Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Because he isn't, or because no one is?

The Times' Editorial makes a brief summary and rebuttal of the present mindset, among most Trump supporters, about Robert Mueller and his probe. It ends with that classical question:

But if your man is really innocent, what’s the worry?


The question, though legitimate, often is a diversion when it ignores the process itself can be a punishment, even more when reputations are on the line. It also ignores that most people assume Trump may well be guilty of something - as if any human being on Earth were capable to follow straight the hundreds of thousands of laws and regulations in the books of any modern society - but that it hardly would justify what some see as a political witch-hunt against the President.

Seeing how the Law, down here in my Third World setting, is so often used as a tool against enemies, instead of an instrument to make Justice, I am surely aware of the cynical use that question may have.

But I still would argue that, for now, Trump supporters should wait and see, instead of panicking in a frenzy of accusations against all the FBI leadership of the last 15 years. For two reasons: (i) if they truly believe the FBI is as dirty as they imply, they have a far greater problem than Russiagate. I mean, they would need to check back every single case those people ever worked on, wouldn't they? And (ii), If this is a political witch-hunt, they have little to worry, because this is going to be subjected to a political jury. For when push comes to shove, it is the two chambers -  in complete control of Republicans - who will need to decide if they want to keep Trump, or have Pence for a change. I even would change that NYT's Editorial line to:

But if your man is even guilty, what’s the worry?




106 comments:

erp said...

Longfellow Updated

Bret said...

Do I look worried? I'm really not.

I will be sad to see Trump go though. His is easily the most humorous administration of my lifetime and I've needed extra laughs this year.

Of course it's all political. Of course Mueller is partisan and anti-Trump and so are his staff. Of course they're gonna make stuff up to the extent that they can get away with it. Of course they're gonna leak stuff to make Trump look as bad as possible. Of course truth and reality will be twisted to the breaking point. Of course none of it has any real meaning.

But of course the Trump team is gonna fight back. Of course they have a legion of people investigating everyone on Mueller's team to make them look as bad and dishonest and non-credible as possible. Of course they're gonna leak stuff to that effect. Of course they'll try to deflect the investigation or start competing ones investigating the FBI and Clinton and other opponents and even Mueller. Of course none of it has any real meaning.

There's also nothing Trump could possibly have done that I would personally impeach him for. Even if he colluded with Russia to win the election, that's fine by me - he beat Hillary and has brought me humor. Works for me!

erp said...

Ditto.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

I don't think you will be sad too soon. My bet is, Republicans won't allow an impeachment even if Trump does kill somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue. I don't know what it will take for America to wake up of this cynical torpor it got in, but I know it needs to be a pretty big shake.

Bret said...

I dunno. I think republicans would love to be rid of Trump. However, they need something pretty big and rock solid to get away with removing him from office. Probably killing "somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue" would be sufficient. Unless the somebody was Hillary in which case we might all cheer (just kidding!).

I don't think I'll ever awake from this "cynical torpor" since it looks like the rule-of-law has been totally tossed out the window and everything is now just politics and power. What can one do except keep one's head down and hope nobody takes notice? That's pretty much what y'all do in Brazil, right?

Bret said...

And, by the way, I think Trump's chance of finishing his first term is less than 70%. He's old and someone his age has about a 7% chance of dying in the next 3+ years. Nobody's been more hated as a president, and while he's a pretty hard target, I think he has a 10+% chances of being assassinated - all you need is one traitorous secret service agent and Trump's a goner. I think there's a 5% chance he just gets sick of it all and quits (resigns). And I think there's around a 10% chance he is removed from office because they do find something bad enough about him and Russia or whatever.

So, of all the presidents in my lifetime (including Nixon who did make it through his 1st term), I think Trump has the least chance of being in office all 4 years.

erp said...

I really don't get why you are so violently against Trump. The only thing I've heard is that he made some vulgar remarks in a locker room with other men and it's on tape.

He's driving the left, including RINO's, over the bend. What's not to like?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

Not quite. Realizing the rule of law is dead letter, many people down here just take the shortest path, betting chances are high they won't pay. Hence the sky high rates of killings, robbery, fraud, corruption and others not so pleasant things.

Last week someone stole thousands from my bank account. Someone, quite probably an inside job, substituted my digital fingerprints in the bank database and used that to withdraw the money. I was reimbursed, but the bank surely won't be.

The week before that one, a PhD student of our department was killed. Someone with a knife did him to get his bike, when he was cycling back home. The department had to pool money among volunteers, to pay for the service to send the boy in a casket back home. His family hardly could pay for it, and now they will spend Christmas mourning their bright son who was rising above poverty.

That was only the last two weeks, and I am restricting myself to events I closely witnessed.

I get you feel cynical about those big shot players dueling over who will wear the State's boot over your face. That's another thing that gets more unpleasant when the rule of law is farcical. But the chaos, oh the chaos... I can't describe it, but I hope some day you'll join us, in the community of failed states, to feel it yourself, and the World will be as one. Just imagine...

Bret said...

erp, Who's violently against Trump? Moi? If so, what on earth did I write to make you think that?

Bret said...

Clovis,

Ugh. I guess that's the side of the rule of law I forgot about. It's one thing to have the politicians and bureaucrats ignore and abuse the rule of law. It's a whole nother thing to have a large percentage of the populous ignore it and routinely exhibit violent criminal behavior. Well, I certainly hope you and your family manage to stay safe!

Unfortunately, my prognosis for the United States isn't good. Fortunately, to degrade to casual murders to obtain bicycles and the like will take a few decades, I think, by which time I'll be close to (or past) end of life anyway. Tough luck for my kids though.

erp said...

Perhaps I'm misreading your comments above. If so, mea culpa.

As for Nixon, I didn't support, nor did I like him because he was a socialist, but not a Soviet sycophant which is why the left here hated him and I voted for McGovern because he was a real dimwit and harmless. Nixon's alleged crimes were kids' stuff compared to the real crimes of Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, Clinton, Obama on the left and I think they think Trump will be as easy a mark.

It is my hope that Trump continues to gives his detractors all the rope they need to hang themselves and while he's distracting them with smoke and mirrors, he's is making unbelievable gains on multiple fronts.

Clovis still hasn't said what it is about Trump that is so horrible? As I said above, apparently there is a tape of him saying some nonsense about women. I haven't had the "pleasure" of being in a locker room to overhear that kind of male blather, but I'd bet it's pretty tame compared to other bantering of that type. It's totally irrelevant, but the media has nothing else or they wouldn't keep bringing up the << tape >> and how many cans of soda he may or may not drink each day. Apparently now some bimbos have come forward with sexual harassment claims. I predict those women will be very sorry they took those bribes.

Trump is not a gentlemen like Bush and will not back down from condemning a woman.

I hate to think of a young scientist (or anyone else) being killed for his bicycle (or anything else), but life in Brazil as Clovis describes it, isn't analogous to life here. It's not as it was in my day, but it's still, in the main, law abiding outside the lefty enclaves dominated by lefty politicians where modern day unfortunates are kept in custodial care to make a huge voting bloc to keep their masters in power.

I hope for the sake of you youngsters, Trump succeeds quickly and you can live out your lives in peace and prosperity in a country where all have equal opportunity to pursue happiness and are all equal under the law.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

When I try to figure out why you are so violently against Hillary (to use your expression), I end up lost on how you can not be against Trump either - if you were trying to be consistent, which of course you aren't.

Let's try to imagine, for a second, what would be your reaction if Obama had fired Comey when he was investigating that Hillary's email matter. Actually, if Obama had done so after specifically asking Comey to let Clinton go, and realizing Comey would not obey. How fine would you be with that?

Yet, I am pretty sure you are fine enough with Trump firing Comey the way he did.

That's only one example Erp, there are many others, but you already gave away the game up above, where you say: "He's driving the left, including RINO's, over the bend. What's not to like?". To you, this is all about the cultural war, and it trumps everything else.

erp said...

The reason I "don't like" Hillary goes backs decades and has nothing to with something so trivial as firing an employee. Hint: Hillary had her problems offed, not fired. It's a very long story and one you won't find by asking Mr. Google.

Comey? That's all ya got. That's a miss. Try again.

Clovis e Adri said...

Yes, Erp, I can believe you have been blindly partisan for many, many decades.

I have no hope to make you see anything through a more impartial, honest angle, ever. Rest assured of that.

erp said...

Clovis, of course I'm partisan. I'm for the U.S. of A. I don't want Soros et al. one worlders to take over and make us in the image of the rest of the world.

Unless you have secret information about Comey and all the machinations of those who are part of the farcical "investigations," you don't know why Comey was hired and/or fired. Certainly, not from the ridiculous scenarios in the media.

The recent election in Alabama where 97% of blacks allegedly voted for Jones is a case in point of how we're being asked to believe the ridiculous. Even the Rocket Man doesn't usually win elections by that large a percentage of the vote.

The shooting in Las Vegas dropped into a black hole? There hasn't been a single thing in the media about the probable cause of the news blackout and that is that bin Salman, crown prince in Saudi Arabia was in Las Vegas the night of the shooting and that Saudi Arabia owns the top floors of the hotel where the shooting occurred.

Please explain how I would see things if I would see them from what you consider an impartial honest angle?

Peter said...

There seems to be a general power failure in the city on the hill.

Hey Skipper said...

[OP:] … if they truly believe the FBI is as dirty as they imply, they have a far greater problem than Russiagate. I mean, they would need to check back every single case those people ever worked on, wouldn't they? And (ii), If this is a political witch-hunt, they have little to worry, because this is going to be subjected to a political jury. For when push comes to shove, it is the two chambers - in complete control of Republicans - who will need to decide if they want to keep Trump, or have Pence for a change.

You are painting a far starker picture than need be the case. The FBI agents don't have to be dirty in general to have exercised bad judgment in this case. Clearly, there were at least a few agents that should have recused themselves from the investigation. Strzok, in particular, very much appears to have put his fingers on the scales too often.

And it is worth remembering the FBI has soiled itself a few times. But hey, what's a few ruined lives?

As Bret mentioned above, often the process is the punishment. I have heard, but the airport WiFi prevents me from finding out, that Gen Flynn was forced to sell his house to defend himself against non-criminal actions. So it is a safe bet his guilty plea was coughed up merely to make the process go away.

As for the political witch hunt, that doesn't mean our political system doesn't have anything to worry about. Journalists, particularly at CNN, NYT, and WaPo, have published hordes of stories (just one example), oh wait, another that should have gotten every one of them fired for gross incompetence or malfeasance.

Clearly progressives believe Hillary was entitled to the presidency, therefore Trump must be impeached. But so far the collusion between some government entities and the press is so pervasive it has become positively poisonous. Here is the proof: of all the many stories that needed correcting, not one of them was a story initially in Trump's favor. There's no way to explain that unless the mistakes were systemic.

The real problem here, which progressives have resolutely failed to take on board, is that if Trump actually does something impeachment worthy, the well has been so badly poisoned that half the country will believe that a coup is in progress.

That, right there, is the fruit of a political witch hunt.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Let's try to imagine, for a second, what would be your reaction if Obama had fired Comey when he was investigating that Hillary's email matter. Actually, if Obama had done so after specifically asking Comey to let Clinton go, and realizing Comey would not obey. How fine would you be with that.

Yet another example why arguing from analogy is almost always a bad idea.

There is no way Hillary wasn't guilty of multiple felonies with her email server, lying to investigators, destroying evidence and impeding an investigation. In contrast, Flynn is guilty of nothing except a process crime (and he may not actually be guilty even of that), which shouldn't be a crime in the first place. Flynn didn't disclose legal activities; Hillary got let off despite multiple felonies. And that is even before getting to the access peddling scheme that was the Clinton Foundation.

Because the cases aren't remotely similar, your analogy fails. How about something closer, like a relentless investigation into Obama's citizenship?

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "...if Trump actually does something impeachment worthy, the well has been so badly poisoned that half the country will believe that a coup is in progress."

And that looks to be one of Trump's goals. I mean, perhaps he's just a moronic buffoon who tangles with the press via tweets and jabs with no good reason; or maybe he's made a concerted effort to say outrageous, bizarre and absurd things (many of which make me laugh out loud) in order to get the press to say even more outrageous, bizarre and absurd things, many of which are easily provably false, such that nobody can take anybody seriously anymore, and everything is considered fake.

I read today that more than half of Americans (democrats included in that stat!) believe that the Mueller investigation is so tainted, that if it results in Trump being removed from office, they'll consider it a coup and nothing more - in other words the results will be completely fake as far as they're concerned.

Trump is either a real-life Chauncey Gardiner (played by Peter Sellers) in "Being There" or he's one of the shrewdest operators who's ever lived turning the entire political enterprise into a reality TV show in which he's gonna be the last man standing.

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] And that looks to be one of Trump's goals.

To be fair to Trump, I don't see how being the subject of this investigation is a goal; rather, with regard to his enemies, he seems extraordinarily lucky.

The whole collusion thing seemed unbelievable from the outset, and revelations about Fusion GPS, DNC funding for that laughable dossier, its apparent use to obtain FISA warrants, and the complete lack of any evidence of anything even remotely illegal have already put the thing beyond a travesty, never mind atrocious MSM reporting.

Those self-inflicted wounds, the utter derangement, can't have been a goal of Trump's, can it? Is the left really that stupid?

erp said...

Trump is a carnival barker and ringmaster. I believe everything has been orchestrated to drive the opposition mad and yes, the left is really that stupid.

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "I don't see how being the subject of this investigation is a goal..."

I meant that "poisoning the well" was one of his goals. In other words, making his enemies look so treacherous and so untrustworthy that no matter what Trump does, not enough people will believe them, making him very, very difficult to bring down (shy of using a bullet).

Clovis e Adri said...

Except the dossier is not so bad. Steele believes it to be 90% right, and it might as well be.

Skipper claims to have had access to such top secret things when working at the Pentagon. I doubt you got things much better than Steele’s back then. At this point, you need to be willingly obtuse to deny the obvious connections a few of Trump’s campaign operatives had with Russian channels.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

—-
Because the cases aren't remotely similar, your analogy fails.
—-
To the extent my analogy fails, it is for the contrary reasons you point out: Hillay did no crimes, the proof being that after N investigaltions she was not indicted. Flynn, OTOH, fell down pretty quickly, because he did one on record, and maybe a couple of other ones they will let rest.

Also, you fail to realize my analogy was about Obama and Trump, the actual guilty of the underlyings being of secondary nature, since due process is the point.

I spent the last years of Obama’s govt reading complaints about him from people in this blog. He was blowing up the deficit with stimulus and Obamacare! He was weak on US enemies! He is a Kenyan born Socialist who does not get economics! Clinton is a liar and put US security under risk with her emails!

Now Trump trumps due process firing FBI directors who investigaste people Trump does not want to. He will add more deficit with his tax plan than Obamacare ever would. He is more ignorant on economics than Obama ever was. His aides told so many lies they were actually indicted, and Putin gets more praise from Trump than he can give to any traditional ally.

And what do I hear from our former unsatisfied friends here? Well, that all is forgiven - after all, Trump beat Hillary.

I also think Trump is far more humorous than anything before, but I get half of my laughs from the self-clowning show you provide.

erp said...

Clovis, you still have told us what it is that Trump does that amuses you so or that was so terrible? We forgave nothing, because there is nothing to forgive, nothing proven, nothing, nothing, nothing. Even the women coming forward to accuse him of abuse were immediately discredited. The only thing extant is a tape of him talking trash in a men's locker room.

Slate is not a credible source and Hillary is guilty of so much, going back so many decades, this isn't the place to enumerate it all.

Trump is only beginning. I think your country may be the new home of lots of formerly rich and famous lefties yearning for a place with no extradition treaty with the U.S.

I, for one, didn't know what to expect and am very pleasantly surprised. He's returning vulgarity with "in your face" street talk. Perhaps not the ideal, but considering what he's dealing with, it's fine with me.

erp said...

...er about that deficit from Trump's tax plan.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "I get half of my laughs from the self-clowning show you provide."

Glad to be of service!

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Brazil and the USA have established extradition treaties.

As usual, everything you think you know, is wrong ;-)

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] To the extent my analogy fails, it is for the contrary reasons you point out: Hillary did no crimes, the proof being that after N investigations she was not indicted.

Oh please. The things Hillary did are not in dispute: she stored classified information on an insecure server, violated federal record keeping rules, put records beyond FOIA requests, destroyed evidence, and repeatedly lied about the server. Strzok changed the wording on the report from "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless" because "gross negligence" is manifestly illegal, while "extremely careless" is just as illegal, but an easier sell to avoid the indictment she richly deserved.

That she isn't in prison is solely down to the fact she was a presidential candidate, and the politics made it impossible.

And that is even before getting to the influence peddling scheme that was the Clinton Foundation.

Flynn, OTOH, fell down pretty quickly, because he did one on record, and maybe a couple of other ones they will let rest.

I predict absolutely nothing will come of this. You must have noticed I keep referring to this as a "process crime". That is because nothing Flynn did was illegal, and his lying to the FBI was not (my bet) pursuant to hiding any illegal acts. Flynn was getting bankrupted dealing with the FBI process, and the only way to stop the hemorrhaging was to plead guilty.

Now Trump trumps due process firing FBI directors who investigate people Trump does not want to.

You keep saying that, and it doesn't get any truer with repetition. Exactly what process did Trump trump? It certainly isn't the investigation into empty charges of collusion, which still goes on despite not only a complete absence of evidence for any such thing, but without even a theory on what such a thing could be. (While all the while ignoring actual collusion between the DNC and journalists.)

At this point, the investigation has become such a farce, and journalists have so thoroughly soiled themselves, that the only thing Trump is guilty of is tormenting the stupid.

The threat here isn't Trump, but the completely unhinged left. There is no more truth in this collusion nonsense — or that idiotic dossier — than there was about Obama's birth certificate.

The difference, though, is that only a small fringe was making birther noise. Now, it is a full-on prosecution, abetted by MSM frenzy, in pursuit of the non-existent.

He will add more deficit with his tax plan than Obamacare ever would.

Obama doubled the deficit in eight years. Obamacare was just part of that.

Also, I bet the deficit projections are bollocks, on top of the hilarious leftwing hysterics on something they couldn't be fussed about a year ago.

… Putin gets more praise from Trump than he can give to any traditional ally.

I don't know about that, but you are seemingly immune to the fact that freeing US energy production — exactly opposite of what Hillary would have done — is exactly what Trump doesn't want.

Making it singularly odd that Russia would have colluded with Trump, considering that is one promise Trump has stuck to.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Except the dossier is not so bad. Steele believes it to be 90% right, and it might as well be.

That link slaughters untold number of pixels saying absolutely nothing about how truthful the contents of the dossier are. It is a mass of equivocation, hedging, and hinting.

And that Steele believes it to be 90% right is as worthy of trust as Obama saying Americans could keep their doctor and their health care plan.

Of course Steele is going to say that

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] I meant that "poisoning the well" was one of his goals.

Okay. I can see that, I suppose.

So much easier, though, to have actually done a bit of learning and pursued his goals with more knowledge, and fewer own goals. And in so doing put the left on the defensive, rather than the exact opposite. Granting your point, though, they are making fools of themselves in the process.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Skipper claims to have had access to such top secret things when working at the Pentagon. I doubt you got things much better than Steele’s back then.

Indeed, I have enough experience with intel to know that a great deal of it is pure crap.

erp said...

Re: Extradition. So hard to keep up. Luckily there are 50 or so other countries without extradition, so they perps have no worries.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

They will probably hide at some Trump resort instead.

Hey Skipper said...

Secrets the FBI shouldn't be keeping.

erp said...

ROTFL

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

—-
That she isn't in prison is solely down to the fact she was a presidential candidate, and the politics made it impossible.
—-
No, it is down to the fact she was the boss, and the rules did not apply to her in your books. The ambiguities of your laws towards a Secretary of State’s room to maneuver information is what saved her. You should take it to your congressmen, instead of accusing the Bureau of being bought and dirt.

—-
Flynn was getting bankrupted dealing with the FBI process, and the only way to stop the hemorrhaging was to plead guilty.
—-
If you were defending Trump and Flynn for mere partisanship, I could understand. But to write and actually believe that phrase, I must concede I am worried for your mental health, Skipper. Really.


—-
You keep saying that, and it doesn't get any truer with repetition. Exactly what process did Trump trump? It certainly isn't the investigation into empty charges of collusion,
—-
It works like that: you fire the Director who is not corrupt, and try to hire one that is on your pocket. It is very simple. And it should have worked, if not for that Mueller probe he got into.

—-
Also, I bet the deficit projections are bollocks,
—-
Because you did the math yourself?


—-
I don't know about that, but you are seemingly immune to the fact that freeing US energy production — exactly opposite of what Hillary would have done — is exactly what Trump doesn't want.
——
I suppose you typed Trump in place of Putin up above, which is a very fitting mistake by the way. And the least of your mistakes, actually, since this argument is non-sense. You just don’t know what you are talking about, to put it mildly.




Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] No, it is down to the fact she was the boss, and the rules did not apply to her in your books.

Sorry, that is just wrong. Aside from the fact that the powerful can get away with things for which the less powerful are punished, her server was a gross violation. There are no ambiguities in law that saved her. That she was allowed — somehow — to decide which emails she would hand over to the FBI, or — somehow — allowed to print the remaining emails on paper, then destroy the hard drive, is a real head scratcher.

Those are the facts, and in as much as the FBI is part of the executive branch, it is much more under the president's purview. IMHO, the negligence and conflict of interests were so glaring that Comey well and truly deserved firing. However, I can be persuaded that Hillary's corruption and her being a presidential candidate put him in an impossible situation.

But to write and actually believe that phrase, I must concede I am worried for your mental health, Skipper. Really.

How about responding the substance of what I wrote? I read somewhere — from a credible source, although it is too late for me to track it down — that Flynn was forced to sell his house to cover legal expenses. There is a saying in the US, and no doubt elsewhere, that "the process is the punishment". The FBI broke down the door of Manafort's house at 5am in an armed invasion of his house, with his wife and kids there.

He was a cooperating witness for a congressional committee.

Flynn was never charged with a crime, of any kind, except about lying to the FBI about a completely legal meeting with a Russian after the election.

Those are facts.

It works like that: you fire the Director who is not corrupt, and try to hire one that is on your pocket. It is very simple. And it should have worked, if not for that Mueller probe he got into.

Upon what do you base "try to hire one that is in your pocket". Who hired Mueller?

Because you did the math yourself?

No, because tax reductions often yield increased revenue, particularly when the reduction makes the cost of avoidance too expensive. Also, Trump promised to eliminate two Federal regulations for every one adopted during his administration. So far, the ratio is 22:1. If it is true, as I think it is, that the US economy is hobbled by excessive regulation, then the projections of economic growth are going to come up short.

To wit: last quarter, the US GDP grew at 4%. I remember an NYT article a couple years back saying we were going to have to get used to anemic 2% growth.

I suppose you typed Trump in place of Putin up above, which is a very fitting mistake by the way. And the least of your mistakes, actually, since this argument is non-sense. You just don’t know what you are talking about, to put it mildly.

Clovis, you make many charges without backing them up.

What single commodity does Russia most rely upon? What has the revolution in the US energy industry done to the price of that commodity? With Trump as President, will the supply of US energy be greater, or less than, if Hillary was president?

Answer those questions, instead of tossing out snotty insults.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
[Clovis:] No, it is down to the fact she was the boss, and the rules did not apply to her in your books.

Sorry, that is just wrong.
---
Is it? So please take it up with Dershowitz.
[He also made more extensive comments in a column back then, I can't find it right now]

By the way, Dershowitz - who thinks the Russia investigation is way beyond the pale by now, and supported Trump's right to fire Mueller - agrees with me that you are an hyprocritical partisan hack.

---
How about responding the substance of what I wrote?
---
Or the lack of substance, actually. Because you want me to believe that a General, with income from his former profession and his lobbying company - which has been getting dough from Russia and Turkey as recently as last year - is unable to pay for his lawyers, and need to plead guilty before going bankrupt. It is pathetic, and someone who blindly believes say on hearsay is even more so.


---
Upon what do you base "try to hire one that is in your pocket". Who hired Mueller?
---
Pay attention, I said a new FBI director, which Mueller is not. He is an old one though, and apparently a very accomplished one under G.W. Bush, that govt you used to blindly support into an useless war. But now they are all thugs trying to steal you from your precious Dear Leader. Self-consistency being, of course, a concept you forgot long ago.

---
No, because tax reductions often yield increased revenue, particularly when the reduction makes the cost of avoidance too expensive.
---
You obviously didn't care to read the reports and estimations from even the non-partisan policy and budget institutes, so I should hardly lose my time explaining to you that even taking account of non-realistic growth projections, the deficit soars. If you care for reality and the actual piece they legislated, though, things get even worse.

I remember people in this blog complaining how Obamacare was a sloppy clusterfuck legislated in a whim. Self-consistency being, of course, a concept you forgot long ago. [phrase repeated on purpose - it is going to be a motto here from now on]


---
Clovis, you make many charges without backing them up.
---
I do, for I get lazy after losing faith on people on the other side of a debate. You think I am being snotty - and I am - but I am, most of all, without hope you are looking for truth, all you want is tribe validation.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Because you want me to believe that a General, with income from his former profession and his lobbying company - which has been getting dough from Russia and Turkey as recently as last year - is unable to pay for his lawyers, and need to plead guilty before going bankrupt. It is pathetic, and someone who blindly believes say on hearsay is even more so.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] On Saturday, Clinton said she never knowingly sent or received classified information via her private server, despite the findings by two inspectors general that Clinton's server contained classified data.

From your link.

Dershowitz is a civil rights lawyer, so I have no expectation he knows the first thing about federal law regarding storage of classified documents. I don't expect you do, either.

"Knowingly" is irrelevant. Even negligently doing so is punishable. And unless she is, in fact, too stupid to have been president, she should have well known that classification can be upgraded at any time.

So either she broke the law -- and is getting special treatment; little people have been put in prison for far less -- or is too stupid to be president. Can't have it both ways.

You can't apply retroactive classification or retroactive rules to conduct that occurred when there were no rules prohibiting it. From a legal point of view, she's 100 percent right.

There have always been rules against storing classified information in insecure locations. That rule existed at least by 1990, when I couldn't work on briefings containing classified information on my home computer. And that was before the internet.

And Dershowitz neglected to consider her side stepping FOIA record keeping requirements.



Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] But now they are all thugs trying to steal you from your precious Dear Leader. Self-consistency being, of course, a concept you forgot long ago.

This is exactly what I mean when I say your responses are fact vacuums.

I gave several links to credible sources about questionable FBI behavior. There are several options here -- the articles got the facts wrong, or drew the wrong conclusions from the facts, or -- brace yourself -- perhaps largely correct.

A useful response, like above, where I assert Dershowitz is wrong on the facts, is exactly what you didn't do. Instead, you imply things about me -- I think they are all thugs, Trump is my Dear Leader -- that can't be found anywhere.

So why don't you stick to good manners, return the favor, and use direct quotes. Fact free implications don't work any better for you than they do for Harry.

erp said...

Skipper, as I've said many time before, ad hominems are all the left has.

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Is it? So please take it up with Dershowitz.

Congratulations -- that is an absolutely textbook perfect example of argument from authority.

erp said...

Clovis, Even Dershowitz gets it.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Hey Skipper said...
[Clovis:] Because you want me to believe that a General, with income from his former profession and his lobbying company - which has been getting dough from Russia and Turkey as recently as last year - is unable to pay for his lawyers, and need to plead guilty before going bankrupt. It is pathetic, and someone who blindly believes say on hearsay is even more so. [Link to Washington Examiner]
---

The most important quote of your link being:

"The house has not yet officially hit the market."

General Flynn has, in the year 2016, received nearly $530,000 from Erdogan. He also got - though he first tried to hide it - nearly $150,000 from Putin.

As a retired General, he collects a pension above the one hundreds. In total, he reported an income of nearly $1.4 Million last year.

Now, if you still believe he desperately needed to sell his $800,000 house to pay for his lawyers, let me tell you I also have a great piece of land to offer at bargain price to you, in the Moon. With a terrific, tremendous view to a youuuuge Earth you can see from it. Really big.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Dershowitz is a civil rights lawyer, so I have no expectation he knows the first thing about federal law regarding storage of classified documents. I don't expect you do, either.
---
Wikipedia tells me Dershowitz is a civil and criminal law specialist. Now you are accusing Clinton of a crime, so I suppose Dershowitz would not give his opinion on the matter without reading a few lines of your law codes.

And contrary to your notion that I am arguing from authority, I only invoked him to counter this notion you have that I can not possibly understand the stakes and subtleties involved in Clinton's email case - actually, you are the one trying to argue from authority. I have read enough at the time to make up my own opinion, and I cited him to show I was not making it up from nowhere, there are enough law specialists out there who look to take a position similar to Dershowitz's. So at the very least, it is a controversial case.


----
A useful response, like above, where I assert Dershowitz is wrong on the facts, is exactly what you didn't do. Instead, you imply things about me -- I think they are all thugs, Trump is my Dear Leader -- that can't be found anywhere.

So why don't you stick to good manners, return the favor, and use direct quotes. Fact free implications don't work any better for you than they do for Harry.
----

Let me address it upwards.

As good manners go, I sincerely expected I've abused you enough to make you either give up the subject or return the favor of calling me names and kicking the door.

Unfortunately you want to keep a civil conversation, without carrying within a Socratic disposition of searching for truth. You are morphing into Erp, day by day. And I don't mean it as an insult - Erp is a dear fried of mine, I must say - but she has no intent nowadays of learning anything contrary to her firmly held (and IMHO sometimes wrong) beliefs.

As for your own answers, please notice you gave me no facts when taking Dershowitz points, only your own opinion. The facts, actually, are that Clinton is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, which didn't happen. You look to think she corrupted the entire FBI and DoJ leadership in order to walk free, while ignoring my basic point that quite a few (supposedly honest and independent) people out there disagree she committed a crime.

Hey Skipper said...

Clovis, if you think that by citing some gross numbers you have any insight into the details of his family finances, or how much money lawyers would eventually consume in his defense, then your arrogance knows no bounds.

That the house isn't on the market (yet) is indicative only of what is almost certainly true: he pled guilty to avoid FBI extortion.

Which is why process crimes shouldn't exist in a free country.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

I actually give Gen. Flynn a bit more of respect than you do.

I believe he is guilty of what he plead - lying to the FBI - and ke knows it, and he is making it right. Maybe he is guilty of more than that also, and he'll know about it sooner or later. He also factored in that he would spend a good amount of money and risk being in the losing side of that lying charge, so he took a rational path.

Now, your version, if I understand it, is he is an innocent man pleading guilty due to financial pressure. So he is innocent, but has no bones to stand against a completely false charge? Is that possible to be that honourless and still get to a position of General in the mightiest army the World ever knew?

Were you, Skipper, back in your days of glory, willing to defect to the enemy if economical pressures were too hard?


Clovis e Adri said...

Substitute "financial" for "economics" above, and "we'll know about it sooner or later".

erp said...

Clovis, I never name call. I didn't say you were dumb, just misinformed about the U.S. by your teachers, the media ... and everything you think you know about us is wrong.

Here's Flynn's house. It's only 200 sq. ft larger than our tiny house and unimpressive by any standard -- 800 thou is peanuts in lawyer talk.

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Now, your version, if I understand it, is he is an innocent man pleading guilty due to financial pressure.

You don't understand it; perhaps the fault is mine, in that I haven't made it clear.

Gen Flynn is not accused of a crime. For reasons I don't understand, he lied to the FBI about a meeting that was completely legal.

Here is an argument by corollary. The FBI hauls you in and starts interrogating you about meeting with your mistress. You deny it, perhaps because you suspect the FBI is riddled with leaks. The FBI shows evidence you did in fact meet with your mistress. They then threaten you with a felony conviction and two years in prison, unless you plead guilty.

Meeting with a mistress isn't illegal. So why is it illegal to lie to the FBI about it? Clearly, lying to cover up an underlying crime is illegal, but that isn't the case here. And so far as Gen Flynn is concerned, he hasn't been charged with an underlying crime associated with meeting a Russian.

Remember, this is during the transition period -- Trump has already been elected president. It may well be that Flynn didn't want the existence of the meeting leaked. I don't know, and you don't, either. But it should at least give pause that a man was -- as far as either you or I know -- faced with prison and financial ruin because he decided not to be forthcoming about something completely legal.

You OK with that?

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Wikipedia tells me Dershowitz is a civil and criminal law specialist. Now you are accusing Clinton of a crime, so I suppose Dershowitz would not give his opinion on the matter without reading a few lines of your law codes.

It sure seems that way. And having shown your expertise at argument from authority, I wouldn't have thought it needed repeating.

Strzok, two days before Comey gave his testimony before Congress, changed wording in the report about Hillary's actions from "gross negligence" to "extreme carelessness" (or something along those lines). I don't have to be a lawyer to conclude from the facts that a) she was, in fact, grossly negligent, and b) the law itself (look it up) doesn't care. If a sailor takes a picture of a nuclear submarine engine room, which is classified, he goes to jail for two years.

Hillary stores classified information on an insecure private server, and, well, what?

For Dershowitz to say there were no laws at the time is, at best, ignorant. But what the heck do I know, I only have first hand experience to go on.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] As good manners go, I sincerely expected I've abused you enough to make you either give up the subject or return the favor of calling me names and kicking the door.

Wow. I bow down to you, the absolute master of logical fallacies. First ad hominem, then argumentum ad authoritarium, and now the fallacy of the excluded middle.

Do you prefer that I take you seriously?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

I ao so good at them, I don't even know when I practice it anymore. Pray tell me, what is the fallacy of the excluded middle by the way?!?

erp said...

Alan_Dershowitz is a professor of and one of the foremost experts on constitutional law. He was made a full professor at Harvard Law School at age 28, the youngest ever to make that distinction.

His classes are notoriously difficult to get into as he gets his pick from the best students. Dershowitz has said that Ted Cruz was "Off the charts brilliant" while Obama didn't make the cut after multiple attempts even though he styles himself as a former professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago, he was, in fact, only a part-time lecturer.

I was very disappointed in Cruz as I was an early supporter before he went over to the dark side of the evangelicals. If I thought he really believed their nonsense, I could respect him, but I really don't think that was the case. Too bad that brilliance is going to waste as a RINO senator.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
You don't understand it; perhaps the fault is mine, in that I haven't made it clear.
---

No, the fault is mine for not making it explicit that I do understand your point about "process crime", I just don't agree with it.

Crime, as defined by our societies, is what is written in the books as being a crime (and even that is plagued with ambiguities and troublesome definitions). We all have a moral understanding as to what are more serious, or less serious crimes, and often it loosely translates to the severity of punishment. But my opinion is irrelevant about how serious a 'crime' is in order deserve to be a crime, unless I find political support to change it through the legislative process.

All that being said, I don't think it is fair at all to give Flynn a pass because his crime isn't all that big under your eyes. You also compound that by near faith that he is innocent behind his lies, which I don't particularly share. Furthermore, it is hard to believe he didn't know he was breaking the law upon lying to the FBI - or are Generals of the US army that ignorant?

---
. But it should at least give pause that a man was -- as far as either you or I know -- faced with prison and financial ruin because he decided not to be forthcoming about something completely legal.

You OK with that?
---
No, I am not. I am also not OK with a SoS going to prison because she used a personal email server, where she discussed topics that later went to be classified as secret.

As I see it, Flynn and Clinton did no relevant crimes that deserve to be named as so. But I also think that, to believe one is a mere process crime while the other is the utmost offense, tells more about the believer than anything else.

But my opinion, of course, is absolutely irrelevant.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Google tells me the fallacy of the excluded middle is one where only extreme views are valid.

How the heck you concluded I made that sin?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Alan_Dershowitz is a professor of and one of the foremost experts on constitutional law. He was made a full professor at Harvard Law School at age 28, the youngest ever to make that distinction.
---
Careful, Erp, least Skipper will say you are doing an ad authoritarium too.

---
Clovis, I never name call. I didn't say you were dumb, just misinformed about the U.S. by your teachers, the media ... and everything you think you know about us is wrong.
---
Yes, you are a lady, Erp, you never do name call. I would rather prefer you did though, for you dominate that feminine art of being discreetly but completely, absolutely annoying when you so wish, and it is way worse than being called names :-)

Now, I didn't accuse you of calling me 'dumb' at any moment here. I mean, you believe I am eternally ignorant, as quoted above, but I can agree it is not the same as being dumb.

erp said...

Being ignorant (or unaware of the facts) is not name calling. Ignorance can be cured, the same can't be said of dumbness.

The reason I, representing the distaff side, am so annoying, is I'm right and because you wouldn't dream of attacking a lady, are forced to be a gentleman.

Males have been settling things by name calling escalating to violence since before they came down from the trees.

You've made a mess of it. Try listening to us. You'd be surprised how much better off everyone would be.

:-)

erp said...

I forgot. You're lucky you met me after I lost it. You wouldn't have had a chance when I was your age. My comment above about Dershowitz was a quote from the linked article.

Hey Skipper said...

In a comment above, I left out a sentence.

Strzok, two days before Comey gave his testimony before Congress, changed wording in the report about Hillary's actions from "gross negligence" to "extreme carelessness" (or something along those lines).

The sentence that I left out is this:

Had the words "gross negligence" stayed in the report, prosecution would have been unavoidable. Inserting "extreme negligence" instead made it possible to put a veneer on her actions so as to avoid recommending prosecution. However, the law itself makes no distinction whatsoever.

[Clovis:] No, I am not. I am also not OK with a SoS going to prison because she used a personal email server, where she discussed topics that later went to be classified as secret.

Some of the items found on her server had been upgraded after the fact. For anyone who isn't completely ignorant about security classifications, that potential is taken for granted; therefore, only a fool (at best) stores documents on an insecure server that haven't already received a classification of Unclassified. Especially considering that as SoS, many things would be classified at the outset, no matter that no one had yet put a stamp to them. But never mind that, she claimed not to know what (C) meant at the beginning of paragraphs. It means Confidential, and there was plenty of that on her server. Illegally. And some items that were Secret and Top Secret.

Then there is the little matter that, while under investigation, she destroyed evidence. A lot of evidence. Also "... the DOJ placed severe restrictions on interviews and evidence collection, and declined to prosecute investigative subjects who made false statements in FBI interviews" (This from the latest National Review Online. National Review hates Trump, BTW).

Hillary, unlike Flynn, had committed an actual felony, destroyed evidence and lied repeatedly about an underlying crime.

But my opinion is irrelevant about how serious a 'crime' is in order deserve to be a crime, unless I find political support to change it through the legislative process.

All that being said, I don't think it is fair at all to give Flynn a pass because his crime isn't all that big under your eyes.


Here is his awful crime:

According to the charging document, those false statements were that:

“On or about Dec 29, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Government of Russia’s Ambassador to the United States … to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and FLYNN did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.”

“On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described to FLYNN Russia’s response to his request.”


Seriously?

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Google tells me the fallacy of the excluded middle is one where only extreme views are valid.

How the heck you concluded I made that sin?


It was a bad conclusion, that's how.

You clearly said you had an expectation of one of two outcomes; you never made an assertion only those two outcomes were possible.

My bad.

Hey Skipper said...

Clovis, you might want to read this.

And consider the possibility that the only campaign collusion during the election was between the DNC and Russians they paid for that grotesque dossier that, as increasingly appears the case, was the basis for this whole crapshow.

Oh, and if you want a particularly nauseating case of abuse of power, follow the link to the Wisconsin John Doe investigation.

(Oh, and I forgot to mention in the post above, the FBI already had recordings of the conversations. I'd love to hear an explanation of why the FBI was asking about them, except to trap him in a misstatement. This stinks to high heaven. That's the sort of thing that would have been right at home in Stalin's Russia.)

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
I forgot. You're lucky you met me after I lost it.
---
You never lost it, Erp, you keep a very sharp mind there. Well, that's one way of seeing it, for another way is: you have lost it since you were born, I guess you have always kept crazy opinions about a lot of things ;-)

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
For anyone who isn't completely ignorant about security classifications, that potential is taken for granted; therefore, only a fool (at best) stores documents on an insecure server that haven't already received a classification of Unclassified.
---

Laws ought to be written in ways to cover for everybody, including the fools. I understand your Constitution, as usual for many ones, provide protections against rules acting retroactively. Meaning that, even if it is customary among a subset of federal workers to assume confidentiality status can change (I actually think that is ridiculous), that should not prevail over the aforementioned Constitutional protection. I guess that's part of Dershowitz's argument you are overlooking, lower rules take no precedence over higher ones.


Hey Skipper said...

Clovis, everyone who deals with classified information gets security training. So “fool” is the kindest possible interpretation.

This is not a case of post facto liability.

erp said...

Clovis, I don't know if I should be flattered or insulted -- another example of the excluded middle?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Please, be both flattered AND insulted!

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Clovis, everyone who deals with classified information gets security training.
---
Apparently, everyone but the boss - or can you vouch Clinton got such training?

Look, Skipper, since you are sometimes changing the focus from what is legally a crime to what is my actual opinion, let me tell you this. I believe 99,9% of the classification schemes your govt uses is bunk. Most of these secrets are a bunch of trivial, tending to useless, stuff. Witness the Wikileaks data we had access so far: most of it is, actually, insignificant (and it was so even when produced). And the bits that happened to be significant, were secret only to cover for atual criminal behavior (like those senseless killings in Iraq).

I guess you military background makes you very sensitive about this stuff, but I wonder if you are able to think out of the box. So I intend to, at some point next year, write a post on nuclear bombs. I intend to actually write things that are - or have been in past - classified under your government standards. I am warning you so you have time to delete your blogger account and any trace you are a co-blogger of this blog with me, so you can not possibly be accused of disclosing classified data. Run Skipper, run!

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Clovis, you might want to read this.

And consider the possibility that the only campaign collusion during the election was between the DNC and Russians they paid for that grotesque dossier that, as increasingly appears the case, was the basis for this whole crapshow.
---
I will let those FBI things rest a bit. Right now, it looks like a lot of smoke screen, and it is wise to wait a bit in order to see what that is really about. There are many possible narratives, ranging from yours above (collusion between DNC, Obama's officials, FBI and DoJ), to the opposite (alarm with what has been collected by intelligence agencies and honest attempts to figure it all out), and many shades in between.

What is most relevant to our discussion here, though, is the dossier was barely used (or mentioned) by Comey and the FBI in general. Notice that Flynn's fall came not from it, but from his call to the Russian ambassador, whose line apparently is always under surveillance no matter what.

erp said...

Please, be both flattered AND insulted!

No can do. You know how linear I am.

I only go toward the truth and the light and I choose flattered knowing that, "you know not what you do," or in your case, frequently what you say -- so taking into consideration your youth as well, you'll get a pass this time.

erp said...

Hillary eschewed the training.

The link is to a google search and the quotes from various sources are eye-popping and terrifying. Here's an example:

Sep 2, 2016 - Hillary Clinton told FBI agents in July that she thought the classified "C" markings on emails recovered from her private emails were just a way to put ... agents she had a limited understanding of why documents are classified and could not recall ever receiving training on how to handle sensitive material.

Still think we shouldn't have voted for Trump?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

I never denied she is stupid. But after Trump, I now believe no one is too stupid to occupy the Presidency.

That said, I don't buy she didn't know how shady her email scheme was. I guess she just thought herself too far above the hoi polloi to follow the same rules.

You didn't read how this topic started between Skipper and me, because it was in Harry's blog. And it started when I defended that, on moral grounds, both Clinton and Trump are unfit to be where they are (or were, in Clinton's case) - and that Skipper was not consistent in his positions.

I take a slightly different version of that Dershowitz column I linked. He thinks that, based on law, both Trump and Clinton shouldn't be harassed by criminal accusations. I think that, based on expected minimal moral standards from the position they occupy (and the power it yelds), none should stay there.

Pence is the best thing that could happen to America right now.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] You didn't read how this topic started between Skipper and me, because it was in Harry's blog. And it started when I defended that, on moral grounds, both Clinton and Trump are unfit to be where they are (or were, in Clinton's case) - and that Skipper was not consistent in his positions.

Clovis, please do me a favor. Directly quote a position I took with respect to Hillary that I contradicted, using a direct quote, that I contradicted with respect to the Trump administration.

Otherwise, you are sloshing through the same swamp that Harry spends so much time: charges devoid of facts and context.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] What is most relevant to our discussion here, though, is the dossier was barely used (or mentioned) by Comey and the FBI in general.

Wrong. The dossier was briefed to Pres Obama, then Pres Trump. The latter briefing was leaked to the press, btw.

Notice that Flynn's fall came not from it, but from his call to the Russian ambassador, whose line apparently is always under surveillance no matter what.

Wrong again. Flynn's fall came from the FBI having used the dossier to obtain a FISA warrant that allowed Flynn's completely legal conversations with the ambassador to be unmasked.

Apparently, everyone but the boss [gets security training] - or can you vouch Clinton got such training?

Here's what I can vouch for. Anyone coming into a position like that gets at least several days of spin-up briefings. (I don't know if Senators are required to have a security clearance, but it doesn't really matter.) When she became SoS, security and classification training would have been required.

Of course, as SoS, she probably could have just gaffed it off. But then that makes her instrumental in her own ignorance. Alternatively, she got it, but was either too stupid to remember the easy stuff, or too venal too care.

Take your pick.

Bret said...

Clovis,

LOL! You're really on a roll today! Love it!

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I believe 99,9% of the classification schemes your govt uses is bunk. Most of these secrets are a bunch of trivial, tending to useless, stuff.

Does. Not. Matter. And your belief about a percentage doesn't matter, either.

But classified information isn't the whole story.

Daniel Metcalfe, who advised White House administrations on interpreting the Freedom of Information Act from 1981 to 2007, told The Canadian Press that the former secretary of state acted “contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the law.”

“There is no doubt that the scheme she established was a blatant circumvention of the Freedom of Information Act, atop the Federal Records Act,” he said, reviewing a transcript of Clinton’s remarks during her Tuesday news conference.


And we haven't even gotten to the Clinton Foundation yet.

Above you accused me of using flexible standards. Yet in this thread you are deeply concerned Russian meddling, and Trump collusion, for neither of which is there any evidence.

Yet when faced with actual felonies, you endlessly equivocate.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

----
[Clovis] And it started when I defended that [...] Skipper was not consistent in his positions.

Clovis, please do me a favor. Directly quote a position I took with respect to Hillary that I contradicted, using a direct quote, that I contradicted with respect to the Trump administration.
---
Maybe, by making explicit my phrase above, you'll now see I was not talking about what you wrote, but about what I wrote.

Yet, if you so much want me to quote myself, there you have it:

"That you have a moral radar to implicate Hillary, and yet to let go of Trump on what are, IMHO, worst actions, simply tells me your heart is corrupted. You are just like the people you hate."

No need to thank me, you are welcome.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] That you have a moral radar to implicate Hillary, and yet to let go of Trump on what are, IMHO, worst actions, simply tells me your heart is corrupted. You are just like the people you hate.

You charge me with this: Skipper was not consistent in his positions

Based, apparently, on this: That you have a moral radar to implicate Hillary, and yet to let go of Trump on what are, IMHO, worst actions, simply tells me your heart is corrupted. You are just like the people you hate.

Here is exactly where you need to engage in the polite art of direct quoting. Because if you did, it would make it very hard to reach that conclusion, because it would quickly become obvious that you are engaged in the worst kind of question begging (yet another logical fallacy).

To wit, you are assuming as true that which not only hasn't been proven (worse actions), but for which there isn't even any evidence.

My position is that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, and until that something like evidence shows up, those actions do not exist. In contrast, Hillary's actions are beyond question.

The two, absent some of the best question begging I've ever seen, aren't even comparable.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Wrong again. Flynn's fall came from the FBI having used the dossier to obtain a FISA warrant that allowed Flynn's completely legal conversations with the ambassador to be unmasked.
---
Well, you may well be right. We do not actually know how relevant the dossier was in order to obtain that FISA warrant, but it is a good guess it was relevant enough.

---
Alternatively, she got it, but was either too stupid to remember the easy stuff, or too venal too care.

Take your pick.
---
Behold the power of AND.

Trying to keep some bit of fairness here though, she does look to have a few cognitive problems since she had that head accident.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
To wit, you are assuming as true that which not only hasn't been proven (worse actions), but for which there isn't even any evidence.

My position is that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, and until that something like evidence shows up, those actions do not exist. In contrast, Hillary's actions are beyond question.

The two, absent some of the best question begging I've ever seen, aren't even comparable.
---

Sorry, but your memory is at fault. The 'worse actions' I referred to, back then, were not much about Russia collusion, but firing the FBI director for not being a lap dog.

I will repeat my point back then. Both Clinton's email server, and Comey's firing, may well not be crimes (though you disagree on Clinton), yet they are actions that should not be taken lightly by the greater public. They both share, in my view, the same original sin - leaders trying to eschew accountability and due process - and make their practioners morally unfit to lead (again, IMHO).

I never wanted an extensive argument on the details of your Laws, for I care more for the essence behind those laws.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Behold the power of AND.

Bret said you were on a roll. I'll second that.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] The 'worse actions' I referred to, back then, were not much about Russia collusion, but firing the FBI director for not being a lap dog.

I apologize.

HereI posted this.

Arguendo, assume the the article is largely true.

If so, does Trump have a legitimate case for firing Comey?

As it happens, I don't think Comey is either corrupt, or power hungry. However, never mind Democrats, there are plenty of Republicans -- see, for example, the entire staff of National Review -- who think Trump is utterly unsuited for the presidency.

Leaving aside whether that opinion is true, might it be that Comey had the same view of Trump as the Left. There was no way he was going to win.

Horror of Horrors, he wins!

Now, what is a white knight head of the FBI to do?

Hmmm. There is a pull-quote that is nagging me. Something like "The road to ruin is paved with good intentions."

Yeah, that's it.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Now, what is a white knight head of the FBI to do?

Hmmm. There is a pull-quote that is nagging me. Something like "The road to ruin is paved with good intentions."
---
It is hard to get what is your point here.

So instead of a white knight of an FBI director, you prefer what, a Satanist?
(Yep, my exclude-middle fallacy strikes again!)

Even assuming your National Review link as largely true, what do you think a proper investigative unit should do upon getting that dossier from someone with a good standing under their eyes?

And what message should Comey divine from Trump first asking his loyalty, then asking him to let a person of interest go unchecked? Would that reinforce whatever bias Comey may have had towards Trump (maybe induced by the dossier, maybe not), or would that make him think: "You know what, this Russia collusion thing makes no sense indeed! The guy who wrote a book ´urging Americans to view Russia as an implacable enemy of the United States that must be checked´ [per your NR link], and afterwards took $150 grands from Puti for ´speaking fees´, then tried to hide it, and then promised Putin that Obama's last sanctions wouldn't last, looks like not suspicious at all! My boss Trump is right, I will let him go!"

Well, if that's the kind of investigator you want Trump to hire, lose no time, Skipper, come down here to Brazil and we have plenty of them! You can buy any number you wish with a huge discount.

Actually, if you so want to close this whole discussion real quick, just give me $150 bucks and I can totally agree with anything you say. Anything at all!

erp said...

It's usually the road to "hell" that is said to be paved with good intentions. I sincerely hope those responsible for the disunity in the United States get there soonest.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] So instead of a white knight of an FBI director, you prefer what, a Satanist?

No, I want someone who trusts the Constitutional separation of powers rather than his own opinions, no matter how fervently held.

The former is the rule of law, the latter the road to ruin.

Even assuming your National Review link as largely true, what do you think a proper investigative unit should do upon getting that dossier from someone with a good standing under their eyes?

Verify the goddamn thing. Don't be taken for suckers. Consider the possibility that the it is a false flag. Ponder whether Steele had been taken in. Wonder if Steele was seized by the same anti-Trump fervor as so many others. (Okay, that last is near impossible for someone already seized by anti-Trump fervor.)

It is worth noting that only one -- Buzzfeed -- bottom feeding "news" source published the thing. Even the MSM steered clear because they couldn't verify anything worth verifying.

And what message should Comey divine from Trump first asking his loyalty, then asking him to let a person of interest go unchecked?

Does the name Yates ring a bell? In that line of work, if one takes the Constitution seriously, then the options for those in the executive branch are these: Loyalty to the President, so long as he himself is obeying the Constitution; or, quit.

Instead, she chose subversion.

Under those circumstances, why shouldn't Trump ask for what was already quite questionable from nearly all quarters?

... and afterwards took $150 grands from Puti for ´speaking fees´...

Apologies, but could you pull the quote from the article. I did a page search on [150] and didn't get any hits.

... then promised Putin that Obama's last sanctions wouldn't last, looks like not suspicious at all.

Remember that information asymmetry?

Arguendo, again, Trump knows he didn't collude with the Russians, and that there is no other believable theory that implicates the Russians in any significant meddling (tampering with voting having already been excluded).

That means Trump knows what the Russians know, and either Obama doesn't, or worse.

Therefore such a promise is not only within Trump's power to make, it is also rational, in that it is in accordance with arguendo reality.

And, so far, actual reality.

And all the available

Remember the information asymmetry. He knows for certain whether he colluded with the Russians. Assume for the moment he didn't. What the heck do you expect him to do, while being undermined from both outside and within?

... and afterwards took $150 grands from Putin for ´speaking fees´ ...

Bill Clinton took $500k from the Russians for "speaking fees". Do you think we'd have heard a peep about that if Hillary had been elected?

Never mind the whataboutism. There are

Hey Skipper said...

"And all the available evidence."

And I have no idea what happened after "There are ..."

Or what I meant to say.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "[Trump] knows for certain whether [or not] he colluded with the Russians."

Does he?

I'm under the impression if a single Trump supporter, especially a paid member of his campaign staff, his business empire, or other related organizations did something illegal, with the Russians or otherwise, the Dems will blame Trump and call for his impeachment, and if they have the numbers after the midterm, the will impeach him and he may be removed from office.

The point is that Trump can't possibly know what every single person on his staff did so Trump can't be certain whether or not he colluded with the Russians.

Hey Skipper said...

Bret, how about making the simplest assumption: that no one on the Trump staff would have undertaken something so yuuuuge without Trump's approval.

Okay, you aren't willing to grant that.

Now, how about this assumption: that anyone having done so is rolling the dice that the FBI/NSA won't be able to figure it out.

Probably a bad bet.

Not wishing to roll the dice on a bad bet, what then would that someone do?

And presuming this person actually exists, and the deed occurred, that still doesn't resolve the information asymmetry: Trump knows exactly what he did vis a vis the Russians.

Left completely ignored is this: what action could the Russians have done that -- absent hacking voting machines, which our intel agencies unanimously agree didn't happen -- would have a) thrown the election to Trump, and b) been completely undetectable.

When I say there is no theory, that is exactly what I mean.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "...been completely undetectable."

Why does it have to be completely undetectable?

For example, it's known that the Russians did place anti-Hillary ads on Facebook, right? If the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to make that happen, that's then impeachable, right? Even if Trump himself had no idea that was being done, right?

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] If the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to make that happen, that's then impeachable, right?

If you are going with the legal definition of "collusion", no. There is absolutely nothing illegal about Russians buying ads on FB. Consequently, there is no collusion if the Trump campaign paid the Russians to place the ads, because there is no underlying illegal act.

Of course, anything is impeachable is enough congressman think it is. If some Dem congressman had their way, Trump would get impeached for missing a putt.

But let's say colluding with Russians to plant FB ads is impeachable, under the theory that the surreptitious action changed the election from what it would have otherwise been, in such a way that suited Russian interests instead of the voters.

Fine, let's go with that.

Then it was collusion for Donna Brazile to have fed town-hall questions to Hillary. And there very well may have been collusion among journalists to skew coverage towards Trump during the Republican primaries, in order to guarantee Hillary the most beatable candidate. We know this is possible, because Journolist showed us. What about DNC collusion to keep Sanders out?

Goose, gander.

Just because such a thing is plausible doesn't make it a theory, though. A campaign stupid enough to have paid Russians a trivial amount of money for what they could easily do themselves, and which couldn't possibly have any effect on the election's outcome (compare Russian FB spending during 2016 to overall campaign spending), would be far too stupid to hide it.

Which is why I say there is no theory. Undetectable acts, by definition, couldn't make any difference, and detectable acts would be, by definition, impossible to hide.

Okay, there is one theory: the Trump campaign paid Russian hackers to get into the DNC email servers. That would be legitimate collusion -- a secret between two parties to engage in an illegal act. Evidence for this? Nil.

Evidence for the DNC surreptitiously funding a slanderous Fusion GPS dossier (which does fit the definition of collusion -- the DNC paid Russians to create just-so stories), which was then used as a pretext for bugging American citizens engaged in legal activities, and as fodder for MSM attacks on the legitimacy of the election?


Clovis e Adri said...

Guys,

I am stopping by today only to wish you all a merry Christmas.

My boy, 4 years old, is having his happiest Christmas of all - just because he is now aware enough to register and understand almost everything, and yet too small a kid to take all the Christmas magic for real.

I wish I can learn a bit from him too. Real joy comes not so easily as we grow old, but maybe only because we take it all for granted. May your hearts give two or three extra cheerful leaps, in that brief moment we end up forgetting about ourselves amidst the lights under the mistletoe.

Ho ho ho!

erp said...

... Ahem.

:-)

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "There is absolutely nothing illegal about Russians buying ads on FB."

Are you sure? My understanding is that it is illegal under American law for a foreign government to influence an American election in any way. Obviously, it's generally not prosecutable since Russian actions from Russian soil aren't subject to our laws, but it is illegal nonetheless.

I'll admit, I've seen so much written now that's completely in conflict that I can't tell with any confidence one way or the other, and I can't find the relevant statues (and then, I suppose one would need the case history as well) so you may well be right.


Hey Skipper wrote: "Trump would get impeached for missing a putt."

Sounds like a high crime to me!!! :-)


Hey Skipper wrote: "...What about DNC collusion to keep Sanders out? Goose, gander."

We're talking about impeaching Trump, right? You think they should impeach Trump because of DNC collusion? I assume that's NOT what you're saying. But Hillary can't be impeached because she's not president, geese and ganders notwithstanding. Whether or not the justice department ought to investigate these other alleged grey area crimes is sorta immaterial to whether or not Trump can be impeached.

But you hit the bottom line with "anything is impeachable is enough congressman think it is." And that's why I think we're in extremely dangerous waters. If congress impeaches him and a substantial portion of the population considers it a coup, all bets for the survival of our government and nation are off, especially over the next several decades. Not that things will collapse, but the probability of collapse definitely goes up.

erp said...

I can't remember all his crimes, but I seem to remember Obama meddling in a number of foreign elections.

Is that a crime here?







Bret said...

No. When your side does it, it's called "statecraft" and/or "diplomacy." :-)

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] Are you sure? My understanding is that it is illegal under American law for a foreign government to influence an American election in any way.

Foreigners are prohibited from making direct monetary contributions to American election campaigns. Yet another scandal the Clintons were in the center of.

We're talking about impeaching Trump, right? You think they should impeach Trump because of DNC collusion?

If you are talking about collusion, as a legal matter -- secret coordination in pursuit of an underlying crime -- then the DNC and journalists are more guilty than Trump.

And we can be certain that if Hillary was elected, we wouldn't be seeing similar inquiries into the Clinton Foundation, Bill's $500,000 speaking fees, or the DNC collusion with journalists and Fusion GPS.

The stench of hypocrisy is becoming overwhelming.

[erp:] but I seem to remember Obama meddling in a number of foreign elections.


He explicitly stated that if the Brits voted for Brexit, they would go to the back of the line for trade agreements.

And the Obama administration surreptitiously spent several hundred thousand dollars against Netanyahu in Israel's 2013 election.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper: "Foreigners are prohibited from making direct monetary contributions to American election campaigns."

Ah, so that's the subtlety? "Direct"? As opposed to "indirect," for example buying ads to affect the election? If so, that's why I couldn't figure it out - that's a really subtle difference with no real difference in intent (direct versus indirect).

Hey Skipper said...

Exactly, foreign governments (and maybe any foreign entity) are prohibited from making cash payments to political campaigns.

There is nothing prohibiting foreigners from buying whatever ads they want, nor is it illegal for a US campaign to pay a foreign entity to place ads.

So if the Russian government, or any Russian entity was to make a contribution to the Trump campaign, the campaign should have either enough common sense, or enough lawyers, to reject it out of hand.

However, it is much less clear when it comes to non-cash involvement. Say a representative of the Russian government offered the Trump campaign all the DNC emails. SFAIK, it is possibly illegal to accept them, because they are stolen goods. However, that never seems to apply to journalists (see the Pentagon Papers). Presuming those emails were genuine, and they would have been exposed if provided to, say, the NYT, then it is hard to see how it is any less legal for the Trump campaign to be the recipients.

However, if there was a quid pro quo, then that would -- IMHO -- clearly be an impeachable offense, because the presumption would be that the quo would not have otherwise been in the US's national interests; otherwise, why the quid?

Here is yet another realm in which the Russian collusion theory is empty. There is at least one example of Trump acting directly contrary to Russian interests: greatly reducing restrictions on energy production. And, if memory serves, Trump admin policy is for greatly expanded LNG exports to Europe.

Both of which significantly undermine Russia, and neither of which Hillary would have done.

Why this sort of thing never enters into discussions about "collusion" is a mystery to me.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
[Clovis:] So instead of a white knight of an FBI director, you prefer what, a Satanist?
No, I want someone who trusts the Constitutional separation of powers rather than his own opinions, no matter how fervently held.
---

Can you point out where, when and how Comey direspected the Constitution when dealing with President Trump?


----
[Clovis] Even assuming your National Review link as largely true, what do you think a proper investigative unit should do upon getting that dossier from someone with a good standing under their eyes?

Verify the goddamn thing. Don't be taken for suckers. Consider the possibility that the it is a false flag. Ponder whether Steele had been taken in. Wonder if Steele was seized by the same anti-Trump fervor as so many others. (Okay, that last is near impossible for someone already seized by anti-Trump fervor.)
----
Well, as I understand it, they have been trying to verify the goddman thing all along, why do you think they indicted Papadoulos, Manafort and Page?

They all denied the dossier findings, just to be proven liars afterwards.

You keep saying the dossier is garbage, but won't stop a second to gauge what it got right and was confirmed independently. For example, Papadoulos was being flagged by friendly secret services before the dossier was all around:


---
It is worth noting that only one -- Buzzfeed -- bottom feeding "news" source published the thing. Even the MSM steered clear because they couldn't verify anything worth verifying.
---

It is worth noting it was only published after the election. You know, when people dig up dirt on the election adversary, it is usually to use it for their advagntadge in the election. Have you noticed the dossier was not? Your theory - that it was concocted to justify wiretapping the Trump campaign - just doesn't make much sense to me, IMHO.


----
[Clovis] And what message should Comey divine from Trump first asking his loyalty, then asking him to let a person of interest go unchecked?

Does the name Yates ring a bell? In that line of work, if one takes the Constitution seriously, then the options for those in the executive branch are these: Loyalty to the President, so long as he himself is obeying the Constitution; or, quit.
----
Right, and I guess Yates concluded the President was not obeying the Constitution - or was he? The defeat of major provisions of the first version of the ban by the courts would tell you she was right.

She also knew she would pay for that with her job, so I am not sure you must call that a betrayal. She quit in a colorful way, as I see it.

---
Under those circumstances, why shouldn't Trump ask for what was already quite questionable from nearly all quarters?
---
Because to ask the FBI director for loyalty in one meeting, and letting go of Flynn in the next, could sound a bit too far? Would you do that?

---
... and afterwards took $150 grands from Puti for ´speaking fees´...

Apologies, but could you pull the quote from the article. I did a page search on [150] and didn't get any hits.
---
From another article.



---
Arguendo, again, Trump knows he didn't collude with the Russians, and that there is no other believable theory that implicates the Russians in any significant meddling (tampering with voting having already been excluded).
---
There are two points here: (i) Trump knew his campaign lied - they denied any contact whatsoever with Russian throughout the whole campaign, and afterwards that was proven a lie; (ii) Even if Trump fervently believes his innocence and of each and every member of his campaign - are you arguing that innocent people should have the right to hinder due process, since they know they are innocent all along?

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] They all denied the dossier findings, just to be proven liars afterwards.

Nonsense. That silly dossier used a few easily verifiable, public, and legal events as a beard for garish fabrications.

And now that the thing is collapsing under its own weight, the goal posts are moving.

And from today's NYT:

Legal experts said that of the two primary issues Mr. Mueller appears to be investigating — whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice while in office and whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia — there is currently a larger body of public evidence tying the president to a possible crime of obstruction.

In as much as there is zero evidence of the latter (no matter the breathless fact void that is the rest of this piece), that is a damning indictment of the wild conspiracy theory that is collusion with the Russians.

Can you point out where, when and how Comey direspected the Constitution when dealing with President Trump?

You first. Point out to me how this matters.

Well, as I understand it, they have been trying to verify the goddman thing all along, why do you think they indicted Papadoulos, Manafort and Page?

Because that's what the FBI does when engaged in wild goose chases.

If you don't believe me, then google [FBI anthrax investigation] [FBI atlanta olympics bombing].

The FBI destroys peoples lives.

Hey Skipper said...

It is worth noting it was only published after the election. You know, when people dig up dirt on the election adversary, it is usually to use it for their advantage in the election.

Nonsense:

By the third quarter of 2016, many news organizations knew about the existence of the dossier, which had been described as an "open secret" among journalists. However, they chose not to publish information that could not be confirmed.[28] Finally on October 31, 2016, a week before the election, Mother Jones reported that a former intelligence officer, whom they did not name, had produced a report based on Russian sources and turned it over to the FBI. It starts with the allegation that:

The "Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance". It maintained that Trump "and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals". It claimed that Russian intelligence had "compromised" Trump during his visits to Moscow and could "blackmail him".

— Mother Jones, October 31, 2016


Right, and I guess Yates concluded the President was not obeying the Constitution - or was he? The defeat of major provisions of the first version of the ban by the courts would tell you she was right.

Members of the executive branch don't get to do this without getting fired, and richly deserving it.

In an escalating crisis for his 10-day-old administration, the president declared in a statement that Sally Q. Yates, who had served as deputy attorney general under President Barack Obama, had betrayed the administration by announcing that Justice Department lawyers would not defend Mr. Trump’s order against legal challenges.

That has nothing to do with the content of the ban, btw. Also, note that subsequent injunctions against the ban by judges who either don't understand the constitution and the law, or don't care, were overturned by the SCOTUS. Unanimously.


... and afterwards took $150 grands from Puti for ´speaking fees´...

Not according to your link, he didn't (regardless of reporting allegations).

Arguendo, again, Trump knows he didn't collude with the Russians, and that there is no other believable theory that implicates the Russians in any significant meddling (tampering with voting having already been excluded).

You missed my point. (Never mind that it is horrifying that during a political campaign, or any other time, for that matter, people should be forced to make statements about completely legal activities.)

There is an information asymmetry. Trump knows exactly to what extent his campaign colluded with the Russians. My bet is that, because the underlying theory is so preposterous, there wasn't any, ever. Hence the "arguendo".

Accept that premise for a moment. Trump, as is his superpower, is spinning up the opposition into such a frenzy that they can't stop making fools of themselves.

The NYT article I cited above demonstrates my point. Suddenly, it isn't about collusion anymore, but about something else entirely. Review the reporting over the last year, the anonymous allegations, leaks of information later shown to be rubbish, and MSM stories mind boggling in their irresponsibility.

Trump derangement syndrome has been epidemic, and your clinging on to fairy tales, despite all the evidence of their malignancy, is telling.