August 4, 2017

Why is there so little talk about the leaked transcripts of Trump's phone conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia?

The Washington Post must have thought it was worth it to drop these full transcripts. They had to worry about criticism, exposing the confidential communications of the President with world leaders, undermining the power and prestige of the American presidency. They had to have thought it was worth doing. Why dump all this verbiage? Did they think the sheer amount of material would have a devastating impact?

I thought we were going to see many, many articles picking into the details here, but the story seems to have already blown over. On the front page of the NYT website, the only reference to the transcripts is a little teaser under the heading "More in Politics." Coming in third after "Kushner Firm Said to Be Under Inquiry Over Visa Program" and "Trump Cites Familiar Argument in Ban on Transgender Troops" is "Trump Called New Hampshire a ‘Drug-Infested Den.’" Trump's calling New Hampshire a ‘Drug-Infested Den'" is incredibly inconsequential, but it's what I broke out too when I was reading the news yesterday.

Why are we not seeing more? I noticed some stories claiming the transcripts show Trump is an idiot, but every day I see stories saying Trump is an idiot. And from what I've read of the transcripts (not every word), I don't think they show idiocy, and I think they're going to take careful reading to understand how Trump was trying to work with the 2 leaders. I suspect that Trump-haters who undertook serious study of the language have decided it's best not to try, that a close examination of the text will only help Trump, and therefore the transcripts have rapidly become a non-story.

Now, I'm going to read the transcript with Peña Nieto, and I'll update to tell you what I'm seeing.

ADDED: I'm reading the whole transcript and dropping my thoughts here as I go. I'm amazed at how long each man talks when he gets his turn to speak. Nieto, speaking Spanish, goes first and quickly gets to looking for a solution to the disagreement about Mexico paying for the wall. He sees potential for "a win-win situation" if the 2 countries are "creative" about it.

Trump compliments Peña Nieto and talks about tariffs as a solution to the trade deficit. He goes on at length about it, and finally it's Peña Nieto who brings up the wall again:
Let me tell you that the best virtual wall that I think we can build between our two countries is to make sure that both countries have economic development.
Trump then takes up the subject of the wall. When times are good in Mexico, yes, there's a "virtual wall," but the real wall is needed for when there are tough times, he says. "We have enough people coming across, we want to stop it cold." Then he switches to the subject of what is obviously a shared interest with Mexico, drug gang warfare:
And we have the drug lords in Mexico that are knocking the hell out of our country. They are sending drugs to Chicago, Los Angeles, and to New York. Up in New Hampshire – I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den – is coming from the southern border. So we have a lot of problems with Mexico farther than the economic problem. We are becoming a drug-addicted nation and most the drugs are coming from Mexico or certainly from the southern border. But I will say this – you have that problem too. You have some pretty tough hombres in Mexico that you may need help with, and we are willing to help you with that big-league. But they have to be knocked out and you have not done a good job of knocking them out. We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because drugs are being sold for less money than candy because there is so much of it. So we have to work together to knock that out. And I know this is a tough group of people, and maybe your military is afraid of them, but our military is not afraid of them, and we will help you with that 100 percent because it is out of control – totally out of control.
Without letting Peña Nieto respond to that, Trump goes back to the subject of using taxation. As President, he has "tremendous taxation powers for trade and for other reasons – far greater than anybody understands." Notice he made a big, valuable offer to Peña Nieto — the American military will wipe out the drug gangs for you, and then switched back to the negative pressure of tariffs. Trump offers to have meetings that could perhaps avoid the simple, unilateral solution of taxing. Trump says he's got great people — "dealmakers... not obstructionist." The tax could be avoided:
I do not want to do that if we can work out a deal, so Jared Kushner and Luis can have the teams work out the deal. The only thing I will ask you though is on the wall, you and I both have a political problem. My people stand up and say, “Mexico will pay for the wall” and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language. But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall – I have to. I have been talking about it for a two year period, and the reason I say they are going to pay for the wall is because Mexico has made a fortune out of the stupidity of U.S. trade representatives. 
The "I have to" is funny, because what is it to Peña Nieto that Trump talked about something for 2 years? That makes Trump feel obligated (or at least in need of political cover), but it doesn't bind Peña Nieto. But what I think is happening here is that Trump is creating some intimacy with Peña Nieto: Here's my political problem. And: You have political needs too. We can work together and help each other. And it's not that Peña Nieto is bound by Trump's having said something for 2 years, it's that "Mexico has made a fortune" out of stupid trade deals and ought to want to work with Trump.

Trump then returns to the problem of drug crime, which is a second basis for Mexico's interest in working with Trump (in addition to the avoidance of new tariffs). Trump says he campaigned about how Mexico is "beating us at trade" and "killing us with drugs." Trump says he knows Peña Nieto is not involved with the drug crime:
Now I know you are not involved with that, but regardless of who is making all the money, billions and billions and billions – some people say more – is being made on drug trafficking that is coming through Mexico. Some people say that the business of drug trafficking is bigger than the business of taking our factory jobs. So what I would like to recommend is – if we are going to have continued dialogue – we will work out the wall. They are going to say, “who is going to pay for the wall, Mr. President?” to both of us, and we should both say, “we will work it out.” It will work out in the formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, “we will not pay” and me saying, “we will not pay.”
That's the enticing offer. I can help you by holding off on the tariffs and sending in the military to wipe out the drug gangs, and you have to pay for that help by offering your money in a form that allows me to say you paid for the wall. You'll really be paying for something that is highly valuable to you, but I need to be able to say that was you paying for the wall. And:
Because you and I are both at a point now where we are both saying we are not to pay for the wall. From a political standpoint, that is what we will say. 
That is, Trump wants to be able to say Mexico paid for the wall, but he understands that Peña Nieto, speaking to his own people, wants to be able to say that Mexico did not pay for the wall. Is there some way Peña Nieto can avoid stepping on the message Trump wants to give? Trump says:
We cannot say [Mexico will pay for the wall] anymore because if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that. 
This is Trump displaying a willingness to walk away — a deal-making technique he's frequently talked about. Notice that all he's asking Peña Nieto to do is to refrain from stating outright that he will not pay for the wall. Trump wants to be helped out and supported in his political need to be able to make the claim that Mexico paid for the wall, but Mexico will really be paying for things that are worth it to Mexico. Trump invites Peña Nieto to help him structure the deal that way:
I am willing to say that we will work it out, but that means it will come out in the wash and that is okay. But you cannot say anymore that the United States is going to pay for the wall. I am just going to say that we are working it out. Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important talk about. But in terms of dollars – or pesos – it is the least important thing. I know how to build very inexpensively, so it will be much lower than these numbers I am being presented with, and it will be a better wall and it will look nice. And it will do the job.
Finally, Peña Nieto gets a turn to talk, and you can see that the drug-fighting idea hit home:
In terms of security, Mr. President, it is clear that organized crime is just as much our enemy as it is the enemy of your administration.
Trump immediately speaks again:
Enrique, you and I have to knock it out – you and I have to knock the hell out of them. 
Donald and Enrique, tough guys together, fighting tough guys.
Listen, I know how tough these guys are – our military will knock them out like you never thought of, we will work to help you knock them out because your country does not want that. Your citizens are being killed all over the place, your police officers are being shot in the head, and your children are being killed. And we will knock them out.
Come on, Enrique, fight with me. We'll be the toughest guys on the planet, you and me, killing all the bad guys.

Peña Nieto likes the pitch:
I fully agree that we should work together. And let me tell you that a lot of what is happening in terms of traffickers in Mexico is being largely supported by the illegal amounts of money and weapons coming from the United States. And this has led Mexico to fight against criminal gangs with the participation of the military and the entire army of Mexico. And this has taken many lives within the military and all the elements that are committed in this fight. But they are criminal groups that are well-armed, especially with weapons coming from the United States illegally into Mexico. I fully agree that both governments can work together to knock out and to do away fully with these criminal gangs.
Great! Do it! The people of both countries will rejoice.

Peña Nieto then goes back to the trade issue and sees it in a positive light — "we are moving forward in a very positive fashion" — and then he almost accepts the deal about paying for the wall:
You have a very big mark on our back, Mr. President, regarding who pays for the wall. This is what I suggest, Mr. President – let us stop talking about the wall. 
That's all Trump asked for. Stop stepping on my message. But Peña Nieto also wants Trump to stop stepping on his message. I'll stop saying we won't pay and you stop saying we are paying. Let's help each other. 
PEÑA NIETO: I have recognized the right of any government to protect its borders as it deems necessary and convenient. But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall.

TRUMP: But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.
So that's the deal. I think it may have been all Trump wanted, but he arranged it so that Peña Nieto made the offer. Trump had asked for more, but this is all he really needed, and Peña Nieto can feel good about making an offer Trump accepted. That's the art of the deal, right? Peña Nieto seems buoyed by the progress, which he spells out to Trump. The word "creative" pops up 3 times here:
I understand you well, Mr. President. I understand this critical point and I understand the critical political position that this constitutes for your country and for you, Mr. President. Let us look for a creative way to jump over this obstacle. It does not mean that this is not an important issue – this is an important issue. However, this is why we should walk on the path that we began, because when we start talking about the wall it prevents us from talking about other important issues that we must discuss. I clearly understand what this issue constitutes for you in the United States. And for Mexico, it is also an issue that goes beyond the economic situation because this is an issue related to the dignity of Mexico and goes to the national pride of my country. Let us for now stop talking about the wall. Let us look for a creative way to solve this issue, for this to serve both are your government, my government, and both of our societies. Let us leave this topic – let us put it aside and let us find a creative way of looking into this issue. And let us move forward on other issues that I think are positive for both of our countries. That would be my position, Mr. President.
Trump says that's "fine" and "fair." He'll adopt a  new way of speaking about the wall:
I do not bring up the wall but when the press brings up the wall, I will say, “let us see how it is going – let us see how it is working out with Mexico.” Because from an economic issue, it is the least important thing we were talking about, but psychologically, it means something so let us just say “we will work it out.” But I know what you are saying, it is something that is good for you. It is very important for you to understand this – I want the best solution also for Mexico. I do not just want a great solution for the United States. And what I am talking about is not a good solution for Mexico – it is a great solution for the United States, which is a tariff on everything coming into our country. Now, that is the best solution economically for the United States, but I feel very strongly that it is important that as our neighbor, we have a strong relationship – the stronger the better.
Trump brims with positivity at this point:
... I want Mexico to be a strong and happy country. I think I can do that. And we can get close enough to have a decent deal for the United States but at the same time have a good deal for Mexico.... And do not feel lonely because we are going to be having talks with China also.... [Our teams will] knock something out that will be a fabulous agreement. It will look good for both of us. I will say with you representing Mexico and me representing the United States we will have a good agreement and we will almost become the fathers of our country – almost not quite okay? 
The male bonding has gone from brothers in arms, fighting the bad guys, to fathers of our country.  Peña Nieto accepts the position blandly...
And we have to generate jobs, and we have to be stronger and we have to be growing. I share that position with you.
... so Trump restates it, more like what we hear in the movies:
It is you and I against the world, Enrique, do not forget.
Peña Nieto resists getting that casual. He never even calls Trump "Donald," despite all those "Enriques." He ascends to a lofty level, speaking of the "spirit of my government," more about "working together," and his favorite word, "creative" appears 2 more times:
Let us stop talking about who pays for the wall, talking about the wall in general, because I think there is a more creative way we can start looking for a solution. And it is the way we can remove the big block in our path. And let us now start talking about creative ways on how this wall is going to be paid because I fully understand that it is your sovereign right to talk about this, because you are protecting your southern border. But this cannot be the strongest thing in our path that keeps us from having a dialogue, and keeps us from having economic development.
He's making the proposal again though the deal is already done. Trump says "I agree with you 100 percent." The conversation is coming to an end and Trump invites him to "put out a statement saying we had a great conversation." Peña Nieto agrees, and Trump pumps him up:
I want you to be so popular that your people will call for a constitutional amendment in Mexico so that you can run again for another six years.
Peña Nieto resists talk about his personal political success:
You are very kind, Mr. President. And really, the only thing I am interested in for both of our nations to do well – for your government, for you, and for us to truly have a relationship with friendship and a very constructive relationship, Mr. Trump.
Trump notices his preference and switches to pumping him up about his lofty language:
You know, we should put that in the statement. Your words are so beautiful. Those are beautiful words and I do not think I can speak that beautifully, okay? It would be great to put those words at the end of the statement. Really nice though.
Trump wants a nice statement to come out of this conversation, and Peña Nieto agrees to put his own beautiful words in a the statement to the public:
We will do so, Mr. President...
Now, what if anything is there in all of that to use against Trump? Really, the only thing is that he cares about his personal political success and doesn't mind referring to it directly, even when the other guy insists that it's all only about the public good. There's nothing in there about Trump perhaps not really wanting to build a physical wall. He seems dedicated to that. You can't see him conceding that Mexico won't pay for the wall. What you see is some complicated, political structuring of a way to get the wall paid for that will probably satisfy the people who heard that promise and wanted it kept. But what can his antagonists grab onto? They can't very well oppose crushing the drug gangs or better trade deals. So it's no wonder they went big with Oh! He insulted New Hampshire! And that's it for the transcripts. Don't encourage people to actually read them. They might think Trump did just fine.

(I'll read the other transcript later.)

UPDATE: I do the other transcript here.

198 comments:

Ralph L said...

More importantly, who leaked the transcripts and why aren't they in jail?

Nonapod said...

Have we reached peak giving-a-shit? Have the MSM and the Deep State finally exhausted the public's concern circuitry?

Matthew Sablan said...

The same reason no one cared too much about how the media gets the vast majority of their anti-Trump leaks.

Because they view Trump as an illegitimate president, and therefore, there is no action too wrong or too bad if it weakens him.

Remember: A lot of these people are the same people who refused to show videos of old Obama speeches or who gave Clinton and Obama's teams veto rights over what they publish. Our press may be free, but large swathes of it are surely not independent.

Bob Boyd said...

Publishing these transcripts encourages more leaking.

Sebastian said...

"I don't think they show idiocy" Exactly. They sound . . . sane.

"understand how Trump was trying to work with the 2 leaders" Not badgering, showing understanding of their point of view, trying to be a firm as possible.

"that a close examination of the text will only help Trump, and therefore the transcripts have rapidly become a non-story" Exactly. The Nieto transcript especially.

As a NeverNeverTrumper, I am actually somewhat encouraged. Of course, I despise the leaking. But could a very deep deep-stater, or perhaps a Trump crony, have leaked this to help Trump?

RNB said...

The object of the leak was not national but international: To ensure no foreign leader would ever again speak candidly with Trump except face-to-face (if that). If the Trump administration can be sufficiently hampered and weakened, the hope is that Trump will resign.

MadisonMan said...

Ralph L says it best: The Leakers should be thrown in jail. And every single American knows this, despite any anti-Trumper's faux outrage over what is leaked.

rcocean said...

Another reason there's little talk, is that the substance of the calls was leaked back in January, almost the day after Trump made the calls.

You probably remember that Sen. McCain - our self-appointed Co-POTUS - immediately jetted off to Australia to "reassure" the Australian PM and tell him to ignore Trump.

You really have to wonder why Trump can't stop the leaks. Bring back the Mooch!

CStanley said...

The double standard is blaringly obvious.

Watergate burglary to plant recording devices in DNC offices....if the content of the recordings had showed Democrats giving nuclear codes to Russia, the story still would have been about the illegal activities of the Nixon administration.

Wikileaks relaeases DNC emails showing rank corruption by the DNC, and every effort is made to make the story is about the leaks instead of the content.

WaPO gets access to leaked transcripts of conversations between POTUS and heads of state, and there's no problem with the illegality of the leaks.

To their credit, there are some leftists who recognize the problem of leaks like this, but that it should even be in question is pathetic.

Etienne said...

I haven't followed this story. I really have no interest in what the President discussed. I have no curiosity in this area. It is about as interesting to me, as reading those magazines at the supermarket where they say aliens are landing.

It does seem disheartening that the secret police has so little effective intelligence gathering, equal to that of the CIA or DoD overseas in war zones.

If it were me, any reporter from the Washington press would have 24/7 surveillance by contract private investigators.

They shouldn't be allowed to draw water or electricity without quantities being entered into a database in real-time.

There should be a lot more suicides in the parks then we are seeing now.

Clayton Hennesey said...

William A. Jacobson folds the story into a comprehensive look at the coup d'etat currently in play against the Trump administration:

http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/08/the-slow-motion-coup-detat-picks-up-steam/

"The effort to paralyze the administration was advanced significantly today with the release by The Washington Post of leaked full transcripts of Trump’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia soon after he took office. There had been leaks about those conversations previously, but never the full transcripts."

hombre said...

WaPo and others are pushing the envelope here. This material is arguably classified. Much of the other leaked material is obviously classified. Part and parcel of the disservice Beltway Jeff Sessions continues to do Trump and the country is to fail to take action on these illegal leaks.

Patrick Fitzgerald could give him some advice about this. Remember Judith Miller's 12 week jail stint for refusing to name her source. There is no federal shield law. Unfortunately. Fitzgerald couldn't give Sessions a backbone.

Achilles said...

"Why is there so little talk about the leaked transcripts of Trump's phone conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia?"

Because even most democrats think the leak and the publishing of the story is pure treason. Almost every American voter thinks this is intrinsically dangerous to our country and our government regardless of who is president.

Because even the NYTWAPOCNNNBCABCCBS know that about 75% of the country thinks they have crossed the line and should all be thrown in jail and the leakers in the deep state should be executed.

eric said...

It's comical how the media eats up every single leak and anonymous source from this administration but one little leak/anonymous source criticizing Acosta from CNN and they go crazy with the, "Have you no decency!" BS.

They really aren't going to like the new rules they've created.

Michael Sloan said...

Jon Chait's piece is pretty good: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/australias-pm-slowly-realizes-trump-is-a-complete-idiot.html

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The President of the United States AND the leaders of other countries need to be able to converse with each other and have the ability to be candid with each other. Diplomacy is a delicate thing, To put it under a microscope, broadcast every conversation, dissect every utterance, every move, handshake, glance and stance is going to stop the ability of leaders to conduct diplomacy.

This chilling effect will cause more problems, more wars than ever. Leaders around the world will not want to talk to Trump when they know that they are in danger of being broadcast.

Of course, this is what the Liberals and traitors to our country want. They want to cripple Trump's ability to make deals and conduct the business of the country. They don't CARE that by doing this they are putting ALL of us in dire dire dangerous straits. If they start a war....it doesn't matter to them because TRUMP!!!!! Ha ha ha....they think.

These leakers are traitors to the country and dangerous people to the rest of us. Very very dangerous.

eric said...

These leakers are traitors to the country and dangerous people to the rest of us. Very very dangerous.

As are the journOlist imbeciles who print this garbage.

But there won't be a will to do anything to them until people die.

Big Mike said...

Senator Mark Warner (D), vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has called for an investigation. Let's see whether that goes anywhere. (Prediction: no.)

Mike said...

a close examination of the text will only help Trump, and therefore the transcripts have rapidly become a non-story.

Yep you nailed it there. But this is the template that always explains the media:

1 IF this news helps D and/or hurts R?
2 THEN publish, comment, examine, broadcast, elucidate, editorialize and announce loudly until the "news" (whether true or not) is known far and wide.
3 IF this news helps R and/or hurts D?
4 COVER news with a pillow until it stops moving (in the immortal words of @IowaHawk); at most run ONE story to keep up appearance of fairness, then spike it.

Mike said...

As Michelle Malkin would write, "rinse and repeat."

Etienne said...

When I had a TS clearance, it gave me a lot of access, but it was still compartmented. I had no clearance into certain areas, while full access to others.

We had rooms that my badge didn't open the doors, and the same for others. You couldn't just wander around. As soon as you put your badge on a door it was tracked.

In the security office they had huge computer monitors that showed every camera that sensed a body nearby. Then another monitor to show who just put their badge to a door.

People lost their security clearance immediately if they didn't have a good excuse. Then after the investigation was over, they might get their clearance back.

I sense they don't have anything like that in the White House, or wherever they archive the White House data.

Achilles said...

Blogger Michael Sloan said...
"Jon Chait's piece is pretty good: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/australias-pm-slowly-realizes-trump-is-a-complete-idiot.html"

If by pretty good you mean Chait provides an example of biased hack reporting it is pretty good. Australia wouldn't accept them because they were hardcore Islamist invaders and almost all single men. Obama accepted those "refugees" because he hates the US and the people that live here.

Unknown said...

I'm British so you will have to help me out here, because I simply don't understand how the President's conversations with other Heads of State can be printed with impunity by newspapers - if you want to stop the leaking, stop its public manifestation. The University "no platform" crowd love to point out that the First Amendment does not give you the right to a particular facility from which to speak , or immunity from the consequences of your speech, so why can WaPo publish free of fear of consequences? The conversations might have been relatively banal, but as others point out, they merit classification because of the disastrous implications of the chilling effect on candid discussion between the President and his counterparts elsewhere.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Etienne

They have that sort of tracking were I work and I don't even work for the government. For larger corporations that sort of tracking is routine. Only a small number of people should have access to those transcripts. If anything resembling competent security practices were being followed then figuring out who is leaking the material would be trivial. But, as numerous examples have shown, the people running the government are about as far from competent as you can get. Either that, or they are intentionally dropping the ball so as to enable leaks and espionage.

traditionalguy said...

The NSA and the CIA traitors are showing off. They announced to the world that they are monitoring the US Presidency with continuous wiretaps. So there. You better fear us and our assassins squads, because such a weak Outsider Businessman has no power to touch us.

And we will continue to use the world pedophile Rings that we have used for 50 years to blackmail so many government people into doing our will.

buwaya said...

Chait has always been an idiot.
Even as a partisan opinionator he was always second rate.
You will find better among liberals and socialists even in Mother Jones.

Chuck said...

1. I presume that the reason that WaPo didn't previously release the transcript contents was because they didn't have them. Perhaps I am mistaken in that. Did WaPo explain that?

2. The calls were known previously, without some of the minor/funny details. So the new news (New Hampshire as a drug-infested den, the Mexico wall being the least important thing) became the biggest news. That's not surprising.

3. Democrats (reasonably,if not admirably) widely condemned the leaking of transcripts. Ben Cardin condemned the leaks. So did David Axelrod. Others too, I believe.

4. The telephone transcripts were blown off the front page by the Mueller/grand jury news.

Bob Boyd said...

Boycott Amazon?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If I wasn't cynical I'd say most of the Media realize this is too much, even for them.
But that can't be correct--the Media has published details of anti-terror programs for no more reason than to embarrass a Republican President, so this is well within the scope of their "self-regard over nation" mentality.
The most likely answer is that the details just aren't juicy enough. Also we'll probably hear more about this later.

Anyway we know lots of LifeLongRepublicans are loving it, so that's probably enough.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The University "no platform" crowd love to point out that the First Amendment does not give you the right to a particular facility from which to speak , or immunity from the consequences of your speech, so why can WaPo publish free of fear of consequences?"

-- Because *having the data* isn't a crime. You can't criminalize knowledge. If they didn't solicit it, and it was just dropped in their lap, then you can't even say they did that.

Honestly, the one good thing the Mooch suggested is a complete purge of the White House communications shop. The leaking has to stop. There and in all of our security and defense areas.

I get it: You don't like Trump.

But this? This has to stop.

Hagar said...

If these transcripts are from the official transcripts, a very small number of people should have had opportunity to access them, and they should be easy to identify.
If they are from the "17 U.S. intelligence agencies" monitoring the White House communications, Heaven help us.

And this goes far beyond just the Trump presidency.

Owen said...

Invite the reporters and editors in for a friendly chat to understand how this happened.

A few days later, dump the bodies in the street.

Problem solved.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

So you are a security contractor hired by some government agency to increase safeguards because some scandal forced congress to pass a law mandating that minimum computer security standards (standards that are published by the government by the way, http://csrc.nist.gov/) are being followed.

The agency's bureaucrats are pissed off because that's money out of the budget and Star Trek parody videos (http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/irs-releases-star-trek-parody-video/) aren't going to make themselves. Not to mention the travel they won't get to do to. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/us/politics/gsa-las-vegas-trip-is-the-talk-of-washington.html) And on top of that, if they implement your suggestions, they could be caught leaking info to reporters in order to influence policy.

So, since its virtually impossible to fire a federal bureaucrat, what are the odds that anything useful will be implemented?

theribbonguy said...

Why isn't it cranked to ELEVENTY!!! like they planned? Because even the lefties that care about the country more than politics realized that the damage of this leak is potentially devastating to Our Nation. All the leaders of the world realize that any open and frank conversation with the POTUS will likely be in the papers. What are the odds that these leaders will take that chance?

No worries though..it's not like we we have a problem with the Norks or Iran that might need confidential conversations with anybody.

Owen said...

I think the publication is particularly problematic because (1) it is so complete (not just a summary or a few juicy pull quotes) and (2) it is so banal (none of this is exactly world-shaking and therefore (3) every person who is contemplating a conversation with DJT has to think, hard, about whether to have that conversation and what is the minimum that can be said. And then (4) those interlocutors have to spend a lifetime wondering when the shoe will drop.

In effect, the WaPo has announced war with the White House. Nothing said or done in the WH (or elsewhere?) is safe or deserving of even momentary reflection on how disclosure might affect the course of events. The WaPo is saying that has its sources, its sources are beyond anyone's reach, and it will publish anything and everything that its sources provide.

Game on.

Jeff Weimer said...

What you said, Ann, and if these transcripts got a lot of discussion then the calls to investigate and prosecute the folks who leaked it would be deafening and damaging to the #nevertrump cause.

Chuck said...

Matthew you might want to look at the long line of U.S. cases on "prior restraint." Those are the cases that deal with governmental prevention of publication. Nebraksa Press Assn. v Stuart, Near v. Minnesota, New York Times v. U.S. (the Penatagon Papers case).

We don't see many "prior restraint" cases in practice. Because the law is pretty well settled on the fact that it can almost never be done legally.

But prior restraint is a big part of Con Law teaching on the First Amendment and I expect that Professor Althouse could quickly and effectively do a primer on prior restraint issues in this case.

Chuck said...

theribbonguy said...
Why isn't it cranked to ELEVENTY!!! like they planned?

Who is "they"? What was their plan?

Feste said...

~" .. the story seems to have already blown over ..”

Let her blow. Story won’t be a story - to them - until they see more paranoidal in-House firings for leaks, reducing Trump’s artificial selection meme-pools, letting reader-responses do all their heavy lifting for them, not for me, I know feelingly where my rest-hammock swings.

Owen said...

Chuck: what does "prior restraint" have to do with putting a subpoena on the WaPo staff who put this out? It doesn't affect their ability to publish the item in question --that ship has sailed. It merely affects the ability of the government to enforce national security and the contracts solemnly entered into by the leakers, that they would not leak.

I really think we need to see some jumper cables hooked up to some people,

Etienne said...

I have one other point, and then I'll be quiet.

When a security system is found to be non-compliant (as in classified data being published in the press), it is immediately de-certified, and people from everywhere descend on the facility to rebuild it from the ground up.

It is then re-certified by an inspection and an IG report issued for others to learn from.

I haven't read anything where this is ongoing. I think the White House should report this to the American people, that the White House has been de-certified from handling classified information until the IG inspection is complete.

Freder Frederson said...

A few days later, dump the bodies in the street.

Really?! Advocating summary execution of members of the press and dumping their bodies in the street? You are disgusting. And I bet you consider yourself a patriotic American.

Ray said...

>Why is there so little talk of...

Because there was so much blowback against how this hurt the US by non Trump supporters...

exhelodrvr1 said...

Not much being written about them because it's obvious that leaking that type of information is a huge mistake. Even the idiots on the left can see that. Well, some of them at least.

hombre said...

"4. The telephone transcripts were blown off the front page by the Mueller/grand jury news."

The illegally leaked tapes were blown off the front page by the illegally leaked Mueller/grand jury news.

This is the Democrat/leftmedia/GOPe/NeverTrumper version of MAGA. The moral relativity and situational ethics of the left join the Lazarus "Statue of Liberty" poem as the new law of the land. Impressive isn't it!

These are your allies, Chuck. Chuck?

Freder Frederson said...

I really think we need to see some jumper cables hooked up to some people

You do realize that torture is illegal and unconstitutional? But you really don't care, do you?

Owen said...

Freder: "...a patriotic American." Freder, I don't plan to mix it up with you. I spoke in jest (somewhat) but of course it was in your interest to read it straight. Boring, Freder.

That said, I do think that my response is more aligned with that of "a patriotic American" than the people who decided to dump these transcripts on the WaPo, and the people at the WaPo who decided to dump them on the street.

What you see there on the pavement is the remnants of our trust in the Prog agenda. They will burn anything.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Standards like actually keeping track of laptops and encrypting hard drives or at least sensitive data. And not letting people who don't work for you continue to have access to sensitive data.

https://www.circa.com/story/2017/08/03/politics/susan-rice-keeps-top-secret-security-clearance-hr-mcmaster-letter-says

Fernandinande said...

Apparently the worst part of the transcripts is that Trump asked the Mexican guy to not say that Mexico wouldn't pay for the wall, and the Mexican guy said he wouldn't do that.

hombre said...

Ralph L.: "More importantly, who leaked the transcripts and why aren't they in jail?"

Because Beltway Jeff Sessions is emulating Holder and Lynch under whom Democrats and friends of the left were above the law.

But not to worry, Senator Warner is calling for a Senate investigation. LOL.

gadfly said...

In the phone call with Malcolm Turnbill, Trump was rude as usual, but he seemed incapable of understanding Australia's policy whereby refugees coming by boat was unacceptable because boats encouraged human trafficking - no matter how many times the Australian Prime Minister explained the policy. Trump already had decided exactly what was going on and why the Australians wouldn't allow 1250 refugees (Trump heard 2,000 then said he had also heard 5,000) to enter their country.

Perhaps Dietrich Bonhoeffer's comments to fellow conspirators on the 10th anniversary of Hitler's rise to power has some applicability to Donald's reactions. The subject: stupidity.

Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed- in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.

Unknown said...

It's not really newsworthy, no surprise. We knew he was incompetent.

Unknown said...

Doesn't it make anyone here think that it a pretty bad sign when there are people in your own administration that risk getting into big trouble by doing all this leaking? There seem to be enough people who think that the country needs to be aware of just how bad this fraud is. Hooray for the leakers, they are patriots.

Curious George said...

"Freder Frederson said...
I really think we need to see some jumper cables hooked up to some people

You do realize that torture is illegal and unconstitutional? But you really don't care, do you?"

OK, so we'll waterboard the fuckers instead. Happy?

Khesanh 0802 said...

It's about time! sessions-vows-crackdown-on-leaks

Unknown said...

"Apparently the worst part of the transcripts is that Trump asked the Mexican guy to not say that Mexico wouldn't pay for the wall, and the Mexican guy said he wouldn't do it."

Didn't Trump say it would make him look like a dope if Pena Nieto didn't go along with Trump's ruse? Funny stuff.

Birkel said...

UnknownInga82 believes the Deep State - unelected - should run the country instead of the winners of elections because she would prefer a little totalitarianism.

She's cheering lawbreakers when reasonable Democrats have at least made gestures toward how poorly these leaks serve the interests of the United States and her people.

Fascism marches on the Left.

JPS said...

Unknown:

"Doesn't it make anyone here think that it a pretty bad sign when there are people in your own administration that risk getting into big trouble by doing all this leaking?"

Yes, but not in the way you think. Because it either means the situation is as bad as you believe, or it means that people we trust to be apolitical are letting their opinions get the better of their professionalism, and damaging not just the president but the country, for - what? What's the greater good? So that Trump is made to look like a fool and their allies can yell, "You see?!"

In other words, you're begging the question. The leaking supports your view only if you're right anyway.

"Hooray for the leakers, they are patriots."

No.

In the long run, they are more dangerous than Trump. Even if we don't trust a president, as I don't trust this one, we have more recourse against him than against some underling we never heard of who decided his ethics and judgment were superior to those of his boss. If this happens often enough, once in awhile that anonymous underling will be right and we will thank God for him. What about the rest of the time?

Khesanh 0802 said...

From Session's news conference:
“No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight their battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information,” Mr. Sessions told reporters at the Justice Department, where he was joined by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. “No government can be effective when its leaders cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or to talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders.”

"The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small."

Michael said...

The reason this has become a non-story is that everyone realizes how far over the edge we have been taken. Even the NYT knows that this is beyond appalling, and therefore has consigned it to the memory hole. If any of Obama's conversations had been leaked in toto, the Times would have gone thermonuclear.

Unknown said...

The leakers are the patriots. People who continue to shield Trump, make excuses for him, his incompetency, his possible crimes, his collusion with Russia, are the ones who don't have America's best interests at heart. It's time for Trumpists to wake the hell up.

Chuck said...

hombre said...
"4. The telephone transcripts were blown off the front page by the Mueller/grand jury news."

The illegally leaked tapes were blown off the front page by the illegally leaked Mueller/grand jury news.

Twice now you have jumped to the conclusion that the existence of the grand jury was leaked illegally.

Again, I call on you to explain how you know that such news was leaked illegally. The existence of the grand jury is not a secret. Third persons who receive subpoenas or other process from the grand jury can say so, to the press. Existence, confirmed. Even the proceedings of a grand jury are not so secret that a witness cannot later talk about having been a witness.

eric said...

Blogger Unknown said...
Doesn't it make anyone here think that it a pretty bad sign when there are people in your own administration that risk getting into big trouble by doing all this leaking? There seem to be enough people who think that the country needs to be aware of just how bad this fraud is. Hooray for the leakers, they are patriots.

8/4/17, 11:23 AM


So far leakers haven't paid a price.

I'd like to see these leakers going to prison for 20 years.

Then, if the leaks continue, I'll join you.

But it isn't very brave to leak when everyone is doing it and no one is getting in trouble for it. It's like speeding down the highway.

rhhardin said...

Trump uses the classical ad hominem argument, which is an argument tailored to flatter your opponent's interests rather than (modern version) insulting him.

Humperdink said...

The WaPoo thought it was cute to stick another finger into the eye of Trump by publishing the transcripts. Smiling smugly in the newsroom. And then I suspect they realized what they just did. And are now regretting it.

In the long run, this will not be good for the leakers, for the press, or for the country.

Jersey Fled said...

Put the editor of the Washington Post in front of a Congressional hearing and listen to him explain in detail what his newspaper's standards are with respect to publishing confidential information. Have him explain how this met those standards. Listen to him pontificate about "Freedom of the Press". Let him assert his Fifth Amendment rights repeatedly. Make him answer questions for hours without a pee break.

Let him convict himself in the court of public opinion. Then watch liberal's heads explode while they try to decide to defend him or not.

Stop reading the Washington Post. Cancel your Amazon Prime membership.

Ann Althouse said...

"Didn't Trump say it would make him look like a dope if Pena Nieto didn't go along with Trump's ruse? Funny stuff."

No. The word "dope" is in the conversation with the Australian Prime Minister (which I'll read later).

Read what I wrote about the transcript with Peña Nieto and come back and answer your own question. I'd say that all Trump said was that he has a political need because he'd been saying for 2 years that Mexico would pay for it, and the 2 men agreed to work together to avoid political problems on either side. In the end Peña Nieto made a "creative" proposal that Trump accepted "100%."

Clayton Hennesey said...

Boycott Amazon?

It's pretty unlikely the Katherine Graham/Ben Bradlee WaPo would have ever gone to these lengths.

But it's no secret anymore that anyone patronizing Amazon, or Facebook, or Google, or even DJT's favorite Twitter is actively supporting those organizations' active and passive attempts to paralyze and undermine the Trump administration.

If you have nowhere else to source your products (because Amazon has driven them out of business, say) or if Grammy will only talk to you on Facebook, you might have no choice but to acquiesce with the rest of the herd. But you should still understand the consequences of your actions and the tradeoffs you're making.

mockturtle said...

And I know this is a tough group of people, and maybe your military is afraid of them, but our military is not afraid of them, and we will help you with that 100 percent because it is out of control – totally out of control.

In reference to drug trafficking. It would be a good use of the military and do more for our national security and safety than whatever the hell we are doing in the ME.

Chuck said...

The Trump era has been great for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Politico, the New Yorker and even the Guardian.

I suspect a lot of the new web traffic is driven by Althouse linking to them as she criticizes their coverage.

;-)

Chuck said...

Forgot to include link, for the boomlet in anti-Trump media:

https://www.thestreet.com/story/14024114/1/trump-bump-grows-into-subscription-surge.html

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Trump was rude as usual, but he seemed incapable of understanding Australia's policy

Or maybe he didn't care about the policy, he just didn't want to take in the refugees that Australia wouldn't. Also, if you get to an Island off of Australia by ship, and then get flown to the US, well that would seem to negate any positive effect of not accepting refugees who manage to get to Australia by ship. Though I can see why Australia would like to offload refugees to a third party.

Richard Dolan said...

"I suspect that Trump-haters who undertook serious study of the language have decided it's best not to try, that a close examination of the text will only help Trump ..."

The Trump-hater phenomenon is quite interesting, but mostly for the reactions of the established right-y pundits. The lefties are just doing their partisan war dance, with a little added brio to celebrate what they think is all the crazy trumpiness that will help them in '18. This story in the WaPo, like most of what they write about Trump, reflects the belief that Trump is an ignoramus and a lout, but they've begun to worry because that narrative is backfiring among all but the Dem true believers. So they're trying to pick their spots, while still serving up a daily dose of 'can you believe this?' about Trump to those true believers.

The righties are a bit different, even though they begin from the same premise that Trump is an ignoramus and a lout. Steve Hayes has a screed in the current WStandard, recapping all the reasons why those guys think Trump is a disastrous president. You can find the same view expressed by George Will, Jonah Goldberg, David French, Krauty, Billy Kristol -- the whole gang from WS and NRO, almost all singing the same tune. Just as those guys are now into the 'I told you so' phase of the Trump-hating narrative, a new crop pushing back against the Trump haters has sprung up -- the Powerline guys, Roger Kimball, and especially Scott Adams. He's become the most prominent, and his take on the Trump presidency and the reactions to is far and away the most interesting commentary I've seen.

Adams sees that, more even than Obama, Trump is a revolutionary figure. Obama just pushed the Dems and their acolytes towards a destination they were already heading for, getting them there a bit faster than would otherwise have happened. Along the way, he trashed the party, driving out anyone not inclined to board the Lefty Express. Trump is having an even greater impact, scrambling the pre-existing political lines rather than just accelerating an existing trend on one side of the partisan divide. The reactions to Trump are also so extreme as to lay bare what was partially hidden before Trump came along, about the institutions of the permanent state and how anti-democratic (and pro-Democrat) they were. The pillars of the permanent state in the media and the bureaucracy are finding it much harder to dump Trump than they thought. Along the way, the institutions of government, from settled ideas about how a president should conduct his office to how the rest of the gov't should operate, is being transformed before our eyes, and not in the way the permanent state would like to see.

Amazing.

mockturtle said...

Richard Dolan: I agree 100%. What concerns me politically right now is the 2018 elections. If the GOP wins, the GOPe will pat itself on the back. If they lose, they will blame Trump.

Achilles said...

Etienne said...
I have one other point, and then I'll be quiet.

When a security system is found to be non-compliant (as in classified data being published in the press), it is immediately de-certified, and people from everywhere descend on the facility to rebuild it from the ground up.

It is then re-certified by an inspection and an IG report issued for others to learn from.

I haven't read anything where this is ongoing. I think the White House should report this to the American people, that the White House has been de-certified from handling classified information until the IG inspection is complete.


This needs to be emphasized. The people that are doing this were put into positions of extraordinary responsibility. This is a natural result of Hillary Clinton's obscene abuse of our classified information system.

These people are disgusting. There are people who broke "secret" clearance level crap that went to jail for less. Far less.

Chuck said...

As a Trump-hater, the main thing I would/will take away is his quote that the Mexican border wall was "the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important."

If I were in Congress and being asked to approve a budgetary expenditure for a border wall that, on its merits* I opposed, I'd be doing lots of interviews quoting the President that the wall "is the least important thing." And further that I don't care about the President's view of his personal politics. And that the budget of the Department of Homeland Security doesn't function to help the president's personal politics.

Achilles said...

Unknown said...
The leakers are the patriots. People who continue to shield Trump, make excuses for him, his incompetency, his possible crimes, his collusion with Russia, are the ones who don't have America's best interests at heart. It's time for Trumpists to wake the hell up.

We know who the true enemies of this country are. They are the people that supported Clinton Obama Clinton lawlessness and all of a sudden want to selectively enforce the law against Trump.

You are Stalinists. If you push this to confrontation there will be no quarter.

Todd said...

Unknown said...
Doesn't it make anyone here think that it a pretty bad sign when there are people in your own administration that risk getting into big trouble by doing all this leaking? There seem to be enough people who think that the country needs to be aware of just how bad this fraud is. Hooray for the leakers, they are patriots.

8/4/17, 11:23 AM


Unknown said...
The leakers are the patriots. People who continue to shield Trump, make excuses for him, his incompetency, his possible crimes, his collusion with Russia, are the ones who don't have America's best interests at heart. It's time for Trumpists to wake the hell up.

8/4/17, 11:38 AM


All of the "leaks" to date show much about Trump that everyone already knew about Trump. What they don't show is that he has done anything that is a crime.

What conclusions can we draw from this?

a) Some one(s) within the Trump administration are SO partisan that they are willing to take (the small chance) that they will be caught as the leakers so as to do ANYTHING they think will damage Trump.

b) Some citizens are SO blinded by their hatred of Trump (or hatred that Queen Hillary didn't get her crown) that they are willing to see all destroyed by whatever means nessessary because they didn't get their "heart's desire".

c) That those same citizens are blindingly hypocritical as they had no qualms about the Obama administration attacking "journalists" with the full force of the Government when anything remotely embarrassing was disclosed by "whistleblowers".

d) Those same citizens have turned the outrage dial up to 11enty for Trump doing perfectly legal things the President is specifically authorized to do while those same individuals turned the outrage dial up to 11enty when anyone dared point out the clearly illegal things that Obama did (and were in some cases subsequently slapped down by the courts).

All of this fended "Trump" outrage is already so old, tired, worn out, and well on its way to be ignored by all saner segments of the country. I would request though that all of you "resisters" please, please, PLEASE keep it up and in fact, I think you need to dial it up to 14ish or 15ish as 11enty is not doing the trick. The simple fact of the matter is that the saner segments of the country see what you are and no longer care what you say. Feel free to riot, pillage, and burn. I would suggest you take some care in where you choose to do that though because most of the country is NOT a university or university town. There are LARGE areas of this country where people feel their communities should not be ransacked by a bunch of SJW crybullies and will do much to prevent that from happening. So, do your selves a favor as stay in the safe (for you at least) "blue" zones and leave the red zones alone.

TreeJoe said...

The conversation with Pieto makes me respect Trump AND Pieto more.

This leak is epicly (new word!) awful.

CStanley said...

The analysis of the call to Mexico is interesting and I'd agree that there's nothing there that really makes Trump look bad.

The Australia call was a little more complicated in terms of how Trump comes off. He did seem unprepared for that discussion, and didn't wasnt able to effectively negotiate on the point that was important to him. And frankly the simplistic language there made me laugh...I kept imagining a Dr Seuss treatment of the transcript, like "You could not, would not, take them from a boat?"

Matthew Sablan said...

How do we know the leaks are coming from the Trump administration and not intelligence agencies that are spying on Trump, like they spied on Congress and journalists under Obama?

Chuck said...

*As to "...on its merits," I should have added that I am not opposed to walls as such. I'm fine with walls and things like walls. If walls make it cheaper and easier to control the border, and hopefully be able to lay off some CBP staff, that's fine.

I just don't like all the Trump-drama involved in a grand, full-extension wall for the sake of a wall. Or for the sake of Trump's ego/political aggrandizement.

Matthew Sablan said...

[Honestly, I believe the real problem is that Trump didn't simply clean house with all Obama-era appointees and revoke their clearances. Susan Rice can request anything she wants, and no one is even enforcing Need to Know on her. Every leak could have come from her given this.]

tcrosse said...

How is this being received in Australia and Mexico ? Their leaders have been de-pantsed as well.

dreams said...

The Post claims they took the info to the white house and that they never told them to not print it, of course, the Post would have have printed it regardless.

Humperdink said...

Unknown said: "Doesn't it make anyone here think that it a pretty bad sign when there are people in your own administration that risk getting into big trouble by doing all this leaking?"

Has it crossed your fertile mind that maybe these leakers are Obama holdovers? Or deep state Trump haters, as in, not part of the team.

Unknown said: "The leakers are the patriots."

This is one of your more amazing comments. Let's assume Kamela Harris is our next president and she talking to NATO allies about missile placement in Europe. You OK with reading the full transcript in the Wall Street Journal? Using your logic, they might consider themselves patriots.

mockturtle said...

TreeJoe says: This leak is epicly (new word!) awful.

Epicly. That'll work. Just like 'bigly'. Even though what Trump says is really 'big-league', it sounds like bigly and bigly should be a word.

mockturtle said...

Matthew Sabian opines: [Honestly, I believe the real problem is that Trump didn't simply clean house with all Obama-era appointees and revoke their clearances.

Yes. If the entire swamp can't be drained at once, at least the murky pool that the Obama administration created should have been. Immediately. It's like God's Old Testament admonitions to destroy all of a certain people and when the Israelites failed to do so, those survivors always caused problems later on.

Gospace said...

And my email from The New Republic today : "Keep the Trump Leaks Coming".

More proof liberals don't care about the rule of law.

theribbonguy said...

"Who is "they"? What was their plan?"

Don't be coy Chuck, you know damn well who "they" are. It's you and the cadre of "life long Republican" assholes (John Mcain, Ben Sasse, Jeff Flake, etc,etc), and there buddies in the Deep State security apparatus.Basically the Uniparty.
As for the "plan", that's even simpler. To dispose of the democratically elected President by any means available.

Molly said...

I think Trump does just fine in this conversation--knows what he wants, makes it possible for the other guy, gets an approximation of what he wants.

But the most intriguing thing to me is that he sounds exactly like himself--that is to say, the private Trump sounds exactly like the public Trump who campaigned.

He has a weird sort of candor, even when he's manipulating.

Sebastian said...

Long (good) post short: "Not badgering, showing understanding of their point of view, trying to be a firm as possible." Clears throat.

"@RW: Trump was rude as usual, but he seemed incapable of understanding Australia's policy

Or maybe he didn't care about the policy, he just didn't want to take in the refugees that Australia wouldn't. Also, if you get to an Island off of Australia by ship, and then get flown to the US, well that would seem to negate any positive effect of not accepting refugees who manage to get to Australia by ship. Though I can see why Australia would like to offload refugees to a third party."

Bottom line is that the Australia policy and the O deal are outrageous, completely and utterly phony: admitting refugees to Australia would encourage more "economic" refugees, therefore we'll send them to the US, which won't encourage more. Yeah, right. And then the argument: we are friends, your predecessor promised to do something stupid, therefore you must do something stupid. Gimme a break.

Trump could have been sharper, but anyone with a little common sense would be flabbergasted.

Chuck said...

theribbonguy said...
"Who is "they"? What was their plan?"

Don't be coy Chuck, you know damn well who "they" are. It's you and the cadre of "life long Republican" assholes (John Mcain, Ben Sasse, Jeff Flake, etc,etc), and there buddies in the Deep State security apparatus.Basically the Uniparty.
As for the "plan", that's even simpler. To dispose of the democratically elected President by any means available.


Dang it! It sounds like somebody leaked to you the minutes of our last Deep State meeting. (It was held in secret, in the Dallas Cowboys' home field, AT&T Stadium, to accommodate all 97,000 of us.) We were honoring Presidents Bush 41 and 43 at the time, and their years of service to the Trilateral Commission. Also, there was adequate parking for all of our black helicopters.

Thanks for your comment, and have a nice day.

MikeR said...

One impact of the leaking is that the deal will probably not happen. Good work, guys.

Luke Lea said...

It's a most interesting and revealing conversation, and for that very reason should not be seeing the light of day. That someone gave it to the Washington Post is a felony, in this case a felony that is damaging to both America's and Mexico's national security. I think Congress or the FBI should use its powers of subpoena to find out who leaked it, even if it means putting the reporter in jail the way that NYT reporter was put in jail back during the run-up to the war in Iraq (or whenever it was). Let the mainstream press protest all they want. The stakes are too high and they will lose in the court of public opinion. I hope this is Jeff Session's plan.

theribbonguy said...

"Dang it! It sounds like somebody leaked to you the minutes of our last Deep State meeting. (It was held in secret, in the Dallas Cowboys' home field, AT&T Stadium, to accommodate all 97,000 of us.) We were honoring Presidents Bush 41 and 43 at the time, and their years of service to the Trilateral Commission. Also, there was adequate parking for all of our black helicopters.

Thanks for your comment, and have a nice day."

Laugh it up Ckuckles.

I realize you yourself have no actual influence what so ever, being a local back bencher and all. But I do see you sqeeing every time your team seems to score a point...hell half the the time you pee yourself when you THINK they scored but didn't.

Unknown said...

Unknown, 8/4/17, 11:38 AM -- You make me ashamed to be an Unknown. I'm gonna have to register so someone doesn't mistake me for you.

Fabi said...

"The Trump era has been great for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Politico, the New Yorker and even the Guardian."

Like all good lefties, Chuck cares about principals not principles.

Unknown said...

Didn't read the whole thing, but it seems to me the Australians are holding people in what would be called an arrest in the U.S. to discourage human trafficking while Australia implicitly thinks the U.S. should not.

People die on overloaded boats, people die crossing the desert or loaded in the back of semi trailers in the Texas heat. Illegal crossings should be discouraged not only for the reluctant host, but also for the sake of the illegal immigrants.

dreams said...

"When CBS defends Trump, something’s up."

https://www.youngcons.com/here-we-go-cbs-john-dickerson-says-wh-transcript-leaker-might-have-broken-the-law/?ref=FacebookPost

Bob said...

Re: Your analysis of the conversation: Wow, Wow, Wow. Trump is a master deal maker, and it's absolutely fascinating to see the process. Okay, get the leakers, but, meanwhile, look at how our President is working to solve the problem(s). Thanks for taking one for the team, Ann, and reading through this conversation.

gadfly said...

@Ron Winkleheimer said...
Trump was rude as usual, but he seemed incapable of understanding Australia's policy

Or maybe he didn't care about the policy, he just didn't want to take in the refugees that Australia wouldn't. Also, if you get to an Island off of Australia by ship, and then get flown to the US, well that would seem to negate any positive effect of not accepting refugees who manage to get to Australia by ship. Though I can see why Australia would like to offload refugees to a third part.


Over and over, Turnbull told Trump that the agreement reached with the Obama administration was for the US to vet the 1250 immigrants and to take none or all or any number properly vetted. He also pointed out that the Aussies were not saying these folks were criminals - only that they were caught landing in Australia via boat which is against Aussie law and the US really doesn't have to give a shit about this aspect. But Trump exposed his inattention and lack of background through inattention and having already determined the answer filtered through his narcissistic mind focus.

Trump: Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

In the end, even when it was again discussed that the US didn't have to accept any of the illegals, Trump let the cat out of the bag and crossed another "I" - "I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing."

Now , perhaps you will read my point about stupid people. I missed an important quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer earlier:

One virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that for once and for all destroy human beings.

mockturtle said...

Gadfly, the Bonhoeffer quote applies to the average Progressive, does it not?

Luke Lea said...

On further reflection I wonder if Trump himself might have leaked the document? Makes a certain amount of sense.

Matthew Sablan said...

"On further reflection I wonder if Trump himself might have leaked the document?"

-- Way too risky... but it is Trump, so his risk evaluation is... different than mine.

TreeJoe said...

Trump's points to Australia were valid; I don't get the concept of rudeness here.

Australia convinced the Obama administration to vet and accepted 1,250 refugees that Australia won't accept. They are damn near impossible to vet, but for some reason we as a country agreed to foot the bill to vet them and let some or all of them in. The rationale that you could turn them all away is ridiculous - then why even make the deal in the first place?

Why is the U.S. in the policy of accepting boat refugees from countries in another hemisphere? Why are we bearing the cost of re-locating them and vetting them?

The fact Trump was even having this conversation is a statement on it's ridiculousness. Let from quote something from BI on this deal to paint it's ridiculousness:

"The nationalities of the refugees at stake in the US-Australia deal are unclear, but refugee advocates say many who are detained on Nauru and Manus Island are from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan — countries listed on Trump’s original travel ban — as well as Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Some of the refugees are also stateless.

During the call, Turnbull attempted to convince Trump that the deal was “absolutely consistent” with the travel ban, meaning that the US can choose which refugees to accept and subject each of them to any security screening necessary.

“None of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan,” Turnbull said.

Another point Turnbull attempted to explain was that the refugee deal was not a one-sided affair. Just two months before the deal was struck, the Australian government announced it would take in asylum-seekers from US-backed detention facilities in Costa Rica.

While the agreement is not explicitly a quid pro quo arrangement, the two deals ensure the countries are essentially swapping refugees with one another, with each country relieving the other of the responsibility of detaining asylum-seekers."

...

Just to put this in perspective, Trump was trying to enforce a travel ban on folks from countries that Australia's refugees are mostly from while also trying to not renege on an agreement put in place by his predecessor.

It looks to me like it is/was within Trumps power to flatly decline all as part of the vetting and he was trying not to go down that road with Turnbull, but Turnbull was saying that if he is going to turn down all the refugees first Trump must take them off Turnbull's hands.

It's a ludicrous deal.

David said...

"“None of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan,” Turnbull said."

So he should be able to take them, right?

Bullshit is Bullshit, even from Prime Ministers. Especially, actually.

David said...

Luke Lea said...
On further reflection I wonder if Trump himself might have leaked the document? Makes a certain amount of sense.


Now we are getting somewhere. Anything is possible in this mess. So nothing is trustworthy.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Well done, Althouse. In an adult world, that's what all punditry would look like.

SeanF said...

Unknown: The University "no platform" crowd love to point out that the First Amendment does not give you the right to a particular facility from which to speak, or immunity from the consequences of your speech, so why can WaPo publish free of fear of consequences?

Curious - what sort of "consequences" do you think the WaPo should face?


TreeJoe: This leak is epicly (new word!) awful.

It's an old word, and it's spelled "epically".

Jim at said...

You just wait until one of yours gets back into the White House, leftists.

Just wait.

Because you cannot even possibly imagine how much of a bitch the payback will be.

Bad Lieutenant said...

and hopefully be able to lay off some CBP staff

Why throw that in, Chuck?

(First guess: you're happy to oppress wetbacks but the visa overstayers/abusers, who are of a higher class/value, won't be affected by the wall because they fly in, so win-win?)

mockturtle said...

Sean F says: It's an old word, and it's spelled "epically".

You're right, of course. My spellcheck doesn't like it, though...

Birkel said...

Good job, Althouse.
Very interesting and not something I would have bothered to do.

hombre said...

Chuck: "Again, I call on you to explain how you know that such news was leaked illegally. The existence of the grand jury is not a secret."

"Again?" I must have missed the other time. Try this: FRCrP Rule6E(2): "(B) Unless these rules provide otherwise, the following persons must not disclose a matter occurring before the grand jury: ....". Lawyers attending the grand jury and supporting personnel are included. This has nothing to do with the existence of a grand jury. It has to do with the business of the grand jury including the subject matter of the investigation and persons subpoenaed, both of which were disclosed.

The subject matter has been disclosed to the media and you have NO argument to offer that it was lawful. Witnesses may disclose that they have been subpoenaed, but normally subpoenas do not disclose the subject matter and in this case there is no evidence that they have done so. Moreover they would have no reason to do so anonymously.

Is your hatred for Trump so great that it precludes you from thinking like an officer of the court instead of some mealy-mouthed lawyer defending government misconduct? As I recall, you claim to be a lawyer. If you are not, disregard the question.

Ralph L said...

If you remember the Starr grand jury, the nasty Blumenthal came out and lied about what he was asked about.

mikeski said...

The Post claims they took the info to the white house and that they never told them to not print it

Which I must believe. As an inanimate object, "The White House" certainly could not tell them not to print it.

Now, how about telling us the name of the White House employee (or, at least, department) who you took this information to, and who did not tell you not to print it?

Which deep-state mole okayed the leak?

hombre said...

As an aside the Council in Bondi Beach, Australia, denied their Jewish Community permission to build a synagogue on the land owned by the community. The reason given? It would be "provocative."

Dr Weevil said...

Like mikeski (3:19pm), I would like to know who told them, and I'd also like to know exactly what words were used by both parties. I suspect "never told us not to print it" is a weasely way of saying "begged us not to print it, said it would be very bad for American foreign relations and future presidents of both parties if we printed it, admitted that they couldn't TELL us not to print it, but said that they would certainly prevent it being printed if the courts would let them, because printing it would be thoroughly evil and thoroughly stupid".

Matthew Sablan said...

Mikeski: If I were the White House and they brought that to me, no way I'm telling a hostile press not to print. You know why? The story today would now be: "White House Attempts to Silence First Amendment."

Matthew Sablan said...

I'd say something like: "We can't confirm the provenance of your document, and are unable to supply you with an opinion at this time."

mockturtle said...

Well, for better or for worse, intentionally or unintentionally, this is the most transparent administration in my memory.

Matthew Sablan said...

Mockturtle: It is one of the few "perks" I saw of Trump winning. If Clinton won, there'd be no accountability. If Trump won... we'd have this. This is... somewhat better than no accountability... I guess?

David53 said...

@ hombre "An Australian court has upheld a municipal council’s decision to ban the construction of a synagogue in suburban Sydney because it could become the target of a terrorist attack."

Yeah, but they have great healthcare and their government has great immigration policies....never mind. And they don't leak stuff, that's the ticket!

JPS said...

mikeski, 3:19:

"As an inanimate object, "The White House" certainly could not tell them not to print it."

Which reminds me of a story I love about Nancy Pelosi's father, Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., when he was mayor of Baltimore. A reporter asked him a question that pissed him off. Seeing this and apparently fearful, the reporter added, "My desk wants to know!"

D'Alesandro put his ear to his own desk, then straightened. "My desk tells me to tell your desk to go fuck itself."

Michael K said...

"But you really don't care, do you?"

I care and would enthusiastically support torture for lefty idiots like you. Next question ?

Just kidding.

Sessions is making noises like he is really going to do something about the leakers., They just possibly might have gotten too cocky.

The White House should be easier to track leakers.

Steve said...

I suppose we won't get to the bottom of the Australian refugee matter until someone leaks transcripts of Obama's conversations with the Australians.

Achilles said...

"Curious - what sort of "consequences" do you think the WaPo should face?"

Take all responsible reporters and editors and launch them via catapult into a burning building.

Unknown said...

I truly wish the leakers would be found and shot. I also truly wish the Washington post and their reporters are subjected to very long, very protracted and very costly prosecutions for damaging our country.

Chuck said...

hombre:

If you want to argue with me, about federal grand juries (and yes I am a lawyer and no I am not a criminal defense practitioner), we can do that.

First, let's set our terms. I made no claim about how the news of the existence of the federal grand jury empaneled by the Special Counsel got out. I did not say that the news was divulged legally, or that it was leaked illegally.

It was YOU who made the claim, twice in two different posts, that the news of the grand jury was leaked, illegally. What I did was simply to challenge you on how you knew that. Because there are ways for such information to be divulged legally. And that is a fact, and I encourage you to consult with any good criminal defense lawyer about that.

You cited FRCrimP 6(e)(2)(B). I know about that rule. All lawyers know about that rule. What that rule says is that a certain class of persons cannot talk about the proceedings, or any matter considered by, a federal grand jury. That class of persons includes the grand jurors themselves, the persons involved in the recording and transcription of the proceedings, and any government attorney appearing before the grand jury or who is using officially-disclosed grand jury information.

The Rule does not prohibit witnesses or other third parties who are contacted by the grand jury or about the grand jury from disclosing those contacts.

Now, sometimes -- and all criminal attorneys are familiar with this -- a grand jury witness will receive a subpoena and on the subpoena there will be an in terrorem warning that the witness must not disclose the existence of the subpoena or the operation of the grand jury. What that is all about, is that under some circumstances the DoJ might regard it as an obstruction of justice for people to disclose sensitive grand jury proceedings, such that (just a couple of offhand, random example) an organized crime operation or a fraudulent financial operation might take action to conceal criminality it they become aware, through witnesses' disclosures, of the existence of a grand jury investigation.

So I get all of that. And again, I was not the guy making any grand claims about a grand jury leak. You were the guy making those claims.

So I say again to you, and to everybody who cares about who is winning the argument here: I am right, when I say that there are legal ways to disclose the existence of a grand jury. And the way that the Wall Street Journal disclosed the news of the grand jury in this case did not necessarily impart any conclusion about an illegal leak of that information.

You were the guy who presumed that the news of the grand jury was leaked illegally, by (I gather) someone hostile to Trump.

As usual, I am right, in making a carefully-limited and well-supported claim. And you are wrong, in making a recklessly pro-Trump claim.


Achilles said...

Chuck said...

As usual, I am right, in making a carefully-limited and well-supported claim. And you are wrong, in making a recklessly pro-Trump claim.

You have been wrong about pretty much everything for the last 2 years. And you have been insufferable about being wrong. You make the dumbest arguments in the most picayune manners.

hombre is clearly more knowledgeable on this subject than you are. Everyone who has read about this subject in depth knows that the special counsel was unlawfully appointed. There is no criminal investigation which is required before a special counsel is appointed. This whole investigation has been a farce from the start.

You are that asshole that everyone laughs about when they are not around and everyone mocks when they are there. That spiel you spit out above is a grand example of how you go down the tiniest rabbit hole to make yourself think you are right.

mockturtle said...

'Unknown' writes: I truly wish the leakers would be found and shot. I also truly wish the Washington post and their reporters are subjected to very long, very protracted and very costly prosecutions for damaging our country.

Since you are obviously not Unknown/Inga, I do wish you would change your screen name so I don't hae to skip by your posts.

mockturtle said...

have to, not hae to [maybe in Scotland...]

Etienne said...

The best advice, when having to testify before a Grand Jury, is take the 5th.

buwaya said...

Belated Ditto,

Well done. Someone should publish Althouse, this is much better material than is normal on the NYT. Maybe Breitbart?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

There is no criminal investigation which is required before a special counsel is appointed.

So Russia's hacks were lawful?

What criminal investigation was Whitewater about?

Birkel said...

mockturtle,
UnknownInga82 is the newest Inga incarnation. Just roll your cursor over the Unknown hyperlink and look for the last two digits.

If you see 82, it's Inga.

Until she changes it again and it takes all of 10 minutes to identify her shrill stupidity. Or xer. Or Xim. Or shim. Or shit. Pronouns have gotten harder since I was a kid.

Birkel said...

Russia's hacks (if we accept the self-serving statements of Democrat operatives) are a counterintelligence issue, not a criminal issue. That must be so unless you want every US intelligence officer who travels overseas subject to criminal cases.

The point Achilles is making is that no criminal behavior associated with the Mueller investigation was alleged before Mueller was appointed. And the law requires an allegation of criminal wrongdoing before appointing a special investigator.

Whitewater? That was about an alleged real estate swindle, yes? The facts alleged would give rise to criminal prosecution in all 50 states. That was easy.

Mike Sylwester said...

Chuck at 4:36 PM

The Rule does not prohibit witnesses or other third parties who are contacted by the grand jury or about the grand jury from disclosing those contacts.

Thanks for pointing that out.

buwaya said...

"So Russia's hacks were lawful? "

I don't think anyone is going to try prosecute any Russians.

"What criminal investigation was Whitewater about?"

American businessmen bribing American politicians.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I don't think anyone is going to try prosecute any Russians.

You really are quite the genius, aren't you. So now being an accessory to a crime is unpunishable?

What small, uninhabited island do you rule over? Because the laws there must be like totally awesome!

Is it the same one as in Lord of the Flies?

Michael K said...

"What criminal investigation was Whitewater about?"

American businessmen bribing American politicians.


What was the Clinton Foundation about ?

Everybody in the world with money bribing American politicians.

Named Clinton.

HT said...

Why is there so little talk about the leaked transcripts of Trump's phone conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia?

Yep, a big nothing as I said yesterday.

“You know, we should put that in the statement. Your words are so beautiful. Those are beautiful words and I do not think I can speak that beautifully, okay? It would be great to put those words at the end of the statement. Really nice though.”

Did anyone bother to follow up on the statement PN put out. Or, nah?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Oh here comes expert legal mind Michael K., everyone! Give it up!

The guy still couldn't pass a ninth-grade civics exam. But don't let that stop him!

Birkel said...

Has it been alleged anywhere that the alleged Russian hack had any accessories?

I have yet to see that allegation.

I recognize the vanishingly small likelihood that such an allegation has been made because the Mueller legal team seems to be trying to prove a lot of things, none of which is about Russian hacking or American accessories.

It's in all the papers.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Has it been proven that Trump's fear of revealing his financial interests isn't covering up what his son admitted about their extensive reliance on Russia?

No. But you can't get a bootlicking right-winger to reveal their cards before admitting that all bets are on the table. It would diminish their bootlicking. Remember, the most important thing to a right-wing bootlicker - even more important than the law - is their allegiance to Putin's poodle, Trump. They love Putin and they love Trump and they love their money and they believe that is more important than the constitution, its laws, or the republic for which those things stand.

That's why they want to end the investigation. It's the findings they fear. The hear-no-evil-see-no-evil crowd finally comes face-to-veiled face with what's lurking beneath Tacky Trump's cover-ups and bullshit about an IRS audit that never happened and never prevented him from revealing what he desperately can't let America know.

Achilles said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
There is no criminal investigation which is required before a special counsel is appointed.

So Russia's hacks were lawful?

There is no evidence Russians were even involved. Podesta clicked on a Phish mail. I know 9th graders who built those. Everyone covering for Podesta's fucking idiocy should be ashamed.

The DNC "hack" was clearly an inside job. The emails were grouped and transferred at rates that are only possible locally. Numerous sources, including wikileaks themselves, have said it was Seth Rich who was robbed shortly after and had nothing stolen.

Seth Rich, the Bernie supporter who was mad the DNC screwed Bernie. The DNC rigged the primary and then made up a story to keep the idiot democrats from leaving the party. Only the dumbest base democrats are still with the party. My guess is most don't even speak english. There are 15 democrat Governors in the country now. 15.

What criminal investigation was Whitewater about?

Hillary invested $1000 in a futures deal and made $100,000 in a few days. She hadn't traded before or after that event. The person who "lost" the money was a very experienced trader who had issues dealt with in the state of Arkansas. If you compare what Martha Stewart went to jail for to what Hillary did it is laughable.

Just more evidence that democrat voters are fucking idiots.

Birkel said...

Assumption: fear
Assumption: admission by son of 'reliance'

I prefer to have my trial before my conviction. I'm a traditionalist.

You prefer the conviction first and the trial later. You're a Stalinist.

Ralph L said...

I blame Bush.

He didn't punish anyone for leaking important counter-terrorism secrets to the NYT.

Achilles said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
Has it been proven that Trump's fear of revealing his financial interests isn't covering up what his son admitted about their extensive reliance on Russia?

More stupid crap.

No. But you can't get a bootlicking right-winger to reveal their cards before admitting that all bets are on the table. It would diminish their bootlicking. Remember, the most important thing to a right-wing bootlicker - even more important than the law - is their allegiance to Putin's poodle, Trump. They love Putin and they love Trump and they love their money and they believe that is more important than the constitution, its laws, or the republic for which those things stand.

Nice straw man you built there. Getting tired of losing arguments to people who can argue back?

That's why they want to end the investigation. It's the findings they fear. The hear-no-evil-see-no-evil crowd finally comes face-to-veiled face with what's lurking beneath Tacky Trump's cover-ups and bullshit about an IRS audit that never happened and never prevented him from revealing what he desperately can't let America know.

Bullshit. We had years of Clintons' and Obama's felonies and what did you leftists say about investigations into clearly illegal activity? Now you get all worried about lawbreaking? You decide now you are going to go through a Presidents entire business life?

We are not going to accept your double standards. Laws apply to everyone or they don't and it is clear that Mueller isn't finding anything useful. We are not going to watch the uniparty and a bunch of idiot tools take down a sitting president we elected.

Unknown said...

Paul Ryan says Intel leaks are the problem of the leaker, not the journalist. If Sessions is going to try to lower the hammer on journalists it's not going to go down well.

Ralph L said...

IIRC, the original Whitewater investigation was about Jim McDougall seeking protection from the RTC (S&L cleanup crew) for his money-kiting, after a sweatheart RE investment deal (which went south) for the Clintons.

Unknown said...

Mueller is finding so much useful stuff that he's got several grand juries just waiting to grind out subpoenas for him. Denial is strong in the Trump hold outs. Kind of sad.

Chuck said...

Achilles said...
...
hombre is clearly more knowledgeable on this subject than you are. Everyone who has read about this subject in depth knows that the special counsel was unlawfully appointed. There is no criminal investigation which is required before a special counsel is appointed. This whole investigation has been a farce from the start.


So you didn't actually rebut anything that I wrote concerning rules for grand jury secrecy, and you didn't even seem to try. Yet you did run off on another tangent, namely whether or not the appointment of Robert Mueller met the prerequisites of (I am presuming, for you) 28 CFR 600.1. On that subject, I haven't much looked into it, or cared about it. For me, just speaking personally, I regard Mueller's appointment as a done deal, and beyond reproach by a federal court. An nobody is going to successfully challenge it. But if you have a differing view, that's okay. Just don't tell me that I am wrong about it, because I never argued the point with anybody.

I might say that we could have a discussion of that subject, and I might learn something in the process; but I'd want to have that conversation with a real legal expert, and not a nutjob like you.

Ralph L said...

Clinton also fired all US attorneys so his crony would be the one deciding if McDougall would be prosecuted. The referral for prosecution to the DoJ was then quashed over the RTC investigators' protests.

Birkel said...

UnknownInga19 is here now.

Good times.
Good times.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

So you didn't actually rebut anything that I wrote concerning rules for grand jury secrecy, and you didn't even seem to try.

Nobody cares about your stupid little inanities. Nobody cares that it "might" have been a legal leak. After months of obviously illegal leaks this fits a pattern of obviously illegal leaking by the uniparty and a compliant press.

You can defend these people with stupid little might be's and maybe's all you want. These leakers are shitheads and people like you that defend them are no better. You are all assholes. You are all trying to illegally and traitorously unseat a lawfully elected president with maybe's and mightbe's.

You can tell yourself you are right all you want. Everyone else just thinks you are an asshole. It is part of that self awareness issue lawyers have. You focus so bitterly on a specific point where you think you are right you can't open your eyes and see that everyone wants to tie you to a rock and throw you into the ocean, figuratively of course.

mockturtle said...

buwaya asserts: Well done. Someone should publish Althouse, this is much better material than is normal on the NYT.

Hell yes!

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

More stupid crap.

Nice straw man you built there. Getting tired of losing arguments to people who can argue back?


Ooooh. Such a sick burn! You really do know your logical fallacies (and 4th-grade insults) better than any college grad. A demographic that, with each comment, it becomes obvious how much you hate.

My love of facts is no match for your hatred of knowledge, Achilles. Peddle all the Alex Jones conspiracies you want. Cover up Trump's sekrit business deals all you want. Argue politics with actual lawyers as if they're supposed to care more about your rhetoric than about law, do it till your little heart's content. Just know that no one's listening. Kind of the opposite of how they all listened in on President Liar's pathetic plea to Mexico to lie about wall "payments" to help him with the same press that he pretends to not care about and not rely on.

No one trusts this guy. He's a liar. He's covering up what he's legally, or at least politically, required to reveal. (Revealing tax returns has been SOP for decades - for good reason). And that's his choice. But he will go down because of it. There's only one thing he can be protecting this ferociously and a good prosecutor knows what it is.

Everything the guy's said has turned out to be a lie. Keep defending what you have no evidence of when it comes to his credibility. And accept the consequences when that turns out to (surprisingly!) not be enough.

mockturtle said...

I've said on here before that Althouse writes MUCH better than the NYT staffers.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

We are not going to watch the uniparty and a bunch of idiot tools take down a sitting president we elected.

Oregon didn't elect him, so stop being a fucknut. Do you Trumpies need to learn about how elections work, along with everything else you/they don't understand?

Gospace said...

http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/08/sessions-announced-four-charged-over-leaks-warns-leaking-must-stop/

Swamp draining has begun in earnest. Four charged in leaks, more to come.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

There are 15 democrat Governors in the country now. 15.

And there are even less opponents against the ruling one-party communists in China. But really, you make a good case for how the Republicans are almost as corrupt.

And how much opposition does Putin allow? I suppose you sympathize with the "power" he gave himself to kill journalists.

Birkel said...

Fewer, maybe.
Less, no.

That field of strawpersons stands no chance. Light them all afire.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

So you didn't actually rebut anything that I wrote concerning rules for grand jury secrecy, and you didn't even seem to try.

Nobody cares about your stupid little inanities. Nobody cares that it "might" have been a legal leak. After months of obviously illegal leaks this fits a pattern of obviously illegal leaking by the uniparty and a compliant press.

You can defend these people with stupid little might be's and maybe's all you want. These leakers are shitheads and people like you that defend them are no better. You are all assholes. You are all trying to illegally and traitorously unseat a lawfully elected president with maybe's and mightbe's.

You can tell yourself you are right all you want. Everyone else just thinks you are an asshole. It is part of that self awareness issue lawyers have. You focus so bitterly on a specific point where you think you are right you can't open your eyes and see that everyone wants to tie you to a rock and throw you into the ocean, figuratively of course.


A case study in how a foolish, uneducated prole confuses basic rule-of-law issues with his own inane political frustrations. This is how tyrannies start.

Yes, Americans who like the law care about grand jury rules. Stop being a bozo. The country hates Trump and even more are horrified and astonished to think cronies like you would openly admit that you care more about violent overthrow, lies (Seth Rich) and politics than the basic legal underpinnings of the country. We will keep those long after you bother to figure out how it is that the idiotic liar Trump will kneecap his own political career.

Birkel said...

Your heart isn't in it.

Chuck said...

Oh, and here's more for you, Achilles. Former Assistant US Attorney, terrorism prosecutor, and one of Althouse's recently-favored writing subjects:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450149/robert-mueller-grand-jury-appointment

Writing in the National Review Online, Andy backs me up on what is and isn't secret about federal grand juries (and to whom the secrecy rules apply). Again I say to you; I was right.

The good news for you is that Andy backs you up on the notion that if Mueller as Special Counsel was going to open a criminal investigation, that should have been made clear from the start. However, it is clear to him that Mueller is running a criminal investigation now, as opposed to any mere counterintelligence investigation. And, unlike you, Andy recognizes that Mueller has the power to operate a criminal investigation via a grand jury at this point. And that is as I alluded to just above.

So for anyone who is interested in these topics; ignore Achilles. Go read Andy McCarthy at NRO, and learn something from someone who is smarter than Achilles, better informed than Achilles, and an infinitely better writer than Achilles.

Birkel said...

Andy personally wrote that he was backing up Chuck? Normally you are more careful.

Birkel said...

"Again I say to you" is not a complete sentence.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Remember when all the "smart" people insisted that to suggest that Trump's phones were tapped was just so much right wing idiotic paranoia? Yet here we are reading transcripts of Trump's phone calls in the Washington Post.

You think the egos of any of those "smart" people will permit them to appreciate how wrong they are? Nah, me neither.

mockturtle said...

My dear Chuck: Why do you persist in trying to establish credibility here? Do you also enjoy bashing your head into a brick wall? Just curious.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Yet you did run off on another tangent, namely whether or not the appointment of Robert Mueller met the prerequisites of (I am presuming, for you) 28 CFR 600.1.

Are you actually citing laws, Chuck?

Achilles doesn't believe in laws. He probably thinks they shouldn't exist. He's replaced those things with pure politics, you see. It's all about the emotionality and the partisan retribution. He's got some enemies in the government, and he'll be damned if your stinking laws are going to get in the way of how he wants to sort things out.

Emotion, violence, politics, threats, demagoguery, squelching free speech. It's like a literal dictator's handbook. It becomes clearer and clearer to me that any 20th c. tyrant looking to figure out who the right people would be to manipulate and how they respond would have found an ideal study in Achilles.

I'm sorry to say it, Achilles. You're a good guy, and open minded. But way too into revealing what the right buttons were for Trump to push in you when he got you to drink that Kool-Aid. It's a shame, man. A damn shame.

Unknown said...

"So for anyone who is interested in these topics; ignore Achilles. Go read Andy McCarthy at NRO, and learn something from someone who is smarter than Achilles, better informed than Achilles, and an infinitely better writer than Achilles."

Why anyone would take this person, "Achilles" seriously is beyond me. He sounds like something that crawled out of some conspiracy theory YouTube video narrated by some spittle flecked nut case.

Birkel said...

Hey UnknownInga19.
How are you this evening?

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Paul Ryan says Intel leaks are the problem of the leaker, not the journalist. If Sessions is going to try to lower the hammer on journalists it's not going to go down well."

I
So if someone gave a journalist your medical record, would it be OK for them to publish it?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Why anyone would take this person, "Achilles" seriously is beyond me. He sounds like something that crawled out of some conspiracy theory YouTube video narrated by some spittle flecked nut case.

He used to be a somewhat decent, open-minded guy. But really devolved around the Trump so-called "triumph." So far down that bunny-hole he's fallen that he even claims that as an Oregonian, he helped "elect" Trump.

I really don't get what's up with him. A real Jekyll and Hyde. Maybe even 10% to 15% of Trump stuff I might admit is either needed or getting closer to the mark than what elitists nowhere near as elite as him but much more conventionally political had hit upon. And then the guy goes and exempts his own immigrant staff and his own foreign products from his so-called pro-American positions. How anyone at this point can not see what a phony he is is beyond me to understand. The Trump followers - I think many of them have gotten lost. We can only hope that fewer of them have doubled-down on believing that Trump's lies and delusions are true as a way to cope, though.

Michael K said...

Man these lefty troll threads are quick to scroll through.

The Mueller grand jury will be an interesting exercise. Grand juries are usually nominated by others, not picked at random. Still DC is a swamp of lefties. More than that, it is the stronghold of the Deep State.

Fitzgerald got Libby on a perjury trap that was probably dishonest since I remember Tim Russert contradicting his own testimony on one of his TV shows. Bush's unwillingness to pardon him was the last straw with Bush for me.

The FBI records coming out about the Clinton/ Lynch airport caper shows they were lying about having no records.

Sessions, in addition to going after the leakers, should go after the FBI top echelon who seem to be Mark Felt II.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Not as quick as you are.

What sorts of deep insights are you learning on that car radio?

Ken B said...

Chuck,
About the least important thing. Did you read on, or cry gotcha and post? Because he clarified. He meant least important in terms of dollars and cents. He says so explicitly.
You want to be taken seriously? Be serious. That means being honest. You can be snarky but not dishonest.

gadfly said...

So the WAPO leaked transcripts of the presidents phone calls with foreign leaders?

What e know about Trump is that he plays fast and loose with the truth, so we have to wonder, based on the transcripts that just surfaced, whether Trump was telling the truth or lying when he said:

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,”

Brookzene said...

Man these lefty troll threads are quick to scroll through.

I'm more or less a lefty, and I wouldn't mind reading your comments and opinions b/c I know while some of it isn't worth my while, sometimes you say interesting things. I try not to be personally nasty in our exchanges.

But I always have to read through these types of snowflake comments in order to get at anything good. I know, it's just my opinion, maybe no one cares, and that's fine. But I'm going to start skipping over your comments, not to punish you but I just can't stand the goddamn whining about having to read through opinions that are different than yours. So the fuck what?

I believe you can do better.

Ray said...

Since Trump did what he did to Sessions, it gave Sessions a lot more credibility/ backing from congress. And there is a new head of the FBI. And a chief of staff that makes the trains run on time...

Conclusion is you will see a lot more actions by the justice department in the near future...

Michael K said...

"But I always have to read through these types of snowflake comments in order to get at anything good.

I don't mind. There are a dozen commenters here that are a pleasure to read. You are not one of them.

You repeat tired lefty DNC talking points as if they were wisdom.

Even Inga has made some good comments about healthcare.

This is only one blog I read but you are not the reason I read it.

Have a nice night,

Brookzene said...

Grow a pair, will ya?

Brookzene said...

Everybody, I don't care what their political opinions are, if you can't stand toe-to-toe with your opponents and say why you believe what you are saying and why you believe your opponent is wrong, using your best reasoning skills, and being willing to learn when shown what's correct and incorrect, then you really are an Althouse hillbilly. Like I say it doesn't matter if you are right or left on that.

Fabi said...

"...then you really are an Althouse hillbilly."

Where have I heard that particular slur before?

Achilles said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
Yet you did run off on another tangent, namely whether or not the appointment of Robert Mueller met the prerequisites of (I am presuming, for you) 28 CFR 600.1.

Are you actually citing laws, Chuck?


Notice Chuck isn't actually saying the appointment of the special counsel was done correctly. It wasn't. There has been no criminal investigation to this point.

Achilles doesn't believe in laws. He probably thinks they shouldn't exist. He's replaced those things with pure politics, you see. It's all about the emotionality and the partisan retribution. He's got some enemies in the government, and he'll be damned if your stinking laws are going to get in the way of how he wants to sort things out.

Again you create a straw man and purposely ignore what I am saying because you cannot argue with my points. You are getting stupid and boring.

Emotion, violence, politics, threats, demagoguery, squelching free speech. It's like a literal dictator's handbook. It becomes clearer and clearer to me that any 20th c. tyrant looking to figure out who the right people would be to manipulate and how they respond would have found an ideal study in Achilles.

You just described Antifa, BLM, Campus leftists, Chicago thugs who shut down a Trump rally, and the dozens of video taped violent assaults by leftist mobs on Trump supporters.

You are a hypocrite. Flat out.

I'm sorry to say it, Achilles. You're a good guy, and open minded. But way too into revealing what the right buttons were for Trump to push in you when he got you to drink that Kool-Aid. It's a shame, man. A damn shame.

You are arguing against your own projection of me. You can't handle the truth. The truth is that everything you have accused Trump of doing democrats have been caught doing for 30 years. For you people to all of a sudden decide you are going to resist corruption is a joke.

You are Stalinists. This special counsel is out in search of a crime. This is specifically antithetical to the special counsel statute and purpose which is to take over an already occurring criminal investigation. The fact that you ignore the clear felonies committed by Obama and Clintons plural is just icing on the cake.

Achilles said...

Brookzene said...
Everybody, I don't care what their political opinions are, if you can't stand toe-to-toe with your opponents and say why you believe what you are saying and why you believe your opponent is wrong, using your best reasoning skills, and being willing to learn when shown what's correct and incorrect, then you really are an Althouse hillbilly. Like I say it doesn't matter if you are right or left on that.

Said every stalinist ever.

Go fight your straw men with Ritmo. He is having a rough night and clearly not interested in engaging.

It is kinda sad watching you Bernie supporters bend over and take whatever the DNC gives you. You are just being really stupid tools it seems. Have fun with 40 senators and watching those 40 senators completely ignore the Bernie wing because, well, you guys are too stupid to take your party back.

Your jealousy is noted. I have faith you will at some point grow intellectually and become a useful political force. For now you are pretty much pointless.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I believe you can do better.

Trust me. He can't.

And he proved it.

Typically insecure right-wing piece of shit. He sees kindness as weakness and verbally assaulted you for it to prove the point.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

You are getting stupid and boring.

As opposed to you, who apparently always was. The stupid thing now is obviously engaging a Trump-like psychopath like you. You are lost.

You just described Antifa, BLM, Campus leftists, Chicago thugs who shut down a Trump rally, and the dozens of video taped violent assaults by leftist mobs on Trump supporters.

None of whom are led by anyone as powerful and destructive as the hateful followers of Hitler and Stalin were, which is what makes you an especially useful study in right-wing statist takeover. "Shutting down a rally!" Oh no! Was it a rally held at night with torches in the Bavarian countryside?

You are a hypocrite. Flat out.

Fuck you, O Oregonian too retarded to notice that he didn't "elect" Trump.

You can't handle the truth.

Says the steroided-out stoner whose president takes instruction from Alex Jones.

For you people to all of a sudden decide you are going to resist corruption is a joke.

Thank you for admitting how serious you are about imposing your corruption on others.

You are Stalinists.

And your mother is a baboon.

The fact that you ignore the clear felonies committed by Obama and Clintons plural is just icing on the cake.

Listen to law-school wanna-be drop-out get all judge and jury here. All par for the course in his brownshirted world.

From now on I'm calling you Nazi Achilles, Leader of the Trailer Park TV Revolution. I'm done with assuming you have any interest in the law or what should matter to being a decent or useful citizen - you clearly don't. Go take your steroids and your peyote and keep the Kool-Aid coming. Your leader can't even address the Boy Scouts of America without lying about it. A scout is trustworthy; and you are contemptibly delusional and dig in further when called out on it. You are an animal and unfit for human society.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Poor Anakin Achilles Trump, the Animalistic Humanity-Hater. He's like the adolescent who thought he just wanted to rebel and express his independence, only to join a cult and unquestioningly follow the ill-fated loser-leader's every instruction, vandalizing and destroying his community and accusing them of not being obedient and slavish enough to his pure and wonderfully infallible leader. He pursues his goal with the tenacity of Jame Gumb!

Any day now, Anakin Achilles. Soon all Oregonians and Americans will prove your desperate wish for armed conflict to be something more than the last disastrous Waco/Bundy/Harney Country standoff! You go, girl! Get your violence on!

Lem said...

Why aren't we seeing more?

They were told by Obama former staffers the leaks went too far.

SDN said...

"This is... somewhat better than no accountability... I guess?"

No, not really. They've made up so many "crimes" that the default position is that they are ALWAYS lying. Like Toothless.

Jose_K said...

We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because drugs are being sold for less money than candy because there is so much of it..
Gary Becker, Accounting for tastes, made a similar argument against legalizing drugs

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

No, not really. They've made up so many "crimes" that the default position is that they are ALWAYS lying.

The butthurt in you is strong! Was it your basement under which Bill Clinton buried the bodies.

Go move to Russia, sell-out.

HT said...

His last name is, technically, Pena Nieto. Nieto is his mother's last name. When people from Spanish speaking countries choose to use only one last name, generally they use their father's, which in this case would be Pena (with the enyay).

Bad Lieutenant said...

Jose_K said...
We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because drugs are being sold for less money than candy because there is so much of it..
Gary Becker, Accounting for tastes, made a similar argument against legalizing drugs
8/5/17, 8:51 AM


Oh?


Snickers - Walmart.com
Walmart › browse › snickers
Products 1 - 40 of 73 - Snickers Variety Mix Fun Size 35 oz. Price. $9.14 ... Slice n' Share Giant Chocolate Candy Bar, 1 lb ... SNICKERS Fun Size Chocolate Bars Candy Bag, 6.98 ...


If someone will tell me where I could get a kilo of marijuana for under $10, I would be very much obliged to them.

Daniel Jackson said...

Sorry, Classmates, I'd like to return to the lecture material presented brilliantly by Professor Althouse.

"Peña Nieto resists getting that casual. He never even calls Trump "Donald," despite all those "Enriques." "

It would be entirely out of place for the vassal to address the Patron in the first person familial. There are courtly rules and El Presidente knows his place. The Patron is telling his subordinate that it is up to the subordinate to find a creative solution to the subordinate's problem, which is not the Wall but the Cartel.

Moreover, the "leaked transcript" carries the message even more forcefully: there will be no more "deals" behind closed doors. No more fast and furious, no more under the table deals that go wrong. It's pretty much daylight now and the White House Walls have ears (maybe why the entire West Wing is being rebuilt).

I have to concur with many of those who comment here (on both sides of the aisle). I can no longer read the legacy press. Having lived overseas for many years and an eye-witness to many key events, I am at a loss at how this group constructs their meme. Perhaps the bar at the Hilton has better drinks than I thought.

There are a few people I read to get a sense of "what is going on" and Althouse is at the top of the list.

And, to top that off, there is the three ring circus second order commentary. Perhaps it is time for an Althouse Commentator Medieval Pageant where all can come, don armor, and bash the shit out of each other with Morning Star versus Pike. With leaked You Tube footage!