July 11th, 2017

A bit more about the “collusion” story

There’s a certain deja vu feeling today, isn’t there? The Donald Trump Jr. collusion story is being covered as though it were a bombshell revelation of the utmost importance, evidence of extreme wrongdoing and criminal as well. Whether it’s treason or collusion or both or something else the anti-Trump forces can’t agree on, but they all agree it’s terrible and singular and the only thing that’s happening today, and far different from all the other anti-Trump stories they’ve been peddling that haven’t really changed much of anything, including people’s minds.

But I see it as very much in the vein of all those other bombshells that pretty much fizzled. Of course, there could be further revelations that would change the picture. And even without that, it already could have legs if enough people believe it does, because the court that matters right now is the court of public opinion. But covering this story feels like covering all the others, and fills me with a sense of exhaustion and fruitless repetition.

Adding to that feeling is the fact that I went to bed very late last night and got up relatively early this morning.

However:

A lot of Twitter Lawyers and/or People Who Play Internet Lawyers on Twitter are making the claim that any willingness to accept information from a foreign source is violation of campaign finance laws — the claim is being made that this is either a solicitation of something “of value” or else a solicitation of an “in-kind” contribution.

A trial lawyer writes at Dan Abrams’ Law Newz site that this is just the chatterings of non-lawyers or lawyers yapping outside their fields of actual expertise — because campaign finance rules specifically permit any foreign national to volunteer services, including, specifically, information. The only forbiddance is that such volunteers cannot be compensated, which would make them non-volunteers.

That seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? We’re talking about money being exchanged, and that’s not even being alleged for Trump Jr.

Moreover:

The hystrionic partisan Jake Tapper is claiming, meanwhile, that these emails demonstrate “collusion” without any possible counterargument. Collusion means “cooperation with a corrupt purpose,” and cooperation includes the idea of “working together” or, second definition, “rendering aid.”

Trump Jr. did not offer to work with Russians, nor to render them aid. He stands accused of being willing to do what the media does as its daily trade — listen to a source with possibly interesting information.

What’s more—wait for it—you know who is alleged to have committed similar acts to Trump Jr.’s? None other than Democrat operatives, on behalf of Trump’s old opponent Hillary Clinton. These are quotes from a story that appeared in Politico last January (and, as Ace says, hardly garnered any interest at all at the time):

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

Maybe yes, maybe no. I take it all with a grain of salt, but I believe these things may happen somewhat regularly these days on both sides. They’re part of the nasty sausage-making business of politics. But they are not the special province of Donald Trump Jr., and they do not consitute crimes of any sort.

90 Responses to “A bit more about the “collusion” story”

  1. huxley Says:

    But I see it as very much in the vein of all those other bombshells that pretty much fizzled.

    neo: Yes. That’s my problem too.

    I’m something of a political junkie, but I burned out on this story months ago. They’ve been trying to nail Trump to the wall for more than a year.

    If they coulda, they woulda is what I think.

    Maybe something serious will emerge. For now I’m betting the trend.

  2. TommyJay Says:

    We know that the 2012 Obama campaign ran a large scale donation solicitation effort in Europe and that no effort was made to filter US ex-pats from the Euro citizens in the credit card numbers.

    The MSM outlets made such a stink over that. And the FEC really put a stop to it, including penalties. Oh wait,… Never mind, move along.

  3. Ray Says:

    The Russian collusion story has been going on for a year and each supposed bombshell uncovered by the press turns out to be a dud.

  4. tom swift Says:

    because the court that matters right now is the court of public opinion

    The “court of public opinion” is of no consequence at all, until there’s an election.

  5. DNW Says:

    Wake me up when it’s found out that Trump gave the nuclear codes to Putin.

    Otherwise … don’t bother.

    I’m still drowsy from ingesting all the Demo treachery from Kennedy to Andropov, to the Norinco Chinese arms import waiver deal, and the Indonesian bundling scandals, and Hillary’s deals on nuclear fuel ..

    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

    And then more Clinton and China …

    http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/11/world/clinton-approves-technology-transfer-to-china.html

    And Obama and Iran … Just too too many to track.

    What a piece of work is Demo-man. How ignoble in reason, how deficient in faculty! In moving and form how sly and abominable! … In apprehension how unlike one made in the image and likeness of God …

  6. Dave Says:

    A frequently used tactic of left is to intentionally selecting an act that has committed by everyone, and selectively make it sound incriminating and stick it on a political opponent to damage his reputation.

    For example, meeting the Russian ambassador is part of the job of being an American Congressman as a channel to establish relationships between the two countries. Every senator has once met the Russia ambassador, but the left would pick out a random meeting of a Trump ally with the Russia ambassador, call it a proof of collusion, while purposely not mentioning that every senator ambassador to make the meeting an out of ordinary event to smear the Trump Administration.

    I really don’t want to criticize Americans too much because I love the country but these cheap tactics are so dumb and stupid even a first grader in China can see through that, you must be really really really ignorant and naive to fall for cheap tricks like that.

  7. Yancey Ward Says:

    Trump Jr. was hoodwinked into taking a meeting with someone he didn’t know. Not sure why this was done, but if you believe there was no dirt on Clinton exchanged, and no one is credibly claiming there was, then that is basically what happened. Trump Jr. took the meeting with the understanding that they had dirt on Clinton and, instead, was lobbied by the Russian lawyer for another purpose.

    This is definitely not collusion. It is another nothingburger.

  8. charles Says:

    I guess the phrase “when in a hole – stop digging” is something they don’t teach in journalism school.

  9. Big Maq Says:

    ” I take it all with a grain of salt, but I believe these things may happen somewhat regularly these days on both sides. They’re part of the nasty sausage-making business of politics. “ – Neo

    1) So much for suppression by the media. Seems the “conservative” media were sleeping on this.
    2) Grain of Salt? This seems well past any ethical boundaries, working with foreign officials, even if it may be legal.

  10. Mike K Says:

    Meanwhile, a real story about a group of Pakistanis in one family that worked for years as Democrat Congresspeople’s IT staff, took off with hundreds of thousands of dollars and nobody is interested.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    tom swift:

    The court of public opinion does matter, and I’ll tell you why.

    There are indeed elections coming in the not-too-distant future (campaigning will probably start in a year or so), for Congress. Members of Congress who are up for re-election (the entire House, 1/3 of the Senate) have their fingers to the wind, politically speaking. In the meantime, they will be voting on the GOP’s and Trump’s agenda, yea or nay. They also have the power to impeach Trump if things got really rough. Back during the 2016 campaign, a lot of Trump supporters kept trying to convince Trump-doubters that one of the checks on Trump would be the power of Congress to impeach him if the going got rough and Trump did anything egregious, because the GOP members of Congress have no particular allegiance to Trump. They are worried about their own jobs. That is still true. If they thought it was in their interests to turn on Trump because public opinion had gone so very strongly against him, and they needed to preserve their own jobs, don’t you think they would?

    That is actually what I was thinking about when I wrote about the court of public opinion. I’m well aware Trump won’t be up for re-election till 2020.

  12. Dave Says:

    Why would any parents send their kids to Journalism school? Instead of sending them to school to learn engineering, math and science in school, those useful things that have values, they send their kids to school to learn sophistry and propaganda? making up lies and make them believable by making up a anonymous source to go along with it 101 , How to use sophistry to libel someone without getting sued 101 must be the required studies.

  13. John Guilfoyle Says:

    I’m with DNW on this one…

    When all of this “the Russians are coming” idiocy can show me something like a US Dept of State server hidden in a private bathroom…call me.

    When I see something in all this akin to BJ meeting with Loretta Lynch in a private plane…let me know.

    When you can show me pallets of cash being sent to a major sponsor of global terrorism & their nuclear ambitions are fostered…I’ll be interested.

    When this reaches the horror of abandoning US citizens to be slaughtered by terrorists & a lie blaming a video is foisted on the American people…

    Until then…nothingburger. Spare me the equivalencies of “all are guilty”. Yawn. Grain of salt.

  14. AesopFan Says:

    I used to think Jake Tapper was one of the last remaining honest news anchors.

  15. Ann Says:

    That June 9, 2016, meeting Trump Jr. had with the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskay, was also attended by Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. That’s got to sound fishy to a lot of people. If nothing else, what a cast of characters — and what a gift to the Democrats.

  16. Dave Says:

    It is a battle of life and death to the msm. Their credibility is their life and has been destroyed by djt, the only way they can ever regain their credibility is to find a way to make the Russian collusion a reality. Putin probably was favouring trump to win, but the reason I think was that he believed trump being a political amateur would be an easier opponent than the veteran Hillary Clinton

  17. Dave Says:

    Didn’t Hillary and her propaganda arms also favor trump to win during the primary and in some way helped to prop him up over other republican candidates thinking he would be an easier to defeat than someone like Jen, Rubio or ted Cruz? does Hillary and CNN helping trump win the nomination constitutes collusion between trump and Hillary campaign? of course not. helping a guy you think will be a weaker opponent of yours win is a common strategy, even if everything they say about putin wanting trump to win was true

  18. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    I’ve been saying “CNN, NYTimes, WaPo. Two down, one to go.”

    I think I’ll escalate up to “Three for three.”

  19. Big Maq Says:

    @John G – whataboutism.

    Hey the dems do it, so why can’t we?

    So long as the dems do something wrong we have free license to whatever we like?

    As much as I dislike the dems, imitating them in kind is not ever going to be the road to success.
    .

    You do realize that this trump jr stuff all predates trump’s call for the russians to find and release clinton’s emails?

    Aside from the ethical issues in this latest episode, the timing is just too close for comfort, even if it is all were to be entirely “innocent”.

    It is trump’s sloppy and misguided statements like these, and his inexplicable peculiar reticence to criticize russia and putin during the campaign (heck he praised him – multiple times!), that really set this whole narrative off.

    All the lying and unquestioning support for the (frequently changing) trump WH narrative on each episode that perpetuates the media attention.

    So much for master persuader, 3D ninja media foo.

  20. Big Maq Says:

    “If nothing else, what a cast of characters — and what a gift to the Democrats.” – Ann

    Right, at minimum.

  21. Lorenz Gude Says:

    I’m with Dave. It is a battle of life and death for the MSM. And the glitterati and literati. Not to mention Larry Summers and his ilk. Their narrative failed. As Marx put it – collapsed of its own inner contradictions. To wit, the postmodern claim that culture and nation are arbitrary constructs over against the resulting uncontrolled immigration disenfranchising the proletariat. Oh my, what a handy dandy – I mean rusty trusty – intellectual tool Marxist analysis is when applied to the Cultural Marxists.

  22. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Maq…bless your little heart.

    Show me the law Trump Sr or Jr broke.
    Oh wait…you can’t.

    Unlike those examples DNW listed or I referenced…”teh Russians” is nothing. So your “whataboutism” is rubbish. There are no equivalencies. O & HRC either worked against the best interests of the USA OR they broke the law…AND got people killed. That’s what should be investigated by a special counsel.

  23. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    John Guilfoyle: amen.

  24. parker Says:

    “Geeze I can’t find my knees and the binoculars hang on the head of the mule.”

    A cat chasing its tail is amusing, but only for a while.

  25. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Some prediction variables and individuals have been talking about something going on at 2017 September-October. Watch the skies.

  26. kolnai Says:

    The NRO response to this has been execrable. David French is having the equivalent of a Never Trump-orgasm, and the Editors published their own article calling the meeting “disgraceful.”

    These people cover politics? In America? Pretty much everything is disgraceful. Maybe we should have listened to the ancients’, medievals’, and moderns’ (like the American Founders, to take a not irrelevant example) warnings about democracy, but we didn’t. So here we are.

  27. Barry Meislin Says:

    “…and fills me with a sense of exhaustion….”

    Yes, that’s precisely the point of this war of attrition that the media is fighting against Trump and his supporters.

    Until capitulation.

    Similar to the war of attrition that the Palestinians have been fighting against the State of Israel.

    I guess the bright side of all this is that the Left is actually able to learn something….

  28. expat Says:

    kolnai,

    NRO just put up this piece (along with others that are anti-Trump). But this one seems to show what Putin actually got out of any collusion with Trump.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449385/donald-trump-russia-foreign-policy-putin-obama

    Putin certainly wanted Trump to think he was on his side, and Trump accommodated him with some nice remarks, but in the end actions count more than words. It is a heck of a lot easier to condemn someone loudly than to do things that actually limit their room to act against us or our allies. The MSM seem unable to think outside of a matchbox. They deserve all the criticism for failing to truly inform the public. Ratings, ratings Über Alles, Über Alles in die Welt.

  29. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    To believe that Trump is in cahoots with Putin is to disregard his offer to compete with Russia’s NatGas monopoly in Europe.

  30. Ymar Sakar Says:

    This Leftist alliance crusade against the Trum and the Alt Right crusade Deus Vult dogmatic slogan to counter that, reminds me of how people who grew up with a propaganda lie, won’t give it up.

    Any more than Christians like giving up the concept that 25th of December is not Jesus of Nazareth’s birthday.

  31. Ymar Sakar Says:

    TommyJay Says:
    July 11th, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Hah, I remember that. Before the 1984 version came out.

  32. arfldgr Says:

    Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.

    “On 9-10 May of this year,” the May 14 memorandum explained, “Sen. Edward Kennedy’s close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow.” (Tunney was Kennedy’s law school roommate and a former Democratic senator from California.) “The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov.”

    Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”

    -=-=-=-=

    “Tunney remarked that the senator wants to run for president in 1988,” the memorandum continued. “Kennedy does not discount that during the 1984 campaign, the Democratic Party may officially turn to him to lead the fight against the Republicans and elect their candidate president.”

    Kennedy proved eager to deal with Andropov–the leader of the Soviet Union, a former director of the KGB and a principal mover in both the crushing of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the suppression of the 1968 Prague Spring–at least in part to advance his own political prospects.

    In 1992, Tim Sebastian published a story about the memorandum in the London Times. Here in the U.S., Sebastian’s story received no attention. In his 2006 book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, historian Paul Kengor reprinted the memorandum in full. “The media,” Kengor says, “ignored the revelation.”

    “The document,” Kengor continues, “has stood the test of time. I scrutinized it more carefully than anything I’ve ever dealt with as a scholar. I showed the document to numerous authorities who deal with Soviet archival material. No one has debunked the memorandum or shown it to be a forgery. Kennedy’s office did not deny it.”

  33. arfldgr Says:

    IF trump was actually dirty and didnt conduct his business legally and all that

    maybe the people who dont know the rules think choices are wrong, but people in business play the rules not the morality and ethics which are mutable depending on what day, what religion if any, what country, what socioeconomic thing your part of, etc. so they jsut play the rules.

    Its the rule breakers we dont like

    and for ego, we assume the successful broke he rules because we refuse to accept their being luckier, and even worse, working harder in a way that most cant (this was true of photography at the top level or most anything, from ballet to media production. the top are perfectionist workaholics of sorts with very high standards for themselves which is their excuse and reason to apply that to others or get out).

    most have no idea of that level of work
    they dont do it
    they are in opposition to their employer

    i said a very long time ago, way before trump, way back when huxley was here before he left and now is the prodigal son.. (welcome back)

    that the left cant stand a clean winner
    not pure.. not perfect.. just clean
    compared to soiled to the bone, clean is pure

    but thats why they are doing this..
    you cant attack clean that way
    thats what all that old moral stuff from centurie past and patriarchal dynastic teaching.

    that <by holding high standards and not compromixing them (according to law not fad masquerading as morals), they are forced to abandon using bad against the person and have to meet them face to face – IF they dont they will destroy themselves throwing themselves against something that has nothing for their hooks to catch on

    they fake that state by pretending to be clean and protecting so that dirt dont have the effect it should
    but that is a big energy thing

    now that the memos are released what can they do about making claims? then there is the point that a very liberal lawyer was the one that lied to tempt him.

    they are doing communist/socialist politics a la 1930
    you dont know that as you probably have little familarity with the process as refugees do… but its the same, and if you think about it, when this same thing was applied in 1930, you could have gotten the devil himself elected or have a choice between two of them who had a organization to block revealing. but the good guy? the one that liberalized the state, gave women the vote, and all that.. torn to pieces this same way…

    its a process a formula they follow and tweak each iteration so that they improve while the naive are stuck at square one like they always play the game new and fresh forgetting all past versions against a immortal chess expert

    ergo you cant sotp the end result as the people will NOT listen to anyone experienced cause we can tell expertise, experience or even genius.

    to prove it i will quote a famous song “Working at the carwash blues”:
    Tried to find me an executive position
    But no matter how smooth I talked
    They wouldn’t listen to the fact that I was a genius
    The man say, we got all that we can use
    Now I got them steadily depressin’, low down mind messin’
    Working at the car wash blues

    tests determine genius level in the box
    but outside the box, morons acn be geniuses
    and genisues look like morons
    and the harvard morons collude to pretend genius

    its real funny to watch and learn from:

    even more so if you went to bronx sciecne a few years early and ahve a recorded 175+ … and then watch them judge you and act differently when they dont know it… same as assuming i am from suburbie and not from a illiterate janitorial family in the inner city slum post DP camps..

  34. Dave Says:

    As a Trump supporter I believe Trump is in big trouble and very likely to be impeached within the next two years. optimist Trumpians believe that this Don Jr meeting with a Russian Lawyer incident is the last thing the MSM have, what if this is just the beginning? Remember this meeting took place in June, Trump still had at the time 5 months to find dirt on Hillary that could win him the election. What if after failing to obtain any substantial materials that the trump camp can use to damage Hillary from this bogus lawyer agent from Kremlin they decided to go directly to the source and solicited the help from Putin the man himself through manafort. Remember Trump was not doing well in the polls at all and his campaign might have felt desperate especially right after the release of the Billy Bush tape and decided to do something foolish and unethical. I don’t know the truth, emotionally i hope that wasn’t the case, but the possibility exists. No one thought accepting help from Russia was a big deal, Obama probably did receive help from Putin in someway during his elections, but things are different this time. The democrats can accept that the Teddy, Obama or Hillary receiving helps from Russia because the democrats are a corrupted bunch with no principles but the republicans won’t allow that. If there is a clue that the Trump campaign in someway has accepted help from Russia the Republicans would turn against Trump and get him impeached. Trump is in big big big trouble if there are more things to come, and it is naive to believe that is not the case.

  35. Bill Says:

    Donald Trump Jr (and a number of other people involved in this) have claimed to not have met with Russian representatives. Ever.

    I get the desire to protect the tribe. I (kind of) get the desire to hope Trump himself is an honest player despite all evidence to the contrary. But it seems awfully naive to me.

    All the yawning and nothingburgering and MSM bashing is having diminishing returns. These guys are being caught by their own words.

  36. Bill Says:

    These guys have been caught in outright lies. And the defense keeps morphing from “No contact with Russians whatsoever!” to “OK, there was contact but I didn’t know this was bad” (true, as far as that goes – I doubt DJTjr ever thought about the appropriateness) to “Yes, we contacted. It’s not illegal”.

    Legality isn’t the only issue here.

  37. Bill Says:

    But assuming that the yawning nothingburger will continue to be a yawning nothingburger flies in the face of lots of evidence, including the way Trump starts frenetically tweeting distractions whenever these kinds of things are about to drop.

  38. huxley Says:

    Bill: Well, it is looking worse than I first thought. A nasty combination of stupidity and moral weakness plus slow-walking the truth, Clinton-style.

  39. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Hey Junior. Welcome to the Republican side of this war. Maybe you were always with us, but probably not.

  40. huxley Says:

    I still find the 1984 “whatabout” in which Ted Kennedy covertly contacted the Soviet premier, Andropov, to make a deal to defeat Reagan that year to be worse.

    It’s one thing to be tempted by the devil. It’s another to go down to the crossroads to offer the devil a deal for your soul.

  41. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill and Big Maq:

    As I’ve said before, I don’t think anyone is saying Trump Jr.’s behavior has been good, particularly his veracity about the meeting. He certainly didn’t disclose it initially, or what it was about.

    I don’t think that I—or anyone else here—has been saying what an exemplary, up-front guy Trump Jr. is. But his “crime” was no crime at all, and his lack of candor and truthfulness is the sort of thing that’s standard in politics every day of the year from every side.

    There is nothing that I can see that’s big about the story—so far, anyway—except the hype in the MSM. Otherwise, it’s typical “politics is nasty business.”

    Now, I’ve just started my sojourn at the computer today, so maybe there are some new revelations I missed. If there are, I’ll certainly acknowledge them. I have no prior opinion about Donald Jr. to defend. But I refuse to join a feeding frenzy and pretend he’s done worse than he has.

  42. Ymar Sakar Says:

    As a Trump supporter I believe Trump is in big trouble and very likely to be impeached within the next two years.

    7 years of tribulation. That means Trum either has 3.5 years or 7 – 8 years.

    If the US gets this reprieve, and Israel (the 12 tribes, not just the supremacy belief that the tribe of Benjamine and Judah are the only Israel left) usually got a reprieve from some divine punishments, when they finally started worshiping alien gods, they were punished more severely as a result. Mercy is usually Jehovah giving people enough rope to hang themselves. As is the same declared of Trum, in a positive fashion.

  43. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill:

    By the way, the Russian lawyer they met with was not a “Russian representative.” She was a private Russian citizen.

    Now, when Trump Jr. was about to meet with her, he may have indeed thought she was some sort of Russian official, because the email indicated she was. But he would have been very quickly disabused of that notion when he actually met her (if you read HER account of the meeting, which I have, as well as his). So technically, he did not meet with any Russian “representative,” in fact, and he probably learned that very quickly during the meeting.

    Do you happen to have a link to Trump Jr.’s actual disclaimer? I’d be curious to read what he actually said.

  44. Ymar Sakar Says:

    It’s one thing to be tempted by the devil. It’s another to go down to the crossroads to offer the devil a deal for your soul.

    If you think that is the only time the US sold their soul… I have news for you, Hux: it’s old news by more than a few centuries.

  45. huxley Says:

    Ymar Sakar: Well I’ve never had much respect for you either.

    I suggest we avoid personal exchanges, especially anything that starts with “Hey Junior.”

    Address me as huxley, if you must.

  46. Ymar Sakar Says:

    kolnai Says:
    July 12th, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Americans wanted democracy? Here’s democracy, from the Most High.

    Israelis demanded a king like other nations? Jehovah gave them Saul, who killed the prophets. David, who killed the husband of his lover, by a very French like tactic.

  47. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    I think it’s obvious that, if this is just the tip of the iceberg and there’s far worse evidence of actual coordination of the type you describe, that that would be major trouble for Trump.

    Nothing like that has come out at all, after more than a year of searching. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. But it’s certainly very speculative.

  48. neo-neocon Says:

    huxley and Ymar Sakar:

    I request that acrimonious personal exchanges be kept out of the comments section. Thanks.

  49. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Dave Says:
    July 11th, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Trum was friends with the Clintons, although not to visiting the Epsteins with them. Trum most likely got into the campaign because it was a favor to HRC. Trum wanted the Presidential candidate chops, but he didn’t want to compete with HRC. He knows where she buries the bodies. So Trum wrecked the Cruz campaigns and the other conservatives, and had a grand fun time doing it, while upping his name recognition, which matters to him. When it became apparently that he could actually win the candidate slot, he started Kickstarting community review questions to conservatives asking them what they would like, and then putting it on a list to send out. That was part of his campaign staff, his clan Junior’s work probably. They only came on late, when Trum actually thought he would win.

    So he finally went seriously against HRC, but usually very late. Trum is not someone that keeps the gloves on when he perceives someone is bashing him. As with CNN, it’s almost immediate. But Trum waited before bashing Clinton, because he had to be careful on that point.

    She would be in jail if he was President, he said. She probably told him, “yea, and guess where your body will be buried after that”.

  50. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Watch out for Mueller and a manufactured ‘obstruction of justice’ charge… “Robert Barnes: Bob Mueller Is Assembling a Team of Ambitious Democratic Hit Men Against Trump”

    neo @ 1:22,

    I read somewhere that Trump Jr. left after just 10 minutes. Obviously after realizing she had nothing for him.

  51. Frog Says:

    The “Russia-collusion” stuff is NOT sausage-making, Neo. It is a deliberate effort to dissemble and lie to the American people, under Goebbel’s theorem that a Big Lie repeated often enough becomes the Truth.

    To boot, we have clear evidence of Hussein’s efforts against Netanyahu in the Israeli election. But that is never mentioned because that is somehow OK, being sauce for the goose, the oppressor of the po’ Palestinians..
    This is not small stuff, nor boring. It is evidence of the great danger which is being imposed on us.

    Even my maid is practicing verbal Democratic lawfare! I violated my oath never to discuss politics with any employee by talking with her about BHO. She always counters, “Yes, but what if it (global warming, fracking dangers, etc.) are true? Or that Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns is clear and obvious evidence he has much to hide. She, of course, gets paid in cash and pays no Federal taxes. Like so many others, she has been willingly conditioned to see dangers under every bush, from which only Democratic mega-government can save her, at a cost that I can afford and she will not have to pay..

  52. Ymar Sakar Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    July 12th, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    http://neoneocon.com/2017/07/11/a-bit-more-about-the-collusion-story/#comment-2232574

    I’m writing a comment about Junior here, and in the comment you moderated, I said it was Trum Junior. There’s only one Trum so I go with Junior. The OP is about Donald Trump Jr. It’s in the name.

    Huxley apparently thought I was talking to him. I don’t appreciate people launching shots against me based upon their inadequacies. If they are going to get the shots in, it should be on stuff I’ve intentionally targeted their way.

    The previous comment thread about marijuana discontinued due to time. This is a good point to restart it, because it makes the previous point that marijuana affects judgment and emotional stability, even when the person stops taking it years before.

  53. Bill Says:

    Neo – I realize that I think this is a bigger deal than you do. A few thoughts.

    This much appears to be clear: Donald Trump Junior eagerly (“I love it!”) asked for a meeting to be setup with people he believed were representing the Russian efforts to help his dad beat HRC for the purpose of getting oppo research on HRC.

    I think that’s established fact.

    Yes, of course it matters if he did or didn’t get anything of value.

    Yes, it certainly matters what their relationship was to the actual Russian government (although if there is actually a “there” there, it’s very naive to look at that question through purely Clintonian “definition of is, is” lenses)

    Just the act of attending that meeting puts a big lie to all the innocent protestation of the past year that there is absolutely *nothing* to the collusion story.

    For example: if you’ve been assuring your better half that you’ve been faithful and then she finds women’s lingerie in your dufflebag, well, you *may* be telling the truth but there’s certainly more to the story.

    Finally – I keep hearing “Nothing found for the entire year”. What does that even mean? Is that true?

    There’s an active investigation going on – and they haven’t revealed the findings yet. So how can you possibly know that nothing has been found?

    Multiple members of Trump’s inner circle have been caught lying about undisclosed meetings with Russians. Right? Isn’t that at least *something*?

    Trump has been acting very skittish about this for a year. He fired the FBI director and it’s clear from what he said and did afterwards that he thought it would take pressure of the Russian investigation (I realize that doesn’t make him guilty).

    Trump isn’t acting like someone dealing with a nothingburger (can we please ban that phrase?). For example: Say I’m being accused of, I don’t know, not being born in the United States. If I play it cool, go with the flow, and then at a good, opportune moment disclose my long form birth certificate, I’m acting like someone who was born in the United States. If I am constantly whining and complaining about it, if I am constantly trying to get twitter froth going on distractions, if I *fire* the guy leading the investigation and then publicly threaten him on twitter . . . I’m acting like someone not born in the US. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t. At a minimum, it means that I’m really bad at dealing with false accusations.

    What I’m saying is this: I’m not crazy for at least entertaining the suspicion that Trump may have gladly cooperated at least a little bit with the Russians because they *obviously* were trying to help him get elected.

    Side note (to others): YES, WHAT TEDDY KENNEDY DID IN 1984 WAS BAD. THAT HAS NO BEARING ON WHAT DJT JR DID.

    I really hate, hate, hate whataboutism. And when it becomes the primary defense I start getting suspicious that we’re running out of defenses.

  54. Frog Says:

    As to Ymar Sakar, see this;
    https://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/

    some screws may need tightening, but I am not a helo mechanic.

  55. Ymar Sakar Says:

    To boot, we have clear evidence of Hussein’s efforts against Netanyahu in the Israeli election.

    You asked a bunch of rhetorical looking questions about Ymar and Christianity in a previous thread I replied to. Do you actually believe Israel, meaning the 12 tribes not just the Tribe of Benjamine and Judah, is in the Middle East right now and that they are ushering in the “completed prophecies”?

    To Huxley (see, this is how I actually address people vs how people imagine I do it):

    I got a message for you from the spirit of the god I follow. Your sin and transgression is forgiven you, and you can go in peace. Although I don’t think it included any future transgressions past a certain point. Also, if you wish to be free of your previous chains in life, rebuke and what was that word, reject or deny your previous associations. The transgression in question here is bearing false testimonies that happen to harm or create the spirit of conflict.

    Neo has the power on this blog to moderate my comments and others. This case between you and me, Huxley, is beyond her jurisdiction and it is also beyond the Supreme Court, or the “Law of the Land”. Remember that.

  56. Lizzy Says:

    Until the media/DC establishment explain to us why none of the activities detailed in “Clinton Cash” are a crime, or at minimum, not corruption & improper use of Sec. of State position, I will not buy into the Trump scandal du jour. Hillary’s private email server was just the tip of the iceberg, on par with the tax evasion committed to hide a criminal kingpin’s organization.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/ych5r7ut
    – – – –

    “Whataboutism” is a nice trick for pretending that there is no defense. What people are saying is that many of these alleged scandals and crimes are for activities that are SOP in DC, some of them legal, some of them sketchy (depending on the accusation). For some of the charges, the press and Democrats are leveraging the rest of the country’s lack of knowledge of how DC operates (e.g. meetings w/foreign nations & their representatives), or that they are not aware of some of the Obama and/or Clinton team shenanigans (such as Obama meddling in Israeli election).

  57. Bill Says:

    ““Whataboutism” is a nice trick for pretending that there is no defense. What people are saying is that many of these alleged scandals and crimes are for activities that are SOP in DC, some of them legal, some of them sketchy (depending on the accusation).”

    Lizzy,

    Trump was elected to “drain the swamp (or what’s otherwise known as SOP in DC).

    I’m not a fan of HRC and really glad she’s not president. But this demand that the Clinton scandals be fully litigated before we can even pay attention to what the current POTUS is doing – well, that’s very unrealistic.

    HRC is not POTUS. I’m all for her actions being punished to the full extent of the law. But the Trump investigation has implications beyond political wins and losses. He is the POTUS. He has certainly ushered in a new era of admiration for and defense of Russia in the GOP. If there’s any reason for that beyond good foreign policy wisdom, we need to know.

    If you’re pointing out that the MSM is hypocritical and needs reform – I’m right there with you. But Trump has also overplayed that hand as far as I’m concerned and has teetered dangerously close to an assault on the institution of a free (i.e., non Government pressured) press. I’m not going down that path. And certainly not for a “Republican” like Trump.

    No way.

  58. Dave Says:

    This is a big deal because if they had the intention to collude with Russia to find dirt on Hillary in June despite having failed to do so that time, the only conclusion a logical person would draw is they would keep trying until they get what they wanted. June was just the beginning of the general election, what did Junior and friends do in July, August, September and October? It is very uncomfortable for me to learn that they went that route already as early as June.

    Of course you can draw a complete different conclusion that the failing attempt to collude with Russia tipped them off that the Democrats were eager to set them up or at least already having them under close surveillance that they have abandoned that route to find dirt on Hillary all together. We’ll see.

  59. Frog Says:

    Bill:
    Benedict Arnold was not president either.
    Treason is a very high crime, regardless of office or rank.

    By your equivocations, which shift away from Clinton criminality toward Trump’s hostility to the Leftist MSM as an equivalent, I deem you flawed with self-righteousness.

  60. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    Listening to a Russian who was said to have information on Hillary’s wrongdoing is not colluding with them in doing something. It is obtaining information. There is a big difference.

    I could just as easily argue that the experience would have tended to discourage further explorations along these lines, because it was so completely unproductive and turned out to have been a complete blind alley.

    I don’t see your conclusions as any more logical than that second notion. We just don’t know which is the case.

    In addition, Trump Jr didn’t bring this up himself. He was responding to someone else who brought it up, so I can’t even say he was actively pursuing it.

  61. Big Maq Says:

    “bless your little heart” – John G

    Very womanly of you John. 😉
    .

    One can think there is something wrong without buying into what the left is hyperventilating a conclusion on.

    If you, instead, brush aside these things, or justify them with your examples of how the dems do the same or similar, THAT is whataboutism.

    I get it. We don’t like it when the dems do it.

    The dems used the same kind of defenses and we didn’t like them one bit, as clearly there was something wrong.
    http://neoneocon.com/2017/07/11/the-collusion-story-marches-on/#comment-2232528

    Then why don’t we walk our talk?

  62. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill:

    You wrote “just the act of attending that meeting puts a big lie to all the innocent protestation of the past year that there is absolutely ‘nothing’ to the collusion story.”

    No, it does not.

    What’s more, even if that meeting had gone as Trump Jr. hoped (that’s a hypothetical because it did not go according to hope), it still would not have been collusion.

    I don’t know how many times I need to repeat this, but it is not collusion to get information about a wrongdoing on the part of your opponent, no matter who you get that information from (even if it’s a criminal, as long as you are not bribing them or anything like that). The Trump campaign has denied that they colluded with these people, and until these emails came out everyone seems to have understood that as meaning “we didn’t cooperate, help, or assist” them if and when they did this.

    Trump Jr. was hoping to get info on whether HILLARY had colluded with the Russians. That’s not collusion on his part. So his denials of collusion, and the denials of other Trump aides, were not untrue. They were true (at least, from what we know so far).

    If he had denied ever meeting with a single Russian to discuss anything connected with the matter of Russian influence or Russian information, that would be a lie on his part. I’m still trying to ascertain whether he made that denial or not. If you know, please put in a link.

  63. neo-neocon Says:

    kolnai:

    Yes, I read that NR editorial earlier today and it seemed to be basically saying no collusion no crime but what Trump Jr. did was disgraceful. I think they are still angry and embarrassed at the entire Trump presidency.

  64. Dave Says:

    what exactly constitutes collusion seriously? if treason means creating an advantage for an adversary to strategically undermine one’s own country’s interest, how can anyone argue that giving 20% of United States’ Uranium reserve to Russia is not treason under that definition?

  65. Big Maq Says:

    We seem to be getting wrapped around the legalisms of this.

    While that is an important aspect (it has bearing on if this is possibly a prosecutable offense), it is only one aspect of what ought to be considered.

    The other aspect is the ethical.
    .

    Are we all down with the idea that our presidential candidates (or their campaign teams) engage with people they think are representatives of foreign powers (in official capacity or – where this gets to be very grey, when dealing with non-western nations – not) in providing what is believed some kind of damaging “inside” information about their competitors?

    Do we condone WikiLeaks type suspiciously selective and timed disclosures of stolen information, particularly by, or supported by, foreign entities?

    Do we condone even semi-coordinated efforts, be it inside info, stolen info, public disclosure of selective such info, fake news generation on social media, some or all of the above in combination, by a foreign entity?

    Does it matter more if these foreign powers are also known bad actors, if not enemies of the USA?

    Where do we draw the line? Info okay, but finances not? What about paid ads?

    Or, is it all okay, as long as it is the dems that are targets?
    .

    This is only the beginning of this type of questioning down this ethical path.

    Some, or all of it may be perfectly legal. But, we don’t all operate as if only the illegal is wrong.

    So, there is a lot tied to blindly support trump on this, even if we don’t buy into the left’s narrative / conclusions.
    .

    It is rather problematic that our POTUS has been rather soft on putin and russia on hacking and other important topics, has been caught in multiple revised takes on what he / the WH declared was the “truth” on several questions regarding the campaign’s contact with russians, he kicked all this russia “collusion” narrative off by openly asking the russians to find clinton’s emails (turns out, about a month after this trump jr meeting), and trump perpetuates it by openly admitting he fired the FBI Director as an attempt to take some of the heat off.

    Rather hard to act any more “guilty” than he has.

    Combine that with the ethical questions this raises (repeatedly on this and other issues with this POTUS) and there is no good outcome.
    .

    On this, trump would be better off claiming he now knows better and clean up his act on this, and treat russia as the threat they are.

    BUT, he won’t. Why?

    Because his supporters play blue vs red team. trump never gets the feedback from the ones he’d listen to that maybe he has overstepped and needs correction.

    And on and on it goes.
    .

    In the meantime, are we getting the changes we want? NO!

    Ok, some – SCOTUS!!!!.

    And, if we lower the bar for success far enough, that is a resounding success!!! Winning!!!!

    It is happening so much we are getting bored with it.

    Right.

    What I do know, if trump were inclined to sell his agenda (he’s not, AFAI can tell), this stuff is crowding out even the GOP Congress from building support, as they have to answer for this.

  66. Bill Says:

    Neo – regarding the “no crime was committed defence” – as I mentioned elsewhere, I’m not a lawyer and not sure if one was or not. But I think the latest from Andrew McCarthy rightly frames the issue. Below is a sample:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449401/trump-jr-emails-high-crimes-misdemeanors

    The bickering over collusion “crimes” misses the point. If an unfit person holds the presidency, the danger to our society is that he will abuse the power that he wields. The imperative is to remove him from office. Whether, in addition to that, his misconduct also happens to violate penal statutes and be ripe for criminal prosecution is a side issue. It is a subordinate legal question, whereas fitness for the presidency is a core political issue. That is why it is rightly observed that impeachment is a political remedy, not a legal one.

    We are a good distance from being able to assess whether President Trump should be impeached. It is specious, though, to suggest that this is not a question worthy of exploration, or that its answer hinges on whether collusion with Russia amounts to a criminal-law violation.

    Regarding your position that DJTJrs meeting doesn’t constitute collusion – I’m not claiming proof that it does. If, however, it’s part of the reason Trump has been so (weirdly) admiring of Putin, or part of the reason Trump has been relatively obtuse about the Ukraine situation, or part of why Trump, after the meeting was setup, teased supporters that he was going to come out soon with some “very interesting” information on HRC or a thousand other curiosities related to Trump’s relationship to Russia…

    None of this proves squat, I know. My point is that it’s not “nothing”

    Things will get very serious, of course, if there’s some quid quo pro in here related to favorable treatment of Russia following their assistance in beating HRC. Whether that’s called “collusion” or not I don’t care, it’s impeachable.

    Hasn’t been proven yet.

    As they say, we’ll see.

  67. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The issue is not whether Trump exaggerates and lies when it suits him. The issue is not even whether Trump colluded with the Russians. Or even that he may have acted to cover up that collusion.

    Were the Left a loyal opposition, those concerns would indeed be the issues. But as the Left is committed to and engaged in sedition and most liberals willfully blind to their complicity in that sedition, the issue far transcends those normally grave concerns.

    For all his faults, Trump’s attitude toward America’s survival is well intentioned and beyond doubt.

    What many refuse to face is David Horowitz’s clear recognition of the internal reality we face; “the erasure of the American republic is [now] the core agenda of the democrat party”

    Thus, the issue that transcends all else is whether we continue our March to the Collective. If Trump falls, Pence will be President. The GOPe greatly favors Pence, that tells me he would almost certainly be another Ryan/McConnell/McCain/Graham and though slower, we will then resume our March into the Collective paradise the Left envisions.

    Whatever then the particulars, the consequential result will be the end of the American republic.

    That is what is at stake.

  68. Bill Says:

    “the erasure of the American republic is [now] the core agenda of the democrat party”

    No it’s not. It does, however, sell a LOT of books and radio time.

    I’m not going to treat my fellow Americans as enemies that I’m at war with, even if they do disagree with me politically. To do so is unpatriotic and immoral. Beat them at the ballot box.

    And I’m not going to adopt an eyes wide shut attitude toward “my” side, excusing any outrage as required for the “struggle”.

  69. AesopFan Says:

    arfldgr Says:
    July 12th, 2017 at 10:58 am
    “tests determine genius level in the box
    but outside the box, morons acn be geniuses
    and genisues look like morons
    and the harvard morons collude to pretend genius”
    * * *
    put it to music!

  70. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Bill says “I’m not going to treat my fellow Americans as enemies that I’m at war with, even if they do disagree with me politically.”, but it’s a verifiable fact that a large part of the left is out to destroy the republic.
    Bill Ayers once estimated how many millions would have to die.

  71. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Bill,

    There’s no need to confirm that you are one of those who refuse to face that, “the erasure of the American republic is [now] the core agenda of the democrat party” and, it’s a slander to suggest that Horowitz’s conclusion is motivated by a desire to sell books…

    As for persuading the liberally inclined, Franklin placed his finger firmly upon the difficulty; “you cannot reason a man out of a position, that they reached solely through emotion”. (paraphrased)

    Ed,

    Bill is one of those committed to his normalcy bias. By the time he can no longer sustain his denial, it will be far too late for him.

    He maintains that attitude by focusing upon the well meaning, useful idiot LIVs and ignoring so many American’s rejection of the principles upon which this country was founded.

    Focusing upon America’s positives, like its firm rejection of racism cannot supersede its embrace of secular progressivism. Which is simply Marxism-lite.

    America could exist with a racist component, it will not long survive a majority who embrace the collective.

  72. John Guilfoyle Says:

    “If you, instead, brush aside these things, or justify them with your examples of how the dems do the same or similar, THAT is whataboutism.”

    Maq…I know you have to be smarter than this.
    Nothing Trump Sr or Jr has done is “the same or similar.”

    You are arguing a falsehood from the get go. Until you stop that…you are imminently ignorable. But I’ll give you one more chance… 😉 I’m really a nice guy.

    What they have done is violate your Olympian ethical conundrums. I get that…Am I comfortable with it? I think our gracious host said something about “political sausage.”

    THAT “disruption” (I like that word you used) took place long long ago. When you are able to make all politicians play by your moral standards, (& convince me you play by ’em too) I’ll applaud you to the stars. Until then, we dance with who we have on the floor and bust their chops when they ACTUALLY BREAK THE LAW.

    And yes…point out the highest possible ethical standards so we can set our aspirations high. But I’m realistic enough to know how humans given a shot at power are going to act…and that probably includes you & me…because I know at least in my case…I’m not always so nice.

    Pax vobiscum

  73. brdavis9 Says:

    Yaaawn.

    Eh? – Sorry. What?

    Oh…….

    Meh.

    …where did I put that crossword???

  74. AesopFan Says:

    Dave Says:
    July 12th, 2017 at 11:32 am
    “The democrats can accept that the Teddy, Obama or Hillary receiving helps from Russia because the democrats are a corrupted bunch with no principles but the republicans won’t allow that.”
    * * *
    This is really the bottom line, isn’t it?
    It may be why so “many” are defending (if not quite supporting) President Trump: because Republicans DO have principles, and they don’t want to ramrod him out of office unless there is a clear legal violation, rather than just an ethical icky-factor.
    Particularly when the bar for icky is set so egregiously differently.

  75. AesopFan Says:

    expat Says:
    July 12th, 2017 at 8:30 am
    kolnai,

    NRO just put up this piece (along with others that are anti-Trump). But this one seems to show what Putin actually got out of any collusion with Trump.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449385/donald-trump-russia-foreign-policy-putin-obama

    … The MSM seem unable to think outside of a matchbox. They deserve all the criticism for failing to truly inform the public.
    * * *
    Good piece; probably cost a lot of grimacing in the newsroom to print it.
    Informing the public means including positive, negative, and everything in between, not just what favors your side.
    And, of course, truly informing the public means telling the truth in the first place.

  76. AesopFan Says:

    Dave Says:
    July 12th, 2017 at 4:01 pm
    what exactly constitutes collusion seriously?
    * * *
    The 64-thousand-dollar question.
    Somehow, the definition of “collusion” keeps changing in a “yes, but” fashion so that the charge never quite means the same thing two days in a row (or in two different articles in the same newspaper, sometimes).
    The sequence is something like “if he did this thing A then that is collusion” — “he didn’t do A, he did B” — “yes, but, B is collusion too” (don’t forget it started with “if” in the first place).

  77. Bill Says:

    Ed,

    “Bill Ayers once estimated how many millions would have to die.”

    He’s a terrorist.

    Want me to quote Timothy McVey as representative of the Republican side? Does that work? How about David Duke?

    You guys are de-humanizing and de-citizening fellow Americans and taking an amoral stance when it comes to people on the right since we’re “at war”. You know where this kind of attitude leads, don’t you?

    I won’t be able to argue you out of that, I realize. But I stand by what I said.

  78. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    He’s a terrorist who is entrenched in the Democratic Machine.
    He ghost wrote Obama’s book(s).
    Yes he’s a terrorist.
    David Duke, McVeigh don’t come close to that.

  79. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    And I didn’t say all liberals are in that camp, certainly not Alan Dershowitz. Lieberman.
    But a sizable number want the overthrow of the Constitutional Republic to be replaced by a socialist regime.

  80. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill:

    Ayres WAS a terrorist, but he decided he could influence more people by being an educator of the young.

    And so he has.

  81. Bill Says:

    Neo, yes. I don’t know how that happens. I mean, he blew up stuff and killed people.

  82. Brian E Says:

    “the erasure of the American republic is [now] the core agenda of the democrat party”

    No it’s not. It does, however, sell a LOT of books and radio time.

    Maybe not erasure, but certainly fundamental transformation. That was Obama’s stated purpose.

    I know the left would like to carve out an exception in the first amendment for hate speech. All it takes is a 5-4 leftist bent to the SC for that to happen. Something that might have happened had Hillary won.

    Free speech is dead on many American college campuses.

    Once hate speech is not longer protected, whether or not your speech is hate is totally at the whim of the SC. In some leftist circles Christianity as expressed is hate speech.

    Do you seriously think the left won’t go that direction once they’re back in power?

  83. Bill Says:

    Neo – honest question, since I respect your viewpoint greatly.

    What do you think of the position, frequently expressed in these comments threads, that the Progressive Left is not just a political wing we disagree with but a clear and present danger that must be treated the way we would treat a war adversary? That they want to “put us in gulags” or “chop off heads” or “turn us into North Korea” or similar things?

    That it doesn’t matter what corruption or anti-constitutional behavior our “side” engages in because we’re “at war”?

    That believing we should beat them at the ballot box is cuck-talk or wimpy or “willfully blind” or whatever – I mean, we are beating them at the ballot box, last I looked, and what’s the alternative? The “civil war 2” that all the folks in the fever swamps are panting for?

    I’m interested in what you think. I wouldn’t presume to ask, but I’d love a post on that.

    What’s best for the future of our country? Are we just, as many here seem to think, on an unavoidable path to citizens killing citizens over politics and so all we can do is buy more ammo?

  84. Bill Says:

    “Do you seriously think the left won’t go that direction once they’re back in power?”

    I think they’ll try. Sure. But there are people on the left who value free speech just as much as you do. And our current President hasn’t exactly been a paragon of constitutional virtue regarding the first amendment.

    My fear: because the Republicans switched over to Trumpism, conservatism is being daily discredited, and the left will get back in power way sooner than they would have. Not in spite of Trumpism, because of it.

    That’s the path I believe we’re on now. The window is closing to change course.

  85. Brian E Says:

    Bill,
    The real problem with the midterms is the GOP. And don’t blame that on Trump.

    They vowed through their votes while Obama was president to repeal the ACA. Now they’re paralyzed by fear of voter backlash if they do.

    If that’s true, that public sentiment has changed over the last few years, then get on with reforming the program to the extent possible (block granting Medicaid, removing EHB provisions etc.) and get on to tax reform and infrastructure.

    The window to remove regulations and tax rates that stifle economic growth that will be noticeable by the 2018 elections is closing.

    HHS Secretary Price is the point man for the administration working on getting legislation passed, so don’t say Trump isn’t involved.

    I just read an opinion piece by Rand Paul extremely critical of the senate bill, which doesn’t bode well for any consensus.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/12/exclusive-sen-rand-paul-senate-gop-decides-keep-obamacare/

    I wish Paul would temper his remarks.

    Trump’s administration can do some to ameliorate the effects of the ACA through changing the regulatory underpinnings of the bill put in place after its passage.
    That may be the best that can be done.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/07/trump-can-improve-health-care-without-congress.php

  86. Bill Says:

    “The real problem with the midterms is the GOP. And don’t blame that on Trump.”

    Agree to disagree. Among the problems I see with current legislative efforts:

    1) Trust that the GOP is going to produce a better plan than the ACA. They’ve gotten zero help from Trump’s bully pulpit on this. Of course, the blame is shared – they have 7 years to come up with something better. Man, the GOP sucks.

    2) Trump’s high negatives with the populace – he’s got low approval ratings. President’s with low approval ratings have a long uphill road in passing large, controversial bills

    3) Perhaps the biggest issue: Trump has gone out of his way to create distraction and chaos to, as his supporters admiringly put it, “make liberal heads explode”. Having a large segment of the media, the voting population, and the congressional opposition absolutely p_ssed off at you doesn’t lend itself to the kind of give and take/compromise needed to get a large, controversial bill through.

    So, yes, I believe Trump deserves a large part of the blame.

  87. Brian E Says:

    I know this is off topic but Bill is assigning blame to Trump for Congress’s inability to pass an ACA reform bill.

    Here’s is President Trump’s position when he was candidate Trump:

    Ensuring people with pre-existing health conditions are guaranteed “access” to health insurance, “and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the health-care exchanges.
    Giving people who buy their own health coverage tax credits and expanded health savings accounts to help pay for their coverage, as well as flexibility about the design of their plans.
    Give states “the resources and flexibility” in their Medicaid programs “to make sure no one is left out.” Medicaid covers primarily poor people.
    Legal reforms to protect doctors and patients “from unnecessary costs” that drive up insurance costs, and to bring down the price of high-cost drugs.
    Creating a national insurance marketplace that allows insurers to sell health plans across state lines.

    Now I believe the Senate and House bill actually includes most if not all of these provisions (to some extent).

    Should Trump strongarm the 5 GOP holdouts (the conservatives) to get the bill passed? And exactly should he do that?

    And are you on board with that?

  88. Bill Says:

    Brian E,

    I don’t know what the best strategy for Trump is to get the HC bill passed. Lawmakers are holding out because of lots of negative pressure from their constituents. Trump owns the bully pulpit. It makes a difference.

    If there was much evidence at all that a) Trump has been focused on this legislative fight and b) he actually understands much about the new bill, versus just wanting to get something/anything to sign and c) that he’s not distracted continuously by other things I’d give him more of a break. He controls all three of the issues I’ve listed.

  89. Brian E Says:

    Bill,
    Is the problem with Trump or with McConnell?

    The majority leader is not up to the job.

    Don’t take it from me. Conservatives and moderates are taking turns voicing their frustration with McConnell, his choices, and the exclusive cloak-and-dagger way he operates the chamber.

    Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., and John McCain, R-Ariz. – a group of names not often on the same list – have taken their leader to task over one issue or another, all understanding the historic opportunity at their fingertips and all watching it slip away.

    Senate Republicans may not all think the same way – indeed, it is a strength of the party that it can be intellectually vibrant and diverse – but one would at least hope they can unite in the common good of serving the voters’ wishes! My hunch is that most of them would agree with this. Unfortunately, they are hamstrung by a leader who has alternative loyalties.

    https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/freedom-and-the-gop-are-dying-under-leader-mcconnell

  90. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Brian E said: “HHS Secretary Price is the point man for the administration working on getting legislation passed…”
    I’ve heard radio ads sponsored by Price asking for input on egregious HHS regs that he can change.
    That gives me a lot of hope!.

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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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