March 2nd, 2017

Today’s tempest: Sessions and the Russians

In their continuing quest to find a nefarious connection between Trump and Russia, the latest report has to do with Jeff Sessions talking to the Russian ambassador during the campaign and then not disclosing it to Congress.

You can read all about it here if you care to. The left keeps thinking it’s found a smoking gun (or many successive smoking guns); the right finds there’s no there there:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. before the presidential election last year, his spokeswoman confirmed, raising questions about whether he misled senators who inquired about the Trump campaign’s ties to Moscow.

Sarah Isgur Flores told NBC News that Sessions did have a conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last year. The meeting was first reported by The Washington Post.

But she said “there was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer” because Sessions was asked during the hearing about “communications between Russia and the Trump campaign” and not about meetings he took as a member of the Armed Services Committee.

According to his spokeswoman, Sessions’ meeting with Kislyak was just one of 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors in his role on the committee.

“Recuse yourself!” Democrats and much of the MSM shrieks. Or better yet, “Resign!”

I really wonder what the average not-so-very-politically-involved reader thinks on reading about this story and the way it’s being presented in the MSM.

I do know that the WaPo and the left have been busy as beavers in their unrelenting effort to find further angles on the “Trump is Russia’s puppet” meme. I also know that they will dredge up any fact, however small, and blow it up as much as possible, framing even the ordinary as something extraordinary, and that a substantial number of people won’t question that framing.

Of course, this Sessions story fits into the prior narrative about Flynn, and shows why Flynn’s resignation (supposedly because he failed to disclose to Pence, not because of anything he actually did) only encouraged the left and gave them the template for the present brouhaha:

Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned last month after it was disclosed he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials about his communications with Kislyak.

Same ambassador. Same idea of non-disclosure, although the details are different.

Here’s Sessions:

In a statement Wednesday night, Sessions said: “I have never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”

Sessions obviously did not think that the questions he was being asked in his hearings—which had to do with whether the campaign, or people affiliated with the campaign, met with Russian officials—applied to his more ordinary contacts with the Russian ambassador in the course of his position in the Senate. I wish he had interpreted the questions even more broadly and said that yes, as a member of the Senate and as a member of the Armed Services Committee, he had talks with many foreign officials including the Russian ambassador. But in the hearings he was focused on the issue of campaign contacts, and it’s possible those two meetings didn’t even cross his mind.

It’s very clear that the Democrats and their allies in the MSM are going to continue with this sort of thing—the drip drip drip of stories that really don’t have much content but that are loaded with innuendo. If they seek, they will find. For Obama, they did the opposite and played cover-up.

[ADDENDUM: There’s much much more detail here about what Sessions was actually asked during his hearing, and what he answered. See also this, as well as this on what certainly appears to be an actual, bona fide lie by Sen. Claire McCaskill about the subject.]

62 Responses to “Today’s tempest: Sessions and the Russians”

  1. Cornhead Says:

    Trump and Sessions need to now go after Hillary and the Clinton Foundation. Lock her up.

  2. Griffin Says:

    The cranking of the hysteria level to the maximum immediately time after time is starting to lose effectiveness (if it ever had any). If this follows the past hysterias we will start seeing the qualifiers pop up pretty soon now.

    The coordination and timing of this stinks to high heaven also. More of the ‘boy who cried wolf’.

  3. expat Says:

    Did anyone ever ask Hillary whether she talked about her private unsecured server when she gave that reset button to Russia’s foreign minister?
    The differant standards are incredible.

  4. parker Says:

    Team Trump needs to more effectively counter these fake news attacks beyond tweets. McCaskill lied about never meeting with Russian officials, but in this era its difficult to hide your lies. She tweeted in 2013 and 2015 about meeting the scay Ruskies.

  5. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Jonathan Gruber. Ben Rhodes. Obama’s comments about Gruber and Rhodes. Media coverage.

    Tells you everything you need to know.

  6. Llwddythlw Says:

    It’s a pity that after eating all of the nothingburgers that the MSM has been serving I haven’t lost any weight.

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    And NOW the history that is always left out comes due to bite those that would not include it in their assesments!!! as i said it would… it ALWAYS does that, and if you do not learn from history…. and i would say ignoring the influence of the state organs of intrigue in which there are literally no rules other than dont get caught, and if you, die fast…

    Without knowing what they do and did and what part they play you might htink that Aids was made in a US biowarfare lab violating treaties, rather than russia hiding the violatio of the arms treaties against biowarfare when THEIR anthrax escaped and killed lots of people and farm animals. (gorbachev apologized)..

    but how did THAT Change the relationship of blacks to whites as in the inner city black community, they think that aids was made in a lab to kill them, gays, and all the people of the democrat party (sort of).

    SNOPES buries the source of the idea… and blames it on natural people thinkingand trying to understand their world..

    Study: Many Blacks Cite AIDS Conspiracy
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, January 25, 2005
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33695-2005Jan24.html

    So yeah, dont talk, is better that those people hate whitey for their lack of knowing and the confession of Russia and more and the lack of discussion over how those things actually work…

    but then it bites you…

    That was my introduction, here is the meat.

    Kennedy-KGB collaboration
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/oct/27/20061027-084248-4386r/

    Ted Kennedy Made Secret Overtures to Russia to Prevent Ronald Reagan’s Re-Election
    http://dailysignal.com/2016/12/14/ted-kennedy-made-secret-overtures-to-russia-to-prevent-ronald-reagans-re-election/

    Ted Kennedy’s Soviet Gambit
    https://www.forbes.com/2009/08/27/ted-kennedy-soviet-union-ronald-reagan-opinions-columnists-peter-robinson.html

    Teddy Kennedy was Moscow’s bestie
    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/howie_carr/2016/12/carr_forget_donald_trump_teddy_kennedy_was_moscow_s_bestie

    and how about THIS:

    As a Georgetown junior, Clinton inherited his antiwar orientation from his part-time employer, Senator J. William Fulbright. Fulbright’s views on Vietnam had in turn been influenced by scholar Bernard Fall. Fall had an academic background at institutions linked to Chinese Communist apologist Owen Lattimore

    Owen was the guy that coined the term McCarthyism, and was a spy… in fact, this stuff your now discussing ties back to all those things i put up before, i didnt want to wait till now… not that it would make a bit of difference as us anti-communists are all ignored from day one to now…

    havent you noticed how many warn and no one stops it? and it happens over and over and over? Menckin is not enough, Utley is not enough, Ex spies not enough, and on and on..

    they are entertainment, until you dont like what they say, then they are like gadflies (and get treated accordingly).

    He had recently co-authored a book on Vietnam with Marcus Raskin, cofounder of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), which disseminated Marxist propaganda aimed to sway Fulbright and other decision-makers. Fulbright’s office was also in regular contact with Igor Bubnov, a KGB operative on Capitol Hill. President Johnson had ordered the FBI to monitor Fulbright and his staff for suspected Communist contact at the time Clinton went to work for Fulbright.

    Fullbright was thought to be a spy..

    Clinton worked with the Vietnam Moratorium Committee (VMC), a US antiwar group which was helping a Communist-dominated coalition called the New Mobe organize fall protests

    Upon Clinton’s return to Oxford that fall, he and his friend Richard Stearns helped a British VMC counterpart called Group 68 organize Americans in England for Moratorium protest events

    that group had ties to: British antiwar network centered around Bertrand Russell and Russell’s associate Tariq Ali. Russell’s network helped the North Vietnamese and Soviets disseminate anti-US propaganda through channels such as the International War Crimes Tribunal, sponsored by the Soviet front the Stockholm Conference on Vietnam

    Over winter vacation of 1969-1970, Clinton toured Moscow, where he had been preceded by his roommate Strobe Talbott. Talbott was then translating the memoirs of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, which had been leaked to him by Victor Louis, a KGB disinformation agent and talent spotter. Clinton and Talbott’s other roommate Frank Aller was doing similar work on the unpublished notes of Edgar Snow, an academic associate of Lattimore.

    So to cry wolf on trumps stuff is to hide your own
    so busy looking at the nothing, they forgot the 50 years of something no one wants to talk about.. trust me, i tried for 10 years.. got nowhere..and this is a receptbive group!!!!!!!!!!!

    but there is more and there is always more

  8. Bill Says:

    “Trump and Sessions need to now go after Hillary and the Clinton Foundation. Lock her up.”

    Yeah, that will quiet the left down . . .

    HRC probably lost the election because of her unsecured email server.

    If I were Trump, I’d focus on clearing the air on the Russian stuff, and move forward with my administration. This is the dumbest scandal ever (unless it’s not)

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    i BET that most of you never bothered to read Valerie Jarrets Wiki and her parents going back, and the history of Koch, and so on.

    the first rule of the communist game is to blame your opposition for doing what you always did.

    now at best, trump is equal to them
    at worst he is a eveil spy of russia

    but they? we dont talk about them, we refuse to include that actual hsitory that is available in anything ,so they go scott free.

    and they are running the same game as willi munsenberg’s innocents clubs.

    By the way, they scrubbed it before this stuff, so if you didnt read it before when i posted it, you might not find out now

    however, like Zinn, there is FBI files

    FBI Files Document Communism in Valerie Jarrett’s Family
    http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2015/06/communism-in-jarretts-family/
    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that the dad, maternal grandpa and father-in-law of President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, were hardcore Communists under investigation by the U.S. government.

    now you can go to the wiki and see what was scrubbed out so you would not tie the communists to them, and they could tie them to trump, sessions and the republicans!!!!!!!!!!

    Jarrett’s dad, pathologist and geneticist Dr. James Bowman, had extensive ties to Communist associations and individuals, his lengthy FBI file shows. In 1950 Bowman was in communication with a paid Soviet agent named Alfred Stern, who fled to Prague after getting charged with espionage. Bowman was also a member of a Communist-sympathizing group called the Association of Internes and Medical Students. After his discharge from the Army Medical Corps in 1955, Bowman moved to Iran to work, the FBI records show

    these are the same old spy groups from before, but after the dems made it legal to be a communit by removing the laws that prevented it in most places (the last lwa i reported here was california a while back), they did leave them in place in immigration declarations and such.

    the Association of Internes and Medical Students is an organization that “has long been a faithful follower of the Communist Party line” and engages in un-American activities. Bowman was born in Washington D.C. and had deep ties to Chicago, where he often collaborated with fellow Communists. JW also obtained documents on Bowman from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) showing that the FBI was brought into investigate him for his membership in a group that “follows the communist party line.” The Jarrett family Communist ties also include a business partnership between Jarrett’s maternal grandpa, Robert Rochon Taylor, and Stern, the Soviet agent associated with her dad.

    there is so much more..
    but i am not going to try to repeat or lay out what no one wanted to hear for 10 years and now is the topic of discussion..

    just think… when this came up, everyone could have known about kennedy, and bobby, and valerie, and obama uncle, and his father, and richard trumpka, and dozens of others.

    we discussed them as if this side of their lives were not real, wasnt important. in fact, you may not realize it, but your trained to think that way, from before when the ny times reported that the CIA program with them was to turn conspiracy theory into a nutters game…

  10. Artfldgr Says:

    In 1967, the CIA Created the Label “Conspiracy Theorists” … to Attack Anyone Who Challenges the “Official” Narrative

    Conspiracy Theorists USED TO Be Accepted As Normal

    Democracy and free market capitalism were founded on conspiracy theories.

    The Magna Carta, the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and other founding Western documents were based on conspiracy theories. Greek democracy and free market capitalism were also based on conspiracy theories.

    But those were the bad old days …Things have now changed.
    The CIA Coined the Term Conspiracy Theorist In 1967

    That all changed in the 1960s.

    Specifically, in April 1967, the CIA wrote a dispatch which coined the term “conspiracy theories” … and recommended methods for discrediting such theories. The dispatch was marked “psych” – short for “psychological operations” or disinformation – and “CS” for the CIA’s “Clandestine Services” unit.

    The dispatch was produced in responses to a Freedom of Information Act request by the New York Times in 1976.

    The dispatch states:

    2. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization.

    ***

    The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.

    3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the [conspiracy] question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active addresses are requested:

    a. To discuss the publicity problem with and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors) , pointing out that the [official investigation of the relevant event] made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by … propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.

    b. To employ propaganda assets to and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (II) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories.

    ***

    4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:

    a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider.

    ***

    b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent–and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) …

    ***

    c. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States, esp. since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc.

    ***

    d. Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commission because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one way or the other.

    ***

    f. As to charges that the Commission’s report was a rush job, it emerged three months after the deadline originally set. But to the degree that the Commission tried to speed up its reporting, this was largely due to the pressure of irresponsible speculation already appearing, in some cases coming from the same critics who, refusing to admit their errors, are now putting out new criticisms.

    g. Such vague accusations as that “more than ten people have died mysteriously” can always be explained in some natural way ….

    5. Where possible, counter speculation by encouraging reference to the Commission’s Report itself. Open-minded foreign readers should still be impressed by the care, thoroughness, objectivity and speed with which the Commission worked. Reviewers of other books might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics.

    you can look at it here.. .
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/CIA-conspiracy.jpg

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    Im done.. no more for now, i dont want to get shot

    There is too much to cover if it wasnt covered over the past years.

    however if you study this in history, this is how the nice people loose every time. the other side was prepared, they know about this, they are applying this, they talk about this.

    What it now amounts to is this:
    Without having it at the ready, we are at a gun fight with no ammunition, and there isnt any time to get any

    IF that stuff was more general knowlege over the past 10 years, then now would be a ho hum, and one could retort with all that stuff

    and you can be sure that they HAVE discussed it to death, angled it, scrubbed their wikis before opening up their mouths, and so on.

    They win with 20% motivated and sacrificing

    We lose with 80% because we dont take the 20% seriously enough (and they are deadly serious).

    and Pareto is vindicated again…

  12. Montage Says:

    Sessions just recused himself. His staff recommended it.

  13. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    Sessions recused himself from leading the investigation into how John Podesta was dumb enough to fall for a script-kitty phishing scheme?! Oh noes!

  14. DNW Says:

    I would be interested in hearing from someone who is actually still on speaking terms with a mature Democrat who is now spouting this Russia espionage indignation stuff, explain what it was they were saying back when Kennedy was appealing to Andropov, Bonior was subverting foreign policy, and the Soviets were touted as misunderstood friends of the American left.

    Do they have an explanation which they think is plausible; which someone not completely stupid, might buy?

    If so, I’d be interested to hear it.

    Of course they might have gone full postmodernist, and not even be pretending to present a coherent moral outlook.

    But if they are so pretending, I for one would like to hear what they are saying.

    It’s gotta be good …

  15. Irv Says:

    It’s starting to look like the republicans in congress are going to do to the country what Obama did to Iraq. How sad that they have have been given such a victory by Trump only to be unwilling to fight to keep it. If they allow the democrats and their media allies to keep picking at everything Trump does and everyone around Trump without fighting back, it will be like a pack of wolves nipping at the heels of an animal separated from the herd; eventually he will weaken and be brought down. As the saying goes – they’ll either hang together or they’ll hang separately!

    I wish I was more optimistic that they would start fighting back.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    Irv:

    What a bizarre analogy.

    Obama took a successful military campaign in Iraq and withdrew from it.

    What the Republicans in Congress (as though that was a unitary group, all doing the same thing) are doing or not doing is not analogous. There are indeed a few RINOs who are jumping on the bandwagon, but I don’t see some general rush to do that. Sessions himself (a GOP member of Congress) is not doing that. Ted Cruz is not doing that, for example.

    The most I’ve seen most of the GOP members of Congress do is to call for Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation. That’s not so big a deal to ask.

    Beware succumbing to MSM propaganda designed to have people on the right turn on the GOP in Congress by overstating some of the flaws of the GOP members of Congress. I have become convinced that this is a purposeful move on the part of the MSM in order to weaken the right.

  17. parker Says:

    Cruz has been BIGLY vocal at pushing back at ‘fake news’ against the Trump administration. Its a crying shame Cruz can not duel Schumer on the Capitol steps with his bacon cooking machine gun. 🙂

  18. Esther Says:

    Yup, sure enough, my email is being barraged by heartfelt pleas, from friends and assorted political groups, to sign a petition to force Sessions to resign. It’s like there’s a script.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    Esther:

    As though he would give a rat’s ass about such a petition.

  20. Esther Says:

    One of the petition pleas a friend forwarded to me, and begged me to sign, was sponsored by a group called Avaas.

    It seems they are an internet leftwing clicktivist outfit with 40 million members– and veiled Soros connected financing. They appear to be aiming to harness online mobs to advance progressive causes worldwide.

    Hmm.

  21. Brian E Says:

    “There are indeed a few RINOs who are jumping on the bandwagon…”- NeoNeoCon

    That would be Graham and McCain? They were on CNN last night for an hour I believe. I watched a little of it, but had to turn the channel to watch Peppa Pig with my granddaughter instead.

  22. M J R Says:

    Esther, 5:39 pm — “Yup, sure enough, my email is being barraged by heartfelt pleas, from friends and assorted political groups, to sign a petition to force Sessions to resign. It’s like there’s a script.”

    . . . and I’d be mighty surprised if said script does not include a plea for money money money.

    One motive is to drip-drip-drip weaken Trump, but another motive is to maintain the cash inflow. (A third motive is to make sure the base is permanently riled up.)

    As someone on the radio said an hour or two ago [I think it was Sean Hannity], its an unending guerilla war. Yep.

    *Most* unpleasant. I long for pleasanter times.

  23. mizpants Says:

    You said it, MJR. I long for pleasanter times too.

  24. Montage Says:

    neo-neocon

    > Obama took a successful military campaign in Iraq and withdrew from it.

    Was it a success? I had not heard that. What I have heard in varying assessments is that it was a needless war and a failure to it was ill advised but partly successful to it was necessary but not handled well but leaning toward becoming successful if only….

    But one cannot ignore the fact that Obama ran on a platform to pull us out of the war and he won the election of 2008 and worked toward that. This fits into the ‘elections have consequences meme’ that get touted whenever someone wins regardless of party.

    But, one can argue it was the wrong decision to pull out but by 2011 it was not really clear we had succeeded. At least in the traditional definition of success.

  25. Mike K Says:

    “Trump and Sessions need to now go after Hillary and the Clinton Foundation. Lock her up.”

    Yes. Democrats have to feel pain after these adventures they stage to harm Republicans. The Clinton DoJ appointees who took down Ted Stevens eventually were punished by he lost his election and we got Obamacare.

    Iraq is a long story and it requires some knowledge of history to understand it. For example, Hitler never attacked us.

  26. blert Says:

    Rusbo says it best: President Soetoro ALREADY announced that there was no there, there.

    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2017/03/02/barack-obama-and-his-deep-state-operatives-are-attempting-to-sabotage-the-duly-elected-president-of-the-united-states/

    Yet there isn’t any! Why was Obama collecting it and preserving it instead of using it?

    Why is Obama waiting until now, until after the election?

    If this was happening and there was real evidence of collusion, they could have stopped Trump from being elected.

    Instead, Obama was saying there is no evidence that the Russians had anything to do with voting — and there isn’t, and there won’t be, because they didn’t. (pause) And that, my friends, is the story.

  27. blert Says:

    Montage Says:
    March 2nd, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    neo-neocon

    > Obama took a successful military campaign in Iraq and withdrew from it.

    Was it a success? I had not heard that.

    Joe Biden claimed it was a success — and bragged on it.

    Where were you ?

  28. OM Says:

    Montage:

    Maroon (as in Looney Tunes).

  29. M J R Says:

    Mike K, 8:13 pm — “Iraq is a long story and it requires some knowledge of history to understand it.”

    . . . apropos of which, I cite this piece:
    (more broadly applicable than the ongoing Iraq situation)

    How Historical Illiteracy Fuels Political Polarization
    By Rachel DiCarlo Currie

    http://acculturated.com/historical-illiteracy/

    “That gets to another problem with historical illiteracy: It fuels the political and cultural polarization that is tearing our country apart. To make sense of contemporary policy debates, you need a certain amount of perspective. If you lack that perspective, you can be more susceptible to overreaction and partisan hysteria.”

  30. Montage Says:

    blert Says:

    >Joe Biden claimed it was a success — and bragged on it. Where were you ?

    I didn’t realize I was supposed to simply nod in agreement to Biden’s words. Do you nod in agreement to everything Trump says?

    OM
    > Maroon (as in Looney Tunes).

    So Iraq was a smashing success to you? Tell that to the Iraqis.

  31. blert Says:

    The President:

    “Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional. This whole narrative is a way of saving face for Democrats losing an election. They lost the election and now, they have lost their grip on reality. The real story is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total witch hunt!”

  32. OM Says:

    Montage:

    Sadam was removed, elections were held, the Shia asserted their authority and the Suni’s took to arms again, the surge was completed and relative calm existed when BHO assumed “leadership.” No agreement regarding US forces was agreed upon and with that pretext BHO bugged out (who was happy with that Iran). Things rapidly fell apart and ISIS arose. Years later US forces are back in Iraq helping fight ISIS, Way to go BHO. Lead from behind, or just follow Iran’s leading.

    Yes Montage, you are a maroon.

  33. blert Says:

    Montage Says:
    March 2nd, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    blert Says:

    >Joe Biden claimed it was a success — and bragged on it. Where were you ?

    I didn’t realize I was supposed to simply nod in agreement to Biden’s words. Do you nod in agreement to everything Trump says?

    OM
    > Maroon (as in Looney Tunes).

    So Iraq was a smashing success to you? Tell that to the Iraqis.

    The IRAQIS thought so too — in early 2012.

    Then Barry’s creature: ISIS showed up.

    Its cadre was formed in the northern Jordanian desert — with CIA and MI-6 funding.

    It went rogue the moment it crossed the border.

    It used CIA communications gear ( cell phone interrupters ) to totally cow Shia military commanders — in MOSUL.

  34. parker Says:

    History, even recent history, is thrown out the window. Human nature, well that is inconvenient, throw it out the window. Integrity, honesty, morality are also inconvenient so out the window they go. Reason and rationality both inconvenient so out the window.

    For so many of our fellow citizens, a discussion based on any and all of the above is like discussing Beethoven with a kitten.

    “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” — RR

  35. parker Says:

    Brian E,

    My youngst granddaughter (5) loves Peppa Pig. I have become a fan. Short, sweet, and jumping in muddy puddles.

  36. Irv Says:

    Neo – A number of Obama’s people (Clinton among others) thought the withdrawal was wrong but went with it anyway.

    Republicans in congress aren’t all against Trump but the level of fighting for him is very little and ineffective while the democrats and the media are presenting a united front.

    I’ll stand by my analogy, which I still think is entirely appropriate, and keep wishing I’m wrong.

  37. Bill Says:

    “Republicans in congress aren’t all against Trump but the level of fighting for him is very little and ineffective while the democrats and the media are presenting a united front.”

    Why is it that Republicans in Congress are such a favorite whipping-boy and the Democrats/Media are always omni-competent.

    The Democrats just lost a huge election, largely because they weren’t united and the big bad media that’s supposedly in their pocket reported on Hillary’s emails.

    Why is none of this Trump’s fault? He didn’t have to spend months praising leaks, asking Russia to hack Hillary, waxing rhapsodically about Vlad, etc.

  38. CW Says:

    Democrats have taken a lot of good people down even when there’s no there, there, so of course they will continue with a strategy that’s worked for them. Republicans need to stand firm and not be bullied as long as there really is no there, there.

    The Trump tweet should be: “Nice try!”

  39. Bill Says:

    What if there is a there there?

    I’m not trying to be combative. I’m not a big Trump fan and was bothered by what seemed to be a too cozy relationship with Russia during the campaign, but I do hope there isn’t a scandal here. That won’t be good for the country.

    But we have to use the same weights and measures – if the shoe were on the other foot and HRC had been elected and there was evidence that Russia had helped her by, for example, leaking damaging information about Trump, wouldn’t you want to know what’s going on?

    Thus far Trump has both asserted there isn’t an issue but yet the people in question (Flynn and Sessions) seem to be crumbling rather quickly. Why? Is Trump weak? Are the Republicans weak? Are they doing damage control? Is there a there there?

    This is strange. Seems like Sessions’ original story of meeting with the Russian ambassador as a matter of course in his role as a Senator made sense, and should have been the end of the affair. But it wasn’t, and now he’s recused himself. Something isn’t adding up.

  40. Ike Says:

    What’s the problem of defending Sessions? Just tell the Congress and the media that he and the Russian ambassador were talking about their grandchildren! Easy!! Over and done with!!

  41. NeoConScum Says:

    ROTFLMAO….!!!!

    Watching the Demo Infants gnawing their scrawny arms off and bleeding profusely is beyond amusing and pleasing entertainment. Chuck Schumer wants Sessesions to (Cough..!!!) Leave Office

  42. NeoConScum Says:

    **Damned Androids**…is soooo much fun.

  43. Sergey Says:

    A straight talk at last: dennisprager.com/americas-second-civil-war/

  44. DNW Says:

    ” Sergey Says:
    March 3rd, 2017 at 10:24 am

    A straight talk at last: dennisprager.com/americas-second-civil-war/”

    I read through the linked material.

    It’s interesting how prominent the formerly rather abstruse topic of nihilism has become in the past few years, and not only among those who have long been preoccupied with the subject of values justification, epistemology, and metaphysics (you might specify ontology latterly), but also, among those who are simply trying to describe current processes at work in the field of civil relations.

    Some years back, and we are speaking of casual exchanges or commentary here, you might have come across some quasi-Aristotelian realist like me pinning the left with the term ‘hedonic nihilist’, or you might have had some progressive Goth type cackling gleefully on about the bourgeois and their fear of nihilism. But its only in the last several years that mainstream academic philosophers have gone public with this stuff too: rolling their eyes up and leaning backwards, dropping themselves into the pit; becoming overt and professed values-nihilists. It spreads fast to their susceptible disciples.

    What then was a fault-line beneath the surface of the social debate over how we are to relate to each other and under what terms of association, has now come into plain view: as the left has more fully and explicitly embraced the will-to-power and the personal-identity-is-an-illusion (but your feelings are the only reality) paradigm to describe existence.

    You cannot talk to them. From our point of view they are incoherent. They inhabit a different moral universe wherein the rules of logic have been abolished: hence the rather harsh language and unpleasant invective I have been in the habit of using; referring to leftists as “moral aliens” and the like

    But the fact is: You might as well try reasoning with a reptile.

    They are aiming at something other than truth and beauty; and wishing to evolve into something not ‘merely’ a swifter, stronger, more temperate and just, version of man as we have know him.

    It seems they are content – determined – to morph into something else entirely.

  45. The Other Chuck Says:

    DNW:

    But its only in the last several years that mainstream academic philosophers have gone public with this stuff too: rolling their eyes up and leaning backwards, dropping themselves into the pit; becoming overt and professed values-nihilists. It spreads fast to their susceptible disciples.

    Well, yes, but it hasn’t happened only in the last several years. The betrayal of reason is longstanding and well documented in When Reason Goes on Holiday by Neven Sesardic. The excuse making by highly intelligent people is breathtaking. No infamy is too brazen nor outrage too outrageous for academics, as long as they can keep their political prejudices intact.

    Would the Holocaust have occurred without their quiet acquiescence?

  46. Sergey Says:

    Here another article directly citing nihilistic hedonism as the main reason for society decline and collapse:
    americanthinker.com/articles/2017/02/the_biblical_story_of_esther_and_the_immoral_society.html

  47. Kyndyll G Says:

    Bill, so far there’s a lacking element of “why” on the Russkies-did-it meme. Why would Russia want anyone other than the extremely corrupt, accommodating and vulnerable Hillary as president?

    The whole thing is utterly bizarre. At what point between the 2012 election cycle, when Obama was literally promising Russia greater flexibility after an election he had yet to win, and openly mocking Romney for being so out of touch that he still thought Russia was the bad guy, and the aftermath of the 2016 election, when the far left started acting like charter members of the John Birch Society, did things change? Was it when Little Lord Stompyfoot wanted so desperately to help Sunni Islamists destroy Syria, but ran right smack into the problem that Syria has a friend called Russia? Or with the ongoing fishy situation in Ukraine?

    Frankly, I’m not convinced that it’s even that logical. The Left thought they had the 2016 election in the bag; they couldn’t even imagine the possibility of losing. They lost. They were so unable to deal with reality – that after eight years of Obama breaking everything he touched and the Democrats putting up a widely loathed candidate in Hillary, Florida and the Rust Belt joined states that always vote Republican and voted not-Democrat – that they had to invent external, almost magical reasons for the loss. The one they latched on to is “the Russians did it.”

    I find it difficult to grant any credence to it and continue to be insulted. There were no Russians in my voting booth when I selected the candidate who stood the best chance of defeating Hillary, and unlike Democrats, I have no problem believing that tens of millions of Americans outside of NYC and metro California did the same thing.

  48. Irv Says:

    Sergey – I went to the articles you cited and they are spot on. They stated much more clearly and in greater detail what I was trying to say. Thanks.

  49. miklos000rosza Says:

    Montage is a troll and Artfldgr should at this point get his own blog.

  50. Kyndyll G Says:

    Not to veer wildly off-topic, I recall specifically noticing a sudden emergence of the “because … Russians!” technique of debate at the time of the MH17 incident. It seemed fairly evident that given the context of a group of people with access to anti-aircraft weapons, being fired on by an opposing force with aircraft, one needed to start with a 99.9% probability that the plane was shot down accidentally by opposition forces in Ukraine; and that the real question was, why were civilian aircraft even being directed to fly in the area? However, while debating this topic (in a forum somewhere else), I found that rational debate was being shouted down by a contingent that was intent on placing culpable blame on Russia for unclear reasons; apparently Russia is just inherently evil and wanted to intentionally shoot commercial jet liners out of the sky. Individual contributors doing this were those I knew to typically argue lefty causes.

    There actually is a shady online netherworld in which people, some paid and some not, post on forums to try to push certain ideas into public consciousness. I’ve been doing online debate for decades and don’t mind encountering people who believe differently than I do, but when debate is reduced to shouting and bullying without any attempt to appeal to logic or reason – especially when it’s directed to shutting down logic and reason – I’ve come to know that I’m dealing with ideologues (who don’t care about facts or logic) or outright agitators.

    Who gains in pretending that Russia is the bad guy? And how are they associated with the Left?

  51. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill:

    The reason a lot of reasonable people think there’s no there there is that even if you accept, for the sake of argument, that all the facts in the anti-Trump anti-Sessions news stories are true, it’s hard to see a there there. The “there” is innuendo that doesn’t follow from those facts.

    In addition, responsible people often recuse themselves not just where there would be impropriety in remaining on the case, but even when there might be an appearance of impropriety.

  52. Bill Says:

    Neo – that makes sense. I’m not saying there’s a there there, but I’ve long been uncomfortable by the Trumpian Russian love. Maybe because I’m not a huge fan (I have friends in Ukraine)

    “Who gains in pretending that Russia is the bad guy?”

    Here’s where I’ve got a disconnect. For years we conservatives have been saying that Mitt Romney was right about Russia. Remember how Obama ridiculed him? He was right – Russia is a big geopolitical foe.

    Well, Russia was until Trump gained momentum. Now we have people at CPAC literally waving Russian flags and everyone defending Russia and Putin’s approval rating going through the roof among Trump followers.

    What’s changed?

    And, no, I don’t want WWIII or a renewed Cold war or any of that. I just want to be able to see things realistically.

    I don’t know if Russia is the “bad guy” or not. But in Ukraine and Syria they certainly aren’t on the side of the angels.

    Politics poisons everything . . .

  53. Richard Saunders Says:

    Any lawyer will tell you — and Sessions is a damned good lawyer — that in testimony you answer the question that is asked. You do not try to figure out what counsel — in this case Sen. (one chokes just to say that) Franken — should have asked, and then answer that one.

    I wonder why none of the “legal correspondents” of the MSM have mentioned that.

  54. curious02 Says:

    KyndyllG – why would Russia want Trump to have been elected?

    – Trump had the Republican party platform changed during the convention to remove sanctions against Russia for its military aggression against Ukraine. He also had language advocating arms for the Ukrainians to fight Russia removed.
    – Trump’s businesses have been financed by Russian money. We don’t know exactly how much, but indisputably there’s been debt and or equity relationships established. Either way, if you were a Russian oligarch, wouldn’t you rather have someone who owes you money or is a direct business partner as President?

    What more reasons would you need than “follow the money?”

  55. Kyndyll G Says:

    Bill, here’s the thing. I live in a non-binary world where Russia, is. You can count on Russia to be on Russia’s side. Therefore, they are a geopolitical rival. They were when Romney was a candidate and they are now. But I’d rather have a Trump treating them with respect than an Obama throwing their personnel out of the country to support a “Russians hackxored our election” fantasy as he stomps out of office in a huff.

    When I review the Trump quotes on Putin, most of them are putting Putin in positive light vs. Obama. Frankly … so what? Putin is a better and stronger leader than Obama. (But then, who wouldn’t be?) Saying so doesn’t make Putin “good.” There’s a difference between conferring goodness on something, and recognizing competence. They’re not mutually co-existing qualities.

    Without motive and evidence, this whole thing is a fabricated mania. If it stops getting attention and destroying occasional careers, though, the worst losers ever will just invent a new one.

  56. Sergey Says:

    Do anybody there understand that Russia is now a dying empire ready to come to pieces or plunge into revolutionary chaos? I am not sure it will be anything but a failed state two years from now. At least, so it seems from Moscow.

  57. Sergey Says:

    Trump does not see Russia as geopolitical rival. It is far, far away from USA; its GDP is around $1.3 Trln, while USA is $18 Trln; and the countries that have troubles with Russia are small and insignificant, about whom “we know little about”. China is another matter, it is a rival indeed, and Iran can become a real danger quite soon. And as Cold War shown, it is possible to make deals with Russia and hope that it will respect the terms. So from Trump perspective, it just makes no sense to seek confrontation with Russia. Probably, he is right in this, however sad this is for Ukraine, Poland or Lithuania.

  58. Esther Says:

    Sergey, maybe we’re about due for a Russian collapse? Historically, doesn’t that happen at regular intervals?

  59. Bill Says:

    Kyndyll

    I don’t live in a binary world (and I didn’t when almost everyone here was telling me I did in the last election)

    I also don’t live in a morally relativistic world.

    Our current politics is morally relative. Whatever “our” team does is good, whatever “their” team does is bad (even if what they are doing is what we were doing just months ago and visa versa).

    Not on a team anymore. It’s freeing and also really eye-opening

    Look, I really hope (and assume) Russia has nothing on Trump and the Republicans. I just wish he’d make it easier by revealing his financial ties and dependencies, whatever they are, to foreign governments, if any.

  60. Sergey Says:

    Ester: Yes, it does. Not so regular, but the reasons are the same and mostly unavoidable. Autocracy in Russia lacks aristocratic merit, it recruits people from rather humble social standing and often without any morality except conformism. While at power, they become unhinged in seeking more wealth and power. Moral decay of the ruling class became widespread and most of the population has no respect for their rulers. This creates a major political instability, and since the ruling class has no morality at all, it can not withstand even mild crisis, easy escalating into total collapse of the state and of public order. Chaos is always just three meals away in Russia.

  61. Sergey Says:

    Russian society is mostly pagan and nihilistic. And a pagan society is an immoral society. This makes social order extremely fragile. There is no civil society to speak about, and ability to self-organization is very limited and politically unimportant.

  62. J.J. Says:

    curious02@2:52pm.

    Putin’s beef with Hillary and Obama is based on their dissing of Russia – particularly during the Sochi Winter Games. Obama did not attend the opening (a calculated insult) and the American delegation made a major point of dissing Putin and Russia for their anti-gay marriage stance, among other things. Obama and Hillary never treated Putin and Russia with respect because of the gay issue and their poor economic circumstances. Putin took deep offense. He wanted to be treated with respect as the leader of what he considers a great nation. He has pride in Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church – thus the anti-gay marriage stance. Putin is also a racist/sexist and did not take kindly to being lectured down to by a black man or a woman SoS who he knew to be just as corrupt and power hungry as any Russian kleptocrat.

    IMO, Putin expected that Trump would be a bit less of an international social justice warrior than Obama or Hillary and might accord him the respect he believes he deserves.That would be reason enough for Putin to favor Trump over Hillary.

    However, the plot thickens. The hackers (whoever they might have been working for) also tried to hack the RNC but were unsuccessful because the RNC had some good anti-virus defenses. What would they have done with that? Inquiring minds would like to know.

    Did the Trump campaign collude with the Russians? So far nothing but innuendo. The investigation, if you can believe the Obama administration, has been going on since 2015. Where is the evidence? Where is an official report? Is the Obama administration clueless and helpless? They have had 17 intelligence agencies working on this up till they left office in January of 2017. Where are the results? Everything so far is innuendo.

    Gauging any Congressional investigation by the results of the Benghazi, IRS, Fast and Furious, and Clinton e-mail scandal makes me believe it would be a waste of time and money. Only a special prosecutor could get results, but that would cost even more and would likely ruin the lives of innocent people like Scooter Libby and still might not get justice. Right now our government has no way of self policing except the popular vote. Without an honest Media the popular vote is unable to police the state and try to keep it honest. So, here we are. Stuck on a reef of lies, innuendo, partisanship, distrust, and corruption – the ship of state is immovable.

    The Trump administration should go full steam ahead on its agenda and when someone mentions the Russia scandal just say, “When you have hard evidence please present it to the DOJ and we will proceed from there. In the meantime we are busy doing the people’s business.” (That was Bill Clinton’s favorite line when he was in trouble. 🙂 )

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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