Jeff Sessions and the New McCarthyism

How do you counter a truly impressive address to Congress by President Trump? You purge the government. Like Stalin did.

But here’s the thing. Purges usually are done by authoritarian governments - most of them outright tyrannies - in a ruthless house cleaning. Sometimes to merely produce terror in your citizenry. Like Stalin. Or Mao. Sometimes to quell a possible coup d’etat. Like during the rule of military governments in much of Latin America in the 70’s.

What we have now in Washington D.C. is a new and dangerous thing. A rather frightening attempt at a purge of the Trump administration's highest and most important officials, done by the Deep State. The Obama-era leakers (both still in government, or no longer in government but with allies throughout the bureaucracy) no longer even bother to spend too much time in the shadows. In the Washington Post's Daily 202, James Hohmann cheerfully describes how Obama-era government officials, many still in government, left a deliberate "Russian" paper trail across many government departments. All to ensure they could play gotcha with any incoming administration official who said as much as "Hi ambassador, how are you?" and forgot to tell Congress.

These Deep State leakers are the bearers of the New McCarthyism, standing just offstage, rather than sweating and shouting for the cameras like the Senator from Wisconsin at least did. And one in which, once again, you are guilty until proven innocent. Especially of mistakes of process, rather than substance. They set the fires with leaks to the media (yes that's a mixed metaphor, sorry) and then jump up and down yelling smoke! smoke! smoke!

Because what matters with the New McCarthyism is not the evidence as much as the narrative. Russia stole the election. How else could Hillary lose? How else could Trump win? Trump is skeptical of conventional beltway perspectives like constant war and failed nation-building, so he must be a Putin plant! And much of mainstream media is a gleeful, amplified chorus. Who cares about evidence? Tell the story!

Our Own Personal Watergate! Aw riiight!!

So unlike Edward R. Murrow's brave confrontation with Senator Joe McCarthy's excesses, excesses which often became witch hunts, the media in 2017 is often ahead of Congress, pushing and pulling them to get inquisitorial. As quickly as possible. The Deep State leaks. The media hunts. Congress complies and sets up inquiries.

This is the administrative state forcing itself on the other 3 branches of government. Catch that? We have pretty well assumed the administrative state is a branch of the government. We no longer even question whether and why.

So Jeff Sessions has recused himself. And President Trump has full confidence in him. What does Schumer sound like when he cackles and rubs his hands together? A gleeful warlock? Or relieved that it's not him they're gunning at?

President Trump needs to plug the leaks. Which means he needs Reince or Spicer or someone to do it for him. The White House staff is large. The executive branch of government is much, much larger. There are enemies right in the White House and across the executive, unlike in perhaps any other new administration. Trump will need all the help he can get from his inner circle to stop the leaks and end the witch hunts.

Because private speech between incoming administration officials and foreign officials has now been criminalized. And policy differences - especially foreign policy differences - have been weaponized as well as criminalized. That is a horrifying precedent that will be used against any and all future governments in Washington. America must not let this happen.

Posted by Keeley at March 2, 2017 6:17 PM
Comments
Comment #414043

Trump and his advisers brought this upon themselves with their weird love affair with a gangster.

Posted by: Rich at March 2, 2017 8:19 PM
Comment #414050

“Because private speech between incoming administration officials and foreign officials has now been criminalized. And policy differences - especially foreign policy differences - have been weaponized as well as criminalized.”

Not exactly. Meeting with a known spy of an adversary while that adversary is undermining an election, and then lying about the meeting, has become an issue.

Sessions has developed an terrible case of “I can’t remember” when asked about the content of the meeting. The meeting was attended by at least two senior aides and one junior aide. Let’s see how everybody’s memory does on the next round of testimony.

The Trump administration stated 20 times- or more- that its campaign had no contacts with the Russians. Now it turns out Sessions, as well as Flynn & Kushner, met with the Russians.

Posted by: phx8 at March 3, 2017 1:47 AM
Comment #414057

Jeff, did you eat that entire bag of chips?

No.

Are you sure?

I never eat chips.

Here is an empty bag in the garbage can. Did you eat them?

I don’t recall.

Your fingers still have salt on them and there are crumbs on your clothing. Did you eat those chips?

Oh. Wait. I ate them in my capacity as Senator, not as a member of the Trump Campaign.

Really? Because here is surveillance video of you eating the chips while wearing a Trump hat, and a Trump shirt that says ‘Trump is better with chips!’

Can I be recused now?

Posted by: phx8 at March 3, 2017 11:01 AM
Comment #414059

The weirdest bit is that eating chips is not necessarily a crime. Why didn’t people just come clean from the beginning and avoid the current mess?

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 3, 2017 11:19 AM
Comment #414061
These Deep State leakers are the bearers of the New McCarthyism,

I was so proud of our conservative friends going a thread with out blaming Obama for some foolish thing Trump and his cronies did. But it appears it didn’t last long.Already we see the latest conspiracy theory used to take the blame away from Trump and put it on Obama, “Deep State leakers”!! The shadow government!!

This is so obvious even conservatives should be able to see through it, shouldn’t they? I mean it is finger pointing and projecting conservative “McCarthyism” onto the opposition. It is an excuse for “we got caught” IMHO. Deep State leakers instead of Transparency now the conservatives are in power! Deep State leakers blame them for our crimes they cry.It is their fault we got caught so blame them… and a new conspiracy theory is born…ho hum.

Once again why not just come clean with your antics conservatives? It seems to me the American people would appreciate honesty more than this crap. Trump apologist don’t care, he** Trump could be caught in bed with a little boy and theTrump apologist would be blaming the kid, so what do you have to lose with Transparency?

I gotta say Keeley this apologist thing sounds like just another attempt by Bannon to wreck government using “Deep State” this or that to do so. Creating a false crisis and using it to carry out the whims of the leader.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 3, 2017 11:50 AM
Comment #414063

Why do people keep smearing the late senator from WI by interjecting a label that is very demeaning?

None of you using that label know a tinkers damn about the senator.

The smears and trash you mention is a disgrace to a former member of congress.

A pox on your housees

Posted by: tom humes at March 3, 2017 12:05 PM
Comment #414064

Tom Humes,

Instead of continuously claiming you have secret file with exculpatory documents sequestered away in your drawer, why don’t you share some insights into why you believe McCarthy’s reputation was unfairly maligned? Put up or shut up is what I say.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 3, 2017 12:34 PM
Comment #414070

Tom, you don’t have to answer anything WP asks of you…his favorite comment to all conservatives is “put up or shut up”. In fact, he uses it so often, it’s lost its meaning.

Posted by: Blaine at March 3, 2017 1:49 PM
Comment #414071

Keeley-

How do you counter a truly impressive address to Congress by President Trump? You purge the government. Like Stalin did.

We’re minority party and out of the White House, and so we’re just like an all powerful authoritarian Soviet Communist dictator. For your next trick, could you argue black is white?

But here’s the thing. Purges usually are done by authoritarian governments - most of them outright tyrannies - in a ruthless house cleaning. Sometimes to merely produce terror in your citizenry. Like Stalin. Or Mao. Sometimes to quell a possible coup d’etat. Like during the rule of military governments in much of Latin America in the 70’s.

Right. So, we’re like a) Soviet Communist Russia, where the Communist party had unquestioned power, b) Mao’s China, similar lines, or c) The normally right-wing and Republican supported Latin American Dictatorship.

I’m not one to sugarcoat America’s issues in the world, but I’m not selling America anywhere near as short as you are.

What we have now in Washington D.C. is a new and dangerous thing. A rather frightening attempt at a purge of the Trump administration’s highest and most important officials, done by the Deep State. The Obama-era leakers (both still in government, or no longer in government but with allies throughout the bureaucracy) no longer even bother to spend too much time in the shadows.

Oooh. The Deep State. Your new Bogeyman, now you can’t scare people with the Obama Administration?

Look, we’re given this rather facile picture of the government by the media, which pictures it as unified and monolithic. By design, by necessity, it’s far from it. What’s more, it’s a free country, and we encourage by law, by custom, more openness in our government than some people (Trump and you) would be comfortable with.

In the Washington Post’s Daily 202, James Hohmann cheerfully describes how Obama-era government officials, many still in government, left a deliberate “Russian” paper trail across many government departments. All to ensure they could play gotcha with any incoming administration official who said as much as “Hi ambassador, how are you?” and forgot to tell Congress.

A trail of what? Look, there seems to be a pattern to what people are forgetting. This was done in desperation as people realized that the people this information cast suspicion on could be in a position to destroy that information. They merely insured that your people would have to face the music, rather than getting away with possible collaboration with a foreign power to interfere in our elections.

If it was all fake information, your people would have no problem dealing with it. But it’s real.

Sessions was asked point blank, within a month or two of his meetings with Sislyak what he would do if he found folks in the Trump Campaign were in contact with the Russian Government. He deflected the question by expressing personal assurances that there had been no such contacts, and that he had not communicated with the Russians.

That turns out not to be true.

These Deep State leakers are the bearers of the New McCarthyism, standing just offstage, rather than sweating and shouting for the cameras like the Senator from Wisconsin at least did. And one in which, once again, you are guilty until proven innocent. Especially of mistakes of process, rather than substance. They set the fires with leaks to the media (yes that’s a mixed metaphor, sorry) and then jump up and down yelling smoke! smoke! smoke!

So, let me get this straight: they don’t kick up a fuss personally, bellowing and sweating, they stand off-stage and leak facts in order to put your people on the spot. Facts, rather than insinuations. Facts your people are conveniently forgetting, conveniently failing to disclose, etc.

Because what matters with the New McCarthyism is not the evidence as much as the narrative. Russia stole the election. How else could Hillary lose? How else could Trump win? Trump is skeptical of conventional beltway perspectives like constant war and failed nation-building, so he must be a Putin plant! And much of mainstream media is a gleeful, amplified chorus. Who cares about evidence? Tell the story!

They meet with the Russian Ambassador at the RNC… and suddenly the platform changes in favor of Russia! Russia interferes with our elections, and you’re like, it only matters if he wins!

No, it’s a violation of our national sovereignty either way. A violation you seem not to take seriously. Make America Great Again with subversion of our political system?

Our Own Personal Watergate! Aw riiight!!

Funny thing about Watergate. Somebody burglarized the DNC headquarters in the name of getting dirt for their dirty tricks campaign, and then tried to coverup the connection of the thieves to the White House. People who did it were called the Plumbers, and their purpose was to chase down the leaks embarrassing the Nixon White House and stop them.

It was bad enough when it was our government’s employees trying to subvert the election, now your people look as if they’ve gotten a foreign power with an anti-American agenda involved.

So unlike Edward R. Murrow’s brave confrontation with Senator Joe McCarthy’s excesses, excesses which often became witch hunts, the media in 2017 is often ahead of Congress, pushing and pulling them to get inquisitorial. As quickly as possible. The Deep State leaks. The media hunts. Congress complies and sets up inquiries.

Let me clear something up for you, right here and now: a witch hunt is something like Benghazi or Whitewater: you have somebody pushing and pushing for a crime they believe was committed, but with no evidence of wrongdoing, just somebody else’s denunciation under pressure, and you’re expected to name names if you want to remain clear.

Rep. Nunes, confronted with questions about Sessions threatened Reporters with that. It wasn’t about contradiction of public statements, lying to folks investigating interference in our elections, no it was all about trying to shut up reporters if they even talked to the Russians at all.

Speaking of associations, did you know McCarthy’s Lieutenant, Roy Cohn, Was one of Trump’s mentors and close confidantes in the 1970s and 1980s? True story.

Talk about the Deep State, people who need to be cleared out of government, an apparatus that has to be destroyed… very paranoid, very much the kind of crazy stuff that starts the witch hunts going. Are you part of the deep state? Confess!

This is the administrative state forcing itself on the other 3 branches of government. Catch that? We have pretty well assumed the administrative state is a branch of the government. We no longer even question whether and why.

It’s the frigging executive branch! And the reason why is that you can’t run a modern government on a shoe-string budget and with just a handful of people. And you really don’t want to have to have Congress read up on the newest changes to the use of the Radio Spectrum, or new formulas of psychoactive drugs, or new financial instruments, and just hope they get things right. So, Congress writes the general law about things, delegates the authority to regulate, then overseas that delegated authority.

It’s not a mystery. It’s public domain knowledge. Problem is, people like you are allowed to wallow in ignorance, and are surprised to learn that the whole thing doesn’t function by decree of the President!

So Jeff Sessions has recused himself. And President Trump has full confidence in him. What does Schumer sound like when he cackles and rubs his hands together? A gleeful warlock? Or relieved that it’s not him they’re gunning at?

Trump says he has full confidence because he BS’s shamelessly for personal benefit. Sessions had recused himself because the leaks are true, and they compromise him as our lead law enforcer, in this matter if no others. You don’t hand the investigation to the cop seen fleeing the scene of the crime!

President Trump needs to plug the leaks. Which means he needs Reince or Spicer or someone to do it for him. The White House staff is large. The executive branch of government is much, much larger. There are enemies right in the White House and across the executive, unlike in perhaps any other new administration. Trump will need all the help he can get from his inner circle to stop the leaks and end the witch hunts.

It’s not his job to stop leaks. Leaks WILL happen in a free, democratic, constitutional republic. The obsession with secrecy is what got Republicans in trouble in the first place, and the people who find themselves likely targets of investigations.

Sessions had no need to cover up for meeting with the Russian Ambassador, at least no legitimate need. He had no need to lie to his fellow Senators. It’s the lie that’s criminal, and what the lie conceals. His denial to Sen. Franken was far too specific for my tastes, far too self-serving when it was a generalized question about staff.

Because private speech between incoming administration officials and foreign officials has now been criminalized. And policy differences - especially foreign policy differences - have been weaponized as well as criminalized. That is a horrifying precedent that will be used against any and all future governments in Washington. America must not let this happen.

Corrections to make: one meeting was at the convention in July of last year, the second meeting was in Sept. of last year. So, Sessions wasn’t an incoming administration official.

Private speech is not criminalized, lying under oath is, a penalty Session has been happy to threaten others with.

Policy differences? Look, let’s break it down so that there are no ambiguities here: we went into January 20th with no clear idea of the President’s finances, who he owed money or what. We also had somebody interfere with our election in a profound way.

Trump campaigned with officials like Paul Manafort in charge, people who worked extensively with a particular foreign power, whose interests were served by particular, significant changes to the party platform. What we as Americans want to know is whether Trump traded help in winning the election for favorable foreign policy or something else.

The Framers were particularly concerned about such subversion. That’s where the emoluments clause comes into play. Our President needs to be keenly and solely focused on America’s bests interests, and the evidence we see before us raises very strong questions about whether we can trust that our Presidents loyalties are clear. Evidence is raising these questions, not merely political fanatics like you who seem to want to purge our government of anybody who’s not a Trump crony.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 3, 2017 1:49 PM
Comment #414081

SD
Bravo Steven, You know something about Roy Cohn. Big Deal.
Why was that info useful to anybody on WB. Oh I see it made you look intelligent. But looks are deceiving. Was your mentor one of many on the left? It looks like Soros was one of them, but you know looks are still deceiving.

Steveie do you ever wonder about those lies you tell?
Smalley-Franken did not get lied to. Sessions did not lie to the SNL non-comedy wonder child. Fake post.

Schumer-Pelosi are sure to be called the SaPs that is fitting. After that duo’s rant and lies to the American people they should go take a dive in the swamp.

It is utterly rotten that the Dimocrats are so engrossed in their hatful behavior that it would be truly nice to see that hole they are digging will hear their cries of “goodby cruel world” as they fall into their good by’s

Posted by: tom humes at March 3, 2017 6:22 PM
Comment #414082

SD
Bravo Steven, You know something about Roy Cohn. Big Deal.
Why was that info useful to anybody on WB. Oh I see it made you look intelligent. But looks are deceiving. Was your mentor one of many on the left? It looks like Soros was one of them, but you know looks are still deceiving.

Steveie do you ever wonder about those lies you tell?
Smalley-Franken did not get lied to. Sessions did not lie to the SNL non-comedy wonder child. Fake post.

Schumer-Pelosi are sure to be called the SaPs that is fitting. After that duo’s rant and lies to the American people they should go take a dive in the swamp.

It is utterly rotten that the Dimocrats are so engrossed in their hatful behavior that it would be truly nice to see that hole they are digging will hear their cries of “goodby cruel world” as they fall into their good by’s

Posted by: tom humes at March 3, 2017 6:23 PM
Comment #414083

WP
Since you are just jabbing at me to make yourself look intelligent and you would not believe me, so why should I get any docs available to you for you to call me a liar on. I suggest you look up some honest docs to learn something. But that is beyond any expectations by anybody,

Posted by: tom humes at March 3, 2017 6:28 PM
Comment #414084

Drip, drip, drip… Rolling disclosures. They look planned. In the last days of the Obama administration some people in the Intelligence Community determined the incoming Trump administration would destroy evidence involving the Russians. The IC duplicated and distributed the information to multiple compartments. If there was nothing there, the Trump administration and the GOP could have put this thing to rest immediately, by forming a select committee. Instead, they chose to try to hide it. To slow walk it. To hope the story would disappear in committee.

Bad choice.

The rolling disclosures keep coming. The IC left “a trail of breadcrumbs” for investigative reporters. Now the leakers wait for more and more members of the Trump campaign to compromise themselves. But it is worse than just the members of the Trump campaign. The Republicans in the House and Senate are compromising themselves too.

Has it occurred to anyone that the goal might be, not just the destruction of the Trump administration, but the destruction of the Republican Party? The GOP may just compromise itself out of existence by protecting Trump, voting not to see his tax returns, and more. The White House Chief of Staff called the heads of the House & Intel committees, Burr and Nunes, as well as the head of the CIA, Pompeo, and asked them to contact the media and tell them there was nothing to the NYT story, the one about ties between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Burr, Nunes, and Pompeo did just that. Now they are compromised. They can not be trusted. And here we are, days later, and now find the Trump campaign most certainly did have contact with the Russians- Sessions, Kushner, Flynn, and Page Carter.

One of Trump’s people confessed it was Trump himself who asked for one, and only one, change to the GOP party platform, the suspicious one about Ukraine. The rats are beginning to desert the sinking ship.

The British and Dutch intelligence agencies report the Trump campaign was meeting with Russians in Europe.

Comey is the wild card.

What is the end game? Bring down the Trump administration and anyone who collaborated. It looks like much of the GOP will compromise itself in an effort to protect Trump.

And what is the goal? Saving American democracy and restoring faith in the integrity of our elections.

Posted by: phx8 at March 3, 2017 6:31 PM
Comment #414085

Perhaps Stephen can tell us what it must be like to be blessed with a mind that views good and evil in hallucinatory political terms as evidenced by his comments above.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 3, 2017 6:33 PM
Comment #414086

Shhhh phx8. Don’t tell anyone, but there is evidence that Barron Trump was in Moscow months before the election. He was seen on a playground swing with a Putin operative.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 3, 2017 6:39 PM
Comment #414087

The question is simple. Was the Trump campaign in collusion with the Russians or were they simply useful idiots for the Russians?

What is particularly disturbing to me is the willingness of Trump advisers to continue to meet with high level Russians after our intelligence agencies had determined that Russia had executed an elaborate intelligence operation against the US political system.

To be fair, there is another explanation for this bromance. It is possible that Trump and his advisers agree with Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, his anti-NATO policies, his support of Assad in Syria, etc. But, why not say so during the campaign and now?

Posted by: Rich at March 3, 2017 7:15 PM
Comment #414089

“The question is simple.”

Yes it is Rich. When did you stop beating your wife?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 3, 2017 7:26 PM
Comment #414090
Since you are just jabbing at me to make yourself look intelligent and you would not believe me, so why should I get any docs available to you for you to call me a liar on. I suggest you look up some honest docs to learn something. But that is beyond any expectations by anybody,

Look, I am always open to learning new things, even if they contradict conventional wisdom. However, I don’t think you can fault me for being a tad incredulous that history changing documents reside in the drawer of a retired Chicago native living in (I think Arizona? My memory is a bit hazy). It comes across to me as another rerun of the Killian documents controversy.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 3, 2017 7:27 PM
Comment #414091

tom humes-
Roy Cohn was a truly corrupt bastard, your Swamp-Drainer in Chiefs Point-man on negotiating the deal with the Mob-owned Concrete company to pour him his ready-mix concrete Trump tower. Cohn was also one of the people who helped McCarthy persecute a great many decent people based on nothing more than political associations and overwrought political hysteria. I don’t just pop him in to be cute. Trump is the culmination of decades of politics built on portraying the opposition as traitors to this country. That adds to the irony of Trump seeming to negotiate with Russians behind the scenes to help throw him the campaign. Same sort of irony that we see with Cohn himself, who was a closeted gay man who tormented many others over their sexuality during that witch hunt era.

These are scumbags without much in the way of moral scruples, even capable of twisting around their own misdeeds into an attack on their enemies.

They love twisting things, the leaders of the GOP. First they say inexperience is awful, dangerous for the White House. Then they elect the first President to ever come to office without military or government experience. Then they say Obama is lazy and his vacations cost too much. Trump is taking more vacations and costing taxpayers much more money, with the added insult of much of that money going to pad his own pockets. They criticize Obama as a celebrity, then turn around and arguably hire a man whose main appeal to today’s audiences is that he’s a celebrity boss on Celebrity Apprentice!

As for “fake posts?” Look, if your standard is “Sessions wasn’t really part of the campaign,” then your problem is that Sessions was on one of Trump’s campaign committees. If your standard is, “Franken only asked about the campaign,” Then your problem is, Sessions met with Sislyak during the RNC Convention, arguable a YUGE campaign event.

Additionally, since Session’s response in the face of that was that HE didn’t have any communications with the Russians, and he did in fact talk with the man, then by your own standards here, (Sessions part of the campaign, and the Convention a campaign event, Franken’s question narrowly interpreted to mean just the campaign) Then Session’s statement remains untrue and likely very dishonest. A lawyer and a Senator who isn’t careful about their conversations is either too sloppy, too dishonest, or too senile to be doing the job.

Finally… We’re going nowhere. We’re not taking the Trump Administration sitting down. You have a fight on your hands, not a surrender.

Royal Flush-
Perhaps you can bother to do something else than spew anti-liberal hate, and actually analyze facts and arguments for a change. I know you’ve been taught that it’s all about emotional gut punches and sticking it to liberals, but for my part, this is about responsibilities and the burden of a nation’s worth of practical concerns. It’s your media-obsessed party that’s dragged this country into this state of madness, where our roads and bridges crumble, our people grow poorer, and yet the solution to all our problems is to build useless walls, throw out the immigrants whose cheap labor makes your cheap economics possible, and, yes, add more bloat to an already bloated military industrial complex which has yet to prove that all that additional funding and procurement can actually secure victory or lasting peace.

You want to talk about delusions and hallucinations, why don’t we start with Alex Jones, who thinks Obama stinks of Brimstone because Satan has possessed him. Oh, and don’t get too close to your TV because demons might come out of them to possess you, too! Why don’t we talk about years of claims that Obama was just about to grab everybody’s guns! Will it be the deep state that prompts the next rush to the gun store to stock up on ammunition?

You’ve taken at face value the ravings of paranoid, delusional people, people who think operations like Jade Helm are pretexts for the declaration of marshal law.

And yes, our buddy up here above, who seems to believe that the reason Trump is having such trouble isn’t that his people actually were having a lot of improper meetings with agents of foreign power, but that we were so rude as to actually spill the beans on that.

That’s insane stuff, there.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 3, 2017 7:29 PM
Comment #414092

Stephen, keep ranting and confirming my conclusions regarding your hallucinatory political fantasies.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 3, 2017 7:37 PM
Comment #414093

“The question is simple. Was the Trump campaign in collusion with the Russians or were they simply useful idiots for the Russians?”

It is simple. The Trump administration seems completely incapable of getting out in front of the issue and putting it to rest. That would be the course of action for someone who is innocent. Instead, everything the Trump administration does makes it look like they are hiding something. Why were they meeting with the Russians during the campaign, even as accusations were flying that the Russians were attacking our election? And they were meeting in private, in Trump Tower, not publicly. When the Russian Ambassador- a known Russian spy- entered Trump Tower in December for a meeting with Flynn & Kushner, he did not come in the front door. The Trump administration tried to hide this until the Sessions meeting showed the IC was onto the Ambassador’s movements and meetings.

Posted by: phx8 at March 3, 2017 7:38 PM
Comment #414095

Just like the Republican witch hunts this witch hunt will make the Democrats look dumber then what they already are. Keep up the good work Dems maybe some day you and the Reps will get down to doing what you were sent to D. C. to do.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 3, 2017 9:38 PM
Comment #414101
Tom, you don’t have to answer anything WP asks of you…his favorite comment to all conservatives is “put up or shut up”. In fact, he uses it so often, it’s lost its meaning.

Oh BS Blaine. Using put or shut up seems to me to be necessary when dealing with guys like you and Tom. It isn’t even hard for you guys if your are telling the tru…oh maybe it is a bit harder for you and Tom when you try to defend McCarthy or go off on any number of far right myths.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 4, 2017 2:22 AM
Comment #414102

BIG NEWS! Via twitter, Donald Trump announced this morning that illegal ties with Russia are so numerous and well-documented that the Obama administration was able to demonstrate probable cause in order to obtain FISA warrants to aid their investigation.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 4, 2017 8:24 AM
Comment #414103

The question remains though, how did Donald Trump find out about the internal details of an ongoing FBI investigation? Was he briefed by the DOJ? Either way, this smells awfully like obstruction of justice to me. The President has a legal duty not to interfere in any DOJ investigations even if he may be the target.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 4, 2017 8:28 AM
Comment #414105

If the probable cause to a FISA warrant was based on false documentation, was the warrant legal. Again, lots of chatter about a Trump/Russian attempt to change the outcome of a US election, but there is no evidence. Buzzfeed was the first to publish the accusation, even though many news outlets had the story but would not run it because there was no proof. Once Buzzfeed ran the story, CNN picked it up immediately as legitimate and followed by the rest of the fake news outlets. This is typical of the left: to make a false premise, repeating it over and over again until it becomes an accepted truth. Once the false premise is established as a truth, the let the conspiracies begin. The goal is to neuter the Trump administration. A while back, before Sessions was confirmed, he was goaded into recusing himself from investigating Hillary Clinton simply because he campaigned against her. Now he is pressured into recusing himself from any investigation into the false claims that Trump conspired with the Russians to take out Hillary at the ballot box. Schumer is a snake in the grass. They cannot stand that they lost, the Democratic Party has no balls, and the best they can do is disrupt.

Posted by: Blaine at March 4, 2017 9:27 AM
Comment #414106

If I were a Democrat I’d be very, very, careful about wanting and Independent investigation. There are pictures and stories surfacing with Democrats and the Russians. Some may be old but it still damning. Even 22 times the same Russian Ambassador going into the W. H., and 4 times last year, that supposedly was colluding with the Trump campaign. I know the left will hold with the Sessions lied B.S. to congress.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 4, 2017 9:30 AM
Comment #414107

I have no doubt the Obama administration is behind all of these false accusations. And I have no doubt his political appointees are setting Trump up and dribbling the leaks. Trump needs to fire them all, but that would bring more false accusations from the left. If there were illegal wiretapping against Trump, Obama knew it, but there will never be proof. The Obama people were an extension of his policies, he did not have to tell them what to do, just as he didn’t have to tell Louis Lerner to use the IRS against conservative groups. It was a given to do the Obama agenda.

Posted by: Blaine at March 4, 2017 9:40 AM
Comment #414108

Or maybe, just maybe, Donald might’ve broken the law?

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 4, 2017 9:47 AM
Comment #414109

SD
Your lack of knowledge of anything McCarthy is showing. You know nothing of the history of McCarthy. You show it in your writing. You should stop the crap if you even claim to be a decent human being. It looks like you base your “knowledge” on the Army-McCarthy hearings. Looks are still deceiving. You claim “a great many decent people based on nothing more than political associations” when many of those you are thinking of were communists, etc. That does not qualify as “decent” in most peoples line of thinking.

Posted by: tom humes at March 4, 2017 9:47 AM
Comment #414110

Tom,

Once again, you toss around accusations, but fail to provide an iota of proof or evidence to back up your claims.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 4, 2017 9:59 AM
Comment #414111

Warren, you were wrong about Trump being a racist, you were wrong to accuse me of racism, and again you’re wrong in trying to accuse Trump of breaking the law. Like the rest of your cohorts, you make conclusions based upon a false premise. Can you show a credible news source that has evidence that Trump worked with the Russians? Not just insinuations. You insinuated Trump was anti Semitic, you insinuated I was a racist, and you insinuate Trump has broken the law. Yet you are the first to call for facts.

By the way, I noticed that you acknowledged the threats against Jewish organizations and Synagogues was done by an anti Trump communist. Evidently a Hillary or Saunders supporter.

Posted by: Blaine at March 4, 2017 10:01 AM
Comment #414112

Were Trump and members of his campaign ‘wiretapped’? It is very possible. A FISA warrant was undoubtedly out to monitor the Russian Ambassador’s communications. That is obvious. But if an American communicates with the Russian Ambassador, by law, the people monitoring the communication must hang up. If they continue monitoring, they are breaking the law. Several people have let slip that there are transcripts. The transcripts might have been recorded illegally, but there is a more likely explanation. Members of the Trump campaign, and possibly even Trump, were being investigated by the FBI using FISA warrants.

The other day FBI Director Comey met in a closed door session with the House Intel Committee, and afterwards Congressman Schiff (D) hit the roof. Comey refused to answer direct questions, which is unheard of. However, there may be a good reason for it. The FBI investigates in order to prosecute. The House Intel Committee involved at least one member who had already demonstrated he was compromised- the Chair, Nunes, who first refused to look into the Russian involvement in the election, and then, at the request of the White House Chief of Staff, contacted the media with a story that there was no contact between the Trump campaign and the Russians. This story suckered in Nunes, Barr, and Pompeo, and proved none of them could be trusted.

It all comes down to Comey.

But Trump sure was stupid, claiming in a series of tweets that the Obama administration was ‘wiretapping’ him. He made the claim with no evidence, and it is believed he lifted it from an article on Bretibart. But that alone is not why Trump was stupid.

He just admitted his campaign was being monitored through FISA warrants.

What a dumbass.

Posted by: phx8 at March 4, 2017 10:14 AM
Comment #414113

Blaine, if you haven’t noticed yet W.P., or as I call him Warped, just likes to hear himself talk especially when he knows he is loosing the argument. Warped, How about the possibility that Trump didn’t break any laws and it is just the Democrats being sore loosers?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 4, 2017 10:15 AM
Comment #414114

I don’t know whether or not Trump worked with Russians or whether or not he broke the law. I do trust our justice system and counterintelligence agencies to investigate what they can and follow all possible leads wherever it may take them.

You and I are just laymen, ignorant of the full story being assembled by incumbents and elites in DC. I openly acknowledge that there is a chance, however slim that chance may be, that this all amounts to a nothingburger. It also may very well be a grand conspiracy on the part of the CIA & FBI to frame Trump and his associates complete with false leaks to the media. Regardless though, Donald Trump is not making out well in each of these news cycles.

Contrast my open admission of ignorance with your brazen confidence. Only hubris can lead one to such crazy insinuations such that the FISA warrant may have been obtained with false documents or that the alleged wiretapping against Trump was illegal. Have some humility!

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 4, 2017 10:21 AM
Comment #414115

Totally agree Warped, We all need to kick back and let the Justice system work. I also agree Trump is his own worst enemy.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 4, 2017 10:50 AM
Comment #414117

Blaine-

If the probable cause to a FISA warrant was based on false documentation, was the warrant legal.

Interesting question. Might have some value if you could first demonstrate a FISA warrant, then nail down what kind of evidence was used to support it, and then nail down whether the evidences was strong by objective standards.

Hmm. We don’t even have word of an actual, approved FISA warrant, no word on the evidence, much less the quality of the evidence. You’re building a castle in the air.

Again, lots of chatter about a Trump/Russian attempt to change the outcome of a US election, but there is no evidence. Buzzfeed was the first to publish the accusation, even though many news outlets had the story but would not run it because there was no proof. Once Buzzfeed ran the story, CNN picked it up immediately as legitimate and followed by the rest of the fake news outlets. This is typical of the left: to make a false premise, repeating it over and over again until it becomes an accepted truth. Once the false premise is established as a truth, the let the conspiracies begin. The goal is to neuter the Trump administration

Which particular accusation? It helps if we’re not descending in to free-floating paranoid delusion here. You say there’s no evidence, but if that were the case, the Republicans on the hill wouldn’t be calling for recusal. If a charge couldn’t stick, they’d push for their guy to tough it out.

Now he is pressured into recusing himself from any investigation into the false claims that Trump conspired with the Russians to take out Hillary at the ballot box.

You declare them false, but on what basis? Your personal belief? That crap don’t cut it. We need an investigation, because the circumstantial evidence, the evidence your people seen unwilling to take chances with, is looking bad for your people. Note that they’re not even disputing the meetings. Note that they’re trying to parse whether failing to inform Franken of the contacts… or more properly, volunteering a false reassurance that there were none… fell under the classic heading of not answering a question you weren’t asked.

(Except Sessions didn’t answer the question he was actually asked. He would ask what the Trump Campaign, which he was part of, not just a surrogate, would do with people found to be dealing with the Russians. His response was to say he was unaware of such activity (after having met Kislyak at the RNC Convention,) vaguely acknowledged his connection to the campaign (which he was deeply involved in) and said that he’d had no communications with the Russians (which is flat out false, we have two proven interactions, one within the context of the Convention meeting, definitely a campaign event.))

I have no doubt the Obama administration is behind all of these false accusations. And I have no doubt his political appointees are setting Trump up and dribbling the leaks. Trump needs to fire them all, but that would bring more false accusations from the left.

These false accusations seem to have a lot of traction, even among Republicans. A lot of these guys are lawyers. mere campaign canards wouldn’t scare them. I think they know more about the evidence than you do, and they’re just hoping things will slow roll enough to let them do damage control. False evidence wouldn’t force their hand. They’d pounce on the chance to ram an accusation back in the media’s face.

You want to portray this as Obama appointees leaking this information, but let me ask you: are you aware of how slowly Trump and his team are working at appointing their own nominees? Trump is not being held back by the Senate. They seem to quickly confirm his appointees, and you wouldn’t see half the controversy for lower level people that you’d typically see with higher ranking officials. But Trump isn’t doing that.

You’re also missing something else. Trump reportedly has been running his cabinet as a kind of ultracompetitive gym locker sort of set up, with everybody competing for his attention and approval. Nice and dramatic, I suppose, but one dependable source of leaks in any administration are between rivals appointed by the same President. If state doesn’t like what Defense is doing, or vice versa, they might leak certain plans. If one part of a majority thinks the other part’s policy stinks, they could leak it in order to sink it.

Hell, the Trump administration could deliberately leak things itself! It’s called a trial balloon. If the leaked policy goes over like a lead balloon, they have plausible deniability, can just say, that’s not our plan, and then come up with something more likeable, palatable to the Public.

If there were illegal wiretapping against Trump, Obama knew it, but there will never be proof.

Umm, that’s a whole lot of assumptions. But lets take your “illegal wiretapping” as a given. Does the President have to know? Well, according to the reporting, Obama was not kept in the loop about a bunch of the rush to preserve information about the Trump Campaign’s contact with the Russians. Presidents also aren’t traditionally privy to the internal matters of investigations. It prevents them from applying what may be improper pressure. You’ve yet to demonstrate that Obama would actually know the internal matters of the investigation, much less be ordering wiretaps.

You say, there will never be proof… Pardon me, but there’s almost always proof, even if it comes down to proof of the coverup, rather than the evidence itself. It was the coverup that nailed the Nixon White House, the payments to the Watergate Burglars out of Nixon Reelection funds (a real CREEPy situation) the interference with the investigation, etc.

But you’re not interested in that. You’re interested in belief, and going on fishing expeditions to validate what you already believe. That’s why you had Hillary Clinton in that perpetual Kangaroo court over Benghazi and then the E-Mails. You couldn’t accept no for an answer on the question of whether she was guilty of the crimes you though she committed.

. The Obama people were an extension of his policies, he did not have to tell them what to do, just as he didn’t have to tell Louis Lerner to use the IRS against conservative groups. It was a given to do the Obama agenda.

Oh, right. It must be fun to use creeping paranoia to justify pointing the finger at Obama. He didn’t explicitly order, but it was understood, wink-wink, know what I mean…

The so-called Obama people are often civil servants who serve across multiple administrations. Lerner, in particular, was a BUSH appointee who joined in 2001. See, people like you don’t realize that because of the way much of the civil service is set up, the old idea of cronies taking over everything is outdated. There are probably still Reagan and Bush 41 people serving in the Federal Government, and on the Federal Bench.

Trump has managed to probably alienate most of them, and that is one sure way to encourage leaks. It doesn’t get any better if you threaten people with firing, because then, what do they have to lose? You’re already rumbling about cutting the federal workforce.

Can you show a credible news source that has evidence that Trump worked with the Russians? Not just insinuations. You insinuated Trump was anti Semitic, you insinuated I was a racist, and you insinuate Trump has broken the law. Yet you are the first to call for facts. By the way, I noticed that you acknowledged the threats against Jewish organizations and Synagogues was done by an anti Trump communist. Evidently a Hillary or Saunders supporter.

Oh, is that insinuation at the end of your spiel there? The former reporter (tossed out on his ear for making crap up,) is being charge over eight threats. There have been hundreds in January alone. I don’t think it’s likely he was making THAT many threats. But hey, anything to draw attention away from the Reich Wing radicals that you coddled to help expand your President’s base!

We don’t know who exactly he supports. Heck, we couldn’t even be certain he was honest about who he supported, given his rather checkered journalistic career. Republican media outlets can just whistle past the wreckage of their fabricated stories, but in the MSM, that will at least leave your career a wreck.

You want a relentlessly positive picture of your own people, and conversely, a relentlessly negative picture about those who don’t support you. I think it’s rather cheap to rely on such a crutch, and a distraction from a significant fact that affects elections: that it doesn’t what the party alignment of those who form the majority or plurality is, just that it’s the largest.

You guys aren’t very interested in building beyond your own people, and it shows. At some point you will realize that you’ve done a better job of building majorities on the other side than on your own.

Tom humes-
If I’m so bloody ignorant, educate me. Don’t just sit there, say, “McCarthy was misunderstood,” and expect the rest of us to just take that as gospel truth. Provide support for your conclusion. As for who is decent or not… when you run a witch hunt like McCarthy did, there is little to keep the scope of the investigation narrowed to appropriate targets, and when it’s all about politics which people might have engaged in with the best intentions or with some degree of naivete in younger years, whose to say how that truly reflects on people’s characters.

The trick of all this is Trump wants to claim he’s being similarly prosecuted, and persecuted. But we’re following evidence of contacts here, and the fact that the Trump Administration feels it necessary to take official actions like Resignations and recusals tells us that there is something to it. These aren’t the sort of shrinking violets who would just take it.

Rich KAPitan-
It’s not simply having the Russians visit. Obama would, as our chief diplomat, have multiple contacts with the Russian ambassador. You can say that it was 22 times because you have a public record that the White House kept of its interactions. If there was some interaction between an official and the Russian Ambassador that wasn’t properly disclosed or discussed, then there might be a scandal, an investigation.

It’s secret meetings, meetings that Session lies about, that Michael Flynn lied about, that others did not tell people about… that’s what gets you in trouble, especially when there’s evidence that the people you’re meeting with are doing things that benefit you.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 4, 2017 11:07 AM
Comment #414118

Stephen, Your side had meetings with the Russians and so did Republicans it’s no secret. As far as Sessions, he answered the question asked by Franken and Leahy truthfully IMO because it involved the campaign NOT his Senate meetings. He may have elaborated better in his answer but IMO did NOT lie. You of course will have a different opinion but IMO that is just you. It wasn’t a secret meeting when you have others in the office with you.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 4, 2017 11:24 AM
Comment #414119

KAP,

he answered the question asked by Franken

Part of Sessions’ problem is that he never answered Franken’s question (what would he do under such and such circumstances?) so it is difficult to justify applying the question’s context to the statement Sessions supplied.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 4, 2017 11:51 AM
Comment #414120

Warped, It was a news article that just came out and it was FAKE NEWS anyway. You have to give the guy a chance to read the article or hear the News cast himself before he can give an objective answer. I listened to Franken’s question about the article and IMO Franken didn’t explain the article very well to get a decent answer.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 4, 2017 12:13 PM
Comment #414121

Rich KAPitan-
Our meetings were documented and aboveboard. Session’s meetings, not so much. He didn’t answer Franken’s actual question. He could have said, “I can’t speak for the campaign in those terms, but I would assure you that such contacts would be dealt with harshly.” That’s an answer. He could say, “We would fire them on the spot.” That’s an answer.

He could also go with “We would throw a party for them and welcome them to the exclusive club of those who are helping to subvert this election!” Even that absurd response would be an answer.

What do they have in common? They’re all germane to the same subject: Franken asks about the consequences for Trump employees who collude with the Russians, or have improper contacts, and Sessions answers with response about the policy and the consequences for discovery of such behavior.

Session’s answer dodges that by simply denying the notion that there was any involvement, particularly his own. No acknowledgement of the potential that some people talked with Russians, and then a rather plain denial of the fact of Russian contact with himself. No need to talk about consequences, because nobody did anything wrong!

As for the idea that it was fake news? Well, mister, a lot of what you’ve called fake seems to be backed up by the evidence, sufficient that even victorious Republicans are clearing out of the way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 4, 2017 12:24 PM
Comment #414122

About Trump’s tweets this morning, accusing Obama wiretapped his phones:

“This is what happens when a target starts getting buggy, because he knows that he’s caught.”
Malcolm Nance

Trump tweeted the suspicion that his phones had been wiretapped since October. He is paranoid. He thinks all of his conversations since October have been monitored.

This needs to be resolved. Either the FBI and CIA and NSC need to declare there was no collusion between the Trump campaign or the Russians, or they need to bring charges.

And again, all this happened because the Trump administration made a very bad choice. They could have opted for transparency. Trump could have demanded everyone in his administration report contacts and come clean. He could have asked for an independent select committee, and put this behind him as quickly as possible. Instead, he chose this route. He sure acts like he is guilty of something.

Posted by: phx8 at March 4, 2017 1:25 PM
Comment #414123

SD
Which of the following people were part of the witch hunt you imagined?
Peveril Meigs, John Carter Vincent, Oliver Edmund Clubb. Lauchlin Currie, John Paton Davies, Gustavo Duran, Haldore Hanson, Harold Glasser, Harlow Shapley, Frederick Schuman, Owen Lattimore, John Stewart Service, Harold Glasser, Leon Keyserling, and I could give you another hundred. So which are the part of the witch hunt and how do you define witch in this matter?

Posted by: tom humes at March 4, 2017 1:26 PM
Comment #414124

Tom,

Were all these men spying on behalf of the USSR or another foreign power?

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 4, 2017 1:56 PM
Comment #414125

tom humes-
I looked through those names. Two or three were actually, provably found to be communist spies, but the rest?

For the most part, They were either accused of being spies, or scapegoated for China.

A great deal of the backstory of this affair revolved around the “China Hands” essentially coming to the conclusion that the Nationalists were likely to lose the Civil War in China, and that Mao’s forces were much better organized. They weren’t necessarily big fans of communism, but they saw the writing on the wall.

It never fails, really, that paranoid assertion that policies didn’t fail because that were bad or based on bad assumptions, but because we were being undermined from within. Trouble with that kind of paranoid thinking is that it ultimately leads to a sensibility where people neither want nor accept accountability, insisting in their delusion that only they can save the country, only they can lead it away from apocalyptic disaster, etc.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 4, 2017 3:01 PM
Comment #414126

“…only they can lead it away from apocalyptic disaster, etc.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 4, 2017 3:01 PM

Hmmm….is that like the so-called consensus on MMGW?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 4, 2017 3:19 PM
Comment #414128

Stephen, You have your opinion I have mine. NOTHING has been proven YET. Like I said If I were on your side I’d be worried to about any investigations.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 4, 2017 5:34 PM
Comment #414129

P.S. Stephen any investigation just might come back and bite you in the A** little man.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 4, 2017 5:35 PM
Comment #414134

I only speak for myself, but I find it hard to imagine Stephen disagreeing with me. If illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign occurred under Obama’s watch, I sure as hell want to know about it. Uncovering such surveillance and making an example so that future Presidents would be very wary to try a similar trick in the future would not bite my butt, that is certain. Bring on the investigation!

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 4, 2017 10:34 PM
Comment #414135

As of this evening, no one inside or outside the White House, and no one from either party can find any evidence for Trump’s tweets about being wiretapped. It seems the source was Breitbart and a rant by a right wing talk show host, Mark Levin or something like that. Great. So the guy in the White House who has the best intelligence services in the world is getting his information from Breitbart. It looks like Trump is tweeting conspiracy theory garbage. This is not reassuring.

This kind of thing has been flying around the right wing fringe, with Limbaugh and others, the idea that Obama is behind some sort of plot to overthrow Trump.

Why Obama and Democrats would prefer Pence as president is anyone’s guess.

Posted by: phx8 at March 4, 2017 11:19 PM
Comment #414140

Stephen’s comment #414117:

Hmm. We don’t even have word of an actual, approved FISA warrant, no word on the evidence, much less the quality of the evidence. You’re building a castle in the air.

Any information regarding a FISA warrant would be classified. My building a castle in the air is no different than the left trying to build a case of a Trump/Russian attempt to determine the outcome of an election.

You say there’s no evidence, but if that were the case, the Republicans on the hill wouldn’t be calling for recusal. If a charge couldn’t stick, they’d push for their guy to tough it out.

Stephen, have you been so long on WB and not heard the words of conservatives? You either can’t read or your ignorant. Conservatives do not walk in lockstep like the liberals; there are two sides to the Republican Party, the conservative side and the establishment side. It is the establishment side that continually calls for appeasing the left. Does it really surprise you that there are republicans who would call for Sessions to recuse himself? You are debating a conservative, so when you refer to my side, debate from the point of view that we were totally against a recusal. Trump is certainly not the establishments “their guy”.

You declare them false, but on what basis?

Oh, I don’t know Stephen, perhaps because your side has offered absolutely no proof of a collusion between Trump and the Russians to take out Hillary. CNN, the NYT, and every other liberal media have all stated there are no facts of the accusation. But there is innuendo and premise; as you and the left have continued to push.

Have you actually read the transcript of the question asked by Franken and the answer given. I’m not talking about the media’s spin either.

Your next comments begin to make you sound like the conspiracy fringe, with baseless accusations.

To the rest of the left concerning the wiretapping: you call for the evidence.

#1, your hypocrites to ask for Trumps evidence, but not seek any from the fake news outlets, or your own democrat politicians.

#2, is Trump privy to intel that none of our friends on WB, the fake news media, or the democrats are privy too?

#3, why would Trump make an accusation against Obama and his administration that was baseless? Don’t you figure he knows you hold to double standards and would scream your little heads off for proof?

and lastly, is Obama and his administration capable and willing to delegitimize the Trump administration? I certainly believe he is…

Posted by: Blaine at March 5, 2017 9:59 AM
Comment #414141

phx8, has ever occurred to you that the same accusations leveled at Obama or the left (which are poo-poo’d by you) are the same accusations you are leveling at Trump? Why would you demand answers from our side and yet ignore that your side should give answers. You accuse Trump of whatever, without any evidence, yet you accuse Trump of not giving evidence in charges against Obama. I will say this; if it is proven that Obama or his administration illegally wiretapped Trump during his campaign, it will shed a whole new light on things.

Posted by: Blaine at March 5, 2017 10:30 AM
Comment #414142
your hypocrites to ask for Trumps evidence, but not seek any from the fake news outlets, or your own democrat politicians. Donald Trump is straight up accusing Obama of breaking the law. No Democrat of significant stature has said the same about Donald Trump. Sure, there are people who are asking questions and demanding investigations to determine IF Donald Trump broke the law. But if a thorough investigation is conducted and Trump emerges squeaky clean, no Democrat’s statement will have been contradicted.
is Trump privy to intel that none of our friends on WB, the fake news media, or the democrats are privy too?
It’s pretty safe to infer that Trump’s bizarre accusations are based (or at least influenced by) upon a Breitbart summary of Mark Levin’s inane rant from Thursday.


why would Trump make an accusation against Obama and his administration that was baseless? Don’t you figure he knows you hold to double standards and would scream your little heads off for proof?

Those tweets are clearly a blunder. I predict that these tweets will be key to undoing Trump’s entire Presidency.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 10:31 AM
Comment #414144

So let me get this straight, A rant by Mark Levin is then used by our president and is considered to be “real news” and Trump doesn’t have to back it up with actual information!

And on the other hand Trump apologist scream fake news at the unbiased news outlets questioning Trump foolish tweets!


Give me strength lord gimme strength. Jeez the cognitive dissonance is amazing. Draining the Swamp… yeah…. you fell for that old line.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 5, 2017 12:46 PM
Comment #414145

Warren, this is how the Democratic Party works; accusations are made, a premise is presented (without facts), then the left makes factual comments based of premise. The leading democrats call for Sessions to recuse himself based on premise, and then liberals (like those on WB) begin to make comments like “he wouldn’t have recused himself if he weren’t guilty “. This is the pattern of how the left works. They always have and always will.

“It’s pretty safe to say Trump’s bizarre actions are based upon Breitbart”.

Why is it safe to say? And your basing this conclusion on what fact? This is no more than a continued liberal ploy.

The question is not whether the tweets are a blunder; the question is, do you think Trump should or has the right to use twitter to reach the American people? If you don’t think he has the right, then anything you say about the content of his tweets, is clouded and merely your opinions.

Posted by: Blaine at March 5, 2017 12:48 PM
Comment #414146

Here is a perfect example of what I just stated: WP says “we can infer that Trump’s accusations are based upon Breitbart and Mark Levine’s comments “. Next comes j2t2’s conformation that Trump’s tweet is fact based upon your accusations. One lies and another builds upon the lie.

Posted by: Blaine at March 5, 2017 12:58 PM
Comment #414147

Blaine,
It should be obvious by now that Trump was just shooting his mouth off based on a story by Breitbart of Levin’s rant.

If Trump actually believed this, he would instruct the FISA court- the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court of 11 judges- to declassify this matter. As Commander of Chief, he can do that anytime, at his discretion. He can declassify the warrant for the Obama administration to ‘wiretap’ him. Of course, the warrant is based on probable cause of espionage, so if there is anything there, he would be at risk of impeachment right then and there, because he would be interfering with a DOJ investigation. If there is nothing there, Trump would be on safe ground.

But all of this was based on an unfounded conspiracy theory that has been bouncing around on the right wing fringe. There is no evidence whatsoever, and it will soon disappear when Session gives his amended testimony about meeting with the Russians.

Sessions met with the Russian Ambassador in Cleveland. He flew there on campaign funds to attend a campaign function, the convention. He denied meeting him in his oral testimony to Senator Franken, and he denied contact with the Russian Ambassador in a written response to Senator Leahy. He did not acknowledge this meeting until it became publicly known. He did not recuse himself until it became publicly known. He had an obligation to recuse himself on Day 1, not on the day his misleading testimony was revealed. He should resign, but the GOP will never force that. The problem is, the GOP will own him and Trump and find themselves tied to this administration. Ah, the ties that bind.

Posted by: phx8 at March 5, 2017 12:58 PM
Comment #414148

phx8, once again you make accusations; give us proof of your accusations. Not just your talk, but show us facts of the accusations.

Posted by: Blaine at March 5, 2017 1:03 PM
Comment #414152

Royal Flush-
If Republicans could accept the belief of most climate experts on the subject, instead of recapitulating their error with the Tobacco companies by believing corporate propaganda, they could help slow the emissions threatening that, too. There’s nothing uniquely democratic about environmental protection, just ask Nixon, who help found the EPA, or Bush 41, who signed major legislation concerning pollution into law.

It’s become a partisan issue because Republicans have let their party become so corrupt that they take the side of those that the government is supposed to hold accountable.

Rich KAPitan-
There is more evidence that Trump had inappropriate contacts with the Russians than that Obama broke any laws or standards of law enforcement independence. If that changes, perhaps I will worry. As for whether it bites me in the ass?

I think it comes down to this: can I detach myself from the policy and political outcomes I would like to happen long enough to acknowledge that the rule of law matters most in this situation? I’d say investigate, and then follow where the evidence leads you. The truth is what’s important. Nothing built on lies will operate like it should.

But as for things that could bite one in the ass… If because Trump decided to allege his predecessor had illegally wiretapped him, reporters look into whether wiretaps were instituted, that doesn’t necessarily help him. One, the wiretaps would have likely remained unknown, thanks to their classified nature, two, if there was a FISA warrant granted on one of those wiretaps, then that doesn’t bode well for Trump. Probable cause to believe a crime occurred, and in this case, a national security crime. What was that about insecure e-mail?

Third, this is like the revelation of the secret recording system in the White House. Folks are going to want to know what’s on the recordings!

Trump could have… I guess, kept his twitter hands in his pockets. Instead, he chose to deliver a public accusation like this.

Blaine-
1) If they got a FISA warrant, they convinced a judge that an American Citizen was potentially acting as an agent of a foreign power. If the warrant was attained legally, then that indicates that kind of probable cause. As for what the left is saying… well, you seem to need to disagree with the professional opinion of most of our intelligence apparatus, and even your people’s own words and admissions.

2) Look, getting Republicans to agree to an investigation has been like pulling teeth, despite the opinion of the vast majority of an apolitical intelligence community. They’ve been protecting him. If they weren’t, the investigation would be on already. You aren’t as united as you once were, but you can stonewall us, and have. Recent example? Trump’s taxes. If they really wanted to stick it to them, capitulate to Democrats, they could offer them that.

They’re calling for his recusal, because if there is an investigation, with Sessions at its head, and it exonerates Trump… Well, who outside Trump’s cult of personality will have faith in that conclusion? After all, Sessions is right in the middle of it all. Note that you folks aren’t disputing the meetings with the Russian Ambassador, meetings that Sessions didn’t truthfully speak of.

See, you’re trying to be invincible here, trying to pretend that if you just deny things hard enough, nothing will stick. And that may be true… as long as we’re talking Trump’s fan club. Beyond that, though, it will stick. Diehard partisans like you are not the only folks out there, and not everybody is addicted to FOXNews, such that they automatically assume what you do. You might think that you’ve got the consensus in hand, that people are thinking what you’re thinking, but it’s actually masking what the real consensus is.

Oh, I don’t know Stephen, perhaps because your side has offered absolutely no proof of a collusion between Trump and the Russians to take out Hillary. CNN, the NYT, and every other liberal media have all stated there are no facts of the accusation. But there is innuendo and premise; as you and the left have continued to push. Have you actually read the transcript of the question asked by Franken and the answer given. I’m not talking about the media’s spin either.

You blather this BS at me, but have you actually stopped to take stock of how many claims, how many bad claims you’ve made, just here?

Sessions and others are defending the charges that he had improper meetings and lied about them not by offering contradictory evidence that clears him, but instead with a hair-splitting argument that alleges that Sessions simply did not answer a question he was not asked.

So, no denying the meeting at the RNC Convention, no denying the Sept. Meeting in his office. When we come up with evidence that says Manafort used to work for the Ukrainian government, back when it was Putin Friendly, that his name is in a book of people to be paid off, when we develop evidence of ties to Putin and Putin Friendly groups, you guys shift gears, say we’re being McCarthyist by pushing the connection.

You deny that there was hacking by the Russians, but the intelligence community has made its case otherwise. That’s a lot of weird coincidence. Funny thing is having Trump completely deny any connection to Russia, even with video evidence of him saying otherwise, even with all these people on his staff who are talking to Russia, but not being forthright about it.

Oh, and yes, I’ve read the transcript.

Franken: “CNN just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week that included information that quote, ‘Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.’ These documents also allegedly say quote, ‘There was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump’s surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.’ “Now, again, I’m telling you this as it’s coming out, so you know. But if it’s true, it’s obviously extremely serious and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?” Sessions: “Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”[Emphasis mine]

Sislyak = Russian Ambassador = member of Russian Government. Sessions = member of major committee on Trump Campaign = affiliated with Trump Campaign. Republican National Convention = Trump Campaign Function. Talking with Sislyak at Trump Campaign function = Sessions had communications with Russians as a Trump Campaign official.

In other words, unless he had the world’s biggest brainfart on the subject of who he met with, he should have remembered that when Franken asked.

#1, your hypocrites to ask for Trumps evidence, but not seek any from the fake news outlets, or your own democrat politicians.

They’re giving us information, for crying out loud. People like you are just expecting people to believe denials, allow you to conceal and destroy evidence.

#2, is Trump privy to intel that none of our friends on WB, the fake news media, or the democrats are privy too?

Trump is privy to evidence, but so are the Democratic Senate and House members who are on National Security-related committees. Trick is, he doesn’t seem to be going off of such evidence, instead using a Breitbart article as the basis of his claim.

#3, why would Trump make an accusation against Obama and his administration that was baseless? Don’t you figure he knows you hold to double standards and would scream your little heads off for proof?

His own political benefit. As for his concern for evidence… there are a swath of lies that factcheck sites caught him in. Trump is simply not very truthful.

The trick is, he can convince people like you that he’s being given a hard time without any evidence.

We give you facts, then you say “No evidence!” You discount sources you don’t like, you emphasize those you do, and then you pretend you won the argument.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 5, 2017 2:54 PM
Comment #414153

I am waiting for evidence of wrongdoing before I wade into this cesspool.

Stephen is talking about his analysis of facts. Others, are talking about their analysis of the same facts.

This isn’t simple arithmetic…2+2=4. Any time politics are applied to “facts”, conclusions are bound to differ.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2017 3:17 PM
Comment #414154

Blaine,

I am not claiming that I have a factual understanding of every detail of went down. All I am trying to do is make sense of the things we do know, often with the use of Occam’s Razor. I acknowledge that it is quite possible that Trump and company are completely innocent, targets of a concerted effort by the intelligence community to frame them for crimes they did not commit.

All I am saying is that this hypothesis lacks credulity because it requires a much bigger conspiracy than that required to believe the leaked intelligence is true. Indeed, most of the leaked reports in the media have proven true. Flynn, Sessions and others, contrary to their earlier statements, did meet with Ambassador Kislyak.

Because we know that Flynn, Sessions and others lied about their meetings with Russian officials, it calls into question their credibility when they tell us that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Now, it is quite possible for these men to be telling the truth after lying about far more trivial things. But, Occam’s razor leads one to infer otherwise. This is why there are calls for an independent investigation to get to the bottom of this.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 3:20 PM
Comment #414155

Independent investigation; you mean like the independent investigation that goes on for years; allowing the steady drip, drip, drip of leaked information; or perhaps the independent investigation that allows the investigators to go from this accusation, to another, to another. I’ve got an idea; why don’t we let the people who are paid to do the investigation do their job. Why do we have the FBI or the justice department? What is their purpose? Tell me Warren, did you , SD, ph, or any other liberal call for an independent investigation of Hillary? No, of course not. She was innocent and was being set up. Never waste a crisis….right?

Posted by: Blaine at March 5, 2017 4:32 PM
Comment #414156

When my Pals on the Left use the inflammatory word “lie”, I feel obligated to reiterate the meaning once used on WB by Warren.

Lie. Intentional Lapse of Judgement.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2017 4:46 PM
Comment #414158

Blaine,
Your memory might be just a wee bit, teensy weensy bit fuzzy when it comes to Hillary Clinton. During the Benghazi!!! investigations and e-mail investigations she was as transparent as possible, urged the investigators to move as quickly as they could, testified and urged her people to testify, and came away with zero indictments. She was investigated by the FBI by multiple hostile partisan committees. It was the definition of a witch hunt.

With Trump, we are seeing the opposite. There are no calls for transparency or cooperation. The House Intel Committee refused to even do any investigating until it was forced by events to begin. When the White House Chief of Staff wanted to ‘knock down’ the story in the NYT about how the Trump campaign was in constant contact with the Russians, Priebus asked Comey, CIA Director Pompeo, and the chairs of the House and Senate Intel Committees, Burr & Nunes, to contact the media and tell them there was no story there.

Comey refused.

Pompeo, Burr, & Nunes all made that call. Shortly afterwards, numerous cases of the Trump campaign meeting with the Russians came to light- Flynn, Kushner, J.D. Gordon, Sessions, Page Carter, and possibly others.

The thing is, that destroys all credibility.

Trump keeps doing that to himself. Spicer will no longer comment on the outrageous accusations directed at Obama. No evidence will be provided. None. All we have is another twitter rant saying horrible things without supporting facts.

Posted by: phx8 at March 5, 2017 5:06 PM
Comment #414159

CNN reports no White House or Intel officials will corroborate Trump’s accusations about the Obama wiretap. White House officials report Trump got the story from Breitbart/Levin rant. FBI Director Comey is directly rejecting it and requesting DOJ come out and say so too.

To paraphrase Jake Tapper, this one can be put in the same category as Trump’s championing of the racist conspiracy theory about Birtherism, Ted Cruz’s five mistresses and his father’s involvement in the JFK assassination, vaccines, crowd sizes at the inauguration, and those 3-5 million illegal votes.

Posted by: phx8 at March 5, 2017 5:14 PM
Comment #414160

“…the story in the NYT about how the Trump campaign was in constant contact with the Russians…”

I missed that story phx8, can you link?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2017 5:15 PM
Comment #414161

Royal Flush,

“Intentional Lapse of Judgement” is your coinage. Or rather, your mistaken interpretation of something I wrote.

My original comment from last year asked, were Hillary’s actions intentional?

Or were they mistaken lapses of judgement?

Blaine,
In the aftermath of the Benghazi incident, the House created a bipartisan select committee with subpoena power in order to investigate what went wrong. I think this issue deserves similar treatment.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 5:20 PM
Comment #414162

Sorry warren, both queries “…were Hillary’s actions intentional?
Or were they mistaken lapses of judgement?”

pertain to lying? True?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2017 5:28 PM
Comment #414163

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/russia-intelligence-communications-trump.html?_r=0

Shortly afterwards, Priebus denied it:

http://fortune.com/2017/02/19/reince-priebus-trump-russia/

Priebus contacted Comey, Pompeo, Burr, and Nunes to call the media and deny it. Comey refused. The others made the call. I believe WB will only allow so many links in an article…

Posted by: phx8 at March 5, 2017 5:32 PM
Comment #414164

Thanks for the links phx8.

After innuendo, unsubstantiated and off the record assumptions by unnamed officials, the NYT article said…”The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2017 5:45 PM
Comment #414165
both queries … pertain to lying? True?

No. Sometimes false statements are made without any intent to deceive. The former question referred to lying while the latter referred to the aforementioned false statements which lack deceitful intent.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 5:49 PM
Comment #414166

Thank you for the clarification Warren. What you describe about such “false statements” should be applied to AG Sessions testimony. True?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2017 5:52 PM
Comment #414167
After innuendo, unsubstantiated and off the record assumptions by unnamed officials, the NYT article said…”The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.”

My conclusion is that these officials are saying that there is hard evidence showing that these phone calls took place, but that there isn’t any hard evidence shedding light on the content of these calls. Phx8’s comment said “contact”, NOT cooperation or collusion. Contact isn’t a crime by itself, but it is certainly suspicious enough to warrant an independent investigation to determine the content of those calls. Particularly, when the administration intentionally deceives the public on numerous occasions in order to make it appear such contacts did not take place.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 5:57 PM
Comment #414168

RF,
House Intel Chair Nunes (R) made a statement like that, about seeing no evidence of cooperation. His Democratic counterpart, Schiff immediately hit the roof, because there had been no investigating, no taking of evidence, no interviews, nothing. That is a good way to see no evidence, but it is highly dishonest. Nunes, by the way, worked for the Trump campaign.

The only real hope is Comey, and as a Democrat who remembers Comey’s press conference about the e-mails and then releasing another letter about the e-mails shortly before the election, you can imagine my discomfort. Comey is the only one who can be trusted, yet he was responsible for knocking Hillary Clinton down in the polls by at least three points shortly before the election.

An independent bipartisan commission would be the best solution, but Trump and the GOP will fight that one tooth and nail.

Posted by: phx8 at March 5, 2017 6:00 PM
Comment #414169

Thank your for sharing “your” conclusion Warren.

My conclusion is simple. No evidence of any wrongdoing.

Unless one can provide reasonable suspicion that congress is unable, unwilling, or untrustworthy…to conduct any investigation, I find no justification for an “independent investigation”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2017 6:03 PM
Comment #414170

Like I said, an “independent investigation” is the promise that the democrats can drag this on go 4 years, drip, drip, drip.

So again, why was an independent investigation called for Hillary? I understand that the left saw nothing wrong with what she did, but the majority in the house and senate thought she needed investigating. Now, the shoes on the other foot and a non-political party (the minority party) is calling for an investigation. Democrat ploy to stop Trump.

Posted by: Blaine at March 5, 2017 6:56 PM
Comment #414171

RF,
“Unless one can provide reasonable suspicion that congress is unable, unwilling, or untrustworthy…to conduct any investigation…”

They already proved this beyond question:

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/02/24/white-house-enlisted-spy-agencies-lawmakers-to-counter-story-on-russia-contacts/

Burr & Nunes, the respective chairmen of the Senate and House Intel Committees, acknowledged making the calls to the media on behalf of the White House.

Since then, numerous contacts have come to light; in addition to Flynn & Manafort, we now know about Sessions, J.D. Gordon, Carter Page, and Kushner.

Nunes has already stated he would investigate Trump’s accusation of a wiretap. No White House or Intel figure will confirm it. Comey is demanding DOJ state it never happened.

I wonder what Comey will do if the DOJ will not state it never happened. Will Comey resign? If someone at the DOJ says Trump was making it up, that person will be in a world of hurt with Trump.

Posted by: phx8 at March 5, 2017 7:11 PM
Comment #414172

IMO an “Independent Investigation” might just bring down a bunch of Democrats along with Republicans so if I were the Democrats I’d be careful of what I ask for.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 5, 2017 7:12 PM
Comment #414173
Comey is the only one who can be trusted

My question last October proves prescient in more ways than one.

What you describe about such “false statements” should be applied to AG Sessions testimony. True?
My understanding is that unlike Hillary Clinton, Jeff Sessions intentionally deceived the US Senate. Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 7:13 PM
Comment #414174

I search out a bunch of main stream news sources and I never see what Phx8 does. What grocery store tabloid do you get your info from phx8?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 5, 2017 7:14 PM
Comment #414175

KAP,

If Democrats’ heads roll alongside the Republicans, so be it.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 7:15 PM
Comment #414176

It is fascinating to watch a civilian become the top politician in the country, party leader, chief executive and commander-in-chief of our armed forces.

I fully expected President Trump to make mistakes during this tremendous transition and he has. Who wouldn’t? I know he is a very quick learner, hard working and quite intelligent. If there is a way for him to succeed in this high office, he will.

If he is able to survive in this hostile political atmosphere, thrive, and actually accomplish goals which won him the office, I believe and hope that other civilians, from any party, may stick a toe into presidential politics.

It will be a welcome change from the usual candidates.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2017 7:15 PM
Comment #414178

RF,

My secret belief is that Donald Trump has the potential to be a truly great President (even better than Obama). His secret power is his complete lack of fealty to any political ideology. It primes him to be the perfect person to sacrifice both sides’ sacred cows. He just needs a Democratic Congress to prod his priorities in the right direction.

Until then, we shall wait and see what comes of current issues and controversies.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 7:39 PM
Comment #414179

You may be right Warren. I too will wait and see.

Goodnight to all and thanks for the info and fun.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2017 7:41 PM
Comment #414182

Royal Flush-
Look, a good argument isn’t always as clean as a math equation, but in this case, the categorical nature of what Sessions said gives him very little ambiguity to hide in. When he said he wasn’t aware of any contacts with the Russians, making contact with the Russians clearly contradicts that, unless he was put in some sort of hypnotic trance. When he says he’s had no communication in January of 2017, that’s pretty absolute. Meeting twice with the Ambassador directly contradicts it. Unless they stared lovingly into each other’s eyes for the whole duration of those meetings, they communicated something with each other.

That’s why it’s always trick to argue categorically. It sounds great, but it’s quite easy to disprove if there’s a yes to your no, or a no to your yes. The fact that Comey and DNI Clapper can issue flat denials to Trump’s claims, for example, means that Trump doesn’t have a leg to stand on, because neither one of them would issue such an unqualified answer if they thought there was any way they’d get called on it.

As for getting his bearings… Trick is, you elected somebody who really doesn’t learn and doesn’t want to learn. You elected somebody who out-Bushes Bush. If he learns from experience, it will be long and painful experience, and he’ll backslide to his typical nature as quickly as he can.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 5, 2017 10:01 PM
Comment #414184
That’s why it’s always trick to argue categorically. It sounds great, but it’s quite easy to disprove if there’s a yes to your no, or a no to your yes.

Sorry to beat over a dead horse, but this sort of bad judgement is precisely what befell Hillary Clinton. Glossing over the details in her testimony did her a great disservice down the road.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 10:06 PM
Comment #414192

Warren Porter-
The temptation is not uniquely Republican. Categorical answers and assertions sound strong, confident, while other kind, more conditional, more hedged, more qualified, sound kind of weaselly. Ideally, we would check what people say on a factual basis, but in day to day interaction, as humans have evolved to handle it, emotional certainty is often what rules. We trust people who appear to believe what they’re saying.

Trump is very good at projecting absolute emotional certainty in what he says.

What you might want to consider with Clinton, though, is that she’s a modern day liberal trying to deal with Conservatives who run on that kind of emotional certainty, while she tries to employ more of the factual approach. She’s a persons who’s been taught to attempt to present that certainty.

We can’t really allow ourselves to forget that. The blame is not simply in us, or in Clinton, but in a media system that rewards people for performed demonstrations of certainty, even people who repeatedly demonstrate their dishonesty.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 6, 2017 10:28 AM
Comment #414193

Remember when Democrats called into question ‘unnamed sources’? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

Funniest thing I’ve seen so far this year is the left is tryng to be the anti-war party now. Sorry, that is not on the table anymore, you guys blew it. And now all you are doing is coming across as unhinged wingnuts. I’ll give a great example.

In reference to Sessions talking to the Russian ambassador a few days before inauguration and after the election, Bill Maher stands up and says that this is the biggest crisis that the US has ever experienced…

I mean…

You guys can’t really be serious can you?

Trump is deporting all of these people!!!

Yet, Obama deported more, month by month, than Trump has and only 58% of those who were deported by Obama had broken any laws.

Silent when it’s your guy, outraged beyond belief when it is their guy. That’s all the left has anymore. It’s boring and people are tired of it. Just stop.

The left are just warhawks trying to create a war with Russia for SOME reason, I have no idea why anymore… There is no logic remaining on the left.

And Clinton’s ‘factual’ approach? The echo chambers are firmly in place now, aren’t they.

And Stephen, do me a favor, please respond here with the proof, the evidence, the factual basis that Russia hacked the DNC. I’ll wait.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 6, 2017 12:00 PM
Comment #414194
The blame is not simply in us, or in Clinton, but in a media system that rewards people for performed demonstrations of certainty, even people who repeatedly demonstrate their dishonesty.

Like when Clapper lied to the Congress about spying on US Citizens? And then we are all supposed to believe him when he has his intelligence agencies feed us a line of BS about Russia hacking the DNC? Without doing their own investigation and relying on the Cloudstrike report that is severely flawed, their proof being that there were cyrillic letters in some parts of the code? (Hacker code never gets passed around or shared or sold obviously) Or that the ‘hackers’ operated during 9-5 Russian time? (cause we all know hackers are strictly 9-5 guys…)

Pull the other one, it has bells on it Stephen…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 6, 2017 12:09 PM
Comment #414196

Rhinehold,

All of this is precisely why we need an independent investigation. Either a special prosecutor or a bipartisan select committee (my preference) just like what was established to look into the Benghazi incident.

Maybe this is all smoke and no fire. I would be happy with that result. However, we conduct the investigation first and reach our final conclusions second.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 6, 2017 12:43 PM
Comment #414198

Warren,

Maybe we should have an independent investigation into whether aliens landed in Roswell in 1947 while we’re at it? I mean, there’s more evidence for that than the accusations the left are dreaming up in their fevered minds.

I wasn’t a big fan of the waste of time Benghazi was either, just making a charge that ‘something is there’ isn’t enough IMO. Show me something concrete and then we’ll talk.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 6, 2017 2:17 PM
Comment #414199

Cabinet officials didn’t give false statements under oath regarding the ‘47 incident near Roswell. Given the fact that Trump officials have not been forthcoming regarding their contacts with Russian officials, I think there is enough evidence for further investigation (not evidence for indictments or anything like that, the bar is much lower here).

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 6, 2017 2:45 PM
Comment #414203

Interesting article on the media which concludes:

“….Rebuilding a basis on which Americans can form a shared belief about what is going on is a precondition of democracy….To accomplish this, traditional media needs to reorient, not by developing better viral content and clickbait to compete in the social media environment, but by recognizing that it is operating in a propaganda and disinformation-rich environment.”

It begins:

“… of over 1.25 million stories published online between April 1, 2015 and Election Day shows that a right-wing media network anchored around Breitbart developed as a distinct and insulated media system, using social media as a backbone to transmit a hyper-partisan perspective to the world. This pro-Trump media sphere appears to have not only successfully set the agenda for the conservative media sphere, but also strongly influenced the broader media agenda, in particular coverage of Hillary Clinton.

While concerns about political and media polarization online are longstanding, our study suggests that polarization was asymmetric…

“Attacks on the integrity and professionalism of opposing media were also a central theme of right-wing media.”

http://www.cjr.org/analysis/breitbart-media-trump-harvard-study.php


Posted by: phx8 at March 6, 2017 5:07 PM
Comment #414204

The article struck me as very relevant to what we are seeing today. I caught about 10 minutes of Limbaugh this morning. It was unhinged conspiracy theory, dripping with hatred for Obama and liberals. Then I saw an approval rating for Trump, 45%. And then there is the lunatic set of tweets about Obama and wiretapping, made without a shred of evidence, and being vociferously defended by Trump supporters. What is going on here?

Now, that approval rating reflected the recent teleprompter speech, but not the tweets; still who could possibly approve of this administration?

The article nails it. We are in a propaganda war in which a portion of the population, the politically far right, has become separated from the rest by various media outlets, and insulated from the broader news sources. We see a president reading a Breitbart article about a right wing talk show host rant, and the president turns around and makes one of the most outrageous attacks in the history of American politics on his predecessor. And people support Trump’s attacks.

I wonder what it will take to break this fever?

Posted by: phx8 at March 6, 2017 5:14 PM
Comment #414205

Phx8, just a guess here, but you don’t see the MSM as transmitting a “hyper-partisan perspective to the world,” do you.
The non-stop adulation of Obama? The hate for Trump? The ‘hands up don’t shoot’ lies? All the ‘Obamacare is great’? The idiot husband leads? Anti gun?
That’s all just telling it how it is, right?

LOL

Posted by: kctim at March 6, 2017 5:56 PM
Comment #414206

Why would “no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing” warrant a special investigator?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 6, 2017 7:46 PM
Comment #414209

“Conclusive evidence” means enough evidence to reach a firm conclusion. Reaching conclusions is what is done after an investigation, not before.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 6, 2017 11:24 PM
Comment #414214

ph8x It’s like you are incapable of removing yourself from your echo chamber and seeing both sides of an issue… For years it has been proven over and over again in study after study that the MSM in the US is left-leaning. CNN has become nothing more than a video block of DailyKOS. MSNBC is not worth a thing, and neither is Fox. They are all biased and worthless to be used for anything regarding media anymore.

Just watch Don Lemon on a daily basis spout ignorance, lies and hate and you wonder why he isn’t working at Fox… All he needs is to switch sides and he’s no better.

Seriously, at least have some integrity to be honest about what is going on and quit just thinking about power you might be able to obtain all the time..

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 7, 2017 12:12 AM
Comment #414215

Video BLOG, not block.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 7, 2017 12:17 AM
Comment #414226

Rhinehold-
The problem is an obsession with the social verification of practical information. People can talk about bias in the media, but often that talk assumes something like “I’m not biased myself, so I can tell when they’re being objective.”

Objectivity, in reality, is more difficult than that. Truth is, FOXNews and even Breitbart can report things that are factually correct, as can MSNBC and other more liberal outlets.

If you get too focused on bias, the problem is, your solution will be to develop a confirmation bias of your own, believing what suits you, distrusting what doesn’t.

And that’s how you get Trump. People are so resistant on the right to acknowledging common ground that the right-wing media bias essentially inoculated Trump from losing due to his extraordinarily checkered life and behavior. The trouble is, you can inoculate yourself from outside influence when it comes to acknowledging how bad somebody is, but you can’t inoculate yourself from the consequences of the objective information that you ignored.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 7, 2017 11:24 AM
Comment #414227

Actually, Stephen, “the trouble is” that confirmation bias, believing what suits you, and distrusting what doesn’t, is also how you get Obama and Hillary.
And “the problem is” that you aren’t willing to see or acknowledge that.

Posted by: kctim at March 7, 2017 11:54 AM
Comment #414228

“… you can’t inoculate yourself from the consequences of the objective information that you ignored.”

“And that’s how you get Trump.”

Exactly. That is where I was going with this. The article I linked earlier only describes the phenomenon. It does not take it to the next step. When a portion of the population- the far right- isolates itself in an information bubble it becomes vulnerable to manipulation. That is what happened in the past election. Not only do we end up with a part of the population believing things that are false:

Obama is a Muslim
Obama is not an American citizen
The stock market went down and unemployment went up under Obama
Global Warming is a hoax perpetrated by the scientists of the world
There were 3-5 million illegal votes cast in 2016

They now become susceptible to manipulation by virtually anyone who plays to their confirmation bias, even if it involves false information. This is especially true on social media, where a right wing echo chamber shares falsehoods among themselves. The shares on FB of false stories occurred in the millions. This did NOT happen among moderates or liberals. The Russians used this to their advantage, successfully influencing the election in Trump’s favor, and more importantly for them, undermining our democracy and faith in the election process. We are now in a situation where the President declares the MSM- and specifically the ones that observe a journalistic code of ethics- as “the enemy of the people.”

Posted by: phx8 at March 7, 2017 11:58 AM
Comment #414229

“Conclusive evidence” means enough evidence to reach a firm conclusion. Reaching conclusions is what is done after an investigation, not before.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 6, 2017 11:24 PM

I must disagree Warren. One can not obtain a warrant without convincing a judge that there is more than just suspicion. There must be evidence sufficient to “conclude” a crime has been committed by the person(s) named in the warrant.

phx8 wrote; “The shares on FB of false stories occurred in the millions. This did NOT happen among moderates or liberals. (and) The Russians used this to their advantage, successfully influencing the election in Trump’s favor…”

Source for both ascertains please.

Here’s is President Trump’s quote phx8; “”A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are — they are the enemy of the people,” Trump told the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. While praising some reporters as honest, and pledging fealty to the First Amendment, Trump claimed that “the fake news media doesn’t tell the truth.” He said reporters should not be allowed to use anonymous sources, and “we’re going to do something about it.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/24/donald-trump-cpac-media-enemy-of-the-people/98347970/

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 3:05 PM
Comment #414230

Royal Flush-
No, they’ve been quite clear on warrants. You don’t have to have “beyond a reasonable doubt.” But you do have to be convinced that most of the evidence is telling you a crime has been committed, or is being committed.

As for this enemy of the people? I think Trump conflates himself with the people. The Press is his adversary because so much of what he’s doing and has done doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. He’s a corrupt man, and sadly, your hatred for liberals allowed you to be contrary when liberal to neutral sources started telling you that. That Hotel over in Central Asia that might have helped launder money for the Iranians is an example.

More victories like this, and the GOP won’t need to screw anything up to lose.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 7, 2017 3:39 PM
Comment #414231

Stephen wrote; “As for this enemy of the people?”

Is your vision deficient Stephen. What part of “fake news the enemy of the people” is in your blind spot?

Please share with us Stephen the link showing…”most of the evidence is telling you a crime has been committed, or is being committed.”

What evidence of what crime?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 4:05 PM
Comment #414232

By the way Stephen, please furnish the proof of “corruption” and “money laundering” by President Trump.

Take your time…and when none is found just admit that you are a Lefite Trump hater making up crap in your mind.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 4:11 PM
Comment #414233

“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
Donald Trump
1:48 PM - 17 Feb 2017

Anonymous sources are usually given an attribution, and news organizations often require two separate sources. There is potential for abuse, but often, it is the only way controversial news ever reaches the public. It is also worth recalling Trump had no problem whatsoever with anonymous sources when they worked against Hillary Clinton. In the 90’s, Donald “I love Wikileaks” Trump used to call media outlets under the name ‘John Miller’ in order to publicize himself. He was forced to admit under oath that he and publicist John Miller were one and the same.

As for the Russian propaganda campaign among the far right on social media:

“PropOrNot’s monitoring report, which was provided to The Washington Post in advance of its public release, identifies more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans. On Facebook, PropOrNot estimates that stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign were viewed more than 213 million times.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html?utm_term=.8fd5690ebefb

From the same article:

“This followed a spate of other misleading stories in August about Clinton’s supposedly troubled health. The Daily Beast debunked a particularly widely read piece in an article that reached 1,700 Facebook accounts and was read online more than 30,000 times. But the PropOrNot researchers found that the version supported by Russian propaganda reached 90,000 Facebook accounts and was read more than 8 million times. The researchers said the true Daily Beast story was like “shouting into a hurricane” of false stories supported by the Russians.”

Posted by: phx8 at March 7, 2017 4:14 PM
Comment #414234

Many thanks for the link phx8. A quick perusal did not reveal the answer to my question…“The shares on FB of false stories occurred in the millions. This did NOT happen among moderates or liberals. (and) The Russians used this to their advantage, successfully influencing the election in Trump’s favor…”

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 4:27 PM
Comment #414235

Here is an interview with a satirist who created false stories for FB & elsewhere:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/11/17/facebook-fake-news-writer-i-think-donald-trump-is-in-the-white-house-because-of-me/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.649fd0889089

“Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it…”

And

“We’ve tried to do [fake news with] liberals. It just has never worked, it never takes off. You’ll get debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kind of fizzles out.”

Unfortunately, no Russian propagandists are available to provide quotes on the topic. However…

“A Buzzfeed analysis found that three main conservative Facebook pages were roughly twice as likely as three leading liberal Facebook pages to publish fake or misleading information.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/07/why-conservatives-might-be-more-likely-to-fall-for-fake-news/?utm_term=.aaaf2dc7524b

Posted by: phx8 at March 7, 2017 4:41 PM
Comment #414236

OH, please phx8, ONE “satirist who created false stories for FB & elsewhere.”

(and) “There are cases of liberals circulating fake news stories, to be sure.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 4:56 PM
Comment #414239

RF,
Like the article says, propaganda- that is, fake news- never succeeded among liberals. The article mentions one or two examples I have never heard of. However, I most certainly did hear the fake news stories that circulated among conservatives, especially the ones about Hillary Clinton’s health and the one about paid protestors.

No liberal ever showed up at Comet Pizza with an assault rifle, looking for a non-existent basement where Hillary Clinton kept children as part of a s** slave ring. That actually happened, you know.

General Flynn followed all kinds of bizarre conspiracy theories.

And although it is not an example of Russian propaganda, we have just seen the President accuse Obama of a crime with no evidence whatsoever, just on the basis of a conspiracy theory reported in Breitbart. We have seen several articles on WB pushing preposterous stories about Obama, based on the same kind of lunacy that prompted Trump to send those horrific tweets. This stuff has been bouncing around the conservative echo chamber for a while, and Limbaugh and Levin and others have been amplifying it.

Posted by: phx8 at March 7, 2017 6:20 PM
Comment #414240

Royal Flush-
You might want to look into this.

The evidence they’d be looking for, likely, is consistent contact with a foreign agent not to mention odd financial activity directed their way. There may be other clues they look for, but those would be the ones that come to mind immediately.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 7, 2017 6:29 PM
Comment #414241

Mea Culpa phx8. Both sides need to step back from the nonsense percolating thru various sources.

We should both agree that; “fake news the enemy of the people.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 6:32 PM
Comment #414243

Stephen, here’s a quote from a link within the link you provided…”Trump earned between $2.5 million and $2.8 million in hotel management fees from the unopened hotel, according to the financial disclosures filed by his campaign. Trump licensing deals generally involve the receipt of a significant minority stake in the property, too.”

This from your link…”Even though the hotel has Trump’s name emblazoned on it and had previously been posted as a future project on Trump Organization’s website, the organization’s chief legal officer Alan Garten said that Trump played only a nominal role in construction of the hotel — he was “merely a licensor” who had allowed Anar Mammadov, the son of powerful Azerbaijani oligarch Ziya Mammadov, to use his name, the New Yorker reports.

Doesn’t pass the corruption “smell” test for me.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 6:47 PM
Comment #414281

Royal Flush-
First of all, those are very corrupt people, and Trump, if he’s doing the due diligence to remain on the right side for the law, should know that. Even a licensing deal with them is too much. The whole project stinks to high heaven, if you read about the details. There are specific laws, laws that Trump doesn’t seem to like too much, that restrict the kind of people that American corporations do deals with. Your guy seems to be unfazed by the kind of oligarchs he’s lending his name to.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 9, 2017 2:18 PM
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