June 15th, 2017

At this point, why would anyone believe the Wapo’s anonymous sources?

Why believe them, when they’ve proven to be wrong (or lying, my preferred explanation at this point) at so many turns?

For example, and most recently, almost every MSM news outlet reported that anonymous but reliable sources had told them that Trump’s assertion that James Comey had assured him he wasn’t under investigation was wrong, wrong, wrong, . They also said that in Comey’s congressional testimony he was going to say something to that effect.

Well, he said the exact opposite. Trump was right; the anonymous sources and the MSM were wrong, wrong, wrong.

Which brings up the old “fool or knave?” question. As I wrote in the first paragraph of this post, my explanation for their behavior is that they are lying, or at least acting with reckless disregard for the truth. It’s been said many times before, but it bears repeating, that the MSM is now a propaganda machine. How do they justify to themselves what they are doing? It’s probably easy. Partisans often can justify nearly anything if they think they’re doing noble work. And in the MSM’s opinion, destroying Trump is the most noble work they can find right now.

So yesterday we had more anonymous sources assuring us that now Trump really is under investigation by Special Counsel Mueller, this time for obstruction of justice:

Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation. Officials say that changed shortly after Comey’s firing.

Five people briefed on the interview requests, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said that Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’s recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI…

The obstruction-of-justice investigation of the president began days after Comey was fired on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hey, we were wrong then, but we’re right now, says the MSM. And maybe it’s even true. I wouldn’t doubt it, since “Trump obstruction of justice” talk is all the rage. What a Special Counsel to do? He almost has to investigate:

…[T]hanks to Comey’s public testimony about his meetings with Trump and his firing, [Duke law professor] Buell said the Mueller probe seems destined to cover this ground. “It is almost certain,” he said, “that any conclusion of that investigation will include, at the least, a statement from the special counsel to the Justice Department about whether the president committed a federal crime.”

Well, according to Andrew C. McCarthy, the proper route would be this:

…[I]t should be made clear that the special-counsel appointment is not a fishing expedition on the pretext of a sprawling counterintelligence probe. If criminal conduct has been discovered, it should be spelled out. “Trump campaign collusion with Russia,” aside from being unsupported by any public evidence, is not a crime. If there is to be a special counsel, the public, the Congress, the president, the Justice Department, and the special counsel himself must all know what crimes are being investigated. This would not bar Mueller from good-faith pursuit of investigative leads that are within this narrower mandate. In the superseding order, the DAG should provide that Mueller may seek an expansion of his jurisdiction if he finds evidence of other potential crimes — i.e., real violations of federal law that are grist for prosecution, not intriguing relationships that can be spun into conspiracy theories.

Rosenstein should make clear, though, that a) Mueller must explain (in writing, to Rosenstein) what additional crimes he wishes to investigate, and b) such an investigation may not go forward unless and until Rosenstein issues a new written directive, exactingly describing Mueller’s expanded jurisdiction — and explaining why the Justice Department is so conflicted that Mueller, rather than DOJ, should conduct the investigation.

The following is a comment I found at this article:

They can’t find any evidence of Trump involvement with Russia so now they’re trying to get him for supposedly blocking their attempts to find the evidence that doesn’t exist.

And after I found that, I saw that Trump himself had tweeted:

They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice

But isn’t that the way it so often works with these special prosecutors? Ask Scooter Libby:

[Associate Professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston] Blackman also stated, “Once appointed the special counsel has extremely broad autonomy to investigate as he sees fits. Under the relevant regulations he can only be fired for doing something improper. Once appointed he will keep investigating till he decides to stop.”

In all this manure, there has to be a pony somewhere, right?

It would be extremely interesting if Trump really possesses tapes of some of these exchanges with Comey and others. I don’t think he does, but I also think that, if he did, those tapes would become the most studied audios in history. They would end up being scrutinized for every hint, however, distant, that there was some sort of wrongdoing. Trump’s enemies are legion and powerful, and they will not rest until they find what they’re looking for. And if they can’t find it, they will twist Trump’s words and interpret them in an attempt to make the accusations stick.

36 Responses to “At this point, why would anyone believe the Wapo’s anonymous sources?”

  1. Griffin Says:

    I have lost more hope for the future of our country in the last seven months then in the rest of my life combined. This is such a dangerous path to be going down for the left and I can’t decided if the know it and don’t care or if they are incredibly naïve. If Mueller comes up with some phony ass charges against Trump and they actually try and remove him from office I fear that will be the beginning of the end.

    Or maybe I’m just in an apocalyptic mood today.

  2. Cornhead Says:

    My preferred outcomes:

    1. Marginal Trump supporters get on board and become enthusiastic Trump backers. Better yet, Dems and independents back Trump after seeing the manifest unfairness and ultimate failure of this persecution.

    2. MSM loses all credibility and the reporters lose their jobs.

    3. Mueller indicts and convicts Rice and Power for wrongful unmasking and leaking.

    4. Trump appoints a new director of the USPTO who stops Amazon’s efficient infringement of patents; costing Bezos billions. Payback is a bitch.

  3. arfldgr Says:

    its a whole area that doesnt hit mainstream as its not news to the left…

    Do know the persona of the knowing academic evenif they dont know and they know as they learned their marx and marx is their PROPHET…

    Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/27/clinton-trump-and-the-death-of-idealism/

    I am with the Occupy Wall Street activists of five years ago, and the young grassroots Sanders supporters of earlier this year, who dared to question the most basic assumptions about the social order.

    Snip

    Why indeed should human society be forever divided, forever violent and pitted one against the other? The great thinker R. Buckminster Fuller once remarked that it was possible for human society to “take care of everybody at a higher standard of living than anybody has ever known. It does not have to be ‘you or me,’ so selfishness is unnecessary and war is obsolete.” For Fuller, the choice was Utopia or Oblivion. As a creative designer and intellectual, he came to this conclusion from his own premises. But it was not so different a conclusion than the Socialism or Barbarism choice popularized more than a century ago by the political revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg.

    and why they think we are interchangable parts and contradictory so

    Capitalism is a rot upon the human spirit, a blighted thief not only of economic rationality, but also of values of compassion, solidarity, and ultimately life itself. As the late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, who was sympathetic to socialism, once wrote, “I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”

    this is their idea of race and that you didnt earn it, it was evil collusion as a share cropper is einstein.. and they will make these einsteins your doctor, heads of companies and such.

    and THAT is history repeating too..
    for THAT is what the soviet union did to all the factories and things and they ALL collapsed and could not run well. the surface image was right, but the substance was gone.

    the one thing they never do, which is why they end up having to be killed and know thye have to kill you, is give up.

    they would rather die like the man yesterday on the field than live under another. they woul drather live in a north korean hell hole as kim, but never live as a trump in an american city cause trump isnt king and kim is.

    Chris Hedges gave this talk on revolutionary socialist Rosa Luxemburg on Friday at the Left Forum in New York City.

    i’, suire you guys dont read or participate in these things as your not changers, or part of it, or friends of yours are at that level or you werent seduced or attemtpe to be.

    but here goes.

    On the night of Jan. 15, 1919, a group of the Freikorps—hastily formed militias made up mostly of right-wing veterans of World War I—escorted Rosa Luxemburg, a petite, 50-year-old with a slight limp, to the Eden Hotel in Berlin, the headquarters of the Guards Cavalry Rifle Division.

    the right, the guns, the games, the hero of theirs that was half lies (like neo points out in other places and you can read in the non introduction to paglia that lords over her and sets her up as a god before she starts to speak… (for seven almost unbroken pages as if it was perfect, so you know it was not her talking)

    The killers, like the police who murder unarmed people of color in the streets of American cities, were tried in a court—in this case, a military court—that issued tepid reprimands. The state had no intention of punishing the assassins. They had done what the state required.

    so i am not joking, been hearing this for ages and its all the stuff your seeing. but you have to be with leaders talking to leaders to know that this is what they are saying.

    if you say it outside, the average joe would think your nuts

    why? cause the average joe dont know the history, isnt sociopathic, has no desire to despotism, has a life that is not this stuff so doesnt read, and more…

    but right there, a link between rosa and pre hitler
    and the police today killing blacks for the resist movement or the black lives matter. and the idea of uprising. oh, and even the idea that this time in history, gun control would prevent the others from killing again and beating them.

    The ruling Social Democratic Party of Germany created the Freikorps, which became the antecedent to the Nazi Party. It ordered the militias and the military to crush resistance when it felt threatened from the left.

    THEY believe they are reliving that more than we do
    and if that is the case, then what you saw yesterday in the park was a man getting up to kill hitler before he became hitler or one of his henchment and stopped the socilaist movement again!!!

    a wonderful delusional little world they live in where the principals of reality are marxist and more right than reality itself, as when it dont work, it isnt reality its blame someone cause that is what socipopaths do.

    An economy built on credit, Luxemburg foresaw, transforms a regular series of small economic crises into an irregular series of large economic crises—hence two major financial dislocations to the U.S. economy in the early part of the 21st century—the dot-com collapse of 2000 and the global meltdown of 2008. And we are barreling toward another. The end result, at home and abroad, is serfdom.

    so the communists dictatorship is freedom from the serfdom of freedom… and they love islam as islam forbids credit.. but without credit then ONLY the rich can do things, the poor cant borow and be rich for a short time and give back..

    Luxemburg, in another understanding important to those caught up in the pressures of a single election cycle, viewed electoral campaigns, like union organizing, as a process of educating the public about the nature of capitalism. These activities, divorced from “revolutionary consciousness”—from the ultimate goal of overthrowing capitalism—were, she said, “a labor of Sisyphus.”

    We who seek to build radical third-party movements must recognize that it is not about taking power now. It is about taking power, at best, a decade from now. Revolutions, Luxemburg reminded us, take time.

    In an understanding that eludes many Bernie Sanders supporters, Luxemburg also grasped that socialism and imperialism were incompatible. She would have excoriated Sanders’ ostrichlike refusal to confront American imperialism.

    Imperialism, she understood, not only empowers a war machine and enriches arms merchants and global capitalists. It is accompanied by a poisonous ideology—what social critic Dwight Macdonald called the “psychosis of permanent war”—that makes socialism impossible.

    [these are wacko marxists because they cherry pick marx, and ignore that it was Trotsky that did the pemanent war ideal and what the left follows, and blames on the not left they call right, despte the right has nothing to do with bukharin and the left has everything to do with everyone from guss hall to luxumberg to munzenberg, to stuartgt chase, to the cathedral they build over 200 years too slow for the common man to fathom as their children take up the charge (ayers, and others, look soros kid is taking it up now, they want dynasty again while pretending that their despotic kingdom will be more free than freedom]

    since there are over 4 more pages, thats that.
    the marxists will speak 7 pages long
    these letters are book sized

    their competition, cant take a page..
    hate it, wont read it, cant do it, wont do it.
    whatevr, doent matter the reason, just matters its not there when they need it and could use it.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    neo asks, “At this point, why would anyone believe the Wapo’s anonymous sources?”

    People that operate out of emotion, believe what supports their emotions.

    Griffin,

    “This is such a dangerous path to be going down for the left and I can’t decided if the know it and don’t care or if they are incredibly naïve.”

    The power seekers know it but that’s what they have cannon fodder for… The true believer idealists believe that the end justifies the means. The liberal, “useful idiots” are willfully blind.

  5. expat Says:

    I think Sessions should appoint a special prosecuter to go after leakers. He should say that these unnamed sources from various agencies are not whistle blowers, especially since none will be identified and most seem to leak from memos they haven’t read and conversations they haven’t heard. When you consider that NYT published the name of one of our spies in Iran, the whole country has become far to lax about leaking, and that endangers all of us.Snowden, Manning, and Winner cannot be considered heroes. They released documents that they were incompetent to evaluate. People with specific knowledge should not hide behind a WaPo or NYT reporter.

    Compared to this problem, Mueller’s investigation of “I hope” is a waste of money. He should resign.

  6. Manju Says:

    Why believe them, when they’ve proven to be wrong (or lying, my preferred explanation at this point) at so many turns?

    To make the case, you need to provide examples.

    For example, and most recently, almost every MSM news outlet reported that anonymous but reliable sources had told them that Trump’s assertion that James Comey had assured him he wasn’t under investigation was wrong, wrong, wrong, .

    You need to cite Wapo doing this: a non-opinion article citing anonymous sources saying this.

    My recollection was that this was said, but they were either opinion pieces or news-pieces citing an experts opinion. But that’s just my recollection.

  7. Yancey Ward Says:

    My theory is that it isn’t the sources lying, it is the reporters making up the existence of the sources in a lot of these stories. People think Jason Blair and Stephen Glass were exceptions- I think it is quite probable they are the rule.

  8. Griffin Says:

    Yancey,

    I think there is probably some of that going on and I also think there is a fair amount of reporting only what is bad for Trump going on. A big deal was made of Rubio pointing out that the only thing that hadn’t leaked was Comey telling Trump he wasn’t under investigation but I would bet that many reporters had that but just didn’t report it because it didn’t fit the narrative and more importantly helped Trump.

  9. J.J. Says:

    Neo: ” Trump’s enemies are legion and powerful, and they will not rest until they find what they’re looking for.”

    One of the reasons I wasn’t worried about Trump becoming President. I expected a great deal of push back, but nothing like what we’ve seen. The hysterics have really been over the top.

    I get that the progs hate his policies. That was to be expected. However, the deep personal animosity and hatred is really over the top. They accuse him of being anti gay. Hmm, he’s the first President to accept gay marriage from the get go. They accuse him of a being anti-Semitic. Hmm, he has a Jewish son-in-law and his daughter is a Jewish convert. Plus, he is a strong supporter of Israel. They say he is a racist because he enforces our immigration laws. Hmm, they cannot point to a racist act he has committed. They call him a traitor for pulling out of the Paris Peace accords. Hmm, even though the terms were damaging to the average American citizen and pulling out helped the average American.

    His tweets infuriate them because they show he cannot be cowed by their venomous tactics. Thus, they loathe the very sound of his name and get worked up as if he was really the BAD MAN they all portray him to be. For the progressives it is all about the politics of personal destruction – the Alinsky way.

    I opposed almost every policy that Obama put forth. But I tried very hard to not be personal in my criticisms of him. And I would never have gone after his family the way the progs have gone after Trump’s family. If things are to cool down without bloodshed, the left is going to have to begin to concentrate on issues not personalities. There have always been, and will always be, differences of opinion about the best way for government to proceed. Debating those differences is good. Demonizing your political opponent is the tactic of an immature child who will do anything to get his/her way.

    I hope we are not headed back toward the violence of the late 1960s and early 70s. It may take that to cool some of the hatred, but I hope not.

  10. Snow on Pine Says:

    It’s obvious that the Trump administration is under attack from all sides, by adversaries that want to take him and his administration—an existential threat to every one of them, their world view, their livelihoods, their positions, their agendas, and their power—down, and that other than the voters who voted him into office and a few Congressional Republicans here and there, everyone else in Washington and on the Left—but I am being redundant—is, for one reason or the other—against Trump and his agenda.

    Moreover, that perhaps the greatest damage to him, his Administration, and to the progress of his agenda has come from leaks, leaks that are apparently coming from within the White House staff itself, from the Intelligence Community, from the FBI. from former Obama officials and holdovers, from practically everywhere, it seems.

    Catching legend in her own mind, low level, dumb ass Reality Winner was all well and good, but what puzzles me is, why the Trump administration hasn’t found, arrested, and publicly perp walked any others of what are apparently a legion of leakers, all likely a lot more senior than Winner.

    I know that Trump is trying—despite constant, 24/7 attacks—to work almost non-stop, also 24/7, to take concrete steps to accomplish his agenda.

    I also know that, thanks to the Congressional Democrat’s “Resistance” (with help from some week-kneed Republicans) to moving Trump’s nominees through the confirmation process, Trump does not yet have anywhere near the normal Presidential administration’s 4,000 member team in place.

    That personnel to faithfully carry out his orders, and to see to it that his agenda is implemented are therefore very scarce; in many cases, one or two Trump appointees presiding over massive bureaucracies that are still actually run by Obama holdovers, their federal bureaucrats almost universally opposed to Trump’s agenda.

    Nonetheless, I would have thought that catching, and very publicly exposing and prosecuting some of these leakers would have been of very high priority, and one that would give Trump a large measure of relief from many attacks.

    I’m beginning think that, other than those who worked for Trump on the campaign, or who are personally known to him and trusted by Trump, there is just nobody in Washington, or in most of the political class in this country, who he can trust not to lie to him, or to turn on him, and to try to bury him

    For Trump, it must be a very lonely and daunting position to be in. Thus, his frequent rallies around the country, designed to connect with his outside the Beltway supporters, and to both encourage and energize them and him.

  11. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I doubt many people believe this stuff. The purveyors hope somebody out there is dumb enough to buy the program.

  12. Oldflyer Says:

    I wonder what goes through Trump’s mind these days. If I were in his position, I am not sure that I wouldn’t say “chuck it” (speaking euphemistically). He has given it his best shot; but, he is surrounded by vipers; and it is obvious that his situation will never improve. The Shakespeare in the Park portrayal is a valid metaphor in that even those who should be his allies are against him. The only ones who support him are the mostly without voice or power.

    With his resources he could probably punish his tormentors more effectively if out from under the constraints of the Presidency. He can afford to hire a legion of Private Investigators to scrutinize the personal affairs of a high profile, sample of the Leftist Mafia. It is likely they could bring forth more than a few career endangering tidbits. He could hire–well he has one–a high powered, ruthless law firm to search for grounds for litigation against the more vocal attackers. The government loves to cripple their victims financially by forcing them into wealth draining legal defenses. It also works for a deep pockets litigant.

    While this is going on, Trump could go on about his earlier very satisfying and comfortable life style.

    Fantasy, of course. Or is it?

  13. Snow on Pine Says:

    Oldflyer–As the saying goes, “nothing succeeds like success.”

    I’m betting that if Trump can get several of his major campaign promises enacted into law–say, repealing and replacing Obamacare, a start to the border wall and, say, major reductions in taxes and/or regulations–that his popularity will very greatly increase, and that many of those in Congress attacking him will realize that such attacks are not going to work, and that they will have to, for instance, ratchet down their attacks and, instead, refocus on trying to come up with some sort of plausible platform for the upcoming 2018 elections that might appeal to voters who are aware of Trump’s accomplishments.

    And what, exactly, would those platform items be?

    This, of course explains the “resistance”” as also serving to prevent Trump from having any of his legislative agenda enacted into law, thus blocking Trump’s ability to attract voters to his cause.

  14. Ray Says:

    I saw on the news that Mueller is investigating Trump for obstruction of justice. Shades of Scooter Libby. Now Mueller knew that Armitage was the leaker in the Valerie Plame case and no law had been broken but his buddy Comey appointed Fitzgerald to investigate a non crime for two years and they finally got Libby for a process crime. Looks like Mueller is trying the same trick again. Investigating non existent crimes in hopes of nailing someone on a process crime.

  15. Dave Says:

    Liberals will never understand the fact that Trump was the only candidate in the presidential race who’s life will get worse becoming the president. Whatever liberals think Trump might gain from being the president is fantasy. Trump took a huge hit to become the president financially and reputation wise is the fact. What for? Liberals and their perverted version of reality make me sick. in the big scheme of things what difference does it make if we accept or deny a few more or less refugees or the planet get a 1/10 of a degree Celsius higher in 50 years? but to achieve their perverted view of utopia they are willing to bankrupt the country and make everyone else suffer with them. the trillions we would be spending to make the planet 1/10 of a degree cooler could be put to others use like research on immigration to Mars, but no when the leftists came up with a way to save the world it will be the only way and no better and we must follow and give them all the resources they needed or we are racist. go the hell democrats, seriously the chance that the left will cause the end of the world is much much high than it will end because of Trump. At this rate Liberals might get us all killed before climate change could.

  16. Dave Says:

    Yep, Trump is racist and evil because he wants our our government agencies to run more efficiently with less waste. Yep, Trump is racist and evil because he wants to put in measures to make sure the people we accept in are vetted and are truly who they claim they are (what if ISIS killed a person seeking asylum and took his identity to come to america, without basic vetting info like fingerprint how do we confirm they are who they are) Yep, Trump is racist and evil because he wants to punish the illegal immigrants who cut in line of other legal immigrants (my uncles got his immigration application delayed for years because of all the illegal immigrants). Yep, Trump is racist and evil because he wants to help the small business to stay competitively internationally against competitions in other countries who don’t need to abide to obamacare mandates. yep, lets make everyone else pay a much higher premium so people with existing conditions can have insurance despite the fact that there may be ways out there they we can have people with existing conditions insured without increasing everyone else’ premium, no its the liberals’ way or you are racist, no matter how lousy the solution these incompetent liberals came up with were. a big middle finger to all liberals who love to have an opinion on how the world should be run but have no ideas how reality works.

  17. Big Maq Says:

    “If Mueller comes up with some phony ass charges against Trump and they actually try and remove him from office I fear that will be the beginning of the end.” – Griffin

    But, what if Mueller DOES find some legitimate impropriety against trump, would anyone outside of dems believe him?
    .

    We are in a no-mans land, where everyone suspects everyone else and everything is tainted by accusations of ulterior motive.

    Welcome to the era of trump, folks.

    It all is part of the mutability and the ability to say or do anything that gets no traction, no recrimination.

    IOW, trump was acceptable, and folks desperately excused the inexcusable, turned a blind eye to the lies / exaggerations, to the brags about p*ssy grabbing and to the bribing.

    So now, without credibility on any side, there is no basis for trust from any quarter.

    It is beginning to be a free for all, and nobody has the public trust to do the right thing… especially not our mutable and unbounded POTUS.

    Credibility and trust.

    But, Hey, isn’t it fun to see “Big Heads explode”?
    .

    WRT what Mueller finds – it might well be that he exonerates trump and team – my expectation anyway.

    But would anyone other than GOP believe him?

    Sadly, this was all so avoidable.

    We’ll see.

  18. Dave Says:

    Mueller will not find anything legit against trump because if there was anything they would have been unearth long ago in the election given how much obama wanted to destroy them and the powerful surveillance machine at obama’s disposal to so. The only things the deep state has on trump are his technicality errors, taking advantage of trump’s inexperience in politics and making a criminal case out of careless verbal mistakes which were mostly forgivable for a political beginner/outsider if he was anyone other than trump. Besides what was trump’s intent to obstruct justice if he was innocent, if comey let Hillary off the hook bc there was no criminal intent but only careless mistake why do they go after trump when intent is lacking as well

  19. Dave Says:

    Trump is a newcomer as a politician and there are many taboos he simply does not know, we should cut him some slack and experienced politicians for the good of the nation should advice him when he makes those amateur ish mistakes and help him out, not playing gotcha with his trivial verbal mistakes, taking advantage of him as a political rookie and use those to stab him in the back

  20. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “We are in a no-mans land, where everyone suspects everyone else and everything is tainted by accusations of ulterior motive.

    Welcome to the era of trump, folks.” Big Maq

    We don’t ‘suspect’ the Left of mendacity, they demonstrate it every day. Whereas, liberal views of right wing mendacity are based in propaganda. There is NO equivalence here.

    Trump certainly hurts his own case but you don’t think the ‘resistance’ would be happening if Cruz had won the nomination and been elected? Really? If so, you’re kidding yourself to maintain a demonstrably false illusion.

  21. AesopFan Says:

    Big Maq Says:
    June 15th, 2017 at 9:08 pm
    “If Mueller comes up with some phony ass charges against Trump and they actually try and remove him from office I fear that will be the beginning of the end.” – Griffin

    But, what if Mueller DOES find some legitimate impropriety against trump, would anyone outside of dems believe him?

    WRT what Mueller finds – it might well be that he exonerates trump and team – my expectation anyway.

    But would anyone other than GOP believe him?

    * * *
    This is the real problem: regardless of Mueller’s conclusions, a large portion of the country won’t accept his answers (regardless of evidence or lack thereof).
    We’re still running counterpoints on Kennedy’s assassination, for crying out loud.
    Nothing is ever “settled” when the answer determines who has power.

  22. AesopFan Says:

    Or you could put it the way Daniel Greenberg does here:
    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-plot-against-democracy.html

    “The three things that Republicans don’t get, in order of descending importance, are that the left hates anyone to the right, that it wants absolute power and that it will do anything to destroy its enemies. “

  23. Big Maq Says:

    “Whereas, liberal views of right wing mendacity are based in propaganda.” – GB

    Probably the most egregious example that puts the lie to this is in one word:

    Nixon.
    .

    That is, if we overlook the campaign last year.

    Is repeated mutability all that far from mendacity?

  24. Big Maq Says:

    “Trump is a newcomer as a politician and there are many taboos he simply does not know, we should cut him some slack” – Dave

    trump also told us how much smarter he was than politicians, how much more competent he was than politicians, etc..

    Had folks here not argued so hard that this was all “obviously” true since he was a billionaire, why should we “cut him some slack”?

    Since trump set his own terms as a basis to judge his competency (what he “promised” he’d accomplish in the first 100 days), wrapped around all kinds of brags about how “Only I can…”, why should we “cut him some slack”?

    When trump was so mutable during the campaign, and lied on things both big and small, why should we “cut him some slack”?
    .

    I want trump to be a success (in conservative terms), but the man got to pick his advisors, and chooses who he listens to (or not).

    trump HAS had his own hand in creating what we see before us (asking for cutting him some slack is a recognition of such).

    Its a friggin mess.

    We’ll see, and hope the GOP can pass some good legislation, but the dems have every incentive now to sit tight.
    .

    Many of us insist with dems that “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”. Now we see the consequences of holding to that cynical theory.

    But after having 12+ months of denying that there are really any substantial issues or risks with trump, his mutability, his lies, his behavior, his lack of philosophical grounding, etc., we expect our cries of his current innocence, and need for special consideration as a noob, ought to be heard and believed?

    Credibility and trust.

    We reap what we sow.

  25. Big Maq Says:

    More on trump and lost credibility and trust…
    http://neoneocon.com/2017/06/10/the-case-against-comey/#comment-2219962

  26. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Big Maq,

    “Probably the most egregious example that puts the lie to this is in one word: Nixon.”

    Oh please. ONE man. Who had every reason in the world to be paranoid because the Left was out to get him. What he did was NOTHING compared to the crimes on the Left. And the right held him accountable.

    “We’ll see, and hope the GOP can pass some good legislation”

    The GOP will do NOTHING of substance on illegal immigration, unvetted Muslim migration, reining in big government, holding activist judges accountable, even looking for a way to hold the media accountable, cutting off funding for sanctuary cities, cutting off funding for universities that violate 1st amendment protections, confronting the BLM movement, confronting Iran or N. Korea. On every meaningful issue they are absent. Even on health care, they tried to pass Obamacare lite…

    “after having 12+ months of denying that there are really any substantial issues or risks with trump”

    Who here has denied Trump’s flaws? News flash! He’s what we have. You fight with what you have, NOT with what you wish you had. He’s the only political figure willing to fight the Left in the trenches. Even Cruz fights by the political ‘Marquis of Queensbury’ rules. The Left is bringing a gun and Cruz wants to bring a knife cause guns aren’t allowed.

    Yes, Trump fighting outside the rules further degrades our social fabric and your understandable dismay exposes what you have yet to accept; “the left will do anything to destroy its enemies”.

    The right can easily live with a neutered Left. The Left will not accept even a neutered right and the proof is that they’ve long had a neutered right in the GOP and it only encourages their push toward the Collective.

    Disagreement contested within Constitutional provisions takes both sides respecting those rules. Once one side dismisses the rules, disagreement devolves into a fight. The dirtier one side fights, the dirtier the other side must fight to stay in the fight.

    And if we don’t fight just as dirty, we’ll continue to lose and, should the left win… there will be no meaningful Constitutional guarantees.

  27. Brian E Says:

    “We are in a no-mans land, where everyone suspects everyone else and everything is tainted by accusations of ulterior motive.

    Welcome to the era of trump, folks.” – Big Maq

    That began long before Trump. You might not like the guy, and wear your Never Trump badge with pride, but I would appreciate if you would capitalize his name.

    One might think you’re stooping to the level of the man you don’t like.

    As to why Mueller’s appointment is getting a second look is because things have changed. He was ostensibly appointed to complete the investigation of the Trump administration-Russian connection. Now it’s morphed into Trump obstruction.

    The partisan counsel Mueller is assembling doesn’t give a person confidence this will be an impartial investigation.

    The strategy of using a rather innocuous statement by Trump– “‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” to prove that Trump was obstructing the investigation is a stretch, and creating an entire legal apparatus to investigate this demonstrates how partisan it will be.

  28. Brian E Says:

    Big Maq,

    This article by Scott Johnson at Powerline might put in focus why many are skeptical of how impartial Mueller’s investigation will be.

    “…Allow me to translate. The investigators have no evidence of Trump campaign coordination with Russia and, if it is possible, they have even less cause to believe there was a bribe (for the coordination that did not happen), and less still to believe the bribe (that there’s no reason to believe happened) was conveyed in a deceptive manner that amounted to a felony money-laundering violation.

    Get it? In the absence of an evidentiary predicate for a criminal investigation, a bunch of smart lawyers are theorizing that if there had been some kind of collusion, there might have been a money trail. On that pretext, they have moved on to a new crime they speculate, but have no evidence, may have occurred. This enables them to start poking around people’s banking records, business ledgers, tax returns and the like.

    Inevitably, it will be forgotten that there was no evidence of the collusion, of the bribery for the collusion, or of the money laundering for the bribery for the collusion – i.e., no evidence supporting the rationale for the fishing expedition. Instead, Mueller’s team will be on to theorizing financial irregularities that have utterly no connection to Russia, the election, collusion, or anything that the investigation was supposed to be about in the first place.”

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/obstruct-this-2.php

  29. F Says:

    neo asks, “At this point, why would anyone believe the Wapo’s anonymous sources?”

    It’s called confirmation bias.

  30. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian – not really arguing that there is, right now, hard evidence against trump. In fact, I said I doubt so.

    My point is, we can all spin a story about the nefarious motives of those who we have concerns about.
    .

    “It’s called confirmation bias.” – F

    It is more than that.

    I have absolutely NO doubts whatsoever, that if it were clinton in this position, folks here would be clamoring for blood.

    And this is the core of the problem in this “debate”…

    Nobody can be trusted, as there is no longer a voice to be trusted by most. Everyone has a reason to distrust everyone else.

    Heck, Meuller was praised as a great choice, only to be trashed by his praisers. What has it been – a week or two?
    .

    “Things have changed”

    Indeed.

    However, couldn’t it be that trump’s perceived threat has changed??

    And his defenders all do the dance for him?
    .

    We ALL know the left and the dems are out to oppose trump, as vehemently as they can.

    Impeachment is the ultimate prize.

    Is it fair or right? No.

    Would “our” side do it if we could, on a similar basis? Used to think not, that there was more honesty, but now it is clearly “H*ll yes we would”!

    With all our cheers and excusing of trump, we’ve escalated the blue vs red game, and have taken it well beyond “confirmation bias”, to only recognizing and validating “truth” based on our self-selected source (one that tells us what we think we want to hear).
    .

    So now we are left in the position of having to defend trump WITHOUT the certainty that there isn’t any issue, just to protect him from possibly being impeached.

    ALL because he dug his own friggin hole, who pushed the boundaries of propriety on this, and who acts like a man who has something to hide.

    That and his mutability and lies on so many things big and small (entirely unnecessarily) just DOESN’T leave one with any confidence that there ISN’T something he is hiding.
    .

    So, if we all go to bat for him, how will that “loyalty” be paid?

    With more of the same erratic behavior, more distractions, more controversies, more lies, and ultimately more leverage for the dems?

    And, if he gets past this one, what stops him from pushing those ethical boundaries further, and continuing to claim / excuse (he or his surrogates) “ignorance” or “prerogative”, after the fact?
    .

    trump and his die hard supporters are asking MUCH for folks, who may well have “held their nose” to vote for him, to swallow and, once again, throw their lot behind him.

    And, it shows in his approval ratings that he’s not built that kind of support.

    By selecting trump, specifically, we have signaled we want a different world.

    Indeed, it IS different, but NOT the way we think or thought it would be.

    Credibility and Trust.

  31. Big Maq Says:

    “You fight with what you have, NOT with what you wish you had. He’s the only political figure willing to fight the Left in the trenches.” – GB

    And, if your leader was found to be an Inspector Clouseau, would this hold?

    What would you do then?
    .

    “Even Cruz fights by the political ‘Marquis of Queensbury’ rules.

    Disagreement contested within Constitutional provisions takes both sides respecting those rules. Once one side dismisses the rules, disagreement devolves into a fight. The dirtier one side fights, the dirtier the other side must fight to stay in the fight.

    And if we don’t fight just as dirty, we’ll continue to lose”

    When WAS there ever a time that we could have still abide by the rules, if you think we need to selectively break them, as we see fit, to save them?

    I’m all for assertively fighting for what we think is right, but exhausting other means / alternatives first, before going there.

    Have we even tried that?

    Have you?
    .

    You see, I think folks want a short cut.

    Democracy is rather frustrating because we actually have to work hard to convince folks about our ideas, and there’s all kinds of incentives for people to preach other messages and ideas.

    I see plenty here arguing for more government intervention here, there, whatever happens to be their fancy.

    Nobody stops to ask themselves that maybe, just maybe, we are asking too much from our government, and that the size and scope of government has made it reach this point that we feel we need to engage in blue vs red to look after our interests – those being yet more government, only for “our” favored policies.

    Quite the reaction I got when I questioned folks’ position on Medicare (which affects them), and how it was inconsistent with what they claimed they’d like to see with obamacare (which doesn’t affect them).

    Just one example. Multiply that 1M+ times.

    It is NOT just the LEFT, it is US. We’re not even convinced.
    .

    And we want someone to do our bidding – to force our views on others, because otherwise we won’t see the change we want.

    But just what is that change?

    Oh, yeah, the Constitution, rule of law.

    Only, we think we need to circumvent it to bring it back.

    Easier that, than, say, put some effort and resources into consistently convincing, what, 5% to 10% more of the population that our ideas are superior and that our representatives are best?

    If we are, truly, now at this time of so-called “crisis”, to justify abrogating the rules, then surely it is worthy of some major and sustained effort, right?

    Maybe those yelling the loudest how it is impossible to persuade anyone nor to gather support for change are also ones who don’t really believe it.
    .

    Hear it in the media all the time, from both sides. Hyperbole and outrage. That certainly brings in eyeballs and ears.

    Seems to me we don’t really believe it either.

    Well, we do, in so much as it motivates us to tune into those channels that tickle our ears with what we want to hear, or click on the blog that helps keep our rage on fire. And, maybe, even, enough to motivate us to comment on a friendly blog.

    But, engage beyond our bubble, and put some real effort into it?

    Whoa! That’s asking too much.
    .

    If we are seriously at a point that the only option was to quit following those rules we say are important, then one would expect we’d have tried mightily to avoid coming to that point.

    Is commenting on a blog all one can muster?

    The Founders put a LOT more on the line, when they decided it was time to change the rules.

    Let’s match our words to our actions.

    Let’s cool down and get real.

  32. Brian E Says:

    Big Maq, you’re acting like nasty politics began with President Trump.

    Remember, Goldwater was going to nuke the world.
    Nixon was a facist warmonger. Reagan was a senile idiot actor, Bush was Hitler.
    But in it’s current state, it was Obama that weaponized politics. We’re just beginning to understand what his “fundamental transformation” is ushering in.

    Obama was a nasty politician. He exceled in projecting a sardonic yet earnest character– but his disingenuous arguments were dangerous– the lies of Obamacare, the lies of the rise of the Brotherhood, the lies of Iran. These were and are dangerous lies, unlike the braggadocio that Trump is criticized for.

    For years the argument has been made that we just need to formulate a better argument why conservatism is preferable to socialism. I distinctly remember the post at Bookworm Room about that after the 2008 election. Only our arguments haven’t gotten better.

    Because conservatism requires discipline. It requires individual responsibility. At this point in our political discourse that’s like spitting in the wind.

    I was informed on an alt-Right blog last year that nationalism is the new conservatism. Think about that. This may be the new dividing line of politics. Are you for a global community where individual rights are secondary to the goals of the world order, or are you for strong national identities. How is that argument any different than the argument between state vs. federal dominance

    What we’re trying to do with conservatism at this point, IMO, is ride the leviathan– keep the beast contained.

    What’s ironic in all this, is that in your disgust with Trump, you’re ignoring that he alone has submitted a budget that reduces the federal budget and would dismantle portions of the bureaucratic state if passed. Good luck with that from our GOP legislators.

    He’s rolled back regulations that no other candidate would have done.

    Trump rose to the Presidency on the power of his tweets. While I wish he would be more prudent in the use of them now, it’s a power for both good and bad. As others have said on this blog, for the most part the good has outweighed the bad.

  33. Brian E Says:

    Whoops, I hit the enter button before reading through my previous comment. Ah, for an edit button.

  34. Brian E Says:

    There are a couple of reasons why the left is so unhinged in their opposition to Trump.
    He pouched Democrat voters, and if he solidifies this new coalition, it potentially will be difficult for Democrats to win nationally for a couple of generations.
    The other reason is they needed a Hillary win to solidify the “transformation” begun by Obama.
    Rather than thinking tactically, Trump needs to think strategically.
    Obamacare lite was probably baked into the election. Trump was always light on the repeal and heavy on the replace. Hopefully Republican Senators that drive most legislation made some changes that will reign in the worst parts of the ACA.
    Trump’s presidency hinges on the economy, IMO. In the short term, getting growth close to the 3% range should be job one. And Trump has a short window to do that. Since infrastructure spending, normally a Democrat idea, might get some GOP support by the public-private agenda proposed by Trump. Tax reform– repatriation of offshore dollars, and rolling back regulatory overreach will help, but Trump has about a year for a dramatic turnaround to take place.

    So what does this have to do with Neo’s post? Not much. But since Trump can’t expect any of his message to get through the MSM filter, Trump has no choice but to keep up his barrage of tweets.

    Which is contradictory to what I was just thinking. He really has no other choice. And they need to be provocative. That’s the only way they get carried by the MSM. It’s kind of ironic when you think about it. The MSM dutifully repeats what he tweets, thinking it undermines him, when it really supports his message by getting it out, juxtaposed to the outrageous things the MSM says about those same tweets.

  35. Big Maq Says:

    “you’re acting like nasty politics began with President Trump….
    There are a couple of reasons why the left is so unhinged in their opposition to Trump”
    – Brian

    Nope. There has been an increase all around (debatably since the 1990s, but 2000 and 2008 seem to have been turning points). trump just represents the latest escalation, in 2016.

    Heck yeah many on the left have become unhinged, but they haven’t a monopoly on it, if we go by comments here that suggest we essentially give up on the rules to save the rules, or worse, line up the left along a wall to shoot them.
    .

    “Trump has no choice but to keep up his barrage of tweets.”

    There is being provocative, and assertive, then there is lying, dissembling, feeding and perpetuating distractions, focusing on petty issues, etc.., not to mention a question about overall competency and organization.

    Blame the MSM for it all if you must, but seems to me an outstanding leader ought to be able to deal with them, build support, and rally his troops.

    Reagan did it. GWBush did it, enough to win a second term.

    After all, isn’t that what trump essentially bragged he could do better than anyone else?
    .

    Think about the objective.

    Is it to go tit for tat with “the outrageous things the MSM says”, or is it to accomplish the changes we want?

    Yes, a good part of trump’s success will hinge on the economy, but if DC gets clogged up with all this distraction, how much will be accomplished towards that goal?

    A great (even just a “good”) leader sells his agenda to the wider public and to Congress.

    Hard to see that trump has done either.

    How many votes in Congress can he swing his way with his approval ratings so low?

    Yes, we hope we can get many (some?) of the conservative changes we want. But, it increasingly looks like a lost opportunity, he’s given them so much to work with, unless trump radically changes, and soon.

    We’ll see.

  36. AesopFan Says:

    Some thoughts on the subject from a not-Trumper:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-15/leakers-mess-with-mueller-s-investigation-of-trump

    “…In my earlier column, I argued that leakers are essentially liars. They want the benefit of being trusted with confidences without suffering the cost of keeping what they know to themselves. They sit in meetings and review documents and implicitly promise to keep the secrets, but their actual plan is to decide for themselves which juicy nugget to share with others. In philosophical terms, the leaker always does a moral wrong to the person who entrusted him with the secret.

    But like most moral wrongs, the leak can be excused if the cause is sufficiently vital. Consider the corporate whistle-blower who brings to the authorities details of horrific misfeasance by his employer. I argued last time that one might plausibly excuse, for example, the leaks by former FBI Director James Comey, who explained his conduct as an effort to force the appointment of a special counsel to look into links between Russia and the Trump campaign. 1 Perhaps others in the rash of leakers in recent months had the same motive.

    You can decide for yourself whether the motive is sufficient to justify the underlying lie. In any case, now that special counsel Robert Mueller III has begun his investigation, that rationale no longer exists. The individual who leaks what’s going on inside the investigation has no excuse. To share the special counsel’s secrets with a reporter is self-indulgence. To go to work the next day is to intensify the underlying wrong.

    One might object that the public has the right to know what the prosecutor is doing, but this seems to me mistaken, at least in the short run. The reason to have an investigation is to take the time to work out what’s happened. Leaks from within make the job of finding the truth that much harder. ..”

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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