge Thursday that there was no reason to postpone scheduling a trial date in the classified documents case against Donald Trump, in a court filing that aggressively rejected the reasons the former president and his co-defendant gave for why the trial should be delayed.
    ………
    “Our jury system relies on the Court’s authority to craft a thorough and effective jury selection process, and on prospective jurors’ ability and willingness to decide cases based on the evidence presented to them, guided by legal instructions from the Court,” the special counsel’s filing said.

    “To be sure, the Government readily acknowledges that jury selection here may merit additional protocols (such as a questionnaire) and may be more time-consuming than in other cases, but those are reasons to start the process sooner rather than later.”
    ………
    “There is no basis in law or fact for proceeding in such an indeterminate and open-ended fashion, and the Defendants provide none,” the new Smith filing said.
    ……….
    Smith’s team also stressed that, while 800,000 pages of discovery were handed over to the defense, one-third of those pages were “non-content email header and footer information” and the prosecutors said only 4,500 pages made up the subset of “key” documents in the case.

    Also “misleading,” the prosecutors said, were claims from Trump and Nauta that nine months of CCTV footage was turned over in discovery for the defense teams to sift through.

    “The Government obtained footage only from selected cameras (many of which do not continuously record) from selected dates throughout the period for which it obtained footage,” the filing said.
    ………
    Smith said that “a large majority” of the classified records investigators obtained from Trump’s Florida resort will be accessible to the defense counsel once they obtain interim security clearances. The prosecutors were prepared to hand over that tranche July 10, had the lawyers obtained their interim clearances by then, according to the new filing.

    “However, in order to receive an interim clearance, counsel first needed to submit their Form SF-86 and supporting documentation to the Litigation Security Group,” the filing said. “As of this filing, only two counsel of record have completed this task. The Court has set a deadline of today for them to do so.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  167. Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/17/2023 @ 11:24 am

    Another reform, reducing executive power, would be for Congress to pass a law restoring the single-house legislative veto over executive regulations. This would be quickly enjoined (INS v Chadha, 1983) but I suspect that the current Court would see it differently than the Berger Court did.

    There is the constitution.

    What you could do is pass a law that required regulations to be passed (or passed and amended) by Congress in order to be effective for longer than say a year after issuance,

    Sammy Finkelman (bd4963)

  168. https://www.pollingreport.com/hibbitts1202.htm

    In a three-way match-up nationally, in early June 1992, Perot led with 39%, Bush was second with 31%, while Bill Clinton trailed with 25%, according to Gallup.

    So a major party candidate can get down to 25% nationally. (or about 26% when accounting for don’t knows or refusals after probing.)

    Sammy Finkelman (bd4963)

  169. Trump on Trial: A Model Prosecution Memo for Federal Election Interference Crimes

    This model prosecution memorandum (or “pros memo”) assesses federal charges Special Counsel Jack Smith may bring against former President Donald Trump for alleged criminal interference in the 2020 election. ……..
    ……..

    Here, we conclude there likely is sufficient evidence to obtain and sustain a conviction of Trump for his three-step plan to overturn the election:

    1. Trump knew he lost the election but did not want to give up power, so he worked with his lawyers and others on a wide variety of schemes to change the outcome. Those schemes included creating fraudulent electoral certificates that were submitted to Congress, implicating statutes such as 18 U.S.C. § 371, which prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States in the administration of elections.

    2. When all the other schemes failed, Trump and his lawyers ultimately concentrated on using the false electoral slates to obstruct the constitutionally mandated congressional certification of the election on January 6, implicating statutes such as 18 U.S.C. § 1512, which prohibits obstruction of an official proceeding. Their primary objective was to have Vice President Mike Pence in his presiding role on that day either block Congress from recognizing Joe Biden’s win at all or at least to delay the electoral count.

    3. When Pence refused, Trump went to his last resort: triggering an insurrection in the hope that it would throw Congress off course, delaying the transfer of power for the first time in American history. This implicated statutes such as 18 U.S.C. § 2383, which prohibits inciting an insurrection and giving aid or comfort to insurrectionists. (Section 2383 is rarely charged, and as we discuss below, this is a charge DOJ will use only with extreme caution. We believe there is sufficient evidence to pursue it—as did the Select Committee in making a criminal referral of Trump under that statute—but prosecutors may make different choices. Much will depend on the evidence the Special Counsel develops.)

    Our own conclusions based upon the publicly available information are bolstered by the analysis of many other authorities:
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  170. Too many here assume the trial will be in DC and conviction attainable. It will be in floriduh (trump country) How are you going to keep trumpsters off the jury.

    asset (ec229e)

  171. Rip Murdock, the top two system is used for all races except president, including federal offices like senator and congressman

    aphrael (88e7bb)

  172. When Pence refused, Trump went to his last resort: triggering an insurrection in the hope that it would throw Congress off course, delaying the transfer of power for the first time in American history.

    Trump could not delay the transfer of power. That is, delaying it would not extend his tern. The only effect of delaying past Jan 20 (and it is notable that Trump did not want Pence to delay it for so long) would be to make House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Acting president, per the 20th amendment and laws enacted in accordance with that.

    Trump had his own plans for delay, which were on course. It would not be enough. What he wanted Pence to do would also not be enough even if it might reverse the default from acceptance to rejection.

    The attack was planned well in advance and Trump had no idea it would happen because he wanted to address the crowd in person and had to be stopped by Mark Meadows.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  173. 171. I don’t like it when people try to twist and stretch the law to make Trump guilty of violations of criminal law.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  174. 171. I don’t like it when people try to twist and stretch the law to make Trump guilty of violations of criminal law.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 7/17/2023 @ 2:44 pm

    I don’t think they are doing that, though I think charging Trump with insurrection-related offenses is a stretch. However, I think he will be charged (like many of the J6 insurrectionists) with conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of an official proceeding. It seems pretty clear that is where Jack Smith is heading.

    Do you feel that the law has been “twisted and stretched” in the classified documents case?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  175. aphrael (88e7bb) — 7/17/2023 @ 2:13 pm

    Thanks for the correction. I’ve always been in favor of closed primaries.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  176. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/17/2023 @ 1:48 pm

    If Anything This Will Make Judge Cannon Recuse (Or At Least Rule Against Trump:

    Former President Donald Trump in an interview praised U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing a federal case related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House.
    ………
    On Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” host Maria Bartiromo asked Trump whether he had any indication that Cannon will grant his motion − a move that federal prosecutors are pushing back on.

    “I don’t know. I know it’s a very highly respected judge, a very smart judge and a very strong judge,” Trump said.
    ………
    Trump said he is “very proud” to have appointed her in the interview.

    “She’s very smart and very strong and loves our country,” Trump said. “We need judges that love our country so they do the right thing.”
    ………

    Hint, hint.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  177. There is the constitution.

    What you could do is pass a law that required regulations to be passed (or passed and amended) by Congress in order to be effective for longer than say a year after issuance,

    Nothing in the Constitution prevents a veto on the use of delegated legislative power. Justice White had this right. If anything, the delegation of that power is unconstitutional.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  178. Cannon will rule against Trump now on things like the time of day. She may have a lifetime appointment, but ostracization is something she’d like to avoid.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  179. I expect appeals courts to swiftly dispose of Trump’s frivolity.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  180. Too many here assume the trial will be in DC and conviction attainable. It will be in floriduh (trump country) How are you going to keep trumpsters off the jury.

    They convicted klansmen in Mississippi in 1965

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  181. @171: But but but isn’t this “fantasy” Rip?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  182. I don’t like it when people try to twist and stretch the law to make Trump guilty of violations of criminal law.

    What twisting? Despite what you secretly know of Trump’s metal processes on J6, everything they say is true.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  183. this is a charge DOJ will use only with extreme caution. We believe there is sufficient evidence to pursue it

    This does not seem like a willingness to back off. The disqualification provision is mighty tempting, as most people here would attest.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  184. @171: But but but isn’t this “fantasy” Rip?

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/17/2023 @ 3:26 pm

    More like a sure thing, but I think #1 and #2 are more likely than #3.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  185. Trump’s attempt to shut down Fulton County’s investigation into his electoral fraud crimes was unanimously rejected by the all-Republican Georgia Supreme Court. Criminal indictment to follow.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  186. @188: See 182.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  187. It seems that Amazon is experimenting with AI customer service. It’s like talking to a dull 3-year-old. Please give me Bill from Bangalore instead.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  188. We believe there is sufficient evidence to pursue it

    This does not seem like a willingness to back off. The disqualification provision is mighty tempting, as most people here would attest.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/17/2023 @ 3:33 pm

    What the Just Security authors believe and what Jack Smith believes are two different things. Politics may govern the decision-charging Trump with insurrection-related offenses would be like waving a red cape at the bull. There would be a huge “rally around Trump” effect, good for another 10 points in the polls and $10M in fundraising.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  189. If Trump were convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 2383 beforehand, would the GOP be so ornery to nominate him anyway, even though few states would allow his name on the ballot?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  190. If Trump were charged under 18 U.S.C. § 2383, would he get bail? It’s the kind of thing that people flee the country over.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  191. If Trump were charged under 18 U.S.C. § 2383, would he get bail?

    First, I agree with Rip about what Trump is likely to be charged under and what he isn’t, and that § 2383 is the latter. But if he is charged, of course he’ll get bail. In fact, I expect he’d be released on a non-cash bond, as he was in the Mar-a-Lago documents case.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  192. If Trump were convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 2383 beforehand, would the GOP be so ornery to nominate him anyway, even though few states would allow his name on the ballot?

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/17/2023 @ 4:13 pm

    Assuming he won the most delegates, I don’t see why not. His delegates would be true believers. As far as being prevented from appearing on state ballots, no doubt his campaign would sue any state that refused to place his name. His conviction would not be final until he runs out of appeals, and that could be years later.

    If Trump were charged under 18 U.S.C. § 2383, would he get bail? It’s the kind of thing that people flee the country over.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/17/2023 @ 4:14 pm

    You would thought Trump would have fled after the Espionage Act charges, but the only thing that is keeping him in this country is running for President, which is difficult to do from exile in Saudi Arabia. Trump was released on his own recognizance and didn’t have to surrender his passport after his court appearance, which I am sure is unheard of when someone mishandles and retains classified information to the same extent the Trump has. So no, I don’t think he will need to make bail, it will be another OR release. After all, he is a former President which requires deference.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  193. @178 AOC defeated crowley in closed primary and as the left takes over democrat party closed primaries will make it easier to gain control.

    asset (624e30)

  194. @183 that case was an anomaly at the time as state jury found not guilty and feds had to play games with jury pool. Also feds used mafia hit man to interrogate witness with a razor blade to private parts among other interesting things happening in that case.

    asset (624e30)

  195. Milestone:

    ……….
    The American (chemical weapons) stockpile, built up over generations, was shocking in its scale: Cluster bombs and land mines filled with nerve agent. Artillery shells that could blanket whole forests with a blistering mustard fog. Tanks full of poison that could be loaded on jets and sprayed on targets below.

    They were a class of weapons deemed so inhumane that their use was condemned after World War I, but even so, the United States and other powers continued to develop and amass them. Some held deadlier versions of the chlorine and mustard agents made infamous in the trenches of the Western Front. Others held nerve agents developed later, like VX and Sarin, that are lethal even in tiny quantities.
    ……….
    The United States and the Soviet Union agreed in principle in 1989 to destroy their chemical weapons stockpiles, and when the Senate ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997, the United States and other signatories committed to getting rid of chemical weapons once and for all.

    But destroying them has not been easy: They were built to be fired, not disassembled. The combination of explosives and poison makes them exceptionally dangerous to handle.

    Defense Department officials once projected that the job could be done in a few years at a cost of about $1.4 billion. It is now wrapping up decades behind schedule, at a cost close to $42 billion — 2,900 percent over budget.

    But it’s done.
    ……….
    Other powers have also destroyed their declared stockpiles: Britain in 2007, India in 2009, Russia in 2017. But Pentagon officials caution that chemical weapons have not been eradicated entirely. A few nations never signed the treaty, and some that did, notably Russia, appear to have retained undeclared stocks.
    ………
    The public knew little about how vast and deadly the stockpile had grown until a snowy spring morning in 1968, when 5,600 sheep mysteriously died on land adjacent to an Army test site in Utah.

    Under pressure from Congress, military leaders acknowledged that the Army had been testing VX nearby, that it was storing chemical weapons at facilities in eight states and that it was testing them in the open air at a number of locations, including one site 25 miles from Baltimore.

    Once the public learned the scope of the program, the long path to destruction began.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  196. Trump’s attempt to shut down Fulton County’s investigation into his electoral fraud crimes was unanimously rejected by the all-Republican Georgia Supreme Court. Criminal indictment to follow.

    A Kemp was Governor of Georgia while Georgia was still a Colony. You know, one of the thirteen. The only weight a Haggis von Hassenpfeffer carries down there is “down there”.

    nk (219eba)

  197. The Oddly Cautious Challengers to Trump

    ……….
    An odd dynamic is at work in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. Some of the candidates who are so far behind, with the least to lose, are campaigning very cautiously and predictably, almost afraid to make waves. Meanwhile, frontrunner Donald Trump, who you would think would have the most to lose, is campaigning with his trademark wild abandon and sudden reversals, throwing caution to the wind.
    ……….
    It seems the non-Trump candidates are still struggling to figure out what the modern Republican presidential-primary voters want. About half the party wants Trump again and doesn’t seem interested in any alternative. The candidates competing for the rest can’t quite figure out whether they should try to emulate Trump, try to be different than Trump, or offer a bit from column A and a bit from column B (and if so, in what proportion and what combination).
    ………
    I wonder if some campaigns have calculated that putting out specific policy proposals just gives the other rival campaigns targets to snipe at and language to exaggerate, misconstrue, and demonize. I hope this isn’t the case, as “trust me, we’ll work out the details later” is a promise that Republicans have heard many, many times before, often with disappointing results. I agree with Christie’s campaign slogan that “the truth matters,” and the truth is that there are still some of us nerds and geeks out here who actually want to see a policy agenda with specifics from presidential candidates.
    ……….
    ………. At best, Republican primary voters seem uninterested in a candidate’s experience and accomplishments. At worst, maybe they see experience and accomplishments as liabilities, signs that a candidate is part of the dreaded “establishment.”
    ……….
    If you’re a Republican presidential candidate currently polling at five percent or less . . . what are you being cautious for? Where has your current approach gotten you so far?
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  198. Trump’s attempt to shut down Fulton County’s investigation into his electoral fraud crimes was unanimously rejected by the all-Republican Georgia Supreme Court. Criminal indictment to follow.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 7/17/2023 @ 3:51 pm

    I think Trump’s attempt to delay his Espionage Act trial will suffer the same fate.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  199. @171: But but but isn’t this “fantasy” Rip?

    If it is, tell us why it is.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  200. You would thought Trump would have fled after the Espionage Act charges, but the only thing that is keeping him in this country is running for President, which is difficult to do from exile in Saudi Arabia.

    Photo response

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  201. @204: Try Paul Ryan/Manchin.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  202. But really, if Joe Biden loses to Donald effing Trump with any centrist added, what does that say about Joe Biden? It would seem that the Democrats who are trying to control the contest need to look closer to home.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  203. I think Trump’s attempt to delay his Espionage Act trial will suffer the same fate.

    Just last week you were saying it would be delayed forever because Trump. Rather than admit you were wrong, you just change sides.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  204. @204: Try Paul Ryan/Manchin.

    Sure, I’ll get right on it.

    We can argue counterfactuals all day, but presumably they tested Hogan and Manchin because those were the names most bandied about at the time. Including IIRC on these boards.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  205. But really, if Joe Biden loses to Donald effing Trump with any centrist added, what does that say about Joe Biden?

    It says that when the Electoral College is 50-50, a shift, however small in any variable, can turn the election.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  206. It would seem that the Democrats who are trying to control the contest need to look closer to home.

    Nothing is stopping anyone from throwing their hat in the ring. I suspect the reason that no one has (spoilers like far-left Cornel West and far-far-left RFK Jr. excepted) is that for all of Biden’s flaws, and Harris’ more numerous and egregious ones, no serious Democrat believes they have a better shot at winning the nomination and the general.

    Consider the possibility that maybe they’re not idiots.

    One of the many things that sucks about the Democrats is that they’re an obnoxious coalition of identity groups, none of which they can afford to alienate. Most Democrats would prefer a hypothetical alternative to Biden-Harris, but when you plug in actual names, they all sacrifice something which, in a 50-50 electorate, the Dems need to win. Without going full AOC or Defund the Police, Biden-Harris have successfully pandered to pretty much all the factions. The Dem coalition will show up to vote for them in order to prevent Trump redux. Plug in a different ticket that doesn’t pass the minimum litmus test Biden does for Blacks, Blacks stay home and Democrats lose. College educated women sit out the election? Democrats lose. And so on. That’s why no one is rushing the gates to challenge them.

    No Democrat is in love with Biden, much less Harris, but they’re willing to stay with them for the sake of the kids. It’s not my party, but if the alternative is Trump, and the calculation is correct, they’ll get my vote.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  207. Texas not russia in ukraine. The Houston chronicle reporting that texas gov. greg abbot’s storm troopers are pushing small childern and pregnant women some holding babies back into the rio grande river as they emerge from the river. In another incident a young girl was forced into barb wire fence trapping her in the barb wire fence and had to be rescued by reporter and aliens.

    asset (584c10)

  208. @210 I have been saying the same for a long time. 43,000 votes in 3 states won biden the election. az 10,000 ga 13,000 wi 20,000.

    asset (584c10)

  209. There may be more to this story, but if the first lines are an accurate summary, it sounds an awful like theft:

    Israeli clay lamps, intended for a brief exhibition in Washington D.C. in 2019, got stranded in the U.S. due to the pandemic. Recently, they were found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida

    Anyone know what they are worth? (Lots, I would guess, since they are “antiquities”.)

    Jim Miller (f2956e)

  210. Breaking:

    Trump announces he has received a target letter from the DOJ relating to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

    Rip Murdock (3da92e)

  211. Jim, doesn’t Israel know anything about the Presidential Records Act?
    Trump has told everyone that the materials he took to his beach & country club are all his. The PRA gives him every right!

    Meantime, Trump is sent out a “truth” that the weak-named Jack Smith informed him that he’s a target in the J6 investigation. If history repeats, an indictment will soon follow. He could be under four criminal indictments by Labor Day.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  212. #214 Correction: an “awful lot like theft”.

    #216 I would not be surprised if the Loser believes that.

    Jim Miller (f2956e)

  213. 215 & 216 Here is what Trump said:

    “Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the January 6th Grand Jury investigation, and giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment,

    Georgia’s indictment is likely to come down in the next few weeks as well.

    Appalled (91c80e)

  214. I think Trump’s attempt to delay his Espionage Act trial will suffer the same fate.

    Just last week you were saying it would be delayed forever because Trump. Rather than admit you were wrong, you just change sides.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/17/2023 @ 8:38 pm

    Uh-no. His lawyers are attempting to delay the trial indefinitely, I don’t believe I ever said that (unless you can provide a link).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  215. 6 things to watch as Trump classified documents case returns to court
    ……….
    Tuesday’s session was originally billed as the first chance for the attorneys to discuss how they intend to handle the voluminous classified material expected to be evidence in the case. But (Judge Aileen) Cannon recently signaled she will also address the broader trial schedule — one that pits Trump’s demand for a delay until after the 2024 presidential contest against the Justice Department’s bid for a relatively expedited trial late this year.
    ………
    How will Cannon handle the campaign calendar?
    ………
    Cannon — a Trump appointee — can’t exactly split the difference, since any trial that goes into 2024 will necessarily conflict with crucial dates on the presidential campaign calendar — from primary contests to debates. So she’ll have to choose: A schedule that aligns more closely with DOJ’s expedited process or one that could carry on past the campaign cycle and potentially into a second Trump presidency.
    ……..

    How will Cannon handle Trump’s other legal obligations?
    ………
    (Trump’s) business empire is expected to face trial in New York in October for alleged fraud; in January, Trump will be the subject of a second civil trial, when another of writer E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuits goes before jurors; and in March, Trump is due to stand trial on criminal charges in Manhattan for allegedly falsifying business records to hide hush money payments to a porn actress who claims she had an extramarital affair with him.

    There may be more:
    ……..
    Trump is unlikely to be required to be on hand throughout the civil trials, but he could have to testify. In the criminal cases, the conflict would be most acute.
    ……..

    Will Trump or his codefendant show up?

    When Cannon scheduled Tuesday’s hearing about classified trial procedures, she emphasized that neither Trump nor his co-defendant, Walt Nauta, were required to appear personally — only their lawyers needed to attend the session. ……..

    But with Cannon intent on expanding the ambit of the hearing to discuss trial scheduling matters, the attendance of the defendants becomes a more significant issue.

    Criminal defendants have the right to be present for every aspect of a process that could result in the loss of their liberty. ……..
    ………

    Will Smith’s team tip its hand about the other federal Trump investigation?
    ………
    Smith’s prosecutors are unlikely to divulge much about their other investigation, which includes scrutiny of the so-called fake electors plan on Jan. 6 and the finances of pro-Trump groups. But any move to charge Trump in that probe could further scramble the best laid plans for the classified-documents case, so the judge might seek some assurances that isn’t likely to happen.

    Where will the trial be held?

    All signs point toward Trump’s trial being held at the federal courthouse in Fort Pierce, a city of fewer than 50,000 residents on the east coast of Florida. But Cannon doesn’t appear to have explicitly declared that’s where it will be…….
    ………

    What motions do both sides plan?

    As she zeroes in on a schedule, Cannon could ask both sides what sorts of motions they’re planning to bring in the case. Defense lawyers are expected to challenge the specific charges in the case as well as the legality of Smith’s appointment, arguing that Attorney General Merrick Garland effectively left the special counsel unsupervised, in violation of the Constitution’s requirement that executive branch actions be governed by Senate-confirmed officials.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  216. …no serious Democrat believes they have a better shot at winning the nomination and the general.

    Consider the possibility that maybe they’re not idiots.

    Because an incumbent president is an 800-pound gorilla within the party. The problem isn’t the general election so much, but the difficulty of unseating the head of their party. Reagan and Teddy K were unable to that. Even Teddy R was unable to do that.

    But Biden’s ONLY quality in the general election is that he’s not Donald Trump. If the Democrats are so hopeless that this is their best offering, they are as bankrupt as MAGA.

    A contest between a party hack and a multiply-indicted philanderer who is facing Insurrection and Espionage Act charges should not be close. They should pick someone else.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  217. troopers are pushing small childern and pregnant women some holding babies back into the rio grande river as they emerge from the river.

    1) Don’t try to cross the river then.
    2) Human shields are bad.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  218. How will Cannon handle Trump’s other legal obligations?

    The locals can work around the federal trial. Bigfoot.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  219. #224

    NJ Rob’s story identifies a serial killer who was part of an early release program and maybe shouldn’t have been. It goes on for paragraphs about it. I figured this was some guy who had done manslaughter or major assault where the guy was locked up for life or a long term before the governor intervened. But here is the meat graph:

    Calhoun was a lifelong criminal with a “long record of felony convictions dating to 2004” including domestic violence. In 2018 he was arrested with meth, guns, and ammo and in 2019 he was arrested for burglary, auto theft, and injuring a police officer. His longest sentence was for 50 months. All told he was due for release in June 2022, but he was let out of prison early in July 2021.

    So, the governor let a serial killer out a year early. Nobody knew he was a serial killer. He was getting out anyway (in another year). Those facts do not make her an accomplice. This insinuation is hair on fire hysteria, at best.

    Appalled (91c80e)

  220. The part of the story that is of interest is her gutting of the criminal justice system, in a state where the result of that mindset are clear. Sure, the star of the piece isn’t what they said, but the former governor’s high-handed actions, such as ending capital punishment by decree, deserve all the rebuke available.

    Trump could win Oregon with this history.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  221. #226 — This is what click bait stories do — go straight for hysteria in a way that makes one mistrustful of anything else in the story.

    I could see Oregon suddenly going very law and order. The sort of things happening in Portland can suddenly turn people more conservative.

    Appalled (91c80e)

  222. Appalled,

    you are the one that tried to dismiss the story before Kevin’s remarks made you walk them back a bit. Perhaps viewing the larger picture can help. There’s a reason leftists are letting criminals run amok and it isn’t for the benefit of the citizenry.

    NJRob (fd22ff)

  223. Nice job pointing out the rest of the story, Appalled.

    norcal (e5b4c8)

  224. #228

    NJRob:

    OK, why do you believe leftists are letting criminals run amok? What’s the plan?

    Let’s stipulate that Portland, Seattle, and San Fransisco have ruined much of their cities with their refusal to prosecute crimes.

    Appalled (91c80e)

  225. Because they elect them. That is their stated policy, “to tear down the racist institutions” that exist in America and incarcerate criminals disproportionately.

    They want to collapse society and are succeeding. Try paying attention to their words and actions. Look at the people Soros got elected. Look at the radical leftists running states opening the prisons, but arresting those who dare defy the leftist agenda such as church goers during the covid panic, pro-life protesters at infanticidw clinics and those who express their first Amendment rofhts to refuse to use their talents for those that wish them harm.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  226. @222 Kevin do you really want this to be your answer?

    asset (4ae4f2)

  227. Asset,

    same staging as the Palestinian terrorists.

    NJRob (883fe1)

  228. But Biden’s ONLY quality in the general election is that he’s not Donald Trump.

    Sure, if you ignore (among other things, e.g., Ukraine) the Democratic electorate’s factional demographics which Biden navigated to victory in 2020. And frankly, even if his only redeeming quality was not being Trump, that’s a pretty damn good quality.

    If the Democrats are so hopeless that this is their best offering, they are as bankrupt as MAGA.

    No. They’re not. That’s the falsest of false equivalences. Biden is a woke-pandering, doddering old fool. Trump is an arrogantly ignorant, malignantly narcissistic, pathologically lying, serial sexual abuser and declared enemy of democracy and the rule of law. I may not be thrilled with the former, but by no stretch of the imagination is it as bad as the latter. Accordingly, those who would choose the former are not remotely as bankrupt as the latter.

    A contest between a party hack and a multiply-indicted philanderer who is facing Insurrection and Espionage Act charges should not be close.

    Finally we agree. The difference is that you blame the hack. I blame the GOP voters who show zero interest in quitting the multiply-indicted philanderer who is facing Insurrection and Espionage Act charges. At this point I doubt many Republicans would vote against Trump if the Democrats nominated Washington or Lincoln. Ronald Reagan? Lol. I doubt he’d get out of single digits. Every day, the “if I shot someone on Fifth Avenue” thing looks less and less fanciful.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  229. 222. And Martin Luther King should not have tried to illegally cross the Edmund Pettis Bridge.

    These laws were not handed down from Mount Sinai.

    Of course I don’t know how true this claim is,

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  230. They were toldto push them back into the water, Whether they actually did it, or if anyone drowned is another matter.

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/politics/texas/article/border-trooper-migrants-wire-18205076.php

    Exclusive: Texas troopers told to push children into Rio Grande, deny water to migrants, records say`

    They also installed razor wire on the border where a property owner was against that.

    But actually worse is how enforcement is outsourced to Mexico and even worse regimes.

    All that any of that is doing is making a case against restrictive immigration laws. Do the ends justify the means?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  231. NJRob (fd22ff) — 7/18/2023 @ 12:09 pm

    There’s a reason leftists are letting criminals run amok and it isn’t for the benefit of the citizenry.

    Campaign contributions from drug dealers?Something.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  232. July 17 – In 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800.At 8:30 it wasn’t dark outside, So much for the missile witnesses the FBI collected.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  233. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/17/2023 @ 2:55 pm

    However, I think he will be charged (like many of the J6 insurrectionists) with conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of an official proceeding. It seems pretty clear that is where Jack Smith is heading.

    Those are two quite different crimes.

    The defraud claim is nonsense. The obstruction claim is untrue or tries to criminalize legal ploys.

    Do you feel that the law has been “twisted and stretched” in the classified documents case?

    It’s twisted all the time against a lot of people, but sometimes ignored when it comes to the mainstream press.

    But they have him on obstruction and defying and evading a subpoena. It’sthe only real case far. The Presidential Records Act does not directly have any criminal law implications but it can get it if they issue a subpoena. Of course it looks a little like making a mountain out of a molehill. All that’s necessary is for Trump to admit he did wrong – if he would.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  234. 214. I guess Trump claimed or his lawyers would that the clay lamps were abandoned property. Or maybe it’s just “prove it isn’t mine.”

    The lamps werelentfor some event at the White House in 2019,. They wound up in the continued custody of the US government because of the coronavirus, but they never became Trump’s personal property.

    If a gift to the United States he’d have to pay their market value.

    They should not have been packed,.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  235. Juky 17 In Star Trek inepisode broadcast in 1968 they have a moon launch scheduledror next Wednesday and July 17 1969 was indeed aWednesday”That’s not the most ahead accurate prediction. In Star Trek Voyager 11:59 the writers ventured one prediction. Broadcast in the soring of 1999 and set in December 2000 one character mentions that nothing happened with Y2K -not a single lightbulb went out. I guess they weren’t sure it would be produced by Dec 1999.

    Of course it was wrong (and incoherent) about a lot of other things.Therewas a biosphere before (it sounded like that is what it was supposed to be but somehow also a shopping mall (!) and it had no obvious connection to space travel)

    By the way, last night Heries and icons we had the last show of season two of TNG from 1988-1989; the last show of season 3 of DSP (1995-8);and the last of Season 5of Voyager (1998-99)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  236. Do you feel that the law has been “twisted and stretched” in the classified documents case?

    It’s twisted all the time against a lot of people, but sometimes ignored when it comes to the mainstream press.

    Avoiding the question. Do you think the law has been “twisted and stretched” as it has been applied to Donald Trump?

    The defraud claim is nonsense. The obstruction claim is untrue or tries to criminalize legal ploys.

    How so?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  237. Re; Biden: The federal government runs quite a bit on autopilot.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  238. Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 7/18/2023 @ 4:23 pm

    Of course there is nothing in the Presidential Records Act that allows a former President to decide to keep classified information after his presidency. Those documents are governed by whole different set of laws and regulations.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  239. @233 So pushing small children and pregnant women some holding babies back into the rio grande river is the same thing as armed palestinian terrorist. So how dangerous is a 4 year old child told to drink polluted rio grand water if they want a drink of water as they are pushed back into the river? What kind of terrorist acts will a 4 year old child be doing?

    asset (48af37)

  240. Turnabout Is Fair Play:

    The National Guardsman accused of leaking classified military documents is asking a federal judge to let him out of jail, citing the fact that former President Donald Trump — accused of many of the same types of crimes — has been allowed to walk free without bail ahead of his classified documents trial.
    ……….
    Trump and Nauta, however, “possess extraordinary means” to flee the country, the filing says.

    “Former President Trump and The Trump Organization own properties in multiple foreign countries, and former President Trump has access to a private plane,” defense lawyers argue. “Yet, the risk of flight posed by their knowledge of national security information, and their abnormal ability to flee, didn’t even result in a request that either surrender their passport. The government’s disparate approach to pretrial release in these cases demonstrates that its argument for Mr. Teixeira’s pretrial detention based on knowledge he allegedly retains is illusory.”

    ……….
    Defense attorneys say that Teixeira could be placed under pretrial conditions including being prohibited from accessing the internet, where he allegedly originally leaked the documents, and from talking to anyone with whom he allegedly shared the documents. In addition, as the filing notes, Trump and Nauta were both released “on personal recognizance and without restriction,” while Teixeira suggests a bond of $20,000 or a bond secured by “either or both homes owned by Mr. Teixeira’s parents” as a condition of release.

    Defense lawyers also argued their client is not a national security risk, saying that the government “greatly overexaggerates Mr. Teixeira’s risk to national security” while Trump’s case deals with arguably more sensitive material.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  241. Michigan is charging the ppl involved who participated in the fake elector scam.

    We punish ppl who vote illegally, this was far more serious and I’m glad they’re pursuing it.

    https://apple.news/ATN6_D2XfTe2jR6cZdGGZ8w

    Time123 (e7d218)

  242. Still waiting to find out what terrorist acts a 4 year old half drowned child is going to commit so he has to be shoved back into the rio grand river nj robb?

    asset (1ebaec)

  243. @245

    Of course there is nothing in the Presidential Records Act that allows a former President to decide to keep classified information after his presidency. Those documents are governed by whole different set of laws and regulations.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/18/2023 @ 4:46 pm

    To be fair, he isn’t being charged for classified markings, he’s being charged with National Defense Information (NDI). I think both sides are using “classified markings” as a bit of a red herring.

    If Smith can prove Trump had NDI inappropriately, I think he has a good case.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  244. Not a bad joke from Zelensky
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1678558515181285377

    steveg (46ab85)

  245. Heh!

    nk (bb1548)

  246. https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2023/07/18/nolte-ny-times-reports-covid-deaths-overcounted-30-paragraph-17/

    Guess it’s safe to admit they lied about how many people died from COVID. But why should we trust these numbers any more than their previous lies?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  247. Great piece by Avik Roy on the differences between FreeCons and NatCons. Put me in the former.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  248. Interesting piece from the Free Beacon that balances out some of the wringing of hands about Supreme Court ethics:

    https://freebeacon.com/courts/ruth-bader-ginsburgs-mysterious-1-million-prize/

    Appalled (c12816)

  249. Judge clarifies: Yes, Trump was found to have raped E. Jean Carroll
    ……….
    Despite Carroll’s claims that Trump had raped her, (Trump’s defenders) noted, the jury stopped short of saying he committed that particular offense. Instead, jurors opted for a second option: sexual abuse.

    “This was a rape claim, this was a rape case all along, and the jury rejected that — made other findings,” his lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said outside the courthouse.

    (Judge Lewis Kaplan) has now clarified that this is basically a legal distinction without a real-world difference. He says that what the jury found Trump did was in fact rape, as commonly understood.
    ………
    Kaplan roundly rejected Trump’s motion (for a new trial and claims the $5 million verdict was excessive) Tuesday, calling that argument “entirely unpersuasive.”

    “The finding that Ms. Carroll failed to prove that she was ‘raped’ within the meaning of the New York Penal Law does not mean that she failed to prove that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ her as many people commonly understand the word ‘rape,’ ” Kaplan wrote.

    He added: “Indeed, as the evidence at trial recounted below makes clear, the jury found that Mr. Trump in fact did exactly that.”

    Kaplan said New York’s legal definition of “rape” is “far narrower” than the word is understood in “common modern parlance.”
    ……….
    Kaplan also flatly rejected the Trump team’s suggestion that the conduct Trump was found liable for might have been as limited as groping of the breasts.
    ……….
    Kaplan also noted that the verdict form did not ask the jury to decide exactly what conduct Trump had committed, and that neither prosecutors nor Trump’s lawyers had requested it to do so.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  250. Here is a serious oops from the Russians:

    https://www.kyivpost.com/post/19670

    If I am Putin, I would not antagonize the Chinese.

    Appalled (8322ea)

  251. So the 2nd whistleblower makes it clear tye Biden administration abused their power to interfere in a federal investigation that involved millions of dollars and an illegal fund from a foreign power.

    Crickets anyone?

    NJRob (90cb56)

  252. Will we get to see more dirty pictures from MTG? Huh? Huh? Will we? Will we?

    nk (4e04ed)

  253. Thank you, Marge, for showing us at what level the House Republicans are operating.
    We saw London,
    We saw France,
    We saw Comer’s underpants.

    nk (4e04ed)

  254. Nk,

    Except perhaps for AOC, I am not interested in porn featuring politicians. But what ARE you referring to?

    Appalled (c2013f)

  255. Jollies. Jollies for Trump partisans are all these “whistleblowers” are providing, and even MTG does not think it’s enough. Don’t expect normal people to take this Trumpdom Caucus sh!tshow seriously.

    nk (bb1548)

  256. But what ARE you referring to?

    This, Appalled: https://patterico.com/2023/07/18/trump-whines-luttig-shines/#comment-2722879

    NSFW link in whembly’s comment 61, showing MTG, in the committee hearing, with poster-size photos of Hunter allegedyl having sex with a prostitute.

    nk (bb1548)

  257. Oh. Ew.

    I don’t get the fascination with naked Hunter Biden. Maybe Marge will tell us in her memoirs.

    Appalled (52692e)

  258. And having seen all this, isn’t it understandable why Joe Biden might not want the Arkansas stripper within 1,000 miles of the family, as innocent as the baby may be?

    nk (bb1548)

  259. Israeli clay lamps, intended for a brief exhibition in Washington D.C. in 2019, got stranded in the U.S. due to the pandemic. Recently, they were found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida

    Anyone know what they are worth? (Lots, I would guess, since they are “antiquities”.)

    Jim Miller (f2956e) — 7/18/2023 @ 6:31 am

    Trump has agreed to return them.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  260. MTG treated the “whistleblower” hearing with all the seriousness it deserved.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  261. Trump has agreed to return them.

    The FBI, the CIA, and the Secret Service are one thing, and Mossad quite another.

    nk (2a02d9)

  262. WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today released an unclassified FBI-generated record describing an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and a Ukrainian business executive. Grassley acquired the record, an FD-1023, via legally protected disclosures by Justice Department whistleblowers.

    “For the better part of a year, I’ve been pushing the Justice Department and FBI to provide details on its handling of very significant allegations from a trusted FBI informant implicating then-Vice President Biden in a criminal bribery scheme. While the FBI sought to obfuscate and redact, the American people can now read this document for themselves, without the filter of politicians or bureaucrats, thanks to brave and heroic whistleblowers. What did the Justice Department and FBI do with the detailed information in the document? And why have they tried to conceal it from Congress and the American people for so long? The Justice Department and FBI have failed to come clean, but Chairman Comer and I intend to find out,” Grassley said.

    “The FBI’s Biden Bribery Record tracks closely with the evidence uncovered by the Oversight Committee’s Biden family influence peddling investigation. In the FBI’s record, the Burisma executive claims that he didn’t pay the ‘big guy’ directly but that he used several bank accounts to conceal the money. That sounds an awful lot like how the Bidens conduct business: using multiple bank accounts to hide the source and total amount of the money,” House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer said. “At our hearing with IRS whistleblowers, they testified that they had never seen or heard of this record during the Biden criminal investigation, despite having potentially corroborating evidence. Given the misconduct and politicization at the Department of Justice, the American people must be able to read this record for themselves. I thank Senator Grassley for providing much needed transparency to the American people. We must hold the Department of Justice accountable for seeking to bury this record to protect the Bidens.”

    Grassley first disclosed the FBI’s possession of significant and voluminous evidence of potential criminality involving the Biden family last year. He has since worked to unearth the FBI record, eventually partnering with Comer on a subpoena to compel its public disclosure. After delays, the FBI provided a highly redacted version of the document to select members of the House of Representatives, but it remained shielded from the public and omitted key details, including references to recordings. Following the FBI’s failure to fully comply with the congressional subpoena, Grassley received the legally protected disclosure with limited redactions to protect a trusted FBI source, handling agents, department whistleblowers and identifiers related to other ongoing investigations.

    Read the FD-1023

    ‘Poluchili’

    According to the FBI’s confidential human source, executives for Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, brought Hunter Biden on the board to “protect us through his dad, from all kinds of problems.” At the time, Burisma was seeking to do business in the United States, but was facing a corruption investigation in Ukraine, led by then-Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Regarding that investigation’s impact on its ambitions in North America, Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky reportedly said, “Don’t worry Hunter will take care of all of those issues through his dad.” Zlochevsky reportedly stated that he had to pay $5 million to Hunter Biden and $5 million to Joe Biden, an arrangement he described as ‘poluchili,’ which is Russian crime slang for being “forced or coerced to pay,” according to the document.

    “Back-up”

    Zlochevsky claimed to have many text messages and recordings that show that he was coerced into paying the Bidens to ensure Shokin was fired. Specifically, he claimed to have two recordings with Joe Biden and 15 recordings with Hunter Biden. Zlochevsky also retained two documents, presumably financial records, as evidence of the arrangement, but said he didn’t send any funds directly to the “Big Guy,” a term understood to be a reference to Joe Biden. References to the “Big Guy” surfaced in communications involving other Biden family business arrangements independent of the Burisma arrangement. Zlochevsky claimed it would take investigators 10 years to uncover the illicit payments to the Bidens, according to the document.

    https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/grassley-obtains-and-releases-fbi-record-alleging-vp-biden-foreign-bribery-scheme

    BuDuh (4ae305)

  263. Here’s a sign that the FD-1023 is a load of tripe…

    “Burisma was seeking to do business in the United States, but was facing a corruption investigation in Ukraine, led by then-Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.”

    The problem was that Shokin wasn’t investigating Burisma or Zlochevsky or Hunter.
    Unless or until there’s actual evidence of a money trail to Joe, I wouldn’t trust the word of a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch who served under the corrupt Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president who served under Putin.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  264. That probably explains why the Feds were deceptive about having the unclassified form and then went about redacting the unclassified form before begrudgingly handing it over to Congress, Paul.

    Good catch. Hopefully Grassley gets word of your discovery and the article you provided.

    BuDuh (4ae305)

  265. Thank you, BuDuh, for your backdoor insult. It was expected.
    I’ll continue to note you and Senator Grassley are following Trumpian suit, fat on allegation and anorexic on actual evidence.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  266. Soo… there is no evidence that the FBI was less than forthcoming regarding that particular form, or there is evidence that they were less than forthcoming and you don’t care?

    You seem unbothered by the main problem.

    BuDuh (4ae305)

  267. Let me try it like this: I will fully stipulate that the contents of the FD-1023 is nothing more than Steele Dossier level horse manure. In fact I will accept that it is 1000 times worse in provable factual content. Pure garbage. Ok? Deal?

    Will you help me understand why the FBI behaved the way they did to a Senator and a Congressman?

    BuDuh (4ae305)

  268. You seem unbothered by the main problem.

    I’m bothered that Grassley, Comer and the hard-right chorus keep making allegations without producing actual evidence that Joe received a $5 million payoff while president. The question is why you’re not bothered about that, instead choosing to repeat and relay their bullsh-t.

    This is exactly how 180 degrees turned-around my party has become.
    Back in the 1990s when Rush was actually a Reagan conservative, he chided liberals like Tom Foley when he noted that, “to Democrats, what’s more important to the Left is the seriousness of the allegation and not the weight of the evidence”. Seriously, y’all have become the very people Rush mocked.

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, but if it does become established that Joe took that money, even if it’s a fraction of $5 million, I’ll support his impeachment. But you need to establish it.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  269. Uh-huh.

    But what about the obfuscation by the FBI? All good in your book?

    BuDuh (b3eb83)

  270. And having seen all this, isn’t it understandable why Joe Biden might not want the Arkansas stripper within 1,000 miles of the family, as innocent as the baby may be?

    Yes, she is from Arkansas, and yes, she was working as a stripper when Hunter Biden met her in 2017. She was also pursuing a Masters at George Washington University and had interned with the FBI.

    Calling her “an Arkansas stripper” is untrue, as she never stripped in Arkansas. It’s also quite misogynistic, the kind of thing a Trump lawyer would say, as she could have been (far more accurately) been called a GWU grad student. At least until Hunter Biden destroyed her life.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  271. Also, given that Hunter Biden is allowed in, what bar does Joe use to keep undesirables out?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  272. More shenanigans from the trustworthy FBI:

    Testimony Reveals FBI Employees Who Warned Social Media Companies about Hack and Leak Operation Knew Hunter Biden Laptop Wasn’t Russian Disinformation

    https://judiciary.house.gov/media/press-releases/testimony-reveals-fbi-employees-who-warned-social-media-companies-about-hack

    https://republicans-judiciary.house.gov/sites/evo-subsites/republicans-judiciary.house.gov/files/evo-media-document/2023-07-20-jdj-to-wray-re-dehmlow-testimony.pdf

    This deserves a pretty good non-sequitur response IMO. Maybe something about Jim Jordan and wrestling??

    BuDuh (b3eb83)

  273. what bar does Joe use to keep undesirables out?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wNd0gzGpLU0

    BuDuh (b3eb83)

  274. BuDuh asks us the read the FD-1023. Do so, if you have the time, because it is always good to see the source of where our politicians get their more outlandish sunding claims. The document is the read out of a converstion with an unidentified informant who was in conversation with some Burisma executives. This is the big reveal:

    CHS asked Zlochevsky why Burisma would pay $20-30 million to buy a US company for IPO purposes when it would be cheaper to just form a new US-entity, or purchase a corporate shell that was already listed on an exchange. Zlochevsky responded that Hunter Biden advised Burisma it could raise much more capital if Burisma purchased a larger US-based business that already had a history In the US oil and gas sector. CHS recalled Zlochevsky mentioned some US-based gas business(es} in Texas, the names of which CHS did not recall.CHS advised ZJochevsky It would be problematic to raise capita! In the US given Shokin’s investigation Into Burisma as nobody in the US would invest in a company that was the subject ot a criminal investigation. CHS suggested it would best if Burisma simply litigate the matter In Ukraine, and pay some attorney $50,000. Zlochevsky said he/Burisma would likely lose the trial because he could not show that Burisma was innocent; Zlochevsky also laughed at CHS’s number of $50,000 (not because of the small amount, but because the number contained a “5”) and said that “it costs (million) to pay one Biden, and 5 (million) to another Biden. • CHS noted that at this time, It was unclear to CHS whether these alleged payments were already made.

    But how big a reveal is it?

    Regarding the seemingly open and unsolicited admissions by PoJarsKII and Zlocnevsky about the purpose for their retention of Hunter Biden, and the “forced0 payments Zlochevsky made to the Bidcns, CHS explained it is very common for business men in post-Soviet countries to brag or show-off.

    So, we have a second-hand statement by an informant who notes that there’s a good chance these accusations are lies. Also, there is no good way for the FBI to lay their hands on the guys who made these claims.

    So, it seems like reasonable judgment for the FBI to move on and disregard this. At least it does to me.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  275. BuDuh asks us the read the FD-1023.

    Appalled is incorrect again. What a track record…

    BuDuh (b3eb83)

  276. So, it seems like reasonable judgment for the FBI to move on and disregard this. At least it does to me.

    Do you think their deceptive tactics with the legislative branch was the best way to “move on?”

    BuDuh (b3eb83)

  277. But what about the obfuscation by the FBI? All good in your book?

    What obfuscation? Republicans on the respective committees got access to a document that is basically hearsay.

    As many of you know, the FD-1023 is the form our special agents use to record raw, unverified reporting from confidential human sources (CHSs). FD-1023s merely document that information; they do not reflect the conclusions of investigators based on a fuller context or understanding. Recording this information does not validate it, establish its credibility, or weigh it against other information known or developed by the FBI in our investigations.

    This story isn’t actually news. The only new event is that the form was released to the public. The contents of the document were known months ago, and it still has the same fundamental flaw of not being evidence of a payoff to Joe.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  278. The contents of the document were known months ago

    Uh-Huh.

    So the FBI didn’t first act like they didn’t have possession the meaningless unclassified document and they didn’t, second, redact portions of the meaningless unclassified document before handing it over to congress only to, third, get egg on their face when Grassley revealed that he had the unredacted version the whole time?

    Since that didn’t happen, I apologize for asking you to do any research.

    BuDuh (b3eb83)

  279. Washington’s 4th district congressman, Republican Dan Newhouse, is speaking out on the deadly toll of fentanyl, and even got a little attention from a Seattle TV station (KOMO 4).

    It is good to see him doing the right thing, and getting some much-needed publicity for this horrific problem.

    Jim Miller (7b1f74)

  280. Here’s the Wikipedia article on Congressman Newhouse.

    It does not mention his efforts to get federal help for the Yakama tribe — which very much needs the help.

    Jim Miller (7b1f74)

  281. Since that didn’t happen, I apologize for asking you to do any research.

    Since I’m not obsessed about the issue, and since I’m not obligated to do your bidding, I’ll just say that you’re complaining about an FBI that is run by a Republican who was hand-picked by Trump, and the bottom line remains that there’s no evidence to back up these allegations, and I’ve already told you the kind of guy Zlochevsky is.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  282. BuDuh #282:

    Read your #269.

    BuDuh #283:

    A government agency stonewalls congress. Next up, dog bites man. (If you research Grassley’s press releases, you’ll discover that the subpoena was too vague to land the document asked for)

    Appalled (befb9a)

  283. Appalled, how about you read my #269 as well as the link at my #269?

    That is a direct quote from Grassley’s office where they ask you to “Read the FD-1023.”

    A little bit of effort and you would not have blown that one. Well… may not have blown that one.

    I’m not sure I trust the rest of your comment.

    BuDuh (b3eb83)

  284. BuDuh,

    it never ceases to amaze that those who claim to be Republican spend an inordinate amount of time making excuses for this administration or just flat out lying to cover for them. It just says a lot though, doesn’t it?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  285. @291

    BuDuh,

    it never ceases to amaze that those who claim to be Republican spend an inordinate amount of time making excuses for this administration or just flat out lying to cover for them. It just says a lot though, doesn’t it?

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 7/20/2023 @ 5:56 pm

    That’s where I’m at.

    I think the ‘Age of Trump™’ has in some way “broken” them.

    Take Trump out of the equation, as if he was never President.

    Would they be reacting the same way will all these news of alleged corruptions on the Bidens?

    I doubt it.

    whembly (5f7596)

  286. Travel bans to restrict state-funded trips isn’t anything new. During the time after the 2020 elections, when states passed legislation to make election law reforms, progressives called for travel bans on those states. When heartbeat bills began passing in pro-life states, progressives called for travel bans to those states. California is quick to cut off state-funded travel for its employees to states governing as its citizens want, because California leadership thinks their way of thinking is superior to that of other states.

    The addition of three states over LGBTQ issues now brings the California travel ban total to 26 states.

    https://hotair.com/karen-townsend/2023/07/20/california-adds-three-states-to-its-travel-ban-list-n565927

    More and more showing their Soviet side and how they don’t want people to see what freedom looks like.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  287. Whembly,

    For some yes. For some no. That’s why the term moby exists.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  288. BuDuh #290

    That was a most unpleasent reply and the challenge to my integrity is noted. You think my suggestion that Grassley’s press releases have the reason why the supoena was not replied to is not to be trusted. OK. Here is the source:

    https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/comer-and-grassley-blast-fbi-for-refusing-to-provide-subpoenaed-record-alleging-then-vp-biden-engaged-in-a-bribery-scheme

    Here is the quote:

    FBI staff indicated to Oversight Committee staff the search terms contained in Comer’s subpoena were broad because there were many responsive documents containing the term “Biden” in its confidential human source database for June 2020. Comer is narrowing the breadth of the subpoena by providing two additional terms that may be referenced in the FD-1023 form: “June 30, 2020” and “five million.” These terms relate to the date on the FD-1023 form and its reference to the amount of money the foreign national allegedly paid to receive the desired policy outcome.

    I know you feel that the FBI has been playing delay games on releasing this document. Once you read the document (which you make a big point about you not urging people to do), it’s pretty clear that the people at Burisma are going to be able to figure out who the confidential informent is, if they have any memory of the people they do business with. It explains the reson the FBI has been reluctant to cough up the document.

    I am sure you will retract the remarks about my untrustworthiness.

    Appalled (51d521)

  289. Eichenwald on the FD-1023.

    1. Viktor Shokin never conducted a criminal investigation of Burisma. There was a criminal investigation in *Britain* of Mykola Zlochevsky, founder of Burisma, for purportedly laundering money stolen when Zlochevsky served as Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources in Ukraine through British banks. Britain attempted to get documents for its case from Ukraine and Shokin *blocked* it.

    2. Shokin also blocked all investigations of Ukrainian oligarchs, which is what led the EU, overseas investment firms and ultimately the IMF to either pull out investment/loans or threaten to unless Shokin was fired.

    3. Shokin finally left when his deputy publicly resigned, announcing on national TV the details of Shokin’s corruption re: oligarchs even as country was being torn apart by protests demanding the termination of Shokin for corruption. That was when the IMF came in and said it was going to pull tens of billions in loans if Shokin was not fired. He was out the next day.

    4. This thing gives NO rationale for why Burisma would pay Joe Biden a penny, much less $5 million. It just says “Oh, we’re paying $5 million each to Hunter and Joe Biden” for no particular reason.

    5. The “why buy a company for IPO when could purchase an existing company or listed shell” is gibberish clearly spun by someone who has no understanding of finance, basic rules of exchange listings, or requirements for SEC disclosure (looking at you, Rudy Giuliani). And to say they have to go the IPO direction because of (nonexistent) criminal investigation also makes no sense. It means nothing, unless the plan was to commit large-scale securities fraud in America.

    6. Zlochevsky was never *in* Vienna during the time this supposed meeting took place. At that point, he was a fugitive and actively avoided being in any location where he could be extradited to Ukraine.

    7. At the time of this supposed phone call, Zlochevsky was still a fugitive under investigation by Ukraine (Shokin was long gone). He had no leadership role at Burisma, and had not for years. He would not care one way or the other about who won the presidential election, because the criminal investigation of his personal financial dealings involved Ukraine, the UK, Cyprus and Latvia – the USA was totally uninvolved, as it had been since 2014 when Zlochevsky became a fugitive. I could keep going, but no GOPer will care.

    (I also find it hilarious this supposed conversation in Ukrainian uses the phrase “the big guy” – the same used by the GOP – to discuss Joe Biden. That’s an American idiom; in Ukrainian, the words would mean “a man of large size”) but suffice to say, this thing is loaded with basic errors of fact, logic, knowledge, and has things in it that are simply impossible to be true – such as meetings that take place at a location where one of the purported participants could not have been.

    None of this, of course, would lead to an FBI case because it is bogus on its face. None of this will ever be mentioned (or understood) by the Boeberts, Johnsons, or Fox Newses of the world. Unfortunately, we can’t simply laugh at how stupid it is, because the cult will believe every word.

    One, Item #4 is relevant. Why would Joe Biden get paid $5 million for undertaking an Obama-directed and IMF-recommended task to remove the Chief Prosecutor who wasn’t investigating Burisma? This is why the bribe allegation falls apart. It makes no sense. If that’s “moby”, well whatever, consider the hyperbolic hyperpartisan fearmongering source.

    Two, Eichenwald’s above comment about “big guy” probably wasn’t in Ukrainian, but Russian, considering the other conversations, so I think he’s wrong about that.

    Three, I’m guessing that it won’t be long before we learn the identity of the CHS (which will change his life) and we can then make our assessments about his credibility.

    Four, considering the accusation, the FBI should still be obligated to look into the matter, but Rudy Giuliani, his henchmen (Parnas and Fruman), John Solomon (a pro-Trump hack “journalist” who helped get a US Ambassador fired) and Trump-aligned attorneys DiGenova-Toensing all spent time digging for political dirt in Ukraine, with the help of corrupt characters like Shokin and Russian spies like Derkach, and all that came of it were loads of rubbish. Any reasonable person should treat all this with extreme skepticism absent any actual evidence.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  290. Also, we have no way of confirming anything from Zlochevsky because he’s a fugitive from Ukrainian justice, whereabouts unknown (last seen in Monaco a few years back, but could be in Cyprus).

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  291. NJRob (90cb56) — 7/20/2023 @ 8:07 am

    So the 2nd whistleblower makes it clear tye Biden administration abused their power to interfere in a federal investigation

    There are allsorts on indications that there is a coverup, but no clear idea of how it was managed.

    There was some pressure on the Delaware prosecutor. He didn’t want problems. He appears to have overstated to his investigators on October 7, 2022 how much he was limited. He could have tried to argue he had a case.

    Sammy Finkelman (64ff8b)

  292. Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 7/21/2023 @ 8:46 am

    Also, we have no way of confirming anything from Zlochevsky because he’s a fugitive from Ukrainian justice, whereabouts unknown (last seen in Monaco a few years back, but could be in Cyprus).

    He claimed he was holding recordings for insurance. But I strongly doubt that Joe Biden would have strong armed him – and in person by phone.

    What Zlochevsky described (according to the informant) would actually extortion, more than bribery. And he’d have to believe that Joe Biden was a powerful person in the USA, quite independent of being vice president, or that Obama was corrupt.

    Sammy Finkelman (64ff8b)

  293. Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 7/21/2023 @ 8:13 am

    Any reasonable person should treat all this with extreme skepticism absent any actual evidence.

    There’s the use, allegedly by Zlochevsky, quoted in the FD-1023, of the term “big guy” , to refer to Joe Biden.. This was a term known to have been used by Hunter Biden in connection with a Chinese company in 2017 but not known to the general public until October 2020, months after the FD-1023 was written.

    This would seem to indicate some real connection to Hunter Biden..

    Also Hunter Biden attempted (and apparently succeeded) in extorting money from CEFC in 2017.

    Doesn’t mean that either Zlochevsky or Hunter Biden was telling the full truth at any time, but it does add credibility to the informant, although he could have made up the details of a conversation with Zlochevsky.

    Sammy Finkelman (64ff8b)

  294. At one point IRS investigators were set to interview people Hunter Biden had passed along money to and deducted, but the Delaware prosecutor’s office notified Hunter Biden’s lawyers and 11 out of the 12 surprise interviews never happened. With regard to Hunter Biden himmself they were told to wait until Hunter Biden contacted them but he never did.

    The issue was at least:

    1) Did the people Hunter gave money to, do anything in return?

    2) Did they keep the money?

    IF so they would have an income tax problem.

    If it was a gift, then what was Hunter doing deducting it?

    And both HUnter and the recipient could have income tax problems if it was not an outright gift.

    Sammy Finkelman (64ff8b)

  295. Any reasonable person should treat all this with extreme skepticism absent any actual evidence.

    Any reasonable person would conclude that Burisma hired Hunter Biden for purposes of influencing his father. They would also conclude that the millions in income that Hunter derived from this and other deals was likely for corrupt purposes, since Hunter himself had no redeeming value.

    After that there’s a lot of speculation, but it is really hard to believe that they paid Hunter these millions and got nothing in return.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  296. After that, one has to be either naive or a willing apologist to think that Hunter avoided serious criminal prosecution for tax evasion due to “the way things usually work.”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  297. So, Chris Christie was on Face the Nation (via Twitter), and was asked about Hunter Biden’s tax and gun charges. THis is not a man who minces words:

    Kevin M (2d6744)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2076 secs.