Carter Page and the Beltway Untouchables

Harry Truman famously said that “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”   Trump campaign counsel Don McGahn appears to have given the same advice to international businessman Carter Page, who is at the center of the Russian influence scandal.  While Page was referenced as an adviser during the campaign, McGahn sent him a letter telling him to stop calling himself “an advisor” — current or former. In other words, he was now not just a non-adviser. Page was now a non-entity for the purposes of the Trump team. As continued denials this week of any role of Page confirm, he has now joined a rather lamentable group in Washington: political orphans who wander the Beltway without a home or a friend. They are our untouchable class; people who move from high-profile existences to utter non-entities in the space of a news cycle.

McGahn, now the White House Counsel, sent the political version of a “Dear John” letter to Page in December 2016 when word came down that Page was under investigation as a possible Russian agent. The letter clearly indicates that, with the inauguration looming, the incoming Administration knew it had a problem with the Russian issue and Page was a liability that had to be severed. McGahn ordered Page to “immediately cease” saying he is a Trump adviser or that he was any more than a short-lived advisory council member “who never actually met with the president-elect.” It was a considerable demotion since, in March 2016, Trump himself referred to Page as one of his national security advisors. Moreover Trump campaign officials reportedly may have signed off on Page’s trip to Moscow that is now the focus of the investigation.

The White House has been particularly active in seeking to turn this particular Page this last week. Aides and allies have portrayed Page as some campaign barnacle that latched on to a minor advisory group. He is like the “Cellophane Man” from the musical Chicago:

Cellophane, Mister Cellophane
Should have been my name, Mister Cellophane
‘Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me and never know I’m there

Page is not alone in his new transparency. MIT Jonathan Gruber was once viewed as a key architect of Obamacare, someone who made millions advising on health care regulation. However, Gruber then had some unguarded and honest moments that moved him from A lister to persona non grata. Gruber stated that they were able to pass Obamacare because of “the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.” He later added that Obamacare “passed, because the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”  He also said that they were never really trying to reduce costs as they claimed. Boom. Nothing but cellophane.

Democratic leaders suddenly began saying “Gruber who?” Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi expressed a complete lack of knowledge of who Gruber is, was, or will be.  The Obama administration gave the same type of denials now heard with regard to Page: this was some minor figure without real knowledge or influence.

There was also lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was known as the “Man Who Bought Washington” due to his close and corrupting relationships with a large number of members of Congress. He handed out millions in trips, meals, tickets, and gifts to members, but when he was finally nailed he did not have a friend in the city. Suddenly it was Jack who?

Remember Charles Keating? Members could not get enough from him in terms of favors and gifts. Five senators in particular, including Sen. John McCain, would later intervene to try to get the government to drop criminal charges against him. When he was indicted for fraud related to his savings and loan, he became some relatively unknown and needy businessman receiving perfunctory assistance.

There is also infamous Jeffrey Epstein who claimed to have helped found the Clinton Foundation and took Clinton on dozens of trips, including over two dozen flights on his airplane – dubbed the “Lolita Express” for his supplying underaged girls to powerful friends for sex. The Billionaire Epstein was such a notorious sex offender that his island (where Clinton visited without secret service) was called “Orgy Island.” Once Epstein’s disgusting parties were revealed, he was suddenly a non-entity and barely an acquaintance of Clinton.

Even personal acquaintances can become non-entities when they threaten a powerful politician. Monica Lewinsky went from having an affair with President Bill Clinton to “that woman” and, according to Hillary, a “narcissistic Looney toon.”

The rule in Washington is that if you are caught in the open, you are alone. Of course, some sacrificial lambs can turn predator. The danger with people like Page is that there is a criminal investigation in the field and he could decide to seek shelter in a plea agreement.

So far, neither Page nor former national security advisor Michael Flynn seem candidates for immunity in the Russian scandal. They are left in the place where only the undead dwell. People formally known as players but whose names are no longer uttered in polite Beltway conversations.

In the end, Page may long for Russian handlers. They could prove the only non-canine friends he has.

 

77 thoughts on “Carter Page and the Beltway Untouchables

  1. O.T but important.

    If the following information is correct, the chain of command within the military is completely broken. It would be difficult to know if it’s correct because the information is being provided by “anonymous sources”. This statement also gives an excuse to Trump that he isn’t in control over the military and is being “forced” to do things he doesn’t want to do. I am always suspicious of this type of argument because presidents, while they usually aren’t in control, (the last one who was was Cheney) are still willing slaves in service to their masters. As such they should not be let off the hook for their actions. Nevertheless, if the following can be proven, the military should follow the Constitution immediately and honor their oath. The military chain of command goes up to and ends at a civilian. The context is an article about Trump’s upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia and the lucrative weapons sales to come:

    “Trump doesn’t want to go,” one person with knowledge of the trip said, “but Powell and Cohn are making him.”

    When asked how Powell and Cohn could force President Trump do to anything, the source replied,

    “It’s complicated. Basically McMaster, Powell, and Cohn are controlling foreign policy right now.”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-has-major-trip-to-saudi-arabia-planned-will-discuss-massive-weapons-deal-for-saudis/5587005

    • Good catch, Jill!

      Actually, it’s not complicated, it’s blackmail. President Trump, we would all regret so much if you were to be further raked over the coals for your intimate relations with Russia, so let’s get on with a vigorous defense policy which starts right here in the heart of American Empire; Saudi Arabia.

      • BB,

        Thanks! I can’t tell if this is blackmail. I’m trying to research more on it.

        You are so right! The heart of the American empire appears to be at least in part Saudi Arabia!

  2. Last year people were looking for something ‘real.’ They just can’t recognize it anymore however- and Diogenes would be in deep shit around here.

  3. This is a good article on an unseemly topic; the underbelly of Washington style politics. All politics really, but Washington illustrates it particularly well.

    Page’s realtionship with Russia seems to have been one primarily of economic interests (oil and energy investments), not political ones. Moreover, thanks to the Democrat party’s almost certain invention of a Russia scandal to act as a “look over there” excuse for their massive losses in the 2016 elections, it is now almost impossible to distinguish fact from fiction with regards to anyone that has ever even seen the word “Russia”, never mind actually had a (perfectly legal) job for US firms with a position in Russia.

    Though Page’s fall from grace was due to the success of the Democrat’s villany, dumping him so thoroughly as if he no longer exists still leaves a bad taste in ones mouth. It is surprising that people do not examine more thoroughly a philosophy that exalts this executive exemption from simple decency as tough guy realism. There is nothing what so ever romantic or cool about the ” top guy” treating his or her underlings like so much effluent and calling it political expedience, yet it seems to be an intrinsic part of power, not just in Washington and not limited to the present by any stretch.

  4. Is there anyway you can get me a ride on that plane to Orgy Island? Whatever happened to your friend Bill O (whats his name)?

  5. In Rake, lots of higher ups end up in prison. That’s why it’s only a TV series and not reality. If life in DC was like TV, half of Washington would be in jail where they belong. The Doofus in Chief would be selling balloons in a carnival.

    • In Rake, lots of higher ups end up in prison. That’s why it’s only a TV series and not reality.

      ++10!!

      • Brooklin Bridge – in Rake there really are not that many influential people in prison. At the beginning of season 3 there is Cleave, a silk, a former poli and a former judge joins them. The poli and Cleave leave the prison, cutting the influential population to two.

        • Thanks Paul. I’ve not seen the series, so your point is well taken.

          In general, however, what Issacbasonkavichi said is so accurate; that is, the wealthy/powerful are rarely held to account, that it was worth a thumbs up regardless of the specific example.

          It would appear that in this case at least, the makers of the series were not, by your account, focusing so much as on this particular truth.

            • Actually Cleaver has a moral compass. It is apparent that when he can’t do what he thinks is just, he is somewhat despondent. The main theme of the show is the extensive overlapping of the justice/government system and criminality. The determining factor, whether one is caught and goes to prison or not seems to be the degree of cleverness. Power corrupts and blinds, etc. I found the series brilliantly done and very well written. The characters are spot on and moments of shock for shock only as well as thin bits are rare. There is supposed to be a 4th season.

              • issac – Rake is very good but it is not The Wire. Cleaver’s moral compass, if he has one, is very off-kilter. Hence the appeals court justices all agreeing the best place for him was in prison. He only got out because he had dirt on one or more of the justices. Then, in an effort to get clients, he stole his ex-secretary’s mother’s cell phone. Even Cleaver admitted that he had committed enough crimes to deserve the 13 year sentence he was given.

    • One can certainly imagine a scenario where Page, Flynn, Manafort and Stone do some time but Trump remains as president.

    • Trump wouldn’t be selling balloons. He’d be PT Barnum running the circus. Same thing he’s doing now. Congress is the circus. So is the media.

    • ” If life in DC was like TV, half of Washington would be in jail where they belong.” Agree, whatever happened to “Lock her up?”

        • She should be. Instead she’s running around NYC getting standing ovations every time she goes to a Broadway play. And they keep giving Hillary and her daughter Chelsea awards and honors for something ridiculous. She is a disgrace. Progressives will never learn. Lock her up already.

      • Autumn,…
        It’s true that the public chants of “Lock her up” have subsided.
        I think I spotted Bill Clinton at one of those Trump rallies, joining in on the “Lock her up” chorus.😏

  6. I have been watching the Australian series Rake (series 3) and it is a perfect example of what is going on here. It should be a lesson to us all.

  7. This is political warfare, and there’s no hiding it. The trouble is the law is a weapon that can be used in this war, and that’s OK. Forget about the first amendment. Eventually, it will be “resolved” by threatening the subject so he makes a plea deal by testifying against the political target. But every single person involved in it will have a stake in the outcome. Led by the partisan media, the pols have total control. Once again, the law is misused by preventing any involvement by a neutral party.

    • From the article you link to: “What could ultimately be a contest of ideas is being replaced by two, non-interacting monopolies,” they [the researchers] said.

      This touches on an issue of real interest to those who would like to “undress” the current geo-political and global economic situation and begin to resolve numerous stalemates such as what’s happening in France right now, earlier in Spain (failure of Podemos) and Italy and Greece with the failed, partially Vichy, effort of Syriza and in particular Tsipras who, in the end, was a hugely disappointing sell out (quite possibly analogous to what Sanders would have been). Not to forget England that is currently engaged in bending the will of the people in their vote for Brexit into a harsh parallel version of austerity as the price for some measure of national sovereignty.

      We are, of course, all subject to some form or degree of this tendency to avoid non compatible beliefs much like racial discrimination because it starts out as a valid and healthy function of differentiation but then succumbs to a greater or lessor degree of manipulation (self or external) due to reasons many would keenly like to understand for good and bad reasons, but which most often have to do quite simply with financial interests, or security, perceived or real. But that does not mean that a considerable degree of moral, ethical and social objectivity does not exist.

      For what it is worth, I note that some people have the exceptional ability to act as go betweens, interpreters almost, accepted by both or multiple sides of issues or belief systems as non threatening. On this site, Autumn is one such example. Jill, in a different way, is on occasion another. This is just an observation and unfortunately not a solution to much of anything. Effectiveness is another matter. Occasionally, such as with King or Gandhi, one has a truly unusual combination of empathy and rigorous ethical and moral compass. In other words, empathy without compromise respected by all sides as above self interest. Those are the threatening super effective ones who always seem to end up dead.

      There is unfortunately also the very real possibility that our world has become so incredibly complex that even with such individuals, the global corporate, financial, military, and other like forces currently acting out of self interest are simply unstoppable even from within.

      • Science, btw, does not seem to have solutions. Only studies. Publications such as Scientific American, which which were once highly esteemed examples of objectivity have often succumbed to the very “main stream” bias they describe in their studies. They seem as manipulate-able as any other segment of society.

        • Very well said BB. As it would appear, especially with your examples, the best thing we can get is a benevolent autocracy. But to become an autocracy today, you could not be a benevolent figure. I guess we’ll have to wait for the machines to take over. Like Sheldon Cooper says, it will start with the ATMs….

          Yes, science serves us well, but as we know, it is absolutely not complete either. Whenever they get that unified field theory to work out, then I’ll change my outlook on that. Because of the shortcomings of science, philosophy is so very important. Science is not a religion, just a tool based on observations.

      • “empathy without compromise respected by all sides as above self interest.”

        After what the information age has allowed us to see in the run up to the last presidential election, partisanship in this two-party system is a hoax. It’s simply packaging, but underneath it is a debate (or the attempt to prevent the debate) over the primacy of self-interest as a zeitgeist. There’s a large overlap of self-interest as the core superseding motivation for both parties, and I’d guess a majority of the subscribers to this blog site believe in it, encourage it, and despise anyone who disagrees with it, despite the destructive results of self-interest: “dual economies.” Seeded during the Nixon years, they include a sheltered economy for the wealthy upper 20% and one for the remainder who’ve fallen back into a developing country, according to MIT’s Dr. Peter Temin:

        https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/america-is-regressing-into-a-developing-nation-for-most-people

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

        “Beltway untouchables”? Political mascara for the developing nation. What matters to the untouchables is which of the two economies they’re operating under.

        • Two US Americas, two economies, a compelling analogy in that it touches on so many things we see around us.

          I note, however, from the wikipedia bio you link to, that Temin is (at least for the Great Depression) an acolyte of Milton Friedman, who is one of the theoretical mainstays of neoliberalism – labor scarcity and general equilibrium models- or the free market as a self regulating solution to economic problems. I don’t see a coherent explanation of causality in the article you link to; how, for instance, this dual economy grows intrinsically out of free market capitalism. It sort of just comes into being though I am probably grossly mischaracterizing Temin’s ideas. The word, regression is used, but other than that, and Tricky Dick’s war on drugs, there is little or no why and how or what dynamics are at the origins of the Haves and Have Nots worlds. At the end, in the “What can be done” section, Temin, or the author describing Temin’s solutions, gives a number of prescriptions, each of which makes sense and would probably help, but none of which has any hope of ever being enacted as long as the system that brought them about remains in place.

          Economists such as Bill Black and Michael Hudson, on the other hand, argue that Neoliberalism is the root economic model of globalist capitalism overcoming national sovereignty in its role as protector of local populations and replacing it with corporate governance, asset stripping and ultimate models of rent extraction, leaving austerity (the other side of the dual world in Temin’s thesis) as the obvious result in local populations. Thus the explanation of why there are so many “trade deals” floating around that when scrutinized, have little or nothing to do with trade and everything to do with corporate global power grabs. Attack neoliberalism, they would maintain (much more lucidly than I can), and you get at the root of what is causing the regression Temin speaks of not only in the US, but in Europe, China, and to a considerable degree Russia and most all modern economies.

          BTW, Trump always was, and now more than ever is, a globalist. That’s how he invests his money, that’s how he makes his money. And he is using the office of President to further those aims as much and as fast as he and his daughter and son-in-law possibly can. That fact is what gives him the ability, cynical as it may be, of making such populist speeches with that je ne sais quoi of veracity some would call, The Con.

          In the past, people seem to have appeared out of nowhere at just the right moment to address broad issues affecting society (relative of course). Christ, Lincoln, Gandhi, King, to name a few. I’m arguing 1) there is no guarantee they will appear now and 2) On the contrary we are in some ways beyond such help even if it were available because the issues are too complex for us (all of us – even the scientists) to grasp. Our particular Easter Island seems to be one where complexity is so much at the core of the problem that traditional solutions are obviated. Fix this, break that. Ad infinitum. The advantage, if one can call extinction events an advantage, seems to be very much in favor of those forces and belief systems causing the problem. If the environment don’t get us, the population explosion will.

          As to partisanship being a hoax, I couldn’t agree more. My feeble coinage “undress” the situation was specifically addressed to that issue only not simply as it works in US politics.

          • “from the wikipedia bio you link to, that Temin is (at least for the Great Depression) an acolyte of Milton Friedman, who is one of the theoretical mainstays of neoliberalism – labor scarcity and general equilibrium models- or the free market as a self regulating solution to economic problems.”

            He may have respected Friedman, but with his arguably most important work, “Did Monetary Forces Cause the Great Depression?,” Temin apparently opposes Freidman’s assertion that it was. Here are a couple of interesting reviews on that book:

            Brilliant Study of the Great Depression
            By Rufus Burgesson on February 6, 2010

            The purpose of Peter Temin’s `Did Monetary Forces Cause the Great Depression’ is to compare and synthesis the monetarist “Money Hypothesis” of Friedman and Schwartz with the “Spending Hypothesis” of Keynesian economists. Temin’s analysis is primarily quantitative/econometric but occasionally uses qualitative measurements (when quantitative analysis is not possible).

            Temin’s conclusion is that the “Money Hypothesis” cannot explain the cause of the Great Depression because it cannot explain the downturn in 1929-1931. Temin gives two primary reasons for this: 1) If the money hypothesis is correct then a temporary spike in interest rates would have occurred in the financial markets. In fact interest rates steadily declined over this period. 2) If the money hypothesis were correct real money balances should have fallen at the beginning of the contraction. However, between 1929-1931 real money balances actually rose due to prices falling faster than the money supply. Due to Temin’s findings he does not agree with Friedman’s view that the Federal Reserve `caused’ the Great Depression. It is important to note that poor monetary policy in the U.S. and internationally probably contributed to the severity and duration of the Great Depression.

            The cause of the Great Depression is due to the “Spending Hypothesis”. Contrary to popular belief the depression was not caused by a fall in investment and was not completely caused by the U.S. Temin compares the Depression of 1920-21 to the Great Depression. In both cases Investment initially decreased at the same rate. The difference between each depression is the changes in consumption. Consumption remained relatively constant during the 1920 depression. However, during 1931 public perception changed regarding the depression and consumption started to drastically decrease. It was this fall in consumption, alongside the fall in investment, which caused the severity and length of the Great Depression. Temin admits that his econometric regressions related to the “spending hypothesis” can only partially explain the cause of the Great Depression.

            Temin’s contribution to the field of economics is overwhelming. In this work he manages to compare, contrast, improve, and synthesize the “money” and “spending” explanations of the Great Depression. His explanation has become the textbook standard for the Great Depression (see Mankiw’s `Macroeconomics’ 6ed). Unfortunately, economists may never be able to fully explain what caused the Great Depression. Temin warns, “The economist who uses this conclusion or any other conclusion about the Depression as a basis for economic policy recommendations essentially is performing an act of faith”.

            Friedman countered
            By Luc REYNAERT on October 25, 2004

            Peter Temin’s answer to the title of his book is NO.

            He explains clearly the two main hypotheses concerning the Great Depression.

            First, the money hypothesis (Friedman & Schwartz), which states that the collapse of the banking system was the primary cause. The fall in consumption and investment were a result of the Depression.

            Secondly, the spending hypothesis, which states that a fall in consumer spending was the prime cause. The banking crisis was a result of the Depression.

            The author shows clearly that the banking panic was also caused by high-level fraud.

            The spending collapse was caused by a fall in income (wages), to a lesser extent by a decline in wealth (the stock market crash) and a fall in consumer sentiment (bad expectations). It influenced negatively the residential construction market and via the textile industry, agriculture (a steep fall in cotton prices). The ultimate result was huge unemployment.

            * * *

            Here are a couple of peer reviews of “The Vanishing Middle Class – Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy”:

            “The Vanishing Middle Class is a book for our unsettled times. We are a divided nation economically and politically, brought on by recent changes in the demand for and supply of skill layered on top of a long history of racial politics. Part social commentary, part history, part academic inquiry, Temin’s book tells us how the two parts of the modern dual economy can be glued back together [my emphasis].” — Claudia Goldin, Henry Lee Professor of Economics, Harvard University

            “Arguing that the high-wage sector promotes inequality and deterioration of the middle class through its disproportionate influence on political decision making in various areas such as criminal justice, education, and social welfare policy, The Vanishing Middle Class is a significant addition to the existing literature on inequality.” — Gerald Jaynes, Professor, Department of Economics & African American Studies, Yale University

            Here’s an article on the book:

            https://www.rt.com/usa/385659-temin-vanishing-middle-class/

            I found this introduction to the book:

            https://economics.barnard.edu/sites/default/files/american_dual_economy_intro.pdf

            Finally, we all know the big pieces to putting this puzzle together: campaign finance; gerrymandering; regressive taxation; racism; empire, the Fed and fiat paper, the security for which is military force and exorbitant military spending; and, our reliance on an unsustainable, oil-based economy. I don’t know that fixing things would be too difficult were there a will from the 80% to do it.

        • Steve, thanks for posting Temin’s work. Thing is I feel more and more like I am on an dreadmill – running in place. We have many people who are and have been pointing out the dis-ease in our society. But nothing changes…. I recently read an article that points to allergies and the depression link. Maybe it’s the pollen count

      • Is it just the ignorant jealous of the educated? Should have a government of know-nothings, with no grounding in history, science, economics? Santayana confirmed, in spades?

        • I’m not sure about all that, but I think the author is saying there is value to using our own instincts instead of letting ourselves be told what to do, what to eat, what to think –and who to vote for –by the so-called experts and Ivy League educated policy-makers and ‘intelligentsia’ sitting in their echo chamber group think bubble….and that these “intellectual” experts often get it wrong. For example none of them saw Trump winning this election. Trump operates primarily on his instincts. He is not ideologically driven and this is a large part of why and how Trump won. Trump is a billionaire businessman who can go down to the local bar and actually relate to Joe Schmo blue collar worker – the people who actually build Trump’s buildings. No one in the DC political pundit bubble understood this and certainly not Hillary Clinton or the Democratic party. The so-called experts with fancy degrees may know more in the intellectual sense, but that’s not the same as having ‘skin in the game.’ So, learn to think for yourself and listen to your own gut instincts. Or something like that. 😉

      • Thanks but I am most unimpressed with the shallow analysis of Taleb.

        He needs to read quite a bit of serious philosophy.

        • Thanks for the response. I agree, it is kind of shallow. And….I’d love to hear more of your own analysis. I’m sure many of us are looking forward to it….

  8. In a James Comey like omission. Turley mentions Jeffrey Epstein’s relationship with Bill Clinton yet fails to note his relationship with Donald Trump who has actually been accused of raping a 13-year-old child associated with Epstein. Trump has spoken of Epstein in the same harsh tones as he does Putin. Which is to say he offers nothing but praise.

    • That was an interesting press conference that Lisa Bloom called on November 2, right before the election.
      The unidentified woman was going to tell her story of the alleged rape by Trump when she was 13.
      If Trump runs again in 2020, maybe Ms. Bloom will call another press conference as interesting as the no-show November 2, 2016 farce.

        • Dave T….
          Prior to Epstein getting caught up in his ( Epstein’s) sex scandal, half of New York’s elite/ wealthy were associates of Epstein.
          The on again, off again rape lawsuit against Trump, the front man in promoting this story ( formerly of the Jerry Springer Show….the media found out his real name, and saw thru his alias, the hyped Nov.
          2 press conference, where the media packed the law office of Gloria All$$red’s daughter, the no show, etc. all backfired.
          Instead of having the desired effect… “he raped a 13 year old girl”
          ….the entire screwed- up series of events came off as a smear job by goldiggers.

          • There are a lot of conditionals in both cases. Your argument that “the pussy grabber” is beyond reasonable doubt in this instance is rather weak or, on the other hand, one has to exonerate Clinton by the same reasoning of possible doubt. Clinton may have flown on the Lolita express, but we have no positive proof of his engagement with underage victims. You may well say, “my eye”, and personally, I think you would be spot on, but then the same can quite reasonably be said of all the conditionals surrounding Trump’s possible similar relationships.

            • BB….
              There need not have been “proof positive” to make this a real campaign issue.
              But there were so many factors, so of which I have mentioned, that make this allegation fail the smell test.
              Nobody involved in this farce had any credibilty.

      • While I might have preferred that she have given the press conference instead of pre announcing it. The reason given was that the unidentified woman got death threats and was too afraid to come forward. Ask yourself, do you believe some Trump followers incapable of making those types of threats. My point still stands that Turley resembled Comey in mentioning Clinton and not Trump.

        • E.I.Black….
          The alleged victim was supposedly frightened for 20+ years, got the courage to file a civil suit, dropped the suit, got the lawsuit reinstate, tied in with a former Jerry Springer hustler, got a NJ patent attorney to represent her, probably had Allred and daughter in her corner, bailed on the press conference.
          She was given an unusual amount of leeway re waiving statute of limitation, a public forum, etc.
          If there’s evidence that someone associated with Trump threatened her, present it.
          Otherwise, that excuse just looks like one more flimsy copout on top of all the others.

        • While I agree with your particular point, it should be noted that the very premise of this article is that Trump has thrown Page overboard. It hardly seems remarkable, then, that Professor Turley would then use Obama as an example. His point as I take it is that this phenomenon is a function of power, not of tribe.

          This is a critique specifically of Washington and it’s wicked ways.

          • But Gruber is back back in the limelight and on the talk show circuit as Obamacare is revisited. He is an expert. He is really not the equivalent of Page.or the other crooks that are mentioned in the article. It is unfair to throw Gruber in with Abramoff and the rest of the jailbirds. His situation is not equivalent.

                • BBridge
                  ..I wasn’t sure if we were asking me about Gruber the liar, or someone else.
                  Anyway, Gruber accidently got caught telling the truth about the “marketing of Obamacare.
                  He talked about the advantages of a lack of transparency

                  I.E., the con job onvolving the public and the CBO in understating and backloading costs.,oberstaing the selling points….the average family will sabe $2500 a year, if you like your current insurance plan, you can keep it, etc.
                  Trump came into office with no,plan to replace Obamacare, and oversold a non-plan.
                  Obama, Gruber, and co. sold a lousy plan, and one based on an Obama campaign set of specifics that meant nothing once he got into office.

                  • Got it. You are right, of course, but it was strong language and I wondered if you had a personal reason.

                    Anyway, indeed, those associated with pulling off that con job have nothing to be proud of in their lives. They have furthered untold amounts of poverty (medical bankruptcy continues apace, to name just one element) and suffering in the greatest nation on earth

                    • B. Bridge….
                      Obamacare did not affect me one way or the other.
                      Gruber just seems like an especially arrogant, slimey individual.
                      I did enjoy his appeance before the House…..Trey Gowdy was in a festive mood and used Gruber as a pinata.☺

      • Yes, and if Trump DOES run in 2016, he’ll no doubt tell more lies and make more false promises than whichever Democrat does the most effective job of lying about concerns for steers, q—s, the tragedy of not allowing more poor illegal aliens to get on the Welfare bandwagon sooner, and why women deserve to be paid more than men because they usually rear kids and have to fight tooth and nail to extract more child support from the men who fathered their kids – hava child & your ticket is a sure thing.

        • Women have to extract more child support from the men who fathered “their” kids? Hmmmmmm, are you saying that men are not responsible for the children that they bring into this world? Seems to me if you go around fathering children you are responsible for their financial support. They’re not “her” kids or “your” kids, but are the responsibility of both of you. The taxpayers aren’t interested in supporting the children of irresponsible men who think they can go around fathering kids like some alley cat and then walk away from the consequences.

    • All accusations are true. Where are the pre-election bimbos that were all suing Trump? Shame on people who traffic in this type of smear job.

  9. Long ago, in a Ford Galaxy far away, I had the “opportunity” to see how things in D.C. actually work. I saw enough to know that I never wanted to become a “player.” I have no sympathy for Mr. Page, Mr Flynn, or their ilk, on either side of the aisle.

    Having escaped to SoCal, where your car is 40% of your personality, I got to see local “players” like Gray Davis, who refused to meet with his college/high school (not sure which) buddies in Sacramento because he was afraid of how it would appear.

    I prefer to live in a world where I have real friends, ones I would take a bullet for and ones that would take a bullet for me, regardless of our differing views on politics, religion, etc. I count myself fortunate to have such friends (including my immediate and extended family). I wouldn’t trade places with any “player” for all the money and power in the world.

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