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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Intuition, Irrationality and the End of Civilization

I have an overwhelmingly strong intuition that if Trump is removed from office for any reason, good or bad, western civilization will have a substantial risk of collapsing in my lifetime.

Why, you might ask? Actually, you probably wouldn't ask since it's extremely likely you simply flat out reject that assertion. And you might as well reject it, because I can't defend it.

I can't defend it because it's intuition. An intuition that emerges from millions upon millions of factoids and associations swirling about my brain from 59 years of observing and contemplating, a large fraction of them conflicting, inconsistent and/or incomplete, but that nonetheless result in a very strong vector pointing at danger. How could I convey to you those associations and thoughts? I simply can't as there are orders of magnitude too many of them. Humans are wonderfully good at absorbing information quickly; we are very slow at communicating such information to others.

I could throw out various facts and conjectures supporting my assertion, but you can easily find opposing facts and argue opposite hypotheses. I know this, because those same opposing facts and opposite hypotheses are swirling around in my brain as well. It's not any one thing, or any handful of things that forms the basis of my fear, but rather the sum total of way too many things.

And fear it is, a strong enough fear that it pushes me well into an "ends justifies the means" sort of mentality where I wouldn't hesitate to do irrational, unethical and immoral things if it would save Trump and I could get away with it.

I would certainly make bogus arguments if it would help. I haven't done so posting or commenting on this blog, at least not intentionally and hopefully not extensively, because y'all are smart enough and informed enough that it won't help - you'll see right through the bogus arguments.

It's often very difficult to tell the difference between a statement based on intuition and a bogus statement. An intuitive statement simply can't have sufficient data to back it up while a bogus statement simply doesn't have sufficient data to back it up. Indeed, perhaps all statements based on intuition are bogus.

As an example, I'll rush in where angels fear to tread, and consider a statement from a different post: "Flynn is guilty of nothing except a process crime..." I intuit that to be probably fundamentally correct. However, it could also be completely bogus and false. But I can turn it into an absolutely true statement fairly easily: "I believe that Flynn is fundamentally guilty of nothing except a process crime." Yet, in a discussion group like this, I believe that the two statements should be interpreted the same - in other words, unless explicitly stated, everything is a belief or opinion.

What's interesting to me in a group with smart people like this is to see what other people think and why they think it. I'm fully aware there's not a chance I'm gonna change anyone's mind on much of anything, or to the extent that can happen at all, it'll be subtle and over thousands of interactions (to slowly add to other folks' brain state vectors). But I enjoy learning from y'all so I hope you stick around and keep the debates passionate, but (hopefully) respectful.

75 comments:

erp said...

Bret, because you think rationally, you think everybody else does too. Unfortunately most people react without thinking, so whether or not what you believe will happen, it won't be because a lot of people thought it through and made it happen.

I believe that if Trump doesn't succeed for whatever reason, our way of life will be lost -- he's the perfect storm -- there are no more such creatures out there -- unless there really are aliens from outer space ready to step in.

The recent vote at the U.S. is a case in point. Antisemitism is so strong that this is the outcome of our recognizing the obvious, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Nikki Haley should have added that there not now and never was such a place as Palestine. So-called Palestinians can have their own country any time they want by "migrating" to Jordan, changing the names of the country, the cities, etc. to meet current fashion.

Bret said...

Actually erp, I think what I'm saying is that I don't think rationally a lot of the time - I intuit rather than think rationally. And this is especially true for very complex topics such as the structure and viability of civilization. I do try to think rationally about how my interactions with others will affect them even when reacting to my intuition.

erp said...

You intuit by letting your sub-conscious mind draw conclusions. I don't think you react mindlessly which is what most people do.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

I can't possibly know how or why you inferred such a doomsday scenario. Your intuition is surely way above mine, I guess.

Though, quite frankly, if the collapse of our entire civilization hangs on so thin a thread, I think it really makes no difference if it happens by ousting Trump - any other hundreds of things of equal or greater impact will soon strike one way or another.

I guess you unwittingly answered the question I offered at the end of my last post - But if your man is even guilty, what’s the worry?

Apparently, Armageddon is to worry.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "Your intuition is surely way above mine..."

My intuition is that's not true. :-) More seriously, I'm not the most intuitive guy who ever lived, so your intuition certainly has equal validity.

Clovis wrote: "...if the collapse of our entire civilization hangs on so thin a thread..."

I don't think it's so thin a thread. One of the things the U.S. has done pretty well, in my opinion, is relatively smooth transitions of power. The removal of Trump, even for "good" reason, will be believed by tens of millions of people to be nothing more than a coup and they will no longer trust that there will be smooth transitions of power and will no longer trust democrats. I think that's a pretty big deal. Especially, when you remember that these tens of millions of people are very heavily armed and control the food supply.

I think we're in a cold civil war and I think it's likely that will help accelerate the turning of it into a hot civil war. I think the hot civil war is inevitable eventually, but I was rather hoping "eventually" was after I was dead.

Bret said...

I'm not the only one...

"But a war is coming -- you can almost feel it in the air."

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

I often find Roger Simon delusional, and that's a good example why.

He's all in for the cultural war, people have been entirely consumed by it, to the point they delude themselves it is going to turn into a hot civil war. It won't. Reality out there is way colder than the heights of the civil rights movement in the 60's, to take a more recent example, and even that didn't get into hot mode.

A few crazy people in both extremes of the spectrum will, as usual by now in your country, commit a few mass murders, but that's entirely expected.

I place the the probability of Trump finishing his term at much higher levels than you - Dems won't reverse GOP dominance in both chambers so soon. So your popular riot scenario is very unlikely. But if it were to happen, I predict no more than a few hundred dead would turn out of that big Armageddon you see.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...they delude themselves it is going to turn into a hot civil war. It won't."

Well, then my intuition is also delusional in that I think there is a significant possibility it will happen within 25 years if Trump is removed from office. So be it.

And how certain are you? Absolutely 100% certain it won't happen?

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] One of the things the U.S. has done pretty well, in my opinion, is relatively smooth transitions of power. The removal of Trump, even for "good" reason, will be believed by tens of millions of people to be nothing more than a coup and they will no longer trust that there will be smooth transitions of power and will no longer trust democrats.

Exactly.

A point I have tried to make many times is that the left has become completely unhinged over Trump. Not only is there simply no way he could have legitimately won the presidency, but he so offends them that they have developed a religious fervor to remove him.

There is simply no other way to account for the Russia collusion story.

I am not going to re-litigate the other thread. But two things are worthy of mention. So far, their is no evidence that Russia meddled in the election, and even less that the Trump or anyone on his staff was associated in any way with it. Yet we are saddled nonetheless with an endless stream of anonymous sources and vague accusations, never mind many examples of MSM incompetence or sheer dishonest.

Which leads to the second thing: that article has a wide array of verifiable facts that all point very strongly in one direction, and it isn't at Trump.

The combination of denial over having lost the election and religious fervor has made the left go completely stupid. Ordinarily, I wouldn't care, nor be surprised. However, in this case the stupidity is so profound that should Trump do anything impeachment worthy, at least half the country will believe there is a coup in progress.

Consequently, the left has already caused an astonishing amount of damage.

Style points aside, what exactly has Trump done that's been so bad? Has his administration acted outside constitutional bounds? Has it adhered to contrary court decisions? Increased government supervision over means of communication?

In other words, has Trump the nazifascist, surrounded by nazifascists, done any nazifascist things? You, know, like using trumped up evidence to subvert the FISA process and spy on American citizens. For example.

Ok, that is bad enough.

Now consider the consequences if Trump was to be assassinated.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
Well, then my intuition is also delusional in that I think there is a significant possibility it will happen within 25 years if Trump is removed from office. So be it.

And how certain are you? Absolutely 100% certain it won't happen?
---
What the heck Bret, 25 years? I would hardly try predicting anything that far away, or even half that. I was definitely talking only about the next 3 years of this Trump presidency - I do not see a civil war on that time frame with high confidence.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "What the heck Bret, 25 years?"

My intuition is that "western civilization will have a substantial risk of collapsing in my lifetime" "if Trump is removed from office for any reason."

I hope to alive 25 years. Maybe not, but that's the timeframe I'm considering.

I agree that it's unlikely there will be hot civil war in the next 3.

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] My intuition is that "western civilization will have a substantial risk of collapsing in my lifetime" "if Trump is removed from office for any reason."

I disagree, to the extent that there may very well eventually be a good, demonstrable, reason Trump should be impeached, and convicted. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath, so anything Trump may have done, or has yet to do, that at least arises to that level qualifies at least for impeachment.

And if Trump is subsequently convicted -- for good reason -- I think it will strengthen, not weaken the US and western civilization.

However, the Great Progressive Unhinging has such an outcome virtually impossible.

erp said...

Yup.

Hey Skipper said...

There have been darker times.

erp said...

You really think those were darker times? I was just a kid, but looking back that was pretty much a glitch that needed fixing, not a worldwide movement to actually enslave us all as it is now. Save Trump, no one else out there willing and able to stop it.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
However, the Great Progressive Unhinging has such an outcome virtually impossible.
---

You often repeat that one, but I don't think it reflects well on you.

As I see it, you are basically confessing that you can not be honest by yourself, that you need someone else to keep you, and all the Trump crowd, honest.

Hey, maybe then you do deserve that nanny-state you so often despise...

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] You often repeat that [progressives have become unhinged], but I don't think it reflects well on you.

As I see it, you are basically confessing that you can not be honest by yourself, that you need someone else to keep you, and all the Trump crowd, honest. 


I don't see how you got there.

For non-native speakers, metaphors are notoriously difficult. The one that fits here is "poisoning the well".

Used car dealers are a perfect example. Not all of them shade the truth, but enough do for their trustworthiness as a class to be extremely suspect.

Which is exactly the problem that progressives have created for themselves. They have been so wrong so often (did you read the Greenwald link, for just one example?) that the safest bet is that everything they have to say can be rejected outright.

The Russia dossier is a steaming load of bovine extrusions. It relies upon a very few long since public (and completely legal) facts to provide the beard for paid allegations from anonymous sources. And there is far more evidence that it was used nefariously to undermine the Trump presidency than supports any notion that Trump or his staff colluded with the Russians.

If you are to weigh the evidence, which you have so far showed no signs of doing, then you would have to acknowledge there is a very real possibility that all the illegality, to the point of an attempted coup, lies with progressives.

CNN, the NYT, and the WaPo have soiled themselves beyond measure. Anchors have been put on leave for uncritically accepting serious allegations that quickly turned out to be utterly fantastical. All have frequently put out anonymous, unverifiable reports that have turned out to be completely false. Progressives have promised to leave the country, and engaged in eliminationist rhetoric.

Against that background, which is to say, the poisoned well, why would anyone be inclined to believe anything coming from progressives regarding Trump?

Chicken Little is a morality tale, and it isn't just for children.

Hey Skipper said...

[erp:] You really think those were darker times?

Absolutely. The period between the early 1960s and 1980 was far worse than now.

Significant elements of the intelligentsia were convinced that the correlation of forces favored communism. Unions had reached the peak of their power. The few sources of information -- three networks and a half dozen or so newspapers -- constituted a monoculture. We had rampant inflation, high interest rates, riots, and rapidly increasing crime. New York city was circling the drain.

Now communism has been sent packing, and fundamentalist Islam is a minority taste even in the Muslim world. Unemployment, inflation and interest rates are all low. As easy as it is to engage in media criticism, the vast number of easily accessible outlets and viewpoints makes it easy to get information and opinion. And as much as I like to dump on the NYT, its straight reporting is, for the most part, quite good.

Yes, university humanities departments are expensive looney bins, but their primary competency is scoring own goals. If they keep it up, they will end up blowing their foot off at the hip.

Consequently, I don't think this period is nearly as dark as 40-50 years ago.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
I don't see how you got there.
---

You mentioned up above: "However, in this case the stupidity is so profound that should Trump do anything impeachment worthy, at least half the country will believe there is a coup in progress."

Which means, no matter what Trump does, what should be taken in account when judging him is how much you, and your half of the country, hate the other half. Facts, judged with impartiality, will have no place here.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
If you are to weigh the evidence, which you have so far showed no signs of doing, then you would have to acknowledge there is a very real possibility that all the illegality, to the point of an attempted coup, lies with progressives.
---

Manafort, Gates, Papadoulos, Flynn. Are they all model citizens engaged in legal behavior that were indicted on trumped up charges?

Or are they all progressives?

erp said...

Skipper, couldn't agree more. I thought you were referring to the pre and post WWII war era when Soviet commies were openly the darlings of the progs of their day.

Reagan saved us from the slippery slope 50 years ago and with luck, Trump will save us this time for the last time. Our younger generations are ill-equipped to overcome the crazies on the left.

Had an interesting conversation this afternoon with a computer tech here to help me retool my "devices" brought to almost complete ruination by the change-over to Spectrum/Charter Cable just when hurricane Irma flooded everything. I used to do this stuff myself, but my addled brain can't handle it anymore with my roomie's health issues on the front burner.

Anyway, he's 33 years old and quite brainy in an old fashioned way and charmingly candid. He can't understand people his age playing video games all day living as children in their parents' homes and not supporting themselves. He's not exactly conservative because, of course, he never thought about politics, but he's certainly not a prog. Maybe there is hope if there are enough like him out there.

Clovis is doing what a lot of people do who don't have the the background to see what we see. He is, for some reason, bound and determined to damn Trump with something. I still don't know what it is Trump is guilty of other than not being a prog.

Here is a link to the 24 billion dollars US taxpayers for some unknown reason give to other countries who are actively trying to do us harm.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,


Reagan was 36 years ago, not 50, and you do him a great disservice by your comparison to Trump. Good for him that he is dead, or he would need to endure you calling him a RINO too.


erp said...

Neither Reagan nor Trump are RINOs and Reagan was president 36 years ago, but the mess he cleaned up started in the 60's, twenty years earlier.

Both Reagan and Trump ran as Republicans, but while Reagan converted from liberalism to become a real conservative, Trump is, IMO, apolitical, except that he's not a one-worlder prog.

Please don't attempt to teach me the history I lived through by using Mr. Google or consulting academic tomes or the media.

IMO Reagan and Trump would have understood each other very well as compatriots.

Your invocation of news stories from left wing media about Trump's "crimes & misdemeanors" is foolish as when the dust settles, I predict Soros et al. and his minions Clinton/Obama will be exposed for the decades of corruption which will be staggering.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...what should be taken in account when judging [Trump] is how much you, and your half of the country, hate the other half."

Of course, why should it be any other way? I feel that progressives have hated me for a long time (I'm deplorable, white privileged racist, etc., after all), I'm only human, so yes, (a) I really don't believe anything they say; and (b) I kinda hate them back.

That's why removing Trump from office, unless it's unbelievably objectively clear that he did something overwhelmingly treasonous (and no, "colluding" with Russians or "obstructing" justice won't possibly cut it in my mind), is the end of the US as it currently stands. The concept of consent of the governed, which in my opinion is critically important for a working republic, will have been completely blown outta the water. The end won't be instantaneous, but I believe the republic will be done for in the next few decades.

And, since you asked, I do believe that Manafort, Gates, Papadoulos, Flynn. etc. are likely to have been indicted on trumped up charges. And I think, that if you completely disbelieved the entire mainstream media like I do and disbelieved the vast majority of progressives like I do, and you filtered out all of that (what I consider to be) misinformation and noise, I suspect you'd come to the same conclusion.

Could I be wrong? Sure, but I'm assuming I'm not.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Manafort, Gates, Papadoulos, Flynn. Are they all model citizens engaged in legal behavior that were indicted on trumped up charges?

One by one, what, exactly, are they charged with?

Which means, no matter what Trump does, what should be taken in account when judging him is how much you, and your half of the country, hate the other half. Facts, judged with impartiality, will have no place here.

So far, progressives have been all wild accusations, heinous reporting, and no facts.

Consider this:

The pathological hatred of Donald Trump — from impeachment votes to the emoluments-clause suits to assassination chic to talk of invoking 25th Amendment to sexual-harassment writs — would grind down almost any 71-year-old man. Trump may be ego-driven and have a proverbially thin skin, but even a rhino would finally chafe under the 24/7 media detestation of his person, his family, and his presidency.

Someday soon now, we will look back at the Russian-collusion psychodrama, the strange transference of his transition team’s emails to Robert Mueller, the Clinton role in the Steele-Fusion GPS dossier, the destruction of journalistic integrity, and the slant of the Mueller investigation team and appreciate that we were living through an effort to swing the 2016 election and, failing that, a veritable slow-motion effort to remove an elected presidency.

The ubiquitous Lisa Bloom, we learn, was attempting to arrange payments for, or at least merchandise the testimonies of, supposed Trump harassment victims in the waning days of the 2016 campaign. Both liberal and conservative surveys of the media reveal that at least 90 percent of Trump coverage has been negative. Those who once held positions now held by Trump disown them; what they used to oppose, they now embrace — the only constant being whatever Trump is against, they are for.

Powered by Fake news will not stop. The rewards among peers and the media profession for getting a whack to Trump are felt worth the costs of largely betraying the canons of journalism. A generation ago, a Brian Ross — twice now caught trafficking in untruths — would have been through as a journalist. Today, he is merely suspended as a temporary casualty in the noble war against Trump evil.


From a journal that hates Trump. By all means, read the rest.

But try to take on board for a moment that it is far more likely that every word in the preceding para is true, than that any accusation of collusions with a Russians is anything other than a turgid fantasy.

I am happy to agree that, should Trump have actually colluded with the Russians (never mind there is no theory about what that collusion could have entailed) that he should go post haste.

Now, assume the contrafactual. That the dossier was a bodge job, it was used as a pretext to spy on Americans, and was leaked to the press in order to undermine Trump's legitimacy.

Over to you.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

——
Please don't attempt to teach me the history I lived through by using Mr. Google or consulting academic tomes or the media.
——

Why not?

Taking in account how you react to the history we are both living through, I should have many reasons to doubt your interpretation of the history back when I was an ovule.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

You are basically arguing that Trump should be above the Law, otherwise his supporters would riot. Well, I guess the ideals upon which your country was founded went through the window if your way should prevail. You get the order of importance backwards, Rule of Law comes up above consent of the governed, because the last one can only exist after the first is established. After all, the consent of all the othe people who did not vote for Trump matters as well.

I have been through two succesful impeachment proceedings in my lifetime. The supporters of the deposed president always threatened to riot if he/she was taken out. They never did.

As for the information problem - my short way to describe your lack of confidence in most sources of information, be it the press, the govt and external ones - it is indeed a complex one. It deserves a separate discussion all by itself, but I will shorten it to what matters right now: (i) You are hypocritical when applying your skepticism. When the shoe was on the other foot, you were perfectly happy to accept much of the same sources’ news if it was damning to the side you hate. For example, it was the NYT that disclosed Hillary’s personal email server. You also look to ignore the self-correcting aspect of the media, greatly enhanced by the zillions of outlets, blogs and etc, while making a blind eye to the many, many incorrect statements Trump himself makes, without ever issuing corrections.
(ii) There are many filters and corrections that a smart person like you can, and often apply to the sea of noise and misinformation out there. I see an utter lack of interest on your part, and everybody else in this blog (Peter exempted) when it comes to applying it to your own side. Hence my repeated accusations of hypocrisy and tribalism around here. I can easily notice the difference between honest search for truth and willfull blindness.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

—-
never mind there is no theory about what that collusion could have entailed
—-

At this point you are being disingenuous:
====
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/08/a-putin-friendly-oligarchs-top-us-executive-donated-285000-to-trump/

Vekselberg is one of Russia's richest men. Bloomberg recently estimated his net worth at $15.5 billion. The same month that Intrater pumped that quarter of a million dollars into Trump's inauguration bank account, Vekselberg publicly expressed hope for the lifting this year of the tough US and European economic sanctions imposed on Russia after it annexed Crimea and supported pro-Russian separatists fighting in Ukraine.
=====


—-
Now, assume the contrafactual. That the dossier was a bodge job, it was used as a pretext to spy on Americans, and was leaked to the press in order to undermine Trump's legitimacy.
—-
I am happy to assume that contrafactual, or actually any other one. I just do not see it as the most probable right now, but keep an open eye to it as facts fall over the table. Contrary to you, I have no dog in this fight.

erp said...

Clovis, you can do and say whatever you want. We still have free speech. What we don't have is an obligation to take seriously the organs of news dissemination you use for your arguments.

Mother Jones -- "Honest search for the truth"? Why not cite Batman comic books or Doonesbury?

You still have not revealed what Trump has done to earn your disdain ... and I must demur, you do have a dog in this fight. It's the same dog as the others who use the U.N. to vote against us and Israel have -- a perversity to prove that our successes are because of we stole the land from the peace-loving red aborigines, used black slaves torn from African jungles by southern plantation owners and white privilege (Jews get a real kick out of that one), not because FF's were such geniuses and we lucked out with attracting immigrants from all over the world who wanted a chance to be free. Even though socialism has been an epic failure everywhere on the planet, one worlders still tout it and no wonder, it'll make a very small elite richer and more powerful than all previous despots and emperors combined.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "You are basically arguing that Trump should be above the Law..."

Yes. While I have no problems being inconsistent and hypocritical (it's just who I am), in this case I also argued that Bill Clinton should not have been impeached for his dissembling about the meaning of "is" in court and that also badly weakened the country. I believe the president should be completely above the law EXCEPT for overwhelming treachery against the country as agreed to by almost everybody. In other words, HIGH crimes with the emphasis on very, very HIGH!

Yes. The president must be above common law during his term. He can be convicted or harassed or whatever after his term is over. Otherwise, you get these bizarre witch hunts with these special prosecutors (who are essentially above the law) which have damaged America badly.

Clovis wrote: "For example, it was the NYT that disclosed Hillary’s personal email server."

I know it's tough to separate who said what in environments like this, but I believe my main and mostly consistent reaction to the Hillary email thing was, "she's the damn Secretary of State, she can do whatever she pleases with her damn emails, classified or not. The only person who can possibly take exception is the President and he doesn't seem to care." So my position is NOT consistent with Hey Skipper in this area. Note that I don't believe I have ever called for Hillary to be convicted or jailed. If I did, then I was simply being inconsistent with myself - it happens. It is true that I really, really don't like Hillary and am relieved that she's not president, so in that, I agree with Hey Skipper.

Lastly, to the extent I've defended Trump regarding his dealings with Russia, I'm more on the fence than Hey Skipper. Trump may well have "colluded" with Russia (whatever that means) or obstructed justice (whatever that means for a chief executive). What I'm saying is that I simply don't care - neither of those will convince me that I want him removed from office because the cure, in my opinion, is far, far worse than the disease.

Clovis wrote: "Hence my repeated accusations of hypocrisy and tribalism around here."

I've written countless times that I am indeed tribal and that furthermore, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. And yes, I agree that I'm also hypocritical.

To that you might say something like, "well, how on earth can we have discussions?" I guess that we all apply those "many filters and corrections that a smart person" can utilize. The reason I don't do that with the MSM anymore is that when applying those filters and corrections I've determined that well more than 95% of everything they write is written specifically to go against my tribe. I find them derogatory and nasty. Why should I put up with that? Especially when more than is acceptable (to me) for a supposed paper of record is also patently false. I have no interest in being bludgeoned in order to find a few scraps of factual truth.

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:]  in this case I also argued that Bill Clinton should not have been impeached for his dissembling about the meaning of "is" in court …

The primary principle underlying the US is equality.

How does that make any sense? Clearly we are different in our capacities. Some of us are richer. Others are better looking, or faster, or better chose our parents.

Fine, but that misses the point. Before the law, we are all equal in our creation. The goal is that law not treat the rich differently than the poor, men different than women, whites better than blacks.

And that's not the only point you missed.

Bill Clinton wasn't impeached for dissembling about "is", but rather because of perjury. There's more to it than that, though, and not just the "under oath" thing.

Obama lied, many times, in asserting "You can keep your plan, you can keep your doctor". Arguably, Pres. Bush lied about WMD in Iraq. Kennedy lied about the missile gap. Congress always lies about the budget.

Those are political lies, in a realm where there not only is there no such thing as absolute truth, but where there may be many truths. That's what elections are for.

This leads to the difference you are missing. Bill Clinton wasn't impeached for a political lie, but rather a venal lie. He engaged in conduct for purely personal ends, trashed the reputation of someone outside the political sphere, and lied about it.

Just so with Trump. He lies about many things, but none of the lies are under oath, and none are venal. In this regard, he should get the same slack that all other politicians should in the realm of political lies. If he doesn't sufficiently deliver by the next election, then he gets turfed.

This is where the left has gone off the reservation. Its hatred of Trump is so pervasive that it has simultaneously put itself in two corners: epic hypocrisy, and barking at the moon delusion.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Manafort, Gates, Papadoulos, Flynn. Are they all model citizens engaged in legal behavior that were indicted on trumped up charges? 

[Hey Skipper:] One by one, what, exactly, are they charged with?


I can't help but notice you keep dodging this, just as it is glaring you don't see the circling sharks:

Lavrenti Beria, the infamous head of the Soviet secret police under Joseph Stalin, supposedly once said, "Show me the man and I'll show you the crime." In the Soviet Union, the regime could always find some crime to pin on anyone it chose to target.

Because of the vast scope of current law, in modern America the authorities can pin a crime on the overwhelming majority of people, if they really want to. Whether you get hauled into court or not depends more on the discretionary decisions of law enforcement officials than on any legal rule. And it is difficult or impossible for ordinary people to keep track of all the laws they are subject to and to live a normal life without running afoul of at least some of them.


I'm not about to defend any of those guys against what they are actually charged with (save Flynn — near as I can tell, he got the Beria treatment). Rather, the crimes they are charged with have nothing to do with the issue at hand: collusion with Russia in pursuit of an illegal scheme.

A free society does not investigate, then charge, people in the absence of a crime.

--

[Clovis:] Hence my repeated accusations of hypocrisy and tribalism around here. I can easily notice the difference between honest search for truth and willfull blindness.

An accusation you have always substantiated just as well as here. In other words, not at all.

Of course, I could be wrong. There may be an instance where you cited me, or erp, or Bret, saying one thing, then contradicting ourselves when the shoe shifted feet. If so, I apologize. And I am sure you can link me straight.

It isn't here: "… while making a blind eye to the many, many incorrect statements Trump himself makes, without ever issuing corrections."

Again, correct me — using specifics — if my memory has let me down, but most of the lies Trump tells are trivial political lies. The size of the crowd at his inauguration, for one instance of many. Others are statements belying ignorance. Either way, not one has had nearly the consequences of "you can keep your plan …".

Unlike Obama, most of Trump's incorrect statements are both inconsequential, and so obvious as to make corrections redundant.

As opposed to "you can keep your plan …" which was either a grotesque lie, or the product of far more ignorance than Trump has ever mustered.

And which the MSM was only too happy to publish without correction.

Hey Skipper said...

[Hey Skipper:] … never mind there is no theory about what that collusion could have entailed

—-

[Clovis: At this point you are being disingenuous:


Oh for pete frickin sake.

Unlike erp, I will not engage in ad hominem. Just because Mother Jones can be frequently counted upon to have the same objectivity as Salon doesn't mean this article is unreliable.

But your reading of it sure is.

In the second para, there is a link to a US Intelligence Community report on "Assessing Russian activities in Recent US Elections."

In it is this:

We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data … (By "victim" they mean Hillary and the DNC.)

The entire report is a fact void.

I have mentioned before that I have first hand experience with Intelligence Community rubbish.

Towards the end of June, 1989, I was subjected to a Top Secret briefing that assessed with high confidence that the Soviet air defense system was extremely capable and robust.

A week later, this happened.

An extremely capable and robust air defense system lost track of one of its own fighters in its own airspace, and had absolutely no idea where it was until we wondered in their direction what the heck this thing was doing as it approached the inner German border.

High confidence. Extremely capable. Robust.

Bollocks.

That isn't to say the DNI is wrong, only that there is no way to tell whether it is right (how hard would it be to spoof Russian involvement), and the reports assertions are nearly laughable.

But never mind that.

That piece of crap article contains not a single thing that is even remotely illegal.

Not a single damn thing.

Never mind its interstellar distance from the collusion we are hearing so much about, but which remains a complete cipher.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I am happy to assume that contrafactual, or actually any other one. I just do not see it as the most probable right now, but keep an open eye to it as facts fall over the table. Contrary to you, I have no dog in this fight.

That's funny. You are perfectly happy to accuse me of hypocrisy, yet completely unwilling to address what is far more well based than the ultratotallysuperpowerful yet completely invisible collusion between Trump and the Russians.

Hey Skipper said...

Why isn't what's good enough for the gander sufficient for the goose?

erp said...

Not sure, but I don't think ad hominem applies to leftwing rags.
:-)

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Mother Jones -- "Honest search for the truth"? Why not cite Batman comic books or Doonesbury?
---
After all the years of blogging, I would expect you to be used to my pattern of references. I often cite things from all the spectrum. Mother Jones is a biased, and often unreliable source, but you are probably more biased than they are, and I still get to pay attention to you.

You could as well observe context. I quoted the very paragraph of interest from that link, and you can easily and independently verify if it is a biased opinion or a simple statement of facts.

There are a few strategies you may use to deal with the sea of confusion and misinformation out there. One of them, and that's often my choice, is to gather all you can take and figure it out based on coherence patterns. Mother Jones, and many of other news sources form left to right, will often give you facts that do not depend on their bias. It can be a burdensome procedure, so I can understand if you prefer to discard it all and live inside your bubble of choice. Just try to not make too much noise when I pop it up, please.



----
You still have not revealed what Trump has done to earn your disdain ... and I must demur, you do have a dog in this fight. It's the same dog as the others who use the U.N. to vote against us and Israel have -- a perversity to prove that our successes are because of we stole the land from the peace-loving red aborigines, used black slaves torn from African jungles by southern plantation owners and white privilege (Jews get a real kick out of that one), not because FF's were such geniuses and we lucked out with attracting immigrants from all over the world who wanted a chance to be free. Even though socialism has been an epic failure everywhere on the planet, one worlders still tout it and no wonder, it'll make a very small elite richer and more powerful than all previous despots and emperors combined.
----

Damn it, all this time I have been working to subvert You, The People, to the joys of socialism and communism, and up to this day I have not been paid a single dime! Dumb me, how could I expect communists would be good payers?

Bret said...

LOL!

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
I believe the president should be completely above the law EXCEPT for overwhelming treachery against the country as agreed to by almost everybody.
---
Coming from someone who deeply distates power and politicians, that's pretty rich. You mean, Trump should be completely free to shoot you down next time you get out your San Diego apartment, for no reason whatsoever, and you are fine with it? OK.

---
I've written countless times that I am indeed tribal and that furthermore, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. And yes, I agree that I'm also hypocritical.
---
Well, how on earth can we have discussions? :-)

Actually, though a self-confessed hypocrite, you are often the most honest man in the room (or in the blog), and I apreciate that. I also get part of your worldview, which is often very cynical, to the point you indeed do not care about being tribal, for you think that most everyone is out there to fend for themselves and the reasons they use to justify it are posthoc self-interested rationalizations.

You may well be right. That raw power view of life explains very well human behavior. Yet, I think there is also a smaller part of ourselves longing for truth, hard as it may be to get to it. I don't think I could feel satisfaction by knowingly closing myself in a tribal bubble. Do you?

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "Before the law, we are all equal in our creation."

Yes and no. One example of "no", is that the president can pardon folks and therefore folks can do stuff for the president that they would not be able to do for me.

Indeed, the president may be able to pardon himself. I certainly cannot pardon myself. Therefore, we are definitely not equal before the law no matter how you slice it.

But I wasn't really arguing the "is" or the technical legal details. In my opinion, the "ought" of it is that these political witch hunts cause too much damage, even when they turn out to be correct. From Nixon resigning, to Clinton being impeached, to the Wisconsin governor being hounded, to Trump being hounded, it just continually damages the country. I really think the constitution ought to be changed such that the President is immune from all charges until he's out of office and only Congress can investigate. No more special prosecutors - it's just not working.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
[Hey Skipper:] One by one, what, exactly, are they charged with?

I can't help but notice you keep dodging this, just as it is glaring you don't see the circling sharks:
---
I did, but for a different reason. I thought it unfair I should do all the legwork of bringing down here each of the charges, so you could only afterwards give me your point.


---
I'm not about to defend any of those guys against what they are actually charged with (save Flynn — near as I can tell, he got the Beria treatment). Rather, the crimes they are charged with have nothing to do with the issue at hand: collusion with Russia in pursuit of an illegal scheme.
---
Hey, next thing we'll see you aghast with that unfair indictment they did to Al Capone, right?


---
Of course, I could be wrong. There may be an instance where you cited me, or erp, or Bret, saying one thing, then contradicting ourselves when the shoe shifted feet. If so, I apologize. And I am sure you can link me straight.
[...]

As opposed to "you can keep your plan …" which was either a grotesque lie, or the product of far more ignorance than Trump has ever mustered.
---
Right, I can link you straight, and I just did. All this pick and choosing of which lie is worse than other is just the kinf of hypocrisy I was talking about. Where the shoe, or in this case the lines in this graph, in the other shoe, I sure bet I would be hearing otherwise.

---
As opposed to "you can keep your plan …" which was either a grotesque lie, or the product of far more ignorance than Trump has ever mustered.

And which the MSM was only too happy to publish without correction.
---
That, in itself, is a lie.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "Trump should be completely free to shoot you down next time you get out your San Diego apartment, for no reason whatsoever, and you are fine with it? OK."

The thing is, he kinda can do that anyway, especially since he could just get a henchman to do it and then pardon the henchman. Even worse, I have this lingering suspicion that Bill Clinton actually did do some of that - a few too many people around him died and others thought that they were gonna (for example, Linda Tripp has indicated that one of the reasons she chose to expose the Clinton/Lewinsky thing was that she was 'not so certain that Monica would not have been at some risk ... We were dealing with unscrupulous people with no boundaries, no rules that apply to them.' While she refused to specify exactly what she meant by risk, at minimum Clinton would've had her reputation and career destroyed, and some think Lewinsky (and possibly Tripp) would've become more casualties of the Clinton mafia.

Do I believe that? Not really. But I'm also not 100% sure it's not true and the point is that Clinton could've done those things if he wanted to and most likely gotten away with it. So as a practical matter, yes, Trump could have me killed and get away with it, no problem.

Clovis wrote: "I don't think I could feel satisfaction by knowingly closing myself in a tribal bubble. Do you?"

No, I don't think you could.

Even I don't close myself off in bubbles, but I am very loyal to my tribes.

erp said...

Clovis, I disagree completely with Bret about anyone, including the president being above the law. Equality under the law is the most important thing we have. That concept is what has made the U.S. the first among nations.

You may think that my ideas are amusing and that's fine with me. Perhaps I'm taking shortcuts and making allusions that aren't apparent to you. What reason do you have for ongoing absurdity of denying the obvious, that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel? Why are U.S. taxpayers giving billions to countries that use it against our interests? Why do we need the U.N. in New York? U.N. agencies and "peace" keepers are contra-humanitarian and very costly.

... and I stand by my statement. You've been acculturated to think leftist dogma is normal and that self-sufficiency, freedom within the law, etc. the things we revere is the problem when it's the solution.

Since the entire world is looking for a hook to pull Trump off the stage and they've had a year and gazillions of dollars to do it, there probably isn't anything out there. Since he's already done it all, I think he actually means what he says and will MAGA.

O/t - I've been seeing little blurbs here and there about a new ice-age redux.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
[Hey Skipper:] … never mind there is no theory about what that collusion could have entailed

[Clovis: At this point you are being disingenuous:

Oh for pete frickin sake.

Unlike erp, I will not engage in ad hominem. Just because Mother Jones can be frequently counted upon to have the same objectivity as Salon doesn't mean this article is unreliable.

But your reading of it sure is.
---

Sorry, but I should have made it clear I was not pointing to that article in order to defend its entirety.

Tough I am happy I was unclear, for you gifted me with a very interesting cold war story I would never hear about otherwise.

Still, my point was much simpler: to show there is, from the very begin, a theory about what the collusion would have entailed. It is pretty obvious what the Russians want after all - relief from sanctions. Who wouldn't?

Which is why you assertion -- that the Russians would prefer Clinton over Trump since the DNC platform would be, supposedly, less friendly to fracking (do I get your point right?) -- is ludicrous.

Not only that point pales in comparsion to the losses form sanctions, but the Russians saw all the fracking business booming throughout both Obama admins (with Clinton as SoS part of that time!). Furthermore, what would you prefer if you were Putin: a US President by your side (with maybe the possibility of influencing US external policies), or to bet the DNC would somehow make wonders in a market (oil and gas) where the US is not even that much of a major player (as supplier)?

Now you aer trashing the report of your own intelligence community, and I won't counter that. Maybe that is trash indeed. But to say there is not working theory at all? That's disingenuous, as I said.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

----
You may think that my ideas are amusing and that's fine with me. Perhaps I'm taking shortcuts and making allusions that aren't apparent to you. What reason do you have for ongoing absurdity of denying the obvious, that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel? Why are U.S. taxpayers giving billions to countries that use it against our interests? Why do we need the U.N. in New York? U.N. agencies and "peace" keepers are contra-humanitarian and very costly.

... and I stand by my statement. You've been acculturated to think leftist dogma is normal and that self-sufficiency, freedom within the law, etc. the things we revere is the problem when it's the solution.
----

Perhaps I may answer those questions if you first answer where, how and when you deduced any of my position assumed in those questions. Any quote that you can offer?

You've been acculturated - to use your term - to think and argue by use of innuendo and prejudice.

erp said...

Innuendo? I state my positions clearly. If you mean I am prejudiced toward my values, you're right. Otherwise, I have no idea hat you mean. Please be clear.

💤💤

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I did [keep dodging the question of what Flynn et al are charged with], but for a different reason. I thought it unfair I should do all the legwork of bringing down here each of the charges, so you could only afterwards give me your point.

My question is rhetorical. It isn't the answer that is important, but rather what the answer reveals, and not about them, but rather about those who ascribe such overarching importance to trivial matters.

I have already given my point on that: their charges, so far, have nothing to do with collusion. And, in Flynn's case, presented him with the prospect of bankruptcy for completely legal activities. So when you ask Are they all model citizens engaged in legal behavior that were indicted on trumped up charges? you continue to miss the point, which my reference to Beria should have made clear. There is no evidence of any collusion with the Russians, yet despite there not, except in the fevered imaginations of the left, being any crime, these people deserve to have their entire lives disrupted. One would think that worth worrying about.

Hey Skipper said...

[Hey Skipper:] never mind there is no theory about what that collusion could have entailed
—-

[Clovis:] At this point you are being disingenuous:


When you get something this wrong, it is worth acknowledging the fact. Collusion has a specific meaning, and I'm sure there is an equivalent concept in Portuguese. That's not collusion.

I am happy to assume that contrafactual, or actually any other one. I just do not see it as the most probable right now, but keep an open eye to it as facts fall over the table. Contrary to you, I have no dog in this fight.

How about doing us all a favor, and compare the evidence for collusion against that for this whole thing being a bodge job. Near as I can tell, there is a great deal of evidence for the latter, and essentially none for the former.

Which is what makes me so curious as to why you find collusion as most probable.

Right, I can link you straight, and I just did. All this pick and choosing of which lie is worse than other is just the kind of hypocrisy I was talking about.

Wow. Finally, an accusation from you with actual evidence.

What is clear is that you are unclear on the concept of hypocrisy.

What you are calling hypocrisy is merely the exercise of discernment. Some lies are, indeed, worse, and have more impact, than others. Nearly every lie Trump has told since becoming President are both obvious and trivial. By definition, that makes them inconsequential. (Indeed, it raises a philosophical question: is an obvious lie a lie? Doesn't the truth of its falsehood negate its falsity?)

In contrast, Obama's "You can keep your physician …" was not transparently a lie, was frequently repeated, and not contemporaneously subject to extensive criticism or analysis. With huge consequences.

One lie, repeated several dozen times, has swamped every lie Trump has told during his presidency. I'm starting to wonder about your critical faculties.

[Hey Skipper:] As opposed to "you can keep your plan …" which was either a grotesque lie, or the product of far more ignorance than Trump has ever mustered.

And which the MSM was only too happy to publish without correction.

---

[Clovis:] That, in itself, is a lie.


Another concept you seem to be having problems with. Assertions of fact that turn out to be incorrect are not lies, they are mistakes.

So, in this case, I didn't tell a lie.

And, to be completely fair to me, I didn't make a mistake, either.

At the time, when it mattered, instead of long after the fact, the MSM applied almost no critical analysis to the ACA, or any statements Obama made about it.

That you got this wrong doesn't make you a liar, it just means you are mistaken, and neglected to account for time.

That's OK. It happens.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Still, my point was much simpler: to show there is, from the very begin, a theory about what the collusion would have entailed. It is pretty obvious what the Russians want after all - relief from sanctions. Who wouldn't?

You don't seem to understand collusion, either. Let me reiterate: collusion would have required surreptitious cooperation between Trump and the Russians to influence the outcome of the election.

Not only does merely sharing a policy preference — it is certainly arguable that sanctions against the Russians, particularly for far from proven allegations of Russian meddling in our election — not evidence of collusion, an explicitly stated policy preference renders collusion utterly pointless.

Think about it. For pete's sake, this is basic stuff.

Which is why you assertion -- that the Russians would prefer Clinton over Trump since the DNC platform would be, supposedly, less friendly to fracking (do I get your point right?) -- is ludicrous.

Speaking of missing easy stuff. The Russian economy has a very large dependency upon energy prices, and its policy with respect to Ukraine and Europe relies upon using natural gas supply as a lever.

Hypothetically, assume that Hillary's policies with respect to fracking, oil pipelines, LNG terminals and exporting US energy supplies would have restricted the world energy supply enough to make the price of oil 10% higher ($68 per bbl today, vice $61). Every dollar difference in the price is worth about $2B per year.

Further, under a Hillary presidency, there would be no LNG terminals for exports to Europe. In contrast, Trump is actively promoting LNG terminals, greatly undermining Russian leverage, which it has used before.

Far from ludicrous, these things work directly against Russian interests.

Furthermore, what would you prefer if you were Putin: a US President by your side (with maybe the possibility of influencing US external policies) …

Assuming facts not in evidence.

Fact in evidence: Trump approving sale of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine. Compare and contrast with Obama admin policy.

But to say there is not working theory at all?

So far, you haven't come up with anything plausible.

To repeat, collusion requires surreptitious cooperation between the Russians and Trump so that the Russians supplied things to the Trump campaign it couldn't have gotten otherwise in order to influence the outcome of the election, and that involved a secret quid-pro-quo arrangement that would result in Trump policies favoring the Russians that would not have been obtainable otherwise.

There is no evidence for any element of this, never mind all of them. In particular, there is a gaping hole right in the middle of the thing: Russian actions that had any impact on the election.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "Doesn't the truth of its falsehood negate its falsity?"

LOL. I don't think I've ever seen anybody who could torture logic more effectively! :-)

Bret said...

Hey Skipper,

You've probably already hit upon this, but I didn't see it.

I thought the basic theory of the reason for collusion is this.
* Trump wanted to win the election
* Having Russia (somehow) throw the election to him is to his benefit
* Russia wants to damage the US
* Russia thinks that having (in their opinion) a total buffoon like Trump as president will damage the US
* Even if they don't succeed, they'll want to sow as much anti-Hillary discord as possible
* Therefore, it makes sense for Trump and Russia to work together in order to make Trump president.

So, all that then has to be shown is:
* The above is true
* That the Trump team and Russia did indeed meet and plan together how to make Trump president illegally

For collusion, it only needs to be shown that it was planned (together). It doesn't need to show that anything actually happened or that it was effective or that he wouldn't have won anyway. Right?

I haven't yet seen sufficient evidence of the above but perhaps Mueller has or will have it.

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] LOL. I don't think I've ever seen anybody who could torture logic more effectively! :-)

That's not a matter of logic, but rather of meaning. Of what use is an obvious lie? Does an obvious lie even exist as a lie?

I thought the basic theory of the reason for collusion is this.

Trump wanted to win the election. This is a given, true of all presidential candidates, and therefore has no explanatory power. That is, the set of all presidential candidates and that of those who want to win is identical.

* Having Russia (somehow) throw the election to him is to his benefit
* Russia wants to damage the US


Fine. Now explain how Russia tilting the election in Trump's favor requires any cooperation Trump. What would Trump need to do for the Russians that they couldn't already do for themselves? That is the biggest hole in this entire collusion schlamozzle -- there is no quid. Without that, this collusion melodrama collapses on itself.

Compare with an actual instance of collusion, Journolist. Many journalists agreed in secret to push story lines favoring Obama and suppressing those that weren't, with the goal of nudging on-the-bubble voters to Obama's way. No single journalist could do it, but working in concert, they could. So they colluded in pursuit of a common goal. Or, Donna Brazile providing town hall meeting questions to Hillary. They cooperated surreptitiously in pursuit of a common goal. In both cases the "which" was something either the parties couldn't have provided on their own.

Therefore, it makes sense for Trump and Russia to work together in order to make Trump president.

The conclusion doesn't follow, because you left the most important element out.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


I would usually ask your pardon for calling you a liar. But you absolutely convinced me that inconsequential lies are OK, so if I keep lying about you being a liar, you may well elect me President. That's fine, I would like the job!

I was also convinced by Bret that a US President is, and ought to be, above the law. If he can kill anyone he wants - and I guess he indeed can, after all, US citizens are being killed by drone these days with presidential orders - and pardon anyone he wants, I just concluded this whole discussion just doesn't make sense.

If Hillary indeed was a criminal e-mailer, Obama could have pardoned her anytime he wanted. If Trump indeed obstructed justice, or had a fling with Putin, or whatever else they say (it looks like Bannon bets on money laundering), he can pardon himself - and any of his underlings so unjustly framed by Obama's FBI. And he ought to start doing his own framings too, I am looking forward to see a lot of Dems, Clintons included, in prison as soon as possible. It looks like the DoJ is already turning the stoves on.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I would usually ask your pardon for calling you a liar. But you absolutely convinced me that inconsequential lies are OK.

Remember, you called me a hypocrite: [Clovis:] Right, I can link you straight, and I just did. All this pick and choosing of which lie is worse than other is just the kind of hypocrisy I was talking about.


And I never said inconsequential lies are OK: [Hey Skipper:] What you are calling hypocrisy is merely the exercise of discernment. Some lies are, indeed, worse, and have more impact, than others. Nearly every lie Trump has told since becoming President are both obvious and trivial. By definition, that makes them inconsequential.

You should embrace the power of the direct quote.

I was also convinced by Bret that a US President is, and ought to be, above the law.

You missed Bret's point. Accusations and investigations can be motivated by political animus rather than facts. Take the Trump collusion investigation as an example, here, here, here, and, at the NYT, here.

Consequently, the damage to our institutions of conducting investigations of sitting presidents causes far more damage than not doing so.

If the President has behaved unacceptably, then there are institutional remedies for that which don't require endless witch hunts that destroy peoples lives, and increasingly give the whiff of coup. Moreover, the threat of punitive prosecution gives every incentive to circumvent periodic elections.

So many self-diagnosed right thinking people seem to have taken as a quasi-religious mission the removal of Trump to prevent the damage they just know he will do.

Yet after a year of Trump, what policy decisions has he made that are out of bounds?

Might it be that the right-thinking people are doing far more damage than Trump ever could? After all, if the truth of the Trump dossier is as increasingly appears to be the case, it stands as probably the most awful event in American politics, and it will be down to the people who completely suspended normal judgment, and will never be held accountable.

Hey Skipper said...

If Hillary indeed was a criminal e-mailer, Obama could have pardoned her anytime he wanted.

I don't think that is true.

I'm not speaking in the sense that he didn't have the power to offer a pardon, but rather that the pardon is predicated upon guilt. For him to offer her a pardon would have been an admission that she was, in fact, guilty of the accusations.

Which would mean two things: she would never serve time in prison, and her prospects in the presidential election would have sunk like a greased safe.

Just so with Trump. Yes, I suppose he could pardon himself, but doing so would admit to guilt of impeachable offenses. By exercising a power of his office, he would remove himself from it, while avoiding potential imprisonment.

(it looks like Bannon bets on money laundering)

To be perfectly clear, on the part of Trump's children. And it is surpassingly difficult to figure out how Bannon would have access to that kind of information.

And he ought to start doing his own framings too, I am looking forward to see a lot of Dems, Clintons included, in prison as soon as possible. It looks like the DoJ is already turning the stoves on.

I think she is guilty of far more than reckless disregard and deliberate circumvention of FOIA requirements. There's absolutely no way to account for the Clinton's income without them selling access.*

Trump should offer her and Bill a pardon.

If my theory turns out true — that there is no defensible theory underlying this whole Russian collusion thing — then there are a great many people who deserve far worse than what should happen to them. (And a great many beyond that who should admit they completely suspended their critical thinking skills.)

But subjecting them to what they have likely earned will cause far more damage than just letting it all go.

*If Trump had done a fraction of what the Clinton's have been up to, he would have been long gone. That makes complete sense. Not.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Calling you an hypocrite carries as much consequence as calling you a liar, which is none, so I won't ask your forgiveness for that either (also, I believe that charge).

And I see no point at all in using quotes to see what exactly you typed, in order to make correct statements. You don't expect that even from the President of the United States, why should I oblige?


Your theory - that the Dossier was concocted to justify wiretappings - won't ever be refuted, nor confirmed. People reached the point where truth wouldn't be recognized even if rubbed in their faces.

Both theories in regard out there - collusion, or DNC plot to subvert the election - suffer form the hurdle of hindsight. I don't see any of them as most probably true.

Back then, the DNC did not expect Trump to be a serious contender. You need to remember that, at some point, Trump trailed Clinton for 12 points. By the Hollywood Access tape, most people, including the ones at Trump campaign, thought he was dead. Obama and Clinton would hardly give themselves the trouble of playing a Nixon just to get to that loser. Makes little sense.

Also, though Trump Jr. was stupid to deal directly with the Russians looking for 'dirt on Clinton', I don't think there was an orchestrated enough act going on to deserve the 'collusion' term. There were shady things going on - people inside campaign's kernel had their doubts and uneasiness, to the extent Flynn thought better to lie, and Bannon thought it 'treasonous' - but I doubt they affected the election in any effective way. As they knew they lied, Trump thought better to fire Comey, but more due to his gigantic idiocy and ego than for believing they would find Putin's hands all over the campaign.

I may well be wrong, but for what it is worth (which is nothing), that's my take.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Consequently, the damage to our institutions of conducting investigations of sitting presidents causes far more damage than not doing so.
---

BTW, I find it hard to square that one with reality.

Clinton was fried by prosecutors throughout half his mandate, and the US economy was booming. Trump is being fried since even before his mandate, and the economy... is booming. I don't think Nixon's impeachment had the least impact in the real lives of US citizens either, back then.

What damage is this one you guys keep talking about?

Furthermore, since the moral fiber of Americans is no longer what it used to be - you guys are a bunch of spoiled eternal teenager nowadays - the only certainty about impeachment proceeding is that it will only work when both chambers are in the hands of the opposite party. And when that happens, the president will be impeached by far less than whatever Clintons and Trumps have done.

[I sure know, down here, where we never had any moral fiber to speak of anyway, we just impeached a president for far less than her replacement has done.]

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...we just impeached a president for far less than her replacement has done."

Is that a good thing?

As much as I dislike our politics, I don't think I'd trade them for yours.

Indeed, the special prosecutor and impeachment stuff here, to me, unfortunately makes our politics more like yours. I don't think that's a good thing.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...you may well elect me President. That's fine, I would like the job!"

Really? Not me - it's pretty much the last job in the world I'd want. I'd prefer to be a sewer worker.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "I don't think Nixon's impeachment had the least impact in the real lives of US citizens either, back then."

Whoa! I think you're pretty far off there.

From my perspective, the United States pretty much fell apart for the rest of the 70s with its citizens walking around in a daze (see President Carter's "Malaise" Speech in 1979) and we never completely recovered.

erp said...

Clovis, you don't have the foggiest idea what's true and what's made up.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Clovis, you don't have the foggiest idea what's true and what's made up.
---

Have you ever considered the possibility that's true for us all?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

AFAIK, the economic crisis in the 70's had nothing to do with Nixon's impeachment. But I will probably defer to whatever you say about it, I wasn't even alive back then.


---
Is that a good thing?
As much as I dislike our politics, I don't think I'd trade them for yours.
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My point is that you already did.

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Clovis wrote: "...you may well elect me President. That's fine, I would like the job!"

Really? Not me - it's pretty much the last job in the world I'd want. I'd prefer to be a sewer worker.
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I would hate the job, they probably would kill me down here. So I lied to Skipper, but that's fine, he doesn't care.

erp said...

Not in the same way. We've all had years of experience in filtering sources, etc. You, even though you won't admit it, would like to see the U.S. taken down a peg as would most of the rest of the world who voted against Jerusalem in the U.N.

If we are like Brazil and the rest of the banana republics, it's because instead of you all trying to follow our way to assimilation, peace and prosperity, we are being led into looking for the easy way of socialism to divisiveness, unrest and poverty.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

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You, even though you won't admit it, would like to see the U.S. taken down a peg as would most of the rest of the world who voted against Jerusalem in the U.N.
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I find it a mystery, this necessity you have of making up things about what I supposedly think. It is baffling. What else do you think I secretly wish for? A world united under a hammer and sickle?

Maybe you should start writing a book, or maybe a long post, where you can better exercize all that creativity...

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "the economic crisis in the 70's had nothing to do with Nixon's impeachment."

I agree that it didn't directly, but that's not what I said anyway.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

The malady was not about economics?

Bret said...

Clovis,

I don't think so. It seemed much more psychological - we felt cast adrift and didn't know our place in the world. Previous events such as our defeat in the Vietnam war started it, but the resignation of Nixon was the final blow.

erp said...

Bret, what defeat in Vietnam?

Clovis, I am writing a book.

erp said...

Clovis, IMO you are very conflicted about the U.S.

Bret said...

erp,

I'M very conflicted about the U.S. - why would Clovis be? :-)

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Well, maybe you finally stroke a chord. I am very conflicted about the whole Universe, and last time I checked, the US was part of it.

But about Israel's capital? Erp, I couldn't care less for the whole Israel-Palestine thing these days.

erp said...

Bret, both for somewhat the same reason. Even though you're not really of the same generation, you are both victims of the massive demonizing of conservatism as being racist, sexist, etc. and seeing support of our traditional values as populism, not realizing (or believing) that the 20th C. to date was orchestrated by supporters of the Noble Experiment beginning with Wilson and continued to the so-call great recession which caused Obama's election and to this very day.

It's not cool to be conservative, libertarian, classical liberal, i.e., not left. Can't say right because now fascism/nazism is designated as right wing even though both have socialism written into their name.

I imagine few of your and probably none of Clovis', friends, relatives, colleagues, schoolmates, etc. are anything, but progs of more or less fervor.

The further you get away from the working classes, the fewer not of the left you'll encounter and by the time you get to people like you and Clovis, i.e., one of my geniuses, the fewer people you will know who even have a fleeting notion that one world isn't a good idea -- that "teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony" and "equality" of results ala Harrison Bergeron shouldn't be our goal.

erp said...

Clovis, I used Jerusalem as an example. There is no issue. The capital of Israel is whatever they say it is, not what U.N. members declare it to be.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Yep, I agree the Israelis can choose what city they want to call a Capital. And I couldn't care less which ones it is.

How about you telling me what else I believe that I don't?