The President Does not Need to Attack His Closest Allies

As McCain returns to vote, we should give a thought as Jim Geraghty did, to the Democrat hostage-holding of funding for the VA. Because the House wants to try working outside the shabby box of current Veteran Affairs management practices and processes, Democrats are saying no, as if more government is the solution to the VA’s woes.

But this is all under the radar, thanks to the President's Tuesday morning tweet storm. Attorney General Sessions has been in President Trump's sights for at least a few weeks, at least publicly. Privately, his anger at one of his first and most loyal supporters has been brewing for a much longer time. And now he almost daily berates the man in charge at Justice, calling him beleaguered and demanding he investigate Hillary Clinton's emails.

Does he want Sessions to retire so that he can then fire Rosenstein, and finally dismiss Special Counsel Mueller? Given the administration's targeting of Sessions and Mueller, with Rosenstein caught between them if you will, it's reasonable to assume that Trump is indeed considering something of the sort. Especially when his close allies leak to the press about the fact that he's considering precisely that.

At what point does the GOP seriously begin pushing back? Considering that Democrats are reaping the already hysterical media coverage of the Russia probes, serious pushback is something Republicans do knowing full well that it damages the party brand, one that is already damaged goods, as are most political institutions in America nowadays.

Well, when Rudy Giuliani clearly states that Sessions did the right thing by recusing himself, and also dismisses any possibility of him being AG, and when Senator Ted Cruz does basically the same thing, maybe the president should take notice. He is alienating his closest allies in the GOP; the ones who supported his campaign whole heartedly, even when the Access Hollywood tapes made most of us assume his run at the presidency was over.

Let's imagine that Trump does manage to make Session's life so miserable that he gets his AG to resign and sets in motion perhaps the possibility of a recess appointment of an AG who would serve until the Senate's 2018 session starts in January. Who will possibly step up for the job?

Jared Kushner?

The president does not have to do any of this. He could have accomplished far more than he has (and he has accomplished some notable goals; as in immigration management if not legal policy, as well as Gorsuch's appointment, as well as trimming back regulations set up by Obama in the previous administration's dying days), by leaving the probes alone and focusing on using his bully pulpit effectively to help organize and sell any Obamacare repeal that eventually actually makes it to his desk.

But he has done little of that. And he is drawing his inner circle of outsiders closer to him. Will Reince Priebus be next? What will happen at Justice? Tillerson is doubtful about whether he can remain in his job for more than a year, if you believe some of the latest leaks. McMaster is frustrated, according to more leaks.

Is Michael Brendan Dougherty right? Is Trump a nightmare boss that no one will want to work for? Because the question is: what is your loyalty directed towards when you agree to work for the White House? The constitution? The party that won the White House? The faction of the party that is in power? The personal connections you have made in the beltway? Personal ties outside of Washington? A specific policy or viewpoint? A specific cause? The president and only the president?

It's to all of the above and more. But you are forced very quickly to prioritize those loyalties in a place like Washington D.C. And this president is actively forcing you to choose. On twitter with no warning beforehand, one has to assume. He's running the White House like he did his business.

And that's one of the main reasons he has been attacked so fiercely. Because he was suspected of being the kind who would upend decades old processes in the beltway. And he sure has. But the way he is doing it is sabotaging his very real opportunity to disrupt the systems of patronage and lobbying and power broking he railed against in his campaign. And he has instead traded these opportunities for change for what is increasingly a family fiefdom.

And that is an unsustainable proposal. Not even someone with the president's unique character, shall we say, can afford to attack his closest allies and expect to achieve anything substantial in Washington. So we will just have to wait and see what each new tweet brings. And whether more people start to say: I've had enough. That's where we are right now.

Posted by Keeley at July 25, 2017 9:08 PM
Comments
Comment #418634

Thanks, SD, for another well-written article. The comments above are also better than what we usually see in this column.

At least Ross Perrot admitted that he was CRAZY and made it his theme song. This POS is just illiterate, incompetent, and most likely suffering from dementia. I predict hopefully for Mattis to go mad dog and organize a 25th amendment solution to this problem. Then we’ll have Pence to kick around for the rest of these next four years.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 26, 2017 1:05 PM
Comment #418641

Action

“I want the attorney general to be much tougher,” Trump said. “I want the leaks from intelligence agencies, which are leaking like rarely have they ever leaked before, at a very important level. These are intelligence agencies we cannot have that happen.”

Reaction

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will soon announce several criminal leak investigations, Fox News has learned.


Posted by: Royal Flush at July 26, 2017 2:29 PM
Comment #418642

Leftist reaction:

Trump threatens Sessions.
Trump usurping power and dictating what’s important.
Trump working with Russia to make our intelligence agencies look bad.

FASCISM!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: kctim at July 26, 2017 2:41 PM
Comment #418643

Having spent most of his seventy years dealing with the non-democratic structure of a corporation, Trump is an autocrat at heart. He doesn’t realize that as a President in a constitutional, democratic republic, that he and his officers operate subject to the rule of law.

He asks why Sessions won’t go and prosecute every leak. Well not every disclosure of info rises to that level, or involves prosecutable misconduct. An obsession with leaks isn’t too healthy. Just ask Nixon.

He complains that Sessions isn’t out there hounding Hillary Clinton. Confusion is understandable, if you follow the rather Kangaroo Court approach the RW Media and the Republican Majority in Congress takes. However, a prosecutor has to have an actual case, where FOXNews and Congress can keep on pushing the BS as long as they’ve got airtime and taxpayer dollars to waste.

More importantly, thanks to the protections of the Constitution, you can only be tried once for a given crime. If you go after Clinton and she’s declared not guilty, then you can never prosecute that charge again.

Finally, the recusal. The simple truth is, the Attorney General is forbidden by law from not recusing himself. He’d have to break the law to remain involved.

Republicans these days may boast the hell out of their knowledge of the Constitution, the law, but they seem to have some very ignorant notions of how our government actually works.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2017 3:19 PM
Comment #418645

The insistence on launching investigations aimed at Hillary Clinton makes no sense. The GOP Congress conducted eight investigations into Benghazi. They found nothing, other than what was found in the first one. The FBI investigated her e-mails and found nothing to prosecute. Now DOJ is supposed to go back and investigate stuff that not even the GOP Congress bothered with? That is not how our justice system works. It does not exist to punish political opponents. America is not some third world nation. We are not Pakistan.

The only way investigating Hillary Clinton makes sense is to serve as a distraction, and keep the Trump base hyped with Hillary hatred.

And as Stephen points out, not all leaks involve classified information; not only that, a lot of them come from the White House. Presidential paranoia is not comforting. Bad things happen when presidents become paranoid.

Posted by: phx8 at July 26, 2017 3:37 PM
Comment #418646

For the sake of my two reading challenged Pals, I will post the quote again.

“I want the leaks from intelligence agencies, which are leaking like rarely have they ever leaked before, at a very important level. These are intelligence agencies we cannot have that happen.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 26, 2017 3:47 PM
Comment #418647

“The FBI investigated her (Clinton’s) e-mails and found nothing to prosecute.”

Incorrect phx8. Comey found plenty to prosecute and made a deliberate decision not to. That decision belonged to the Attorney General.

The FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails should be revisited to determine if her crimes should be prosecuted.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 26, 2017 4:53 PM
Comment #418648
The only way investigating Hillary Clinton makes sense is to serve as a distraction, and keep the Trump base hyped with Hillary hatred. Posted by: phx8 at July 26, 2017 3:37 PM

Hillary is a fictional character in this soap opera, called The Designated Villain.

From TVtropes:

A villainous antagonist is a common driving force behind conflict in stories, so it makes natural sense to write one in. But villainy requires performing villainous acts; a villain who doesn’t really act on those is difficult to root against. The result is a character who is treated as a bad guy by the principal characters, despite never actually doing anything to justify that amount of hate. They might even be sympathetic by virtue of their social position. Any astute arguments and observations by this character are to be dismissed by the audience, because they are Evil™.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 26, 2017 6:28 PM
Comment #418649

Never vote for these Rino’s again. All but one campaigned and was elected on their promise of voting to repeal Obamacare.

They turned their backs on the people who elected them today.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine; Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia; John McCain of Arizona; Rob Portman of Ohio; Lamar Alexander of Tennessee; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Dean Heller of Nevada.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 26, 2017 7:47 PM
Comment #418650

Fact-Checker Snopes On Verge of Financial Meltdown Amid Divorce Scandal

“This, folks, is the group in charge of determining “fake news” for the liberals.”

http://constitution.com/fact-checker-snopes-verge-financial-meltdown-amid-divorce-scandal/

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 26, 2017 7:58 PM
Comment #418651

I agree, Royal. These folks had 7 years or so to put a HC plan together. Most are disgruntled that Trump got elected. I assume they consider him a populist versus republican.

It looks like they are going to slow walk his agenda and obstruct when they don’t agree with his policies.

Only thing I see we can do is to write our rep’s and blog loudly to get the word out that these folks can/will be unelected come their next election.

I would hope Trump would feel strong enough to stand up a 3rd party effort in a couple of years.

Trump wants to give the middle class a break. GOP’er’s need to understand it’s down with pharmas and up with workers, and so on - - -

They are so o o dependent on that lobbist campaign money.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 26, 2017 9:25 PM
Comment #418656

Scaracmucci now wants the FBI to investigate Reince Preibus for leaking his private financial information. The WH is having it’s own little civil war.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 27, 2017 1:01 AM
Comment #418671

Royal Flush-
Trump has repeatedly taken actions to impeded further investigation of his connections with Russia. Given that we have a VOLUNTEERED example of this kind of interaction with Russia, it seems such investigation is justified. If it is, if the information is bad enough, some might think that it’s more important that the attempts to coverup the truth about what happened with the 2016 campaign fail than that secrecy be maintained.

Of course it’s a problem when secrets get thrown out into the open without regard for the law. That’s why I didn’t much like WikiLeaks to start.

But that wasn’t your attitude, or your President’s. He openly cheered the leaks that favored him, blatantly illegal ones, whether it was some insider leaking them, as his allies insist, or whether it was Russia hacking them out of the DNC databases. Hell, he even (jokingly?) asked them to produce the deleted e-mails if they had them. “I love wikileaks” is not an awe-inspiring example to ride into the Presidency with, especially if you turn around and hypocritically demand a duct-taped, plastic-wrapped, sealed vessel of an administration.

So, if you tell those people “Don’t leak!” you don’t have the moral authority to make that demand. You can’t say, “I have always opposed wholesale leaks of illegally obtained info” and be taken seriously by anybody else, because he was for it before he was against it. His recent blabbing of State Secrets to the Russians doesn’t help.

So, even before you start pointing the finger at those leakers, the GOP has inspired cynicism at the thought of sparing Trump the embarrassment of revelations of such information. If you poo the bed, and then wail about why the room stinks so much, you’re not going to get much sympathy.

If you wanted to make the point that illegal leaks are bad, you didn’t start off on the right foot last year. Added to that is the fact that evidence is piling up for a hair-raising prospect: a President corrupted, compromised by agents of a foreign power. A person could be forgiven for thinking that a security breach that gives away a few of our secret, might be worth it in the balance if it brings down a traitorous President, since the chief executive has access to ALL our secrets. Just ask Israel what happens when your buddy the US is run by a guy who loves blabbing things to Russians.

As far as the FBI investigation goes?

There’s a difference between the belief that crimes occurred and the sense that those crimes can be prosecuted successfully There’s also a difference between strident accusations made by partisans with their hair on fire about the matters, and an indictment successfully taken to trial and verdict.

I think if you go back and look at Comey’s testimony, you will see him repeatedly explain why Clinton’s behavior did not constitute prosecutable criminal behavior. He repeatedly explained the rare to non-existent prosecution of that part of the law. He also took a lot of air out of the whole “bleached bit OMG” theory, which I as an IT technician thought wasn’t what paranoid GOPers thought it to be. I got my start decommissioning hard drives for computers that were no longer going to be used. You don’t leave confidential information on devices you’re retiring.

Additionally, to assert a deliberate erasure by Clinton of incriminating e-mails, you’d first need to determine that she either pushed “delete” herself (and here we are talking not about simply deleting it in outlook, but scrubbing a server drive clean) or ordered it to be done, and that she somehow directed them to those particular e-mails.

So, let’s go through what Comey said. He said that Clinton was not involved with the technical side. No finger on the delete button. Her office, sorting out the work e-mails from the personal emails, relied on the Lawyers to do the work. Lawyers often deal with situations like this during discovery.

So, did she tell them to delete the e-mails? No evidence of that. She was asked one question by the lawyers: would you like to keep your personal e-mails? She declined.

She did not choose, otherwise, which e-mails were considered work or personal. That was done by the lawyers, who, it turns out, weren’t as elegant at picking the right search terms as they thought. They recovered over 17K of the roughly 33,000 deleted, through forensic reconstruction. They went through other Prosecutions, seeing what worked, what didn’t. The behavior, while no where near admirable, did not meet the threshold for a successful criminal prosecution.

One thing to keep in mind, which zealous Hillary haters run over twice without looking, is that Double Jeopardy laws apply. If better evidence surfaces later, but you wasted your prosecution on crap evidence, and muddled, poorly written laws, and she got found Not Guilty, Then there’s no second swing at the ball. Fifth Amendment forbids retrying the case when the verdict has gone to not guilty.

This link explains it well.

To prosecute her over the e-mail deletion would be like saying somebody shot another person when she never held the gun, did not pull the trigger, did not aim the weapon nor tell somebody else to do that job for her. In retrospect, they should have kept a full copy of all the e-mails back for safe-keeping. But little about the situation provides the kind of instructions that might reflect a conspiracy with the lawyers to delete it, or evidence she did it herself. Where’s the culpability?

On the subject of those who voted against Repeal? Look, you guys have been selling that repeal as a sports car. CBO takes it out, and the things hacking and sputtering and the Prius driver is passing them with an angry middle finger out the window. Those people, who you’ll notice are either in vulnerable states or states with many people dependent on Medicaid and other threatened policies, are doing their job: representing their constituents first, and their party second. I know that disturbs you, but that’s just how it goes, sometimes. Trump doesn’t help, and you don’t help by angrily demanding the sacrifice of political careers for the sake of something that will just as likely kill the party’s fortunes for the next few elections as anything else.

We have not seen a bill out of this Congress that does better than kill the coverage of 15 million people. Perhaps some feel they can weather that storm, but those folks believe that the writing is on the wall.

If you can’t pass the Prius, you’re not going to sell the sports car. Quit with this juvenile, junior high “You’re out of the club” mentality.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2017 12:45 PM
Comment #418672

As far as Snopes goes? What it looks like is typical .com sort of corporate chicanery. Snopes is run by an S-Corporation, one that used to be owned jointly by the husband and wife. Wife divorced her husband (spare me the outrage, oh supporters of Trump and his fourth nude-model wife) and sold her share to five individuals (An S-Corporation cannot be owned by another company, only single people.) The important detail here is that at the time of the sail, those five people were all part of a corporation, the Proper Media group.

During the past year or two, two of the people, each with about 3% shares of the business, joined Mikkelson’s side, which theoretically could mean that Mikkelson’s organization would have the majority. The two owners of Proper Media have about 20% each, and allege that when the five folks from their company bought the wife’s share, they were buying on behalf of the company

I think Mikkelson has the better case. But folks in the RW media love to drag everybody into the mud to destroy their authority, while they wallow in their own grey areas, full of “entertainers” who repeatedly pass on false and misrepresented news. And since the people who do the news in the MSM are not perfect people, they always have an opportunity to drag them down.

The trick is, that’ll never make you right or better. At best, it will shut people up about you, leaving the floor open to your flatterers. Trump behaves outrageously because he knows nobody in the GOP has the guts to break with him. He successfully pulled off a hostile takeover, and he has everybody’s gonads in his desk drawer.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2017 12:59 PM
Comment #418673

Stephen, you would look a lot less silly if you used the same standards for Trump as you do Clinton. That doesn’t mean dismiss, ignore and excuse everything as you do with Clinton, but you should at least have the integrity to demand actual facts before making a judgement.
Your support of abortion, redistribution of wealth, identity politics etc…, should not be what fuels your hate. It is very divisive.

“Those people, who you’ll notice are either in vulnerable states or states with many people dependent on Medicaid and other threatened policies, are doing their job: representing their constituents first, and their party second.”

Seriously? For the last eight years, every time I mentioned that the reps were doing as their constituents demanded, you have lectured me about how their job is to not blindly follow what their voters say, but to do what is best for the country. But all of a sudden, NOW their job is “representing their constituents first?”

Oh, and 15 million people choosing not to buy coverage because there is no longer a mandate is NOT “killing their coverage.”

Posted by: kctim at July 27, 2017 1:14 PM
Comment #418674
you would look a lot less silly if you used the same standards for Trump as you do Clinton.

After months of shrill complaints regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails, I would’ve expected you to be more critical of Donald Trump, but I guess justice doesn’t get applied evenly in your world. Smash a few norms surrounding political correctness and make a few liberals upset and one earns immunity from kctim’s ire.

Sigh. What else is new in our bitter tribal struggle?

Seriously? For the last eight years, every time I mentioned that the reps were doing as their constituents demanded, you have lectured me about how their job is to not blindly follow what their voters say, but to do what is best for the country. But all of a sudden, NOW their job is “representing their constituents first?

Stephen said constituent preferences matter more than party preferences. I am quite certain he would agree that what is good for the nation as a whole takes precedence over both if need be. The problem is that these bills are not good for the country. None of them touch EMTALA, which means none of them establish a free market for health care. Instead, all of them give us government run health care that is inferior to that provided under the PPACA. It is quite telling that none of the Republicans voting for these bills has ever articulated why these bills will fix the problems people have with Obamacare. All we hear is mumbo jumbo about Obamacare’s flaws with nothing said about the benefits of these replacements.

Oh, and 15 million people choosing not to buy coverage because there is no longer a mandate is NOT “killing their coverage.”
Without an individual mandate, I would probably stop buying health insurance on the Obamacare exchange. That means tough shit for you and other taxpayers if I need to visit the ER. You are probably better off keeping the mandate in place instead of killing my coverage. Posted by: Warren Porter at July 27, 2017 2:26 PM
Comment #418676

What exactly has Trump ACTUALLY done that I should be more critical of, Warren? His tweets? Have already stated they are childish and he should stop. The so-called Russian collusion? As soon as the facts prove it so.
I am so critical of Clinton because I can point to what she has actually done.

Yes, I am happy that Trump isn’t playing identity politics or going overboard to be PC.

“I am quite certain he would agree that what is good for the nation as a whole takes precedence over both if need be.”

If that is the case then I was wrong to interpret it the way I did.

“The problem is that these bills are not good for the country.”

Amen to that, my friend. IMO, the yellow Republicans caving so hard will hurt them in the next elections the same way that the democrats overreach hurt them under Obama.

“You are probably better off keeping the mandate in place instead of killing my coverage.”

First, YOU are killing your coverage if YOU choose not to purchase coverage, not me.
Second, I care about rights and freedoms, not money. Not all of us need to be forced to take care of ourselves through government mandate.

Posted by: kctim at July 27, 2017 3:15 PM
Comment #418677

“So, if you tell those people “Don’t leak!” you don’t have the moral authority to make that demand.”

Perhaps not Stephen, but law-breakers and those who help our enemies with unauthorized disclosures must be found and prosecuted.

He writes; “Those people (seven Republicans who didn’t vote to repeal Obamacare), who you’ll notice are either in vulnerable states or states with many people dependent on Medicaid and other threatened policies, are doing their job: representing their constituents first, and their party second.”

Stephen, that’s my whole point; to represent their constituents first. They ran on repealing Obamacare, were elected, and then voted just the opposite.

He writes; “We have not seen a bill out of this Congress that does better than kill the coverage of 15 million people.”

Stephen, are those the same folks who must buy insurance or pay a penalty. If not forced by government to buy insurance…would they?

Where is your sympathy for working families who can’t afford plans that don’t have extremely high deductibles, who no longer have the choice of doctor or other caregiver?

Where is your defense of liberty and freedom? Must we give up both on the altar of health care?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2017 3:37 PM
Comment #418678

I just saw the cover of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new book. Unless it is a scam, the title is;

WHAT HAPPENED

Too funny. Can you believe this?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2017 3:43 PM
Comment #418680

warren

“Without an individual mandate, I would probably stop buying health insurance on the Obamacare exchange.”

Your choice, and I’m okay with that.If you don’t want to buy insurance you shouldn’t have to.

“That means tough shit for you and other taxpayers if I need to visit the ER.”

How so ? You’re are responsible for the charges you run up. No one else.

“You are probably better off keeping the mandate in place instead of killing my coverage.”

Nope, freedom to decide not to if you so choose is a better option regardless. The middle class have been sapped by this bad law, while the lazy suck up medicaid at the cost of the taxpayers. Healthcare is a service, not a right. Just because you need something doesn’t mean someone else is responsible to pay for it because you can’t.

Posted by: dbs at July 27, 2017 4:02 PM
Comment #418684

“Just because you need something doesn’t mean someone else is responsible to pay for it because you can’t.”
Posted by: dbs at July 27, 2017 4:02 PM

Thanks dbs. I have never heard it expressed better than that.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2017 7:39 PM
Comment #418686

If this guy spills his guts, the Democrat Party could catch fire and burn to a cinder taking many top pols with it.

Lawyer for Wasserman Schultz’ ex-IT aide: Fraud count might be ‘placeholder’ for more charges

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/27/lawyer-for-wasserman-schultz-ex-it-aide-fraud-count-might-be-placeholder-for-more-charges.html

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2017 7:54 PM
Comment #418687

Depraved indifference:

Conduct “so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime. Depraved indifference focuses on the risk created by… conduct, not the injuries actually resulting.”

https://definitions.uslegal.com/d/depraved-indifference/

Posted by: phx8 at July 27, 2017 8:26 PM
Comment #418690
What exactly has Trump ACTUALLY done that I should be more critical of, Warren

We are still waiting for the facts regarding Russia. What is known is that Donald Trump has displayed open hostility towards the judicial system as his campaign is investigated. Donald Trump’s latest act has been to humiliate Jeff Sessions for serving the American People’s interests instead of the President’s interests. After piling so much unjustified criticism upon DAG Rosenstein, acting FBI director McCabbe and former FBI director James Comey, it is no wonder so many officials are leaking national secrets to the press. People simply have lost faith in the American system. As a someone who pretends to defend the Constitution, you ought to be troubled by these developments.

Amen to that, my friend. IMO, the yellow Republicans caving so hard will hurt them in the next elections the same way that the democrats overreach hurt them under Obama.
Republicans’ primary problem is they ran against Obamacare by essentially saying it didn’t go far enough. Democrats weren’t hurt under Obama because they overreached, but rather because they underreached. People thought Obamacare offered the same amount of cost savings that single payer would, but it doesn’t.

Republicans have the chance to completely wipe Democrats away if they actually do what they had promised: Repeal Obamacare and replace it with something that transfers more wealth from rich to poor. However, the party leadership won’t let that happen.

How so ? You’re are responsible for the charges you run up. No one else.

Every year, taxpayers are responsible for paying billions for unreimbursed care. As I said, tough shit for you, kctim and other taxpayers.

Just because you need something doesn’t mean someone else is responsible to pay for it because you can’t.

I need protection from foreign invasion and cannot pay for it. Therefore it is others’ responsibility to fund a common defense that protects me. Right?

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 27, 2017 9:55 PM
Comment #418692
We are still waiting for the facts regarding Russia Posted by: Warren Porter at July 27, 2017 9:55 PM

52 uscode 30121 and 36 usc 510 foreign contributions
18 uscode 371 conspiracy to commit offense or defraud
18 uscode 1030 fraud and related activity with computers
18 uscode 1343 fraud by wire, radio, or television
18 uscode 2 aiding and abetting, in connection to other offenses
18 uscode 2031 Treason, aid and comfort to enemies
18 uscode 1512 Obstruction of Justice, numerous instances
18 uscode 1956 Money laundering
18 uscode 953 Logan act, unauthorized persons negotiating with foreign governments.
18 uscode 793 Espionage, recommending russians to attack
18 uscode 201 Bribery, via court settlements and elsewhere
18 uscode 1621 and 1746 Perjury and false statements in writing

Kushner fired Manafort after his father in law objected very strenuously that Manafort was treating him like a baby.

The location of the meeting with don jr, manafort, kushner and the russians is also important if that apartment was still owned by the russian “mafia”.

I’m enjoying Scaramucci, who thinks he’s Malcolm Tucker from The Thick of It, the series that Veep was based on.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 28, 2017 12:05 AM
Comment #418693

“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to s**k my own c**k.”
Anthony Scaramucci

The rest of the interview, shall we say, went downhill from there.

The Mooch deserves props for creative use of profanity by a Director of Communications. Not sure that was the kind of communications the United States of America deserved or even had in mind, but there you go. And if he is the Director, what are the less classy subordinates talking about?

He reminds me of a profane version of a Simpsons character, That Guy, also known as The 80’s guy. “Blank! Don’t you worry about blank! Let me worry about blank.”

Posted by: phx8 at July 28, 2017 12:20 AM
Comment #418694

“Every year, taxpayers are responsible for paying billions for unreimbursed care. As I said, tough shit for you, kctim and other taxpayers.”

There will always be deadbeats. I’ll take my chances with that as opposed to being mandated to buy a one size fits all policy shoved down my throat by the gov’t. Freedom is a dangerous thing, but I much prefer it to being a slave to good intentions.


“I need protection from foreign invasion and cannot pay for it. Therefore it is others’ responsibility to fund a common defense that protects me. Right?”


That’s quite a contortion. Lol Protecting the country from foreign aggression, and giving every individual everything they need, not quite the same thing.

Posted by: dbs at July 28, 2017 5:18 AM
Comment #418695

Royal Flush

The left is now praising “Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III” my bet is that will quickly change when he starts to aggressively investigate the antics of Debbie balbbermouth schultz and all her comrades. Ha ha ha !

Posted by: dbs at July 28, 2017 5:25 AM
Comment #418706

“We are still waiting for the facts regarding Russia.”

So there is NOTHING in that regard to be critical of.

“Donald Trump’s latest act has been to humiliate Jeff Sessions for serving the American People’s interests instead of the President’s interests.”

Please. Trump has questioned and ‘gotten on’ Sessions for not doing what he thinks needs to be done. Elitism, corruption and cronyism are the ONLY reasons Hillary got away with what she did.

“People simply have lost faith in the American system.

People lost faith a long time ago, you just didn’t care because their values and beliefs do not align with the politics you support. It is only now, with Obama’s progressive transformation of the country being dismantled, when leftists aren’t getting their way, that you believe people have lost faith in our system.

“As a someone who pretends to defend the Constitution, you ought to be troubled by these developments.”

I will be troubled when the facts show I need to be. Hate filled conspiracy theory towards all who disagree doesn’t cut it.
Fact is, the Constitution is facing less threat now than it was under Obama.

“Republicans’ primary problem is they ran against Obamacare by essentially saying it didn’t go far enough.”

Um, no. Republicans all across the country ran and won on repealing ‘Obamacare.’ Not because it wasn’t single payer or whatever. They didn’t like the mandate. They didn’t like that their premiums skyrocketed. They didn’t like that they were paying for crap they didn’t want or even need. They didn’t like losing their doctor.

“Democrats weren’t hurt under Obama because they overreached, but rather because they underreached.”

The ‘dems didn’t show up to vote because they didn’t get their government freebies’ BS works in a few places, but not most.
Dems lost a thousand positions all across the country because they used government to redefine and attack individual rights and freedoms, and because of the divisiveness of their identity politics.

Republicans have no chance to completely wipe Democrats away.
1 - As long as the majority of the country are dependent on government, democrats will still win.
2 - The best that Republicans can do is to do what they promised and repeal ‘Obamacare.’ If they fail to do that, their supporters will not show up at the polls and they have no chance.

“I need protection from foreign invasion and cannot pay for it. Therefore it is others’ responsibility to fund a common defense that protects me. Right?”

In order to protect the individual rights and freedoms of all Americans, the country needs protecting from foreign invasion. Therefore, the founders put that responsibility upon the government. They did not give government the responsibility or authorization to protect people from themselves.

Posted by: kctim at July 28, 2017 9:13 AM
Comment #418710

The old saying “the wheels of justice grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine”. The truth about the democrat/Russian collusion is slowly coming to light. The Russian dossier is now being understood. Who published the dossier, who did it benefit, who paid for it. We will see the democrats and Hillary are in this up to their eyeballs. Why would the democrats use a legal maneuver to block testimony of the dossier?

Posted by: Blaine at July 28, 2017 10:38 AM
Comment #418711

Kimberley Strassel wrote an article in the WSJ concerning the Fussion GPS involvement in the dossier. It had to do with reversing a law that prevented Russians from filtering mont through American banks. Glen Simpson’s goal was to provide false information to blackmail or force Zaire change or repeal the Magninsky Act. Simpson also tried to provide false information about Venezuela and about Trump. The question is, how deeply are the democrats involved in this corruption? It has the practice of democrats to blame the opposition for the very things they are guilty of. It must be part of the Saul Alinsky play book.

Posted by: Blaine at July 28, 2017 10:59 AM
Comment #418716

kctim-
One of the reasons the Framers went with a democratic, representative republic, as opposed to direct democracy, was the need to have the decisions made in Washington be more than the mindless reflection of popular sentiment.

The order I would take would be something like this:
1) What reason and the application of solid science and scholarship by experts tells us works.
2) What suits the interests of the constituents.
3) What suits the interests of the party.

If 2) and 3) disagree with 1)? Well, it’s no big secret that the GOP often says and does things to convince the constituents that something is or isn’t in their best interests. Why do something that harms them, and try to spin that into something good? There’s only so far you get with that approach before there’s a reckoning. and 3)? The simple truth is that Parties do not need to be perfectly rigid on all things. The GOP’s insistence on doing just that, making one and one form of conservatism supreme makes their politics very brittle.

Oh, and 15 million people choosing not to buy coverage because there is no longer a mandate is NOT “killing their coverage.”

Well, then insurance companies not maintaining grandfathered policies isn’t Obama lying about people being able to keep their doctor and their plan.

Even short of that if all of a sudden 15 million people, on account of your policy, can no longer maintain insurance, that is killing their policy. Put simply, you actively pushed a policy that FORCED that outcome. If somebody simply said, you know what, I voluntarily cancel my policy, that would be one thing. But if they’re saying “I can no longer afford this,” that’s a lot different. If the reason they cannot afford something is that you did something to hike up the price for them… well, then you had the choice, and they didn’t. Your choice, your fault.


Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2017 2:10 PM
Comment #418719

“The left is now praising “Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III”…

Right dbs, in the same hypocritical fashion they now praise Comey and McCain. What a bunch of dingbats. Machiavelli would avoid these two-faced, brain dead slugs.

(Song lyrics) “Will you love me in December as you do in May”
“Will the Democrats lying promises win the day?”

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 28, 2017 2:32 PM
Comment #418734

Royal Flush-
You state what must be done. Then you forget how you won. You tell Russian Hackers that if they leak Hillary’s incriminating info they’ll be greatly rewarded. At about the same time, your Candidate’s major campaign figures, both formal and informal, are meeting with people they have been told by a friend will give them just that: incriminating info. They actually do leave some files. More than that, they are told that this is part of a Russian operation.

I can prove all that with just the video of Trump and the emails Trump Junior revealed to the world. No fake news, by your standards

As for constituents?

If somebody tells me that this bill will create an overall negative effect for them, then there is an argument for valuing their objective good fortunes more highly than their political concerns. If voters insist that they want to be screwed, they can hire a new person who will do just that. I would think in our hatred of corruption that we’d prefer to elect people who do actual good for us over those who just kiss the ass of our political sentiments, which they likely indoctrinated us with anyway. Its participation trophy politics to reward people for saying right things rather than doing them. Anybody can learn a philosophy. Dealing with imperfect, frustrating reality is a tougher skillset, and often exists to the exception of the crystal purity of ideologues. It’s also a more valuable skillset, since govt. is a real-world oriented sort of system.

On the subject of the purchase or payment for insurance… Well, let me tell you: any system will have those who are well and able paying for those who are not. That’s the point of even a purely private insurance system. The trouble is, you get a concentration of wealth in any place, and people get dollar signs in their eyes. It gets especially troublesome if you’re dealing in a business like healthcare, where people end up over the barrel, unable to refuse to do business without causing severe harm to themselves, or even death.

As for where my sympathies are? I’d provide greater subsidies so they could afford health insurance. That, or a more public option they could afford. I would love to make the medical marketplace a more free place than it already is, given the way HMOs and PPOs tend to dictate which doctors one can go to.

As far as defense of liberty and freedom? What a ****ing joke for you to invoke that! Pop Quiz: what are the inalienable rights that Thomas Jefferson enumerates in the declaration of independence?

The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Now tell me, if the system is rigged to where you have nominal access to all the life-saving healthcare in the world, but you can’t afford to use it well or regularly, what then? Your right to life is endangered. Quality of life and disability from acute and chronic health problems, from the expenses of that care and everything impede both people’s mobility in society, and their ability to enjoy their lives.

So what are we being miserable here for, what are we dying here for? Something noble, important? Does a healthcare sector growing out of control, out of reach serve an economic good for any but a few lucky souls?

You want to talk about liberty and freedom… You don’t know how much the expense of healthcare undermines both, how much money we ultimately end up paying because the rich are more interested in their f***ing tax revolt.

kctim-
You assert that she didn’t get charged with what you thought she should get charged with because of corruption and all that. I would argue that politicians and pundits hyperventilated a bunch of speculation that turned out to be poorly founded, and that people who constrained themselves to the facts didn’t find sufficient evidence to support the speculation.

It’s long been the habit of each side to bloviate about the other side’s corruptions and crimes. Trick is, some people think it’s enough to draw their accusations from the echo chamber without checking them, while others believe that rhetorical sticks give you a stronger whack at the other side when there are good facts behind them, not so easy to knock down.

Session’s problem is that he can’t follow the fantasies of the right. His job obligates him to limit investigations to what he can reliably prove, because it’s all for nothing if he dives into that and doesn’t have the case to meet the reasonable doubt standard. Worse yet, he gets a not guilty verdict, and he can never try her again on the charge. So, going after Hillary for Trump’s voter brownie points is not a terribly useful course of action.

Leakers pose another problem. They can only investigate legal leaks, can’t prosecute false ones (if the information is false, it’s not classified, cannot be.) and even illegal leaks can only be prosecuted if the circumstance are right.

Finally, the recusal and the Mueller matter… I think it’s foolish to expect Sessions to defy the law on recusals. Sessions really can’t participate in an investigation of which he is a subject. Firing Mueller… if you think that will stop things, you’re crazy. It will likely prove to be a gut check for many Americans, will likely motivate political changes that won’t work in Trump’s favor.

As for what Obama did? I think the people in Constitutional over reach were people like you. I think the Framers would have been livid at the abuse of procedure used to hold up Obama appointments in favor of Trump’s agenda. Y’all have taken a fundamentalist approach to the Constitution, rigidly interpreting it to justify political control of the country even when the voters choose otherwise.

If you won’t let yourself lose, and your opponent win, you cannot be a responsible member of a republic like ours. Yes, there will be times you don’t have control, and you’ll hate the policy. Then the opposite will be true. You’ll have the power and we’ll hate it. The trick will be, will somebody try to break the system in order to ensure they always get what they want? I think our system works best only if it can change, when people’s attitudes change. If Americans can’t renegotiate the social contract to their liking, set new and different goals, then our system is a joke and a travesty.

And here’s the problem: Republicans ran on an absolute, pure rejection of Obamacare. Problem is, even bad policy has its good points, and not all policy opposite to a bad one is good policy itself. Even if Liberals and progressives are wrong, just being the folks who undo our agenda won’t make you right.

If you’re not right, the social contract begins to impose itself. People won’t be so impressed with political purity when it starts meaning things get screwed up and stay that way. Only when the priority is good policy with good results can we get out of that trap.

The Democrats did themselves a favor by formulating policy that had at least a half-way good basis in reality. Rather than just picking a completely antithetical system to what the Republicans might, they went for something they knew that could stand on its own.

With Obamacare repeal, they backed themselves into a corner. They couldn’t salvage the market pieces of the system, they couldn’t adapt their own principles into individual state exchanges so much, and they now really have no options beyond one that puts millions out of healthcare.

It’s an objectively bad outcome. You can only talk yourself so far out of one of those. The Republican’s problem is tha they’re trying to talk themselves out of all of them, rather than acknowledging that Democrats have some ideas that work better than what they consider ideal methods.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2017 7:03 PM
Comment #418738

“Quality of life and disability from acute and chronic health problems, from the expenses of that care and everything impede both people’s mobility in society, and their ability to enjoy their lives.”

Somehow, Stephen has reached the conclusion that his “right” to health care at the expense of others is found in the Constitution. I am embarrassed for you Stephen. How could you read so much and know so little?

Stephen, your “the pursuit of happiness” is not dependent upon the balance in my bank account. You have no “right” to my resources.


Posted by: Royal Flush at July 28, 2017 7:24 PM
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