March 21, 2017

I'm fed up with headlines like "FBI’s Trump-Russia probe knocks White House on its heels."

That's at Politico. The article, by Shane Goldmacher and Matthew Nussbaum, does not seem to have any sources inside the White House feeding information about how people working there are feeling. We're just told...
The White House was knocked on the defensive ahead of its biggest week yet on Capitol Hill after FBI Director James Comey confirmed the existence of an active investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, including whether there was any coordination with now-President Donald Trump’s team.
That's the standard news of the day yesterday — Comey testified — puffed up with some annoying prompting to think that something he said is a significant new revelation. 
In another blow to Trump, Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers also publicly refuted his unsubstantiated claims on Twitter that President Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower phones.... “I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,” Comey said. 
"Refuted" is the wrong word. Trump said he heard X is true. For Comey to refute that, he would need to say he knows X is not true. But whatever. It is what it is. The FBI looked and couldn't discover that Obama wiretapped Trump, and the FBI has an ongoing investigation into Russia's activities in relation to the American election. That's the story yesterday about hearings that were out in the open for all of us to see and quote.

What is there about the behind-the-scenes reaction? First, we're told that Trump himself was out in Louisville, Kentucky doing one of his rallies. That doesn't sound knocked on his heels. That sounds like Trump barreling forward, sanguine as ever. We're told Trump completely ignored the Comey business. Where's the knocking back on the heels?

To be fair to Goldmacher and Nussbaum and whoever typed out the headline, it wasn't Trump specifically who was supposedly knocked back on his heels. It was the White House. So maybe Trump was just fine out in Kentucky, but the White House — sans Trump — got knocked back on its heels. Here's the relevant text for that theory:
Meanwhile, the White House scrambled to contain the fallout, deploying two simultaneous war rooms, according to two people familiar with the arrangement, one in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to monitor the Comey hearing and another in the Senate offices to keep tabs on Gorsuch.
It sounds as though they were geared up and ready to deal with everything as it happened. That's the OPPOSITE of being knocked back on your heels.

Finally, the article tells us Spicer had his usual encounter with the press and got asked some questions about the Comey testimony. Of course Spicer wasn't knocked back on his heels. He gave the predictable press-secretary answers: there's nothing new, there was no collusion, other issues are more important, etc.

I'm sick of the phony emotionalism. Maybe some Trump haters and media people and establishment politicians are hysterical, but don't project that emotion onto Trump. If you have actual information that Trump and his people are breaking down emotionally, tell me about it in strictly factual terms: What do you know and how do you know it? But don't take a story and imagine how Trump must feel or make up how you WISH Trump would feel and then report it as if it is news. It's fake news!

137 comments:

FleetUSA said...

Consider this analysis from the Comey hearing:

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/03/20/it-took-a-freshman-gop-congresswoman-to-pull-the-mask-from-fbi-director-comey/#more-130253

Unknown said...

"The FBI looked and couldn't discover that Obama wiretapped Trump, and the FBI has an ongoing investigation into Russia's activities in relation to the American election. That's the story yesterday about hearings that were out in the open for all of us to see and quote."
------------
You forgot to mention this aspect of the investigation.

"At an hours-long public hearing on Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency is investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia..."."

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/20/520865505/the-fbi-is-on-the-case-and-other-takeaways-from-the-house-intel-hearing

AReasonableMan said...

Trump brags that he's the reason Colin Kaepernick hasn't got a team: President jokes that NFL owners won't take on the ex 49ers QB because 'they don't want to get a nasty tweet'

Gahrie said...

I'm sick of the phony emotionalism.

When feelz are the only thing that matters, feelz is what you get.

Gahrie said...

Somebody get ARM a humor implant..stat!

MPH said...

Paul Manafort is in trouble.
Trump's campaign manager for five months "played a limited role" "for a very limited time" in the campaign?

To have to lie like that -- that's a white house that is knocked back on its heels, so to speak.

Unknown said...

What I'm sick of is the minimalization by Trumpists and people who should know better, of what is actually happening. When in history has a sitting President and his election campaign staff ever been the subjects of a counterintelligence investigation?

PB said...

Ginned-up controversy seems to be all the Democrats have left. Obama was a failure. All their domestic programs have been failures. All their foreign policy initiatives have been an absolute, utter disaster.

Original Mike said...

"I'm fed up with headlines like "FBI’s Trump-Russia probe knocks White House on its heels.""

I find their desperation amusing.

Gahrie said...

Ok..for the sake of argument...Trump did it..he and his campaign colluded with the Russians...

1) Why did the Russians prefer him to Hillary? The Clintons had already participated in corrupt deals with the Russians, and the Democrats had just spent eight years rolling over for Putin.

2) What did Trump get?

3) What did Trump give?

4) How is what the Russians supposedly did any worse than what Obama did in Israel and the UK?

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Some say that if Trump had not tweeted regarding Obama wiretapping him, then the news from yesterday would have been about how the FBI had found no evidence of collusion. That's a seductive idea but when I think about it, I remember that no matter what the media will have a hysterical negative spin. Primarily, they will, because Trump won as a Republican. Secondarily because Trump is Trump. But the media has gotten more and more hysterical and obvious in its biased attacks since Watergate so it's hard to know how much is Republican and how much is Trump, anymore.

rhhardin said...

Phony emotionalism is what women like, at least the ones that pay the bills.

It's flypaper.

rhhardin said...

More and more swastikas are showing up on trains, NYC local news reports.

DKWalser said...

What I'm sick of is the minimalization by Trumpists and people who should know better, of what is actually happening. When in history has a sitting President and his election campaign staff ever been the subjects of a counterintelligence investigation?

Ronald Reagan was investigated by the Democrats in Congress based on the allegation that Bush took a supersonic flight on an SR-71 to meet with Iran during the election. These secret negotiations between Reagan and Iran prevented Iran from releasing the American hostages before the 1980 election and cost Carter re-election. That was the theory and the accusation. There was never any evidence to support the allegation. But, as Tip O'Neil said at the time, it was the severity of the allegations that required an investigation.

No, the Reagan and Trump situations are not exact parallels. Congress was controlled by Democrats back then, so they could do their own investigation. Trump's accusers controlled the White House immediately after the election, so they were able to get the administrative agencies to open investigations despite the lack of any credible evidence of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russians. Trump could call off the investigation, but that would be political suicide. Instead, he's allowing the investigation -- which to date has produced zero evidence of wrong doing -- to continue. Meanwhile, you and your ilk are claiming the investigation itself is proof of wrong doing. So far, the only thing criminal has been the leaks to the press of classified information designed to harm Trump.

Mary Beth said...

Unknown, either the post was edited or your reading comprehension skills need work.

Ann Althouse said...

"You forgot to mention..."

Oh, yeah. I forgot....

Everything I don't say is something I forget to say.

Ironically, you are committing the same offense I am describing in the post, falsely claiming access to another person's mind when you really just want to say something yourself. There's an ugliness to that that I'm not going to FORGET to talk about.

Unknown said...

@ Althouse,
Yes, I knew you didn't really forget, I was being kind.

Ann Althouse said...

"Phony emotionalism is what women like...."

Not in a real relationship. It's dreadful when your male partner goes drama queen. She might do it, but don't you do it. That's so not sexy.

In politics... emotionalism might work in the sense of putting forward an image of a suffering child or a suitably downtrodden poor or disabled adult. But don't be ramping up the emotion coming from a not-obviously-underprivileged adult.

Now, in the case of this Politic article, I think they're serving up comfort food for people who are outraged that Trump won. They want to believe that Trump is suffering and that he will be brutally punished soon. That's not empathy. That's sadism.

Gahrie said...

I was being kind.

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yes, I knew you didn't really forget, I was being kind."

1. I knew you knew, that's what made it especially ugly, like the headline to the article. It's called lying. Or sarcasm.

2. Lying/sarcasm are not KIND. Or are you lying/sarcastic when you portray yourself as kind? I won't pretend to know the content of your mind. If any. I say, intentionally sarcastically.

3. The internet-writing use of "you forgot to say" is trite. It's so unfresh, it needs a bath.

Gahrie said...

Not in a real relationship. It's dreadful when your male partner goes drama queen.

I hate to be the one to have to break it to you...but it's dreadful to men when women go drama queen also.

She might do it, but don't you do it.

Now where is the feminism in this? i thought men and women were equal?

rehajm said...

ARM would like to point out the panic in financial markets this historic revelation caused yesterday.

Unknown said...

Mary Beth, Althouse's post WAS edited to include the aspect of the investigation I spoke of.

Althouse, when your head is stuck where it's stuck, it is you that needs a bath.

AReasonableMan said...

Gahrie said...
Somebody get ARM a humor implant


The head of the federal government tells private employers that they should not employ a specific private US citizen. Which part of Republicanism does this correspond to?

Robert Cook said...

"Ginned-up controversy seems to be all the Democrats have left. Obama was a failure. All their domestic programs have been failures. All their foreign policy initiatives have been an absolute, utter disaster."

That depends on what you assume Obama's actual goals were. From the point of view of the deep state, it may be that Obama's tenure was successful.

From the point of view of the majority of American citizens, the Obama administration failed us, but so did all of Obama's predecessors going back decades. Obama offered a continuation and expansion on what came before him.

Trump will certainly also fail the American people, but whether through continuing the overall agenda of the deep state or by fucking things up in other ways--or both--remains to be witnessed.

grackle said...

FBI looked and couldn't discover that Obama wiretapped Trump.

Of course not. Obama has his personal tracks covered well, as always. You have to give Obama credit – changing the rules to where many different Obama embeds employed in several different agencies had access to the transcripts of the private conversations recorded of Mike Flynn and the Russian ambassador. Brilliant, except for two things:

Hillary lost. They were assuming she would win. If she had won she could quash any investigation called for by the GOP because Hillary’s anticipated control of the DoJ and of the control the Obama embeds in the various security agencies would have had on testimony before congressional investigative committees – in other words the embeds would have been able to perjure themselves with impunity.

Illegally unmasking Flynn also proves the wiretap took place – a stubborn fact that the MSM, including Fox, is working hard to ignore. The basic problem was that they were apparently assuming that they would find dirt on Trump, Trump’s business associates or Trump’s staff. They apparently came up empty, finding no dirt worth slinging or we would have heard it by now.

If they had found something shady or immoral they could have used it to obscure the fact that the spying and unmasking was illegal. Damn that Trump! Who knew he would be such a clean target!

mezzrow said...

Sometimes it does look like a race to the bottom between Trump's crassness and direct manner and the burning hatred of those who wake each morning knowing their purpose in life is to bring him down. My local paper has a headline that would convince you that the smoking gun just got found.

Trump-Russia investigation is confirmed
Director of FBI rebuts president's wiretap claim

The AP story follows.

I wonder if president would have been uncapitalized last year at this time? That's just how my mind works, I guess.

I wish I could feel the sense of detachment necessary not to be afraid of what comes next. The less I pay attention, the more possible it is to be optimistic, and that may be an approach I'll try. When the ice cream hits the rotating blades, I don't think the emotion I'll feel will be surprise.

It's not a question of if, but when. There are way too many many folks promoting a "by any means necessary" agenda on both sides of this conflict.

Robert Cook said...

The over-emphasis by Comey and "official" Washington on the alleged Trump-Russia collusion to throw the election is simply foolish beyond words, as it will simply be that much more of an embarrassment to them when it is found there was no such collusion. Given Comey's own actions prior to the election that may have helped sink (the very NOT Unsinkable) Hillary Clinton, it's astonishing he can come forward now, unembarrassed, and make these pronouncements.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Unknown said...
Althouse, when your head is stuck where it's stuck, it is you that needs a bath.
3/21/17, 7:20 AM

You go girl! Get your fat ass banned.


ARM,

Yeah, you have to be a Democrat to target individuals for destruction.

Gahrie said...

From the point of view of the majority of American citizens, the Obama administration failed us, but so did all of Obama's predecessors going back decades.

Which is why the US has the strongest military in world history, the strongest economy in world history, the most advanced science in world history and the highest standard of living in world history.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Does this mean Comey's not evil any more?

Gahrie said...

The head of the federal government tells private employers that they should not employ a specific private US citizen.

That isn't what happened.....Trump joked about sending a tweet to a private employer after those prospective employers had already made it quite clear that they had no interest in that potential employee.

It was a joke son, I say a joke.

Which part of Republicanism does this correspond to?

Either free speech, or having a sense of humor.

AReasonableMan said...

Gahrie said...
or having a sense of humor.


The President of the United States attacks a private citizen and the problem is that I lack a sense of humor? That is seriously fucked up.

AReasonableMan said...

Bad Lieutenant said...
You go girl! Get your fat ass banned.


The speech police are out, trying to ensure a safe zone for the snowflakes.

Gahrie said...

The President of the United States attacks a private citizen and the problem is that I lack a sense of humor

Are you seriously going to tell me that no Democrat has ever made a joke about an American citizen?

IIRC, the whole reason Trump decided to run for president is because Obama gave him shit and joked about him at a White House Correspondents dinner.

Gahrie said...

Will no one rid me of this troublesome quarterback?

Gahrie said...

I lack a sense of humor? That is seriously fucked up.

It is...but at least you are showing a little introspection...that's a beginning. Now that you know a little more about yourself, perhaps we'll see some improvement.

AReasonableMan said...

Gahrie said...
the whole reason Trump decided to run for president is because Obama gave him shit and joked about him at a White House Correspondents dinner.


A) Trump choose to attend a forum known for making fun of audience members, B) Trump wasn't looking for work.

Again, which part of Republicanism is represented by the head of the federal government threatening to intimidate private employers in order to block them from employing a private US citizen?

Gahrie said...

Again, which part of Republicanism is represented by the head of the federal government threatening to intimidate private employers in order to block them from employing a private US citizen?

Again..that isn't what happened.

A) Kaepernick woefully underperformed at his job.

B) Kaepernick acted like an ass, and offended most people.

C) Kaepernick became a free agent.

D) No one wanted to hire him to play for them because he is an overrated ass who expected way too much money.

E) All the NFL teams passed on the opportunity to hire Kaepernick, and it was clear that no one was planning on hiring him.

F) Then, and only then, Trump made a joke about it.

Gahrie said...

ARM you are a dishonest, opportunistic, humorless scold, which is pretty par for Lefties these days.

AReasonableMan said...

Which part of Republicanism is represented by the head of the federal government threatening to intimidate private employers in order to block them from employing a private US citizen?

Although I disagree with Chuck on many things one thing I do agree with him that the rise of Trump has exposed the idea of the principled Republican is a complete sham.

Tank said...

One of Dennis Prager's themes is that the Left is always hysterical. Most of the media is just part of the Left now, so it is not surprising that they are always hysterical. And they are.

You can look at almost any issue and the way the Left talks about it, and they are hysterical. Trump is literally Hitler. We're going to die in ten years from "climate change" (whatever that is on a particular day).

My friends on Facebook are complaining about the cost of Trump and Melania's travel (so they can be together on the weekends). Now they are worried?

Gahrie said...

Which part of Republicanism is represented by the head of the federal government threatening to intimidate private employers in order to block them from employing a private US citizen?

Do you honestly think that if you keep saying this over and over again it will make it true?

It is a mischaracterization at best, but your repetition and insistence makes it clear that you mean it as a lie designed to hurt the president of the United States.

Robert Cook said...

"Which is why the US has the strongest military in world history, the strongest economy in world history, the most advanced science in world history and the highest standard of living in world history."

You've been reading your comic book history of American History again.

Gahrie said...

You've been reading your comic book history of American History again.

OK...cite:

A) A nation that has ever had a military stronger than the military of the U.S. today.

B) A nation that has had a stronger economy than the U.S. today.

C) A nation that has had science more advanced than the U.S. today.

D) A nation that has a higher standard of living than the U.S. today.

Unknown said...

Well, try the NYT headline "Trump's Weary Defenders Face Fresh Worries"

C'mon, Trump is nothing if not an emotional gas-bag.

It doesn't need the media to point out Trump's character and personality - it is right there in front of everyone.

But, as you imply Trumpie lovers cannot see it, the rest of us can.

Unknown said...

"This American carnage stops right here and stops right now."
~Trump

Gahrie says...
"A) A nation that has ever had a military stronger than the military of the U.S. today.

B) A nation that has had a stronger economy than the U.S. today.

C) A nation that has had science more advanced than the U.S. today.

D) A nation that has a higher standard of living than the U.S. today."

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

ARM would like to point out the panic in financial markets this historic revelation is causing today.

Unknown said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/opinion/all-the-presidents-lies.html?_r=0

"But the current president of the United States lies. He lies in ways that no American politician ever has before. He has lied about — among many other things — Obama’s birthplace, John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Sept. 11, the Iraq War, ISIS, NATO, military veterans, Mexican immigrants, Muslim immigrants, anti-Semitic attacks, the unemployment rate, the murder rate, the Electoral College, voter fraud and his groping of women.

He tells so many untruths that it’s time to leave behind the textual parsing over which are unwitting and which are deliberate — as well as the condescending notion that most of Trump’s supporters enjoy his lies."

Birkel said...

@ ARM
"The President of the United States attacks a private citizen and the problem is that I lack a sense of humor? That is seriously fucked up."

Joe the Plumber just called to say "Yeah, that's fucked up."

Gahrie said...

@ Unknown

The main reason I was able to accept the election and re-election of Obama was the knowledge that the U.S. was strong enough to endure and recover from all of the damage the Left was doing to it.

It is why I got on with my life instead of crying hysterically and throwing a temper tantrum like the Left is doing now.

madAsHell said...

Nussbaum? Nut Tree?
We've seen this name before, but it was a female....and she had dumb ideas as well.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Trump brags that he's the reason Colin Kaepernick hasn't got a team: President jokes that NFL owners won't take on the ex 49ers QB because 'they don't want to get a nasty tweet'"

-- Almost as chilling as joking about having the IRS audit people you don't like.

Big Mike said...

I told you before, Professor, the only news they print that isn't fake are the box scores in the sports section.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

AReasonableMan said...The President of the United States attacks a private citizen and the problem is that I lack a sense of humor? That is seriously fucked up.

The Koch brothers would like a word or two with you, ARM. Hell, Donald Trump a few years ago would probably have had an opinion on that, himself (I guess you don't remember how much fun the President had repeatedly mocking Trump at the White House Correspondence Dinner).

I have sympathy for people who say "things shouldn't be like this." I have no sympathy for people who fail to recognize that the reason things are like this is in large part because they and their allies gleefully trampled norms and mores when they found it convenient. To now turn around and ask why those norms are no longer being upheld is a bit much, don't you think?

Darrell said...

1) Democrats fashioned the "Russia" lie out of whole cloth to get FISA warrants to surveil Trump
2) Trump, all his businesses, all his management, and everyone that came in contact with them were surveilled.
3) The only thing that came out of this was the Flynn nothingburger.
4) More pictures of Democrats meeting with the Russian ambassador have been found than Trump cabinet members or Republicans. The Media ignores those and the Democrat's lies prior to the pictures coming forward.
5) Comey says nothing at a Press conference, but does it in a way that gives Democrats hope.

who-knew said...

Jumping in on the trivial side of this thread, Trump didn't threaten an unemployed QB. He merely mentioned a news article that said (based on anonymous sources, so take it for what it's worth) some NFL execs were worried that Trump would tweet about it if they hired him.

Mazo Jeff said...

I think we are looking at the wrong end of the telescope. What is at the heart of the Russian leadership? OIL PRICES!!!! It finances it's empire. Which candidate, Trump or Hillary, would affect oil prices up?? What would affect oil prices up? Block Keystone,Dakota Access and ban fracking. Which candidate favored that? Well, she lost. So how does Russia protect it's financial engine? This whole Russian ploy is designed to take down Trump.

mockturtle said...

It's not emotionalism by the press. They know that 'their' people only read the headlines and that headlines like the ones quoted will appeal to their emotions. They feel like they are winning if the enemy is knocked "on its heels". Attention-grabbing headlines are fine if they are congruent with the article but so often today the headlines mislead--and even falsely represent--the story that few bother to read.

Gahrie said...

@Unknown; @Comrade Cookie

By the way...just out of curiosity...if the U.S. is such a dysfunctional shithole......why is the rest of the world literally dying to get here?

AReasonableMan said...

Again, which part of Republicanism is OK with the head of the federal government threatening to intimidate private employers in order to block them from employing a private US citizen?

Enquiring for a friend.

Gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

ARM would like to point out the panic in financial markets this historic revelation will cause tomorrow.

Mike Sylwester said...

FBI Director James Comey indicated to the House committee yesterday that the FBI began its "counter-intelligence" in July 2016. That was the month when the Obama's concern about Russia's meddling in US politics prompted a counter-intelligence investigation related to the Republican Party's apparent nominee Donald Trump.

Last Saturday, The Washington Examiner published published an illuminating article by Byron York titled "How pundits got key part of Trump-Russia story all wrong".

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-how-pundits-got-key-part-of-trump-russia-story-all-wrong/article/2617802

What happened in July 2016 was that the Republican Party was preparing for its convention, which would take place during July 18-21. In the days before the convention, a party committee developed a platform plank on the issue of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Based on the platform committee's discussions, The Washington Post published an article on July 18 titled "Trump campaign guts GOP's anti-Russian stance on Ukraine". The idea here was that Russia was working through Trump's associates to tilt the Republican Party against the Obama Administration's pro-Ukraine activities.

York explains in his own article that this issue was bogus. Any platform changes on this issue were trivial.

However, it seems to me (York does not write this) that this Russia-Ukraine issue gave the Obama Administration an excuse to investigate all Trump associates who might be involved in that issue. The real target of the investigation was, of course, Trump himself.

Birkel said...

@ AReasonableMan

Did you answer that call from Joe the Plumber? I have George Zimmerman on Line 2 after you finish with Joe the Plumber.

Gahrie said...

My last comment was over the top. I apologize and I have deleted it.

Matthew Sablan said...

I find it weird if true that Obama investigated Trump over changes to the Republican platform, considering that going lighter on Russia was the national position, given we were selling them uranium and giving them a free hand at their borders.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Again, which part of Republicanism is OK with the head of the federal government threatening to intimidate private employers in order to block them from employing a private US citizen?"

-- It isn't Republicans who formed a mob to take down the CEO of, was it Mozilla, several bakeries, a pizza store, Hobby Lobby, etc. It wasn't Republicans who ran Grub Hub that threatened employees who dared vote Trump.

Trump made a joke about a public figure being so toxic that people didn't want to go near him; Obama openly joked about using the power of the government to audit his political enemies.

Thinking Trump's joke was not funny or in bad taste is one thing; pretending that it in any way indicated a preference of the entire Republican party while ignoring the actual behavior of Democrats that is significantly more damning is... well, weird.

AReasonableMan said...

Again, which part of Republicanism is OK with the head of the federal government threatening to intimidate private employers in order to block them from employing a private US citizen?

Enquiring minds want to know.

AReasonableMan said...

Where's Chuck? He is a Republican with some balls, a lion in winter.

Matthew Sablan said...

... Uh... are you actually going to respond to why your loaded question is flawed, or are you going to repeat it thinking you're making a cogent point?

Unknown said...

Gahrie,
I don't think America is a "shit hole". I didn't think America needed to be Made Great Again, it was already great. America is still great, despite Trump and his mischaracterization of America as being a "carnage".

Matthew Sablan said...

[Sidenote: I don't think Trump's joke is that funny or insightful. But... it is a dumb joke that is just stupid. It is in no way a threat, not even in the "would someone rid me of this meddlesome priest" variety. If you interpret that as a threat, then Obama's "reward our friends and punish our enemies" and IRS audit Republican jokes must be the equivalent of Big Brother-styled authoritarianism. It's just not rational to paint Trump's stupid joke as some sort of political terror.]

Roughcoat said...

Going full drama queen -- or even partial drama queen -- is unattractive in both sexes. But it's worse when men do it.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The Hannitization of Althouse. Woke up this morning and the liberal press is still liberal. Will the sun come up too? Maybe tomorrow will be different.

Matthew Sablan said...

Rampant emotionalism and memeification of politics also means that someone like me, a relatively moderate Republican with honest reservations about Trump, is often forced to be way more defensive than if the left were honest interlocutors.

The fact that everything Trump does is trumped up as "crazy" and "fascist" means that those words rapidly lose meaning, especially since I can remember more than a week or so ago when the other side -- or the now Good W. Bush and Mitt Romney who both used to be "crazy," "Hitler" and "fascist" -- said or did similar things.

I think that's the real problem. The left thinks that people forget the past because, frankly, they're shoddy historians most of the time. But, the Internet never forgets, and people have longer memories than the last headline.

Mike said...

This complete disconnect from their intended audience will not serve the "news business" well in the long run. People want to be told things that are actually happening in the world, not just US politics, not restricted to what people in the DC-NYC bubble think about things. We want facts. Action. What is really going on in the wider world, including the 49 states that don't include DC-NYC. But we don't get that, and the "news" we do get is not fact-based but emotional opinion-making that doesn't even where the disguise of news.

When your lead story for weeks is based on the President's tweets then you aren't doing news, you're doing propaganda. Useless propaganda at that, because the ones who believe your bullshit don't need to hear it again and the ones who don't believe your bullshit will just turn you off. That dud Maddow lost over 50% of her prime demographic (25-54) last week. Dan Rather now works for RT (stands for Russia Today, people) Channel. You lose the trust and you'll have nothing left in your audience but the choir you're now preaching to.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Unknown asked..."When in history has a sitting President and his election campaign staff ever been the subjects of a counterintelligence investigation?"

Blogger DKWalser answered..."Ronald Reagan was investigated by the Democrats in Congress based on the allegation that Bush took a supersonic flight on an SR-71 to meet with Iran during the election."


Asked and answered.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Birkel said...

"AReasonableMan"

You have invited others to unilaterally disarm in the face of Leftist politics. The answer you are getting is no.

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Sylwester said...

I speculate that the FBI began to wire-tap the telephone conversations of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the days following the election of our President Trump. I hope that the Congressional investigation eventually will specify when and why this wire-tap began.

The excuse for the wire-tap was the Obama Administration's bogus concern that Russia was using Trump's associates to tilt against the Administration's pro-Ukraine policies. Of course, everyone already knew -- without a wiretap -- that the Russian Ambassador advocated such a tilt.

The real reason for the wiretap was to enable Acting Attorney General Susan Yates to catch some Trump associate -- any Trump associate -- in a violation of the Logan Act. Yate's plan from the beginning was to catch such a violation, then to leak the violation to reporters, and then to leak all Yates' accumulated information insinuating that President-Elect Trump was a conscious agent of Russia.

Yates hoped that this series of leaks somehow might prevent the inauguration of Trump.

By searching through Kislyak's various conversations, Yates did catch one fish, Michael Flynn. Indeed, Flynn did discuss politics with a foreign ambassador before Trump's inauguration, so Flynn supposedly violated the Logan Act. Hysterically, Yates spent the last days of the Obama Administration trying to make a big deal about Flynn being vulnerable to RUSSIAN BLACKMAIL because the Russian Ambassador knew that Flynn had violated THE LOGAN ACT.

Unfortunately for hysterical Yates, her insane tactics failed to prevent Trump's inauguration on January 20.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
Bad Lieutenant said...
You go girl! Get your fat ass banned.

"The speech police are out, trying to ensure a safe zone for the snowflakes."

While I'm no stranger in confronting Althouse, we are here at her pleasure. It is therefore incumbent, if we wish to stay, not to piss her off. This has nothing to with free speech, snoewflakes or anything else. Unknown is free to incur her wrath at her own risk.
Althouse is nothing if not honest. Unknown is ,well, not on familiar terms with honesty.

Fernandinande said...

rhhardin said...
Phony emotionalism is what women like, at least the ones that pay the bills.


The general population likes it, though probably women more than men.

Personally, I prefer that my fake news have plenty of pseudo-intellectual innuendo.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
"Where's Chuck? He is a Republican with some balls, a lion in winter."

Ah. Sadly. No.

buwaya said...

You are dealing with a political press, a centrally directed political press. If you take them as sincere you will simply rage at their apparent personal failings or collective obtuseness.

But thats not correct. You arent dealing with people to rage at, but simply a machine to observe. It is a complex system of mechanisms in which the people are simply components. Its like complaining about the errors of a soldier or two in a battalion of 18th century mercenary Hessians. They maneuver and fire collectively under command.

You cant really have a political argument with them because they arent paid to argue.

Night Owl said...

First off, I'll admit that I didn't follow the hearings yesterday or read through all the comments, so forgive me if I am repeating what others said, or am lacking in "facts"-- such as they are. The truth is that this game of "I'll see your conspiracy theory and raise you mine" is indeed getting boring. Real life calls and all that.

But there are a few points about this whole drama that seem odd. Namely if this investigation into Russia election tampering was such a super secret that Comey still feels reluctant to talk about it, why was Hillary tweeting about it on Halloween? Who told her? Why were major newspapers like NYT reporting about an investigation of Trump just prior to the inauguration? Why did Obama change the rule regarding info sharing and dissemination among intelligence agencies just before leaving office? What about the Fisa warrants; were there ANY?

Is everything today just fake news on top of fake news? How are the major "news" outlets in any way distinguishable from the National Enquirer, whose headlines proclaim they have PROOF that Obama bugged Trump? In the absence of facts, conspiracy theories rush in to fill the void. And, we are indeed turned into blathering idiots talking a lot and saying nothing.

Original Mike said...

"The President of the United States attacks a private citizen and the problem is that I lack a sense of humor? That is seriously fucked up."

What's fucked up is your memory.

Here's what happens when the president of the United States publicly targets a private citizen for the crime of supporting his opponent.

Night Owl said...

At this point the only crimes we see are people leaking shit in order to take down a sitting President. What a precedent set by the Obama admin-- if you are running for President, make sure neither you nor your associates ever talked with or had business dealings with any foreigners or be prepared to be put under surveillance during your campaign-- the precise nature of which no one but the investigators are privy to-- and should you win, the taint of an investigation will continue throughout your term, because the "evidence"-- of which no one but the investigators are privy to-- warrants it. Oh and btw, the fact that your team is under investigation will be leaked to your campaign opponent and the media to use in order to smear you*. Obama not only weaponized the IRS to use against the opposition, but the FBI as well. We are in for some fun campaigns in the future!

How long have they been investigating these ties of Russian tampering with the election, and how long do they need to continue; and even if they have proof Russia hacked the DNC emails-- which we still haven't seen the proof, only weasel words like "there are strong indications"-- What exactly are they planning for the U.S. to do about it? The same thing Isreal did when Obama interfered with their election, namely nothing? Or will we spy on them-- but we already do that, so what exactly is the end game here?

Is it that they are hoping that somehow, someway if they just keep staring at this like you would stare at those old computer generated 3d art images, where your crossed you eyes an something would jump out at you, they'll see something they can use to "take down Trump!"; and install President Pence?

If there was anything to connect Trump to the DNC mail hacking they would've, should've told us by now. But instead all we keep hearing is that there is NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION WITH THE RUSSIANS. So what the hell are they investigating?

I'm done with the story. As I said, real life calls. And BTW, fuck the so-called "legitimate" media.


*(And yet Hillary still lost! Haha!)

Roughcoat said...

America is still great, despite Trump and his mischaracterization of America as being a "carnage".

Yes and no. American popular culture is a sewage dump.

"American popular culture is like a whipped dog pawing through the garbage for scraps" - John Simon

Higher education is a trainwreck. Public education is a disaster. Political/government and media culture is dreadful.

Mike Sylwester said...

Paul Manafort was a key target in the Obama Administration's bogus arguments in July 2016 for a counter-intelligence investigation of Russia's alleged attempts to use Trump's associates to tilt the Republican Party's convention platform committee against the Administration's pro-Ukraine policies.

Manafort managed Trump's campaign staff from April into August 2016. The FBI's counter-intelligence investigation began in July 2016.

Following are excerpts from the Wikipedia article about Manafort.

Manafort worked as an adviser on the Ukrainian presidential campaign of Viktor Yanukovych ... from December 2004 until the February 2010 Ukrainian presidential election even as the U.S. government ... opposed Yanukovych because of his ties to Russia's leader Vladimir Putin. Manafort was hired to advise Yanukovych months after massive street demonstrations known as the Orange Revolution overturned Yanukovych's victory in the 2004 presidential race. ...

Manafort rebuffed U.S. Ambassador William Taylor when the latter complained he was undermining U.S. interests in Ukraine. According to a 2008 U.S. Justice Department annual report, Manafort’s company received $63,750 from Yanukovych's Party of Regions over a six-month period ending on March 31, 2008, for consulting services.

In 2010, under Manafort's tutelage, the opposition leader put the Orange Revolution on trial, campaigning against its leaders' management of a weak economy. Returns from the presidential election gave Yanukovych a narrow win over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a leader of the 2004 demonstrations. Yanukovych owed his comeback in Ukraine's presidential election to a ... makeover was engineered in part by his American consultant, Manafort.

In 2007 and 2008 Manafort was involved in investment projects with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (the acquisition of a Ukrainian telecoms company) and Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash (redevelopment of the site of the former Drake Hotel in New York City).

In 2013 Yanukovych became the main target of the Euromaidan protests. After the February 2014 Ukrainian revolution ... Yanukovych fled to Russia. ...

Manafort then returned to Ukraine in September 2014 to become an advisor to Yanukovych’s former head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Serhiy Lyovochkin. In this role he was asked to assist in rebranding Yanukovych's Party of Regions. Instead, he argued to help stabilize Ukraine, Manafort was instrumental in creating a new political party called Opposition Bloc....

Manafort traveled to Ukraine several times after that [October 2014 parliamentary] election, all the way through late 2015. According to The New York Times, his local office in Ukraine closed in May 2016. ...

Ukrainian government National Anti-Corruption Bureau studying secret documents claimed in August 2016 to have found handwritten records that show $12.7 million in cash payments designated for Manafort, although they had yet to determine if he had received the money. These undisclosed payments were from the pro-Russian political party Party of Regions, of the former president of Ukraine). This payment record spans from 2007 to 2012. ...

The Associated Press reported on 17 August 2016 that Manafort secretly routed at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012 on Party of Regions' behalf, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party's efforts to influence U.S. policy. ....

According to leaked text messages between his daughters, Manafort was also one of the proponents of violent removal of the Euromaidan protesters which resulted in police shooting dozens of people during 2014 Hrushevskoho Street riots. ...

On August 17, 2016, Donald Trump received his first security briefing. ... two days later, Trump announced his acceptance of Manafort's resignation from the campaign ....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Manafort

mockturtle said...

ARM bleats: Where's Chuck? He is a Republican with some balls, a lion in winter.

More like lyin' in spring.

James Pawlak said...

The FBI's director is the same person who: Approved a most sloppy investigation of Mz. Clinton's criminal handling of classified documents and, on that basis, then refused to recommend prosecution.

Chuck said...

Well here I am.

I'm hard-pressed to criticize this particular Althouse post. Her media criticism, and particularly her criticism of the New York Times' apparent vendetta against Trump has been pretty brilliant. I've said so, many times.

But Althouse has missed some stories, too.

Trump relied (or said he relied) on some video from the Fox News Channel, of retired judge Andrew Napolitano saying that sources indicated that British GCHQ had been used by the Obama Administration to gather info on Trump campaign staff. That story fell apart. Fox News refused to back up Napolitano. A source who self-identified as a source to Napolitano backed off the judge's story.

It was a clusterfuck, for Napolitano, for Fox, and for Trump. Just imagine, if it had been the Times that had screwed up THAT story in that fashion.

glenn said...

My first experience with fake news was in the fifties. Local paper ran a nice warm fuzzy story about a relative meeting a local resident who was a famous football coach. It was a nice story but aside from the meeting taking place the story was a complete fabrication. Writer got some column inches and a byline. Relative got some good natured ribbing at the coffee shop the next morning and an already somewhat cynical 15 year old got a life lesson. I had almost forgotten the lesson when along came Duke Lacrosse to remind me. Some Reporters are just dishonest. I don't know what you do about it.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"Enquiring for a friend."

Liar! We all know you don't have any friends.

Angel-Dyne said...

AA: In politics... emotionalism might work in the sense of putting forward an image of a suffering child or a suitably downtrodden poor or disabled adult.

No, all kinds of emotionalism "work" in politics.

But don't be ramping up the emotion coming from a not-obviously-underprivileged adult.

You seem to be confusing "works" and "I don't like" here. The people who write (or commission) these sorts of articles must think they work for a particular target audience, which is rh's point.

Now, in the case of this Politic article, I think they're serving up comfort food for people who are outraged that Trump won. They want to believe that Trump is suffering and that he will be brutally punished soon. That's not empathy. That's sadism.

How did you come to restrict "phony emotionalism" to "empathy"? Sadistic pleasure is an emotion. And appealing to sadism via other, "phony" emotions works.

I'd take a quibble with rh's formulation in a different direction: the emotions themselves aren't "phony", in that they are real feelings. But they are shabby and base, and the appeal to them is shabby and base.

(You're also making an implicit "not all X" argument in response to rh's general, statistical, claim.)

Paul Zrimsek said...

What I'm learning is that all those dummy-dodos who voted for Trump because of Huma Abedin's emails were right after all. When Comey announces an investigation, you can be sure there's really something there.

AReasonableMan said...

President-Mom-Jeans said...
Liar! We all know you don't have any friends.


And now we know you don't have any balls.

Sebastian said...

"I'm sick of the phony emotionalism." But phony emotionalism isn't sick of you. Progs will keep pushing it as long as they can.

Good to know, though, as noted upthread, that a little p.e. is fine for women but not OK for men. Just trying to stay up on the current feminist code of conduct.

Angel-Dyne said...

ARM: Again, which part of Republicanism...

However that sentence ends, the implicit, pertinent question is "Who gives a rat's ass about what vicious amoral lefties think of one's behavior?"

So the correct answer is always "the Chuck part".

mockturtle: ARM bleats: "Where's Chuck? He is a Republican with some balls, a lion in winter."

More like lyin' in spring.


Ha.

ARM, I guess concern-trolling righties just ain't what it used to be, when you're reduced to greasing toadies like Chuck in order to find one who'll still do a jig for you.

Gahrie said...

Somebody nudge the ARM bot...it's skipping again....

Chuck said...

Is this the blandly tricky part of this Althouse post?

Here, italicized, is a complete paragraph from the post. I am bolding the obviously-pertinent part:

"Refuted" is the wrong word. Trump said he heard X is true. For Comey to refute that, he would need to say he knows X is not true. But whatever. It is what it is. The FBI looked and couldn't discover that Obama wiretapped Trump, and the FBI has an ongoing investigation into Russia's activities in relation to the American election. That's the story yesterday about hearings that were out in the open for all of us to see and quote.


Well. A couple of things, on the subject of what "Trump... heard."

First, there were the early Saturday morning tweets. Here is a link to the whole series, in screen-capture format. (Some might not like the ABC link, or the headline, or the Trump-critical nature of the reporting. Fine. Ignore the text of the article if you wish. I wanted the Tweets to show you in their original form):

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/timeline-president-trumps-unsubstantiated-wiretapping-claims/story?id=46198888

All that Trump wrote was, "Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped'..." By any reasonable stretch, coming from the President who gets daily and highly-classified briefings, I'm not sure why anyone would presume simply (and no more than) that the president 'just saw an interesting story online...'

Trump went on; to call it "McCarthysim" (a hugely freighted term in American politics, smacking of the heavy and doubtfully-legal use of government power) and to individualize it as to Obama, calling 44 a "Bad (or sick) guy."

To me, the Trump excuse that it was all just a story he heard, is a monstrous leap of faith in Trump's favor. THAT is the sort of legalistic parsing that Trump supporters say that they reject, when it comes to defending their guy. Now, they seem to be hiding behind it.

And then, there was Sean Spicer, reading this quote from the White House Press Room lectern:

"On Fox News on March 14, Judge Andrew Napolitano made the following statement: 'Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command — he didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the CIA, he didn't use the FBI and he didn't use the Department of Justice; he used GCHQ,'"

It was an attempt to defend Trump's original series of Tweets -- now known to have been based on Trump's review of the media, and not his own intelligence service or Justice Department briefings -- and it was a crashing failure. Everybody wanted nothing to do with backing up the Napolitano assertion. Not the Fox News Division. Not Bret Baier. Not CIA. Not NSA. Not GCHQ. Not the FBI. Not the DoJ.

So maybe, we should all learn something from this incident. That sometimes, Trump and Spicer are going to use unconfirmed media as sources, notwithstanding their access to the highest level official sources and intelligence. And sometimes, the Trump/Spicer statements are going to be plain bullshit. And if there is any deniability at all, it will be on the basis of, "It was just a story I read. Ask the author/publication/news outlet about it; don't ask me."

"Weak sauce" is the polite, British euphemism for that.

Gahrie said...

Chuck...save all of us some time (including yourself) and just post:

I hate Trump!

on each thread.

Luke Lea said...

The only two Wikileaks revelations of any consequence that I remember were whats-her-name on CNN feeding the questions to Hillary ahead of time in her debates with Bernie Sanders, and her speech to Goldman Sachs in which she said she had a public and a private position on trade.

Was it wrong that the American public were made aware of these facts?

Indeed, was it so wrong of Russia to try to influence the election (assuming it was Russia, not Israel) in light of Hillary's foolishly aggressive stance in support of the coup in the Ukraine, given that the Russian fleet had long been based in the Crimea?



Darrell said...

"Fuck you" is the not-so-polite American retort to your comment, Chuck. Trump assertions will be verified. You will have egg on your face once again.

Chuck said...

Gahrie said...
Chuck...save all of us some time (including yourself) and just post:

I hate Trump!

on each thread.


That's understood, isn't it? Why would I need to write that? Again? Why don't you just take that as a given, skip over it, and then meet the substance? If, as I presume, you don't give a rip about my feelings or opinions, then why bother with them?

I don't care much about you, or any of my other incessant critics on these pages. I don't care what you do for a living (unless you are a lawyer, on a legal topic, or a political scientist, on a political topic, or a health care professional, on a health care topic). I don't care who you voted for, or whether it is really true that you did indeed vote for who you say it was.

I really wish people cared a lot less about me, and more about meeting substance with competitive substance.



Darrell said...

Obama didn't wiretap Trump. Of course he didn't. He asked his AG to get the warrant to have it done. Parse away all you want. Trump is still right.

AReasonableMan said...

Angel-Dyne said...
ARM, I guess concern-trolling righties just ain't what it used to be


I am concerned, a once great moral force that stood shoulder to shoulder in opposition to Bill Clinton's character now carries water for President Pussy-Grabber. Every citizen, but especially every Republican, should be concerned over this descent into moral relativity. It's almost as if the moral outrages of the past were just for show.

Chuck said...

Darrell said...
"Fuck you" is the not-so-polite American retort to your comment, Chuck. Trump assertions will be verified. You will have egg on your face once again.


You wanna bet?!?

Let's bet, on whether there will ever be any proof that Obama "wire-tapped" Trump Tower.

I wish I could've gotten a bet with you, say for five million dollars to a charity of my choosing, on whether Donald Trump would eventually accept that Barack Obama was an American citizen born in Hawaii.

Gahrie said...

I am concerned, a once great moral force that stood shoulder to shoulder in opposition to Bill Clinton's character now carries water for President Pussy-Grabber.

The difference is...Trump bragged that he could grab pussies,,,,Clinton actually grabbed them.

Chuck said...

Darrell said...
Obama didn't wiretap Trump. Of course he didn't. He asked his AG to get the warrant to have it done. Parse away all you want. Trump is still right.


Okay! New bet! "That Loretta Lynch signed or initiated a warrant request for a wiretap in Trump Tower."

What are our stakes?

Mary said...

I only watched a little bit, but noticed Trump was tweeting during the hearing and they responded to Trumps tweets at least once, I can't imagine that they are not worried about this:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/20/donald-trump-trolls-fbi-director-james-comey-twitter-house-intelligence/

HoodlumDoodlum said...

AReasonableMan said...I am concerned, a once great moral force that stood shoulder to shoulder in opposition to Bill Clinton's character now carries water for President Pussy-Grabber. Every citizen, but especially every Republican, should be concerned over this descent into moral relativity. It's almost as if the moral outrages of the past were just for show.

Alternate hypothesis: the people who stood against Bill Clinton's bad character were soundly defeated. The people who stood up for decent people like Mitt Romney were soundly defeated. The people you're talking about have been losing cultural and political battles at the national level for quite a while. What's more, they get those loses rubbed in their faces--they're called lots of names, they're subjected to constant ridicule for holding what were up until very recently quite conventional beliefs, and they get to hear "bake the fucking cake!" etc. shouted in their faces. Lots of them got tired of it and just retreated from the public sphere--they didn't really abandon their beliefs but they decided it wasn't worth fighting in the political arena just to keep losing and getting mocked for even contesting the issue. They pulled back, and into that space stepped Trump.

There are lots of people on the right who are deeply uncomfortable with Trump. He's not a conservative, and he's only a Republican because he chose to say he is. He's not easy to defend, and for the most part those moral-types you're talking about haven't defended him (ex: Erick Erickson). That doesn't mean, though, that they'll join with the Left to oppose him! When we say "that's how you got Trump!" it's more than just pointing out this or that stupidity of the Democrat political operation. We're talking about the socio-political structure the Left has built and used to systematically beat down the very peoples whose absence you now note.

Earnest Prole said...

Even in the days of yore those of us who carefully compared headlines to the reported facts were in the minority. Today the vast majority of readers are seeking the split-second emotions delivered by the headline and nothing else.

Snark said...

Being knocked back on one's heels equates to "breaking down emotionally"? Isn't that a rather absurd straw man?

cubanbob said...

Let's assume the Russians colluded with Trump. What was the result? Hillary exposed for being a grifter, criminal and traitor aided and abetted by Obama and numerous Obama Administration officials along with exposing the corrupt DNC. We owe the Russians a huge thank you. Let's start a go-fund me to buy Putin & Co. a forty foot container filled with America's best whiskey as a thank you.

Trump should get busy already. As soon as Gorsuch is sworn in he should fire Comey and all the Obama Administration hacks left in place and demand the Congress authorize an Army of special prosecutors to investigate the various departments and agencies starting from January 20th 2009 forward.

AReasonableMan said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
We're talking about the socio-political structure the Left has built and used to systematically beat down the very peoples whose absence you now note.


Blaming others for the moral failings of one's own side is an honored tradition that I won't step on. I don't even disagree with much of what you have said but the confounding of religion and right wing politics didn't work out well for religion, and that is definitely not the fault of the left.

Chuck said...

There are lots of people on the right who are deeply uncomfortable with Trump. He's not a conservative, and he's only a Republican because he chose to say he is. He's not easy to defend, and for the most part those moral-types you're talking about haven't defended him (ex: Erick Erickson). That doesn't mean, though, that they'll join with the Left to oppose him! When we say "that's how you got Trump!" it's more than just pointing out this or that stupidity of the Democrat political operation. We're talking about the socio-political structure the Left has built and used to systematically beat down the very peoples whose absence you now note.


It makes me so happy, when I can write, "Now there's a great comment; one that I wish I had written!"

Add, to Erick Erickson: George Will, Jonah Goldberg, Charlie Sykes, Kevin Williamson and more others than I can think of off the top of my head. (And how many others in quiet-mode?)

And then add those in the Senate: John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Jeff Flake, Dean Heller, etc.

gerry said...

"But the current president of the United States lies. He lies in ways that no American politician ever has before. He has lied about — among many other things — Obama’s birthplace, John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Sept. 11, the Iraq War, ISIS, NATO, military veterans, Mexican immigrants, Muslim immigrants, anti-Semitic attacks, the unemployment rate, the murder rate, the Electoral College, voter fraud and his groping of women.

There you go, taking Trump literally (and out of context) again.

Again, which part of Republicanism is OK with the head of the federal government threatening to intimidate private employers in order to block them from employing a private US citizen?

This, from a person who supports an ex-president assclown who ginned up a story about a very poorly-skilled private citizen filmmaker so they could send police to haul him out of his house in the middle of the night to go to jail for allegedly causing otherwise peace-loving Islamic jihadists to go on a rabid-crazy murdering spree so the aforesaid assclown's administration and lying and soon-to-be-defeated-in-her-own-bid-to-be-president Sec of State could attempt to create an excuse for the slaughter of numerous American citizens caused by failed policies and administrative and diplomatic incompetence.

What an ass.

Michael said...

Pretty simple. The Progressive/media elite desperately wants to destroy Trump (and anyone who isn't them), but they've got nothing to do it with - so they bang on pots and pans in hopes of frightening people.

Mike Sylwester said...

Above in this thread, I supposed that the FBI initiated its counter-intelligence investigation in July 2016 because of concerns that Russia was using Trump associates to tilt the Republican Party's convention platform committee against Ukraine.

When I say "against Ukraine", I mean against the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine. That "Revolution", supported by the Obama Administration, was trying to overthrow Ukraine's elected president, which was friendly to Russia.

Paul Manafort was hired by Ukraine's elected president to provide advice.

In July 2016, when the FBI began its counter-intelligence investigation against (I assume) Manafort, the Ukraine-Manafort situation was not urgent. The Orange Revolution took place in 2004-2005 and was resolved essentially by Ukrainian elections in 2010 and 2014. Manafort closed his Ukrainian office completely in May 2016.

In July 2016, Manafort was working full-time for the Trump campaign. Even if an FBI investigation of Manafort had ever had some real merit, that concern was no longer urgent.

In the circumstances of July 2016, when Manafort was Trump's campaign manager, the FBI should have delayed any investigation of Manafort until after the election -- especially since Trump already was expected to lose in November 2016.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Sylwester

"I speculate that the FBI began to wire-tap the telephone conversations of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the days following the election of our President Trump. I hope that the Congressional investigation eventually will specify when and why this wire-tap began."

My guess is just the opposite - that the Russian ambassadors have been wiretapped under FISA since the law was enacted some 40 years ago, pursuant to a standing FISA warrant. The original design of FISA was to enable just that - wiretapping of Soviet and ChiCom agents, whenever they could be identified (and their ambassadors self-identify as a matter of course and necessity). Obtaining FISA warrants was intentionally a cumbersome process, which was fine because they were using land lines almost exclusively back then, so activating a new line was almost as cumbersome. Things changed dramatically after 9/11/01, when the NSA was tasked with tapping the phones of terrorists sitting in caves in Afghanistan, using burner cell phones. Weeks to get a FISA warrant were no longer tolerable, and, thus, the fights that the Bush (43) Administration had in this area. Ultimately, the rules were loosened up with a revision of the PATRIOT Act. But, through it all, it is likely that the NSA has continued to intercept calls to/from the Russian and Chinese ambassadors as a matter of course.

viejo loco said...

Ah, Chuck-schmuck; the Sumerians had your number, as did Shakespeare. There is nothing more despicable than a shyster. I won't give you the credit as an "attorney." You, ARM, Unknown (whomever she is) are the trash that sticks in the bottom of the garbage pail when it is picked up. You don't like Trump, fine; just say so and spare us the rest of us the rest of your BS. Repeating yourself is stupid and redundant.

Mike Sylwester said...

Bruce Hayden at 3:37 PM

My guess is just the opposite - that the Russian ambassadors have been wiretapped under FISA since the law was enacted some 40 years ago, pursuant to a standing FISA warrant. .... the NSA has continued to intercept calls to/from the Russian and Chinese ambassadors as a matter of course.

You seem to know much more about this than I do.

It's been my understanding that the Russian Embassy in Washington DC is wiretapped by the FBI, not by NSA. What do you know about that distinction?

I doubt that the US Intelligence Community pays attention normally to the telephone conversations of the Russian Ambassador, who is not considered to be directly involved in espionage activities.

That's why I think that the only reason why the Ambassador's phone conversations were studied recently was because Acting Attorney General Susan Yates wanted to catch a Trump associate discussing foreign policy with the Ambassador and thus violating the Logan Act.

Dave Hunter said...

Comey flat out lied, it will be proven so in the future. Meanwhile it's long past time for PDT to channel his inner Apprentice and give Comey the Preet Bharara/Sally Yates treatment!

Fabi said...

"Add, to Erick Erickson: George Will, Jonah Goldberg, Charlie Sykes, Kevin Williamson and more others than I can think of off the top of my head. (And how many others in quiet-mode?)

And then add those in the Senate: John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Jeff Flake, Dean Heller, etc."


Don't besmirch Cotton and Paul by including them in that group of feckless pussies.

JaimeRoberto said...

ARM, Trump made his comments in reference to an article dated March 17, three days before Trumps comments. An unnamed NFL GM said "some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or [President Donald] Trump will tweet about the team." (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2698098-colin-kaepernick-sentenced-to-nfl-limbo-for-the-crime-of-speaking-his-mind)

Trump wasn't threatening anyone, he was commenting on something someone else said. Frankly, if I were an NFL GM, I wouldn't want Kaepernick either. If he could play, it might be worth the bad publicity, which would happen, Trump or no Trump. But he's just not that good now that defenses have caught up with him.

HT said...

If you don't like "refuted" and "knocked on its heels," you won't like "laundered" very much, either.

Chuck said...

Right now in the Gorsuch hearing he repeated his comment that the Trump Tweets about the "Mexican" judge and the "so-called" judge were "disheartening" and "demoralizing."

This was that old controversy wherein Senator Richard Blumenthal has repeated those terms from his private meeting with Judge Gorsuch. And then, Trump claimed that Blumenthal "misrepresented" Judge Gorsuch.

Conclusively, Blumenthal did not misrepresent.

Trump, it seems, had gone on yet another enraged, unhinged, unjustified Twitter rant.

http://www.npr.org/2017/02/08/514195859/gorsuch-calls-trump-tweets-about-judges-demoralizing-and-disheartening

Unknown said...

"Laundered" is such a clean word. All that money washed and hanging on the line, drying in the sweet sweet breeze. Nothing ugly about it.

CWJ said...

The whole thing is a variation on Jerry and George pitching their show to the NBC exec.

"So it's a scandal, about nothing."

"Yes."

"So Trump sits down to dinner, orders chicken kiev."

"That's a scandal."

AReasonableMan said...

Left wing take down of the 'hillbilly' genre in recent journalism. I actually started reading the Frank Rich piece the other day and didn't make it past the second paragraph. Rich can get be an interesting writer but, as his feud with Mel Gibson showed, he doesn't have a lot of sympathy for white Christians.

Michael K said...

Maybe some Trump haters and media people and establishment politicians are hysterical,

Yes, they are. I just wonder if the FBI "investigation" is of who leaked the Flynn conversation, which is a felony (The leak not the conversation).

It would be amusing to see the FBI hand Sessions the name and evidence to indict some Democrat weasel.

StephenFearby said...

Whether true or fair or not, the aim of an October (or September or November) surprise is to impair a candidate's image, often effectively:

September 17, 2012 "In [secretly recorded] Video Clip, Romney Calls 47% ‘Dependent’ and Feeling Entitled" (NYT)


October 7, 2016 "Donald Trump Apology Caps Day of Outrage Over [secretly recorded] Lewd Tape" (NYT)


October 31, 2016 "Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?" (Franklin Foer, Slate)


October 31, 2016 "A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information [the infamous "golden shower dossier"] Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump" (David Corn, Rolling Stone)


November 7, 2016 "EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia" (Louise Mensch, Heat Street)


Some recent push back:


January 4 2017 "WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived" (Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept)


March 16 2017 Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not to Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion (Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept)

"...The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies...that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed."

"...Many Democrats have reached the classic stage of deranged conspiracists where evidence that disproves the theory is viewed as further proof of its existence, and those pointing to it are instantly deemed suspect."

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/16/key-democratic-officials-now-warning-base-not-to-expect-evidence-of-trumprussia-collusion/


March 21, 2017 "EXCLUSIVE: Serious questions over credibility of ["bat shit crazy" former Heat Street editor Louise Mensch] who sparked claim that Obama spied on Trump after her latest conspiracy theory is revealed as a 'farrago of fantasy and nonsense'"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4323848/Questions-credibility-Trump-spy-claim-originator.html

Of course, Trump has shot himself in the foot by his stupid tweets about this nonsense. If Trump gives credence to reporting in the National Enquirer, its a short lift for him to embrace the likes of "Judge" Napolitano channeling Larry C. Johnson.

The Brits probably took inspiration in creating the famous Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times" from this couplet in the Chinese 1627 short story “The Oil-Peddler Wins the Queen of Flowers”:

Truly, better be a dog in days of peace
Than a human in times of war!

Sometimes also in times of Trump.

Darrell said...

I'll bet five million that you are an asshole, Chuck. I win. My favorite charity? Me. Pay up.

Bad Lieutenant said...

AReasonableMan said...
Bad Lieutenant said...
You go girl! Get your fat ass banned.

The speech police are out, trying to ensure a safe zone for the snowflakes.
3/21/17, 7:34 AM

That's an unfair characterization. Ann bans people. I'm not squealing on her like a Chuck, I'm just saying, thin ice.

Meanwhile I addressed you in that post as well. You decided to reply for someone else instead of yourself. Chickenshit.