Mr. President, Take The Mueller Deal

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the reported proposal that President Donald Trump sit down with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to address four specific areas of inquiry.  Those areas just happen to be the ones where Trump has the strongest and most obvious defenses.  If the deal is that this would be a one-time sit down (and any later issues would be addressed in written interrogatories), it is a deal that would be hard to pass up. It is not without considerable risks of course, particularly for any false statement allegations. However, if the President were ready to be properly prepped and listens to counsel, he could thread this needle.  It would also avoid a fight over a subpoena.  While the law on the question is hardly settled, Mueller could win such a court fight and force Trump into an interview.  Both the political and constitutional costs of such a fight should be avoided.

Here is the column:

Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly made an offer to Donald Trump’s legal team on the parameters of an interview as part of the Russia investigation. If true, this is a deal the president should seriously consider.

According to the press, Mueller is offering an interview on four main areas: the Trump Tower meeting with Russian sources and Donald Trump Jr., the president’s role in putting out a misleading account of that meeting, the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and the meeting of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Notably missing from that list are the subjects that should be the greatest concern for Trump, including his financial dealings (including deals on a Trump Tower in Moscow) and the payments to alleged paramours Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal and others to remain silent before the election.

What is most striking about these areas is that they happen to be the areas where, even if things go badly, Trump has strong defenses. It does not mean that Mueller could not charge on these allegations, but he would likely lose on the evidence currently known. Obviously, this will require careful preparation and Trump would have to exercise uncharacteristic levels of control in his answers. The president’s just-resigned counsel, John Dowd, reportedly may have doubted the ability to keep Trump out of a perjury trap. Yet, with the exception of a false statement or some undisclosed bombshell evidence, these limits are as good as it is going to get, and it could get worse.

Trump Tower

The meeting of Trump Jr., former Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others in Trump Tower in New York was based on a promise to share evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation. Rod Goldstone, a promoter acquainted with the Trumps, told Trump Jr., “This is obviously very high-level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

Once at the relatively short meeting, Veselnitskaya reportedly focused on sanctions of the Magnitsky Act, including the bar on Russian adoptions. Veselnitskaya had worked for years against the ban and raised it with Democrats and Republicans alike. Indeed, when she was turned down for a visa during the Obama administration, she was granted a “special immigration parole” to enter the United States by President Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

If the meeting were part of a secret collusion, this would be a rather curious way to go about it, calling a conspiratorial meeting in an email at Trump Tower with unknown attendees. What is clear is that, as late as June 2016, a meeting with the Russians had to be arranged through a friend with a promise of criminal evidence to secure a meeting. Goldstone has admitted publicly that he “hyped the message” to get a meeting with Trump Jr. Even if Veselnitskaya had supplied evidence of criminal conduct by the Clintons or opposition research, it would not have constituted a crime.

Moreover, the Clinton campaign not only paid a huge amount to gather potentially incriminating evidence on Trump but the resulting dossier was composed by a former British spy with information from Russians. The Clinton campaign long denied any connection to the dossier and only admitted the funding relatively recently, when confronted by reporters. If Mueller wants a criminal charge on that record, he will likely lose.

Air Force One

Rather than taking the obvious path of making full disclosure, Trump Jr. issued a misleading statement about the meeting. The statement said that he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” and emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.” The statement, reportedly dictated by President Trump on Air Force One, did not disclose the stated purpose of the meeting or promise of material from the Russian government.

Like the Trump Tower meeting, the statement was another self-inflicted wound. Nevertheless, there was no crime in holding the meeting, and it was not a crime to spin the resulting controversy. Politicians have long spun scandals. When confronted about NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s disclosure of a massive surveillance program on American citizens, President Obama went on Jay Leno’s show and proclaimed, “There is no spying on Americans.” His CIA director, James Clapper, went before Congress and denied the existence of such a program, a statement he admitted later was a lie.

For her part, Hillary Clinton adopted a series of denials and defenses in her email scandal, including statements now established as false. The State Department later refuted her claim that she was given approval to use her personal server for State Department business. Obviously, some spins can become criminal matters, such as Bill Clinton lying under oath that he never had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky and then insisting that it depended on “what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” If Mueller wants to charge Trump with spinning a scandal, he would have to frog march virtually every member of Congress and every living president to federal lockup.

James Comey

Perhaps the greatest blunder of this administration was Comey’s firing. Trump not only fired him in the midst of the Russian investigation but raised the investigation repeatedly with Comey before firing him. The problem is that Trump had ample reason to fire Comey, despite the poor timing of the decision. While Trump admitted in an interview that he was thinking of the Russian investigation when he fired Comey, he did not say that was the reason for the firing.

In a memo, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein listed former attorneys general, judges and leading prosecutors who believed Comey “violated his obligation to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the traditions of the department and the FBI” and “violated long-standing Justice Department policies and tradition.” He also noted that Comey “refused to admit his errors.”

Moreover, Comey himself admitted under oath that Trump agreed with him that the Russian investigation should run its course. (Trump was reportedly angry that Comey had told members of Congress that he was not under investigation but refused to confirm that publicly). Firing Comey would not have ended the Russian investigation, and there is no evidence that Trump sought to bar further investigation. Even if Mueller were to secure an indictment on that mixed record, he would have to call Comey, who is damaged goods, as a witness.

Not only did Comey leak information to the press after his firing but, according to fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Comey knew of his giving sensitive information to the press on the Clinton investigation. Comey expressly denied leaking information or approving such leaks by subordinates in testimony to Congress. Mueller could call Comey as a witness, but a jury might have difficulty seeing the moral high ground from where Comey is sitting.

Michael Flynn

Finally, there is Michael Flynn, charged with misleading federal investigators on his discussions with Russian diplomats. There was nothing illegal or unprecedented in Flynn meeting during the Trump presidential transition with the Russians, or his discussion of sanctions. However, he reportedly denied discussing sanctions and pleaded guilty to making a false statement.

Trump asked Comey to go easy on Flynn after Flynn resigned. This has been widely portrayed as evidence of obstruction or witness tampering. However, Trump could simply argue that he felt Flynn had already suffered enough with the resignation and was expressing loyalty for a longtime friend and supporter. Mueller could always try to portray the comments as obstructive rather than empathetic, but that is pretty thin soup for a criminal case against Trump.

None of this means Trump cannot get himself into serious danger in an interview, with incautious or false statements. There also is the possibility of undisclosed evidence, particularly as a result of Flynn’s cooperation agreement. However, these four categories represent the most predictable, frontal assaults on Trump where the armor is the thickest. Trump will have counsel present and can insist that any later questions or issues be addressed in written interrogatories to counsel. In an otherwise bad situation, that is not a bad deal.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

278 thoughts on “Mr. President, Take The Mueller Deal”

      1. I’m shocked! shocked! that you would question the word of a celebrity hooker or her “I know something you don’t know” Latrine Lawyer! Where are your morals, dear?

        BTW, I love it when a nefarious plan unravels!!

        1. UPDATE!

          Two men are in custody, including a well known Wiregrass activist after the murder of a Dothan woman.

          Jamie Townes and Pastor Kenneth Glasgow face capital murder charges in the death of Breunia Jennings.
          Dothan Police found a suspicious car parked outside Stringer Street A.M.E. Church and a wrecked car on Allen road.

          They say the woman killed had stolen Jamie Townes car.
          Police Chief Steve Parrish says, “Instead of reporting it to police, he got in the car with Mr. Glasgow and they went hunting Mrs. Jennings.”

          Police tell us Kenneth Glasgow, Wiregrass pastor and community activist was driving the car when Townes fired the shot.

          Police say four people were in the car when shots rang out, but only Townes and Glasgow face charges.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

      2. Squeeky – I saw some stuff about how dilated her eyes were with the lights shining on them. Very unnatural. Pupils were very wide, too wide to be normal, almost night vision wide.

  1. Since we’re talking Trump, here’s a very recent victory under the radar:

    “And our playing fields, that’s not the place for political statements. That’s not the place for religious statements. That’s the place for football. And that’s what I think we need to be doing. … As I’ve said, you could replace all the owners and the league would go on. You could replace all the players and the league would go on. The quality of play wouldn’t be as good. But you can’t replace the fans. If you don’t have the fans, you’re dead. So we’ve got to pay attention to them and make sure that they know we respect the flag. We respect our service people. We love our country. I mean, this is where we’ve all had our opportunity.” ~ Houston Texans owner, Bob McNair

    Trump 1; NFLPA 0

  2. Each one of the Cambridge Analytica employee visas that was issued so that there was a workforce to undermine democracy, should be reviewed with a fine truth comb. Managers responsible for infractions should be punished, which will be followed by a pardon or commutation by Trump, like he did with the Iowa plant owner (GOP donor) who had 400 workers from Central America in his plant.
    Nobody in the world has perfected hypocrisy at the level and to the degree that Republican conservatives have.
    It’s clear that Nunes did not want Cambridge Analytica’s activities in electing Republican candidates in 2014 and forward to be exposed.

  3. Trump uses Twitter to distract the Main Screed Media and predictably, WaPo, CNN, NYT, et al, cant help themselves and dive for the shiny metal object….hourly.

    Hillary was aghast (aghast!!!) that Trump stated during election campaign that he might not recognize the results of the election if he lost. Well now it happens Hillary is aghast (aghast!!!) she lost the election. Thus the predictable happens: Hillary, Obama, FBI and MSM all act to delegitimize the 2016 Election Results with bogus Russian innuendo without any hard core evidence. One year later: nothing

    Trump should continue to attack viscerally Mueller just like Bill Clinton viscerally attacked Kenneth Starr

    Dont believe for a second Trump will be ousted as President given that Bill Clinton was impeached by the US House but not removed by the US Senate…and Bill raped, abused and people died from Arkansas to DC on his Governorship and Presidency

    hillary lost and her supporters are anarchists….nothing more, nothing less

    1. You are of course, allowed your own opinion–no matter how divorced from reality it is; but not your own facts. Further, “your own” opinion sounds strangely like the daily screed from Pravda Faux News. Perhaps you have facts to support any of your allegations? I thought not.

      this is to “but hannity never really told me about any facts” janie

      1. Marky Mark Mark – if this is how you defended people in federal court you must have lost every case. That is a horrible cross-examination and would be objected to. The witness would be allowed to answer. And then you are f**ked.

  4. The Russians know what Trump supporters still don’t know or want to admit, and that is that he’s dumb, easily manipulated by flattery, sexually indiscriminate, willing to lie, especially if it makes him look good, and nowhere near as wealthy as he’d like people to believe. If Mueller’s already gotten his financials, he’s probably already gotten all he needs to convict Trump of money laundering. Maybe Mueller jus needs a few more lies for an obstruction charge, which Trump will no doubt provide him, to finish him off and get him out of our White House.

      1. “What about Hillary..??” What a clever response! Natascha’s comment had nothing do with Hillary. Yet you ingeniously figured out a way of bringing Hillary into it.

    1. Natacha said, “If Mueller’s already gotten his financials, he’s probably already gotten all he needs to convict Trump of money laundering. Maybe Mueller jus needs a few more lies for an obstruction charge, which Trump will no doubt provide him, to finish him off and get him out of our White House.”

      Excellent point, Natacha. I hadn’t thought about Mueller’s interview offer that way. If Mueller has no questions to pose to Trump about Trump’s suspected financial crimes, maybe that’s because Mueller already has all the evidence he needs to charge Trump for those suspected financial crimes.

      1. My experience in defending persons accused of federal crimes is that the feds generally already know the correct answers to the questions they ask in formal sit-down situations.

  5. Is Bolton, the nominated NSA chief, fine with financing foreign interference in U.S. elections? How close were the ties between the PAC he administered for Republicans and Cambridge Analytica?
    WaPo-“Cambridge Analytica and its parent company SCL were overwhelmingly staffed by non-U.S. citizens.” As reported, did Cambridge Analytica have its own 50 state political strategy employing predominantly foreign guest workers?
    Patriotism, without a doubt, is NOT a Republican value just as the Party’s portrayal as religious, is a fraud.

    1. Bolton is fine with anything so long as it leads to war and increases corporate power. Look at his ties to Dubya, HRC and Eric Holder.

      DINOs / RINOs are NOT patriots. They are parasitical scum feeding off citizens.

        1. Autumn feeds off Seth Rich. I believe it’s called funerary cannibalism.

          1. She feeds off da alt right propaganda machine. That is her profession.

          2. Diane – thanks for the phrase. Funerary cannibalism is exactly what the Parkland Students are doing right now.

            1. Betcha wish you and Autumn and Sherriff Joe could round em all up and put those students in a hot Arizona prison with no water.

              1. Original Ken – they have an absolute right to speak and be defended by armed guards. 😉 Kids this age can be great one minute and village idiots the next, I have taught them. 🙂 However, I will tell you they are doing this without adult help in the background.

                1. Autumn’s attempted reach is distant in time, narrow in scope, and way out there. Her intent is to distract from the Stormy and Cambridge Analytica stories.
                  The march’s intent was to create attention for a major current issue of importance to millions.

                  I can’t even bring myself to chime in about the false equivalency, with a sarcastic, “nice try”….wait…

                  1. Linda – I do not know who you are, but what you wrote to me sounds like it was written by a male.

                    1. Way to go. Zinger. You showed her, etc.

                      (I waited for you to get support then was compelled to help you not lose face.)

                    2. Linda – I am not Asian, I do not worry about the concept of “face.”

                2. Paul, Niko House did a video – they tried to recruit him but he backed offrealizing it was a Dim corporate scam

      1. Your oligarchs T rump Kushner Putin take the money from da citizens and give it to their oligarch pals.

        1. Bolton worked for the same law firm as Holder – the one that defends corporate malfeasance. Look it up yourself.

    2. Not a Republican value under Trump, anyway. Fiscal Responsibility and Family Values have been discarded as well. MAGA.

      Have a great day, Linda

  6. Professor Turley’s column refers to an ideally cool-headed Trump. If Trump ‘were’ cool-headed enough, a deposition on those subjects may not expose him to any legal jeopardy. Especially if Trump were as smart as the professor.

    But the fact that Trump’s legal team is in a state of flux, and talented lawyers are reluctant to join, suggests that attorneys are not that confident in Trump. After all, a president who sends irrational tweets in the dead of night cannot be trusted to keep his cool.

      1. If Professor Turley made a rule that commenters on this thread could no longer respond with, “What about Hillary..??”, would you be capable of composing any comments?

        1. Give Janice a break. She’s a newbie in Kosovo and is mastering a limited script. After that she will be allowed to move to the next talking point. After the first lesson, “what about..ism”, the 2nd lesson is taking criticisms made about conservatives, “selfish and ditto heads” and then, volleying them back, to the left, as if new. Originality is in short supply in Russia for obvious reasons and in conservative heads for less obvious reasons.

          1. When Linda is done revealing who she believes is posting from Kosovo, maybe she’ll tell us how many oligarchs she’s flushed out from under her bed.
            And for Linda to talk about someone else having a “limited script” is beyond ridiculous; Linda uses the same words, same phrases, same themes hundreds of times.
            Anyone who even casually or sporadically reads the comments here knows of Linda’s mindless parroting.

            1. If only the Kochs were under beds instead of spending $400,000,000 on the midterms!
              If American law and courts had limited Uihlein, Art Pope, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, the Mercers, Bill Lager, etc. to spending the amount that the average American spends to influence public policy, Russians wouldn’t have seen and capitalized on U.S. pay to play.

              1. It could always be worse, Linda. Proud Bayer is busily lodging complaints with the customer service desk. At least Nash doesn’t impose upon our host.

                Remind again please: What is lesson 3?

                1. #3 is false equivalencies.
                  Change-up in the roster for today’s comments- Alekperov and Torshin
                  The Trump fan club at this blog splits its time between Koch defense and the Russian destabilization agenda- I’m speculating they won’t touch the two new names.
                  (Russian Likoil Oil, Cambridge Analytica’s client, a company owned by the Mercers) and Torshin (FBI looking into NRA link- the NRA spent 2-3 times the amount to get Trump elected that it did in the prior election.)

                2. Lesson 3 for Linda isprobably a coloring book….something that she might be able to comprehend, and that isn’t too advanced for her.

              2. Tell us more about Kosovo, genius.
                And the oligarchy, and the Kochs, and the Mercers, and the top .1%, and anything else you’ve only menrioned hundreds and hundreds of times.
                Make more baseless, wild accusations about “Kosovo”, or “training manuals” just to round out your endless string of stupid comments.

                1. Nash,
                  It would be great if you helped me get the word out about the Koch’s. Media is reluctant to offend oligarchs, as you know. Thanks to the Turley blog for the opportunity. If just one person tells one person, the knowledge will spread.
                  The weekend marches were impressive? Although Santorum made himself look bad, telling the protestors to learn CPR instead of “fighting for their lives”?

        2. Peter Hill asked, “If Professor Turley made a rule that commenters on this thread could no longer respond with, “What about Hillary..??”, would you be capable of composing any comments?”

          A fair number of Turley’s original posts on Res Ipsa Loquitur would not survive the implementation of such a rule. IOW, Turley’s one too.

            1. “Reason and logic” so seldom lead to false equivalencies. It takes a Fox/Hannity massage to make the fit.

      2. What’s the weather like in Petrograd today, comrade?

        this is to janikovska

        1. Marky Mark Mark – when you pivot, do a 180, not a 45. You are very sloppy.

  7. Dollars to donuts that Trump never sits down to talk to Mueller. He will say: “I would really love to talk to the man, but my lawyers tell me not to do that.” Not that he ever cared much about what any of his advisers said before.

    1. Just last week you were making disdainful references to the TPP. But without the TPP, China will go it’s way on trade and possibly take Asia along. Obama pushed the TPP to avoid that scenario.

      1. The TPP / TTIP is a travesty – undermining sovereignty and ensuring corporate control. NAFTA / CAFTA / KORUS on steroids. Every senator / representative who is for this is a traitor.

          1. OK – I am for secure borders – whether it’s a physical wall, chain link fence, crocodile infested moats or some sort of electronic system I don’t care. A functioning nation-state has clearly defined (and defended) borders. National security ‘n all that.

  8. Have to write that again.

    Trump doesn’t get ousted and EO’s all temporary political appointees from previous adminsitrations pink slipped. then continues to do the same marvelous job of ripping the status quo a new exterior orifice.

    Trump does get outsted. Pence becomes PResident pardons Trump and hires him as an adviser then EO’s the former political appointees and guess who controls the priority of spending for the infrastructure. NY tunnel end of the list with Schumer as the reason. California? Sorry we’re following the Demo rule of those most able to pay etc. and they can afford to pay for their own rebuild.

    5% difference becomes …. 10% behind.

    Also Dems lose the Christian, Catholic and Jewish vote but especially any chance at their new illegals who are Catholic and not for abortion.

    Really stupid move but the Dems did turn their backs on DACA.

  9. “There also is the possibility of undisclosed evidence, particularly as a result of Flynn’s cooperation agreement.”

    Flynn lost his home on legal fees, and finally cooperated. Do we know if he was given leniency for this cooperation. If so, it came with expectations. His future testimony could be shaped to hurt Trump.

  10. “However, if the President were ready to be properly prepped and listens to counsel, he could thread this needle. ”

    IF Trump is ready – he may well be responsible for his own demise.

  11. Mueller is only interested in extending the charade, or, rather, his “Investigation into Russian Collusion,” as long as possible, with the expectation of raising a bogus, but impressive-sounding allegation, as close as possible to the next presidential election. But again, more than half of the nation will see through the Deep State hoax, and, by then, Trump may actually wake up and force the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the DOJ, the FBI, and Mueller himself–which would, of course, result in game, set, and match in Trump’s favor.

    1. This “Deep State” entity which you have so cleverly unmasked is alarming. It appears that through your impressive sleuthing skills, you have revealed to the light a day a nefarious cabal of ne’er-do-wells, seemingly hell-bent on eradicating our ‘Merican way of life; our love of roller derby and apple pie; fluoridating our precious bodily fluids; or, some other similarly-dastardly deed. Well done, Inspector, well done.

      this is to “Inspector Clouseau, at your service” ralphie

      1. Marky Mark Mark – this is the 8th time I have counted you using the same comment. It isn’t working. Besides, we all think of you as a big joke. Why would take anything you say seriously.

  12. “Mr. President, Take The Mueller Deal”

    Mr. Turley, clean up your website’s comment section.

    1. William Bayer – if you go to the home page for this blog you will be able to find JT’s email address. You can address any problems you have with him directly. He is erratic in reading the blog and Darren Smith is your next best bet.

    2. @William Bayer, March 26, 2018 at 11:07 AM
      “ ‘Mr. President, Take The Mueller Deal’
      “Mr. Turley, clean up your website’s comment section.”

      @Paul C Schulte, March 26, 2018 at 12:34 PM
      “William Bayer – if you go to the home page for this blog you will be able to find JT’s email address. You can address any problems you have with him directly. He is erratic in reading the blog and Darren Smith is your next best bet.”


      If you do take Paul Schulte’s advice and write to JT about his comments section, I suggest that it would be impolitic of you to share with JT your perception of other commenters whom you find disagreeable as “turds” who need to be “flushed away.”

      Just sayin’.


      1. Ken Rogers – that is excellent advice. If he does not he may end up disappeared. 😉

        1. I appreciate your advice, Paul. You are one of a handful of respectful commenters generally interested in intelligent and civil discourse. My opinion of others, however, is such that I don’t particularly care whether I get disappeared or not from this particular website.
          I once had a fair amount of regard for Turley, but it’s rapidly decreased to the point where I only occasional read his opinions anymore.
          Again, that’s his loss, not mine.
          But if I do get disappeared, I’ll only miss conversing with you, and squeaky, and two or three others.
          And actually, I disappeared myself a while back, but then decided to give this comment section one more try. This is that one more try, and I’m about a silly millimeter away from concluding that I was right when I decided to disappear myself without having to be ejected.
          There are some truly disgusting “minds” on these pages — useless, foolish, and undeservingly arrogant. It’s like Frank Lloyd Wright said (paraphrased): “There’s nothing wrong with being arrogant if you have the talent to back it up.”
          I’d repeat that, but substitute “intelligence” for “talent.”
          Have a great week, Paul. And do yourself a favor and look for that George Szell/Cleveland Orchestra recording of Beethoven’s 9th. After listening to that recording, you’ll never want to hear another version.

          1. William Bayer – I will try to track down the Szell recording. Have a great week yourself. Just don’t let people get to you. 😉

            1. Not to beat a dead horse, but there’s a Szell recording of the 9th on youtube, but it’s with the New Philharmonia Chorus and
              New Philharmonia Orchestra in London — NOT with the Cleveland Orchestra, which was Szell’s own personal orchestra.

              I’ve read lots of comments online where people have the same opinion that I have — that the recording with the Cleveland Orchestra (and Robert Shaw Choir) is spectacular compared with all other recorded performances.

              I once knew the sound engineer that worked for the Akron Symphony. That’s a minor orchestra, but perhaps all the more reason they needed a very good sound engineer. Anyway, you couldn’t get that guy to stop raving about the recording quality of Beethoven’s 9th by Szell and the Clev Orch. — and I’d formed by own opinion of it before I ever heard his.

              Szell was a genius, and he best musicians from all over the world came to Cleveland because they wanted to work with/for him — despite the fact that he was a merciless tyrant (or maybe because of it). Fascinating stuff about Szell online. He specialized in certain music, and Beethoven was one of his specialties.

              He reminds me of professors I had in engineering and architecture school. For some reason I always enjoyed and got along quite well with the old-school European professors, although they were all quite demanding and didn’t cut anyone any slack. Real no-nonsense guys. Maybe that’s why I liked them. The nonsense students steered WAY clear of having to take their classes.

              People don’t actually get to me, Paul. I just don’t mute my responses. And I particularly don’t care for people who think they’re clever. As Thomas Mann said, “There are so many different kinds of stupidity, and cleverness is one of the worst.”

              When one studies math for many years, and then some joker in a lawyer’s comment section tries to tell me that math isn’t a branch of science (despite it being considered a branch of science for more than two thousand years, and being referenced as a science in dozens of dictionaries and encyclopedias) — and then the guy tells me that I don’t know anything about “classics” (which wasn’t even the subject under discussion) — it’s too much foolishness to put up with. No reason to put up with that kind of foolishness. I could get that kind of discourse from a meth addict or a glue-sniffing kindergartener.

              But you’re at the site. You and a handful of others. Not sure why, because most of the others aren’t in your league as a human being.

              Anyway, hope you find the Szell/Clev Orch recording. You won’t regret it. Even people that don’t know all that much about music can tell the difference once they’ve heard it.

              Again, have a great week.

              1. William Bayer – the Cleveland Symphony Hall must have great acoustics or they recorded it in the studio. I prefer those recorded “live”. However, I will try to track it down. 🙂 Enjoy your week. 🙂

                1. I almost forgot it’s a holiday weekend coming up. So Happy Easter — or Passover — or Druid New Year — whatever you might celebrate, if you celebrate.

                  Last word on Szell. One of my favorite quotes (though I’m not sure about the number of days, so I’ll guess it was 6) was:

                  “We (the orchestra) give 6 performances a week — and the public is invited to two of them.”

                  1. William Bayer – Happy whatever the heck it is on Sunday to you too. I am going to dinner and a movie, but that is because someone else is paying. Dinner has been decided, movie TBA. Normally, I would do something less formal and a movie.

                    1. I couldn’t imagine going to a movie these days (unless they were replaying a classic somewhere). The last time I went to a movie in a theatre was to see The Wizard of Oz — and that was only because I was curious to see what it would be like to watch it in a theatre, and the theatre happened to be one of those classic theatres with clouds and stars projected on the ceiling and balconies and a live organ player — all that good old stuff. The last then-current movie I saw in a theatre was Woody Allen’s Zelig.

                    2. William Bayer – my wife requires entertainment. 🙂 I am just along for the ride. However, there is a movie I am going to try to talk them into, probably won’t work, about the in-fighting after the death of Stalin. A comedy-drama. The Wes Anderson film is not opening this week, Isle of Dogs, getting high reviews in previews and has won awards already. Saw Jumanji last week, which was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be. A- script. A+ acting considering the cast.

                    3. I had to google Jumanji to know what you were talking about, and from what I read — essentially, teenagers getting sucked into a video game and becoming part of the game — it sounds almost like an adaption of the idea for the Gary Ross film, Pleasantville, which I enjoyed very much.

                    4. William Bayer – in Jumanji, the teenagers become the characters in the game, they take on the persona of that character. In Pleasantville, they just went from black-and-white to color. 🙂 Which was fun.

                    5. No. In Pleasantville the teenagers became characters in the sitcom. Identical concept.

                  2. William Bayer – was Szell related to Yogi Berra or did he suffer from Berraism?

      2. Trust me — I have ZERO intention of contacting Turley via any means other than this comment section, which is totally out of control — as out of control as the worst comment sections on the web.
        If he chooses to ignore what’s going on in the comment section, or why I decide to violate the civility rules when I do — precisely what actions by others prompt me to violate the civility rules when I do — then that’s Turley’s problem, not mine. His comment section will continue to devolve just as it’s currently doing. Before I posted my first comment here, I posted a comment under his civility-rules section wherein I noted my skepticism.
        If he chose to ignore that, again it’s his loss, not mine.
        I’ve witnessed this nonsense across the web at many comment sections, and I’ve yet to see any website take action to turn the tide.
        As for your citation of my use of the word, “turds” — that’s a perfect example. Where’s the outrage when a JACKASS addresses me with “Sirah” (misspelling of “sirrah”), which is an offensive address, intended to be offensive — although it’s likely that most people here are too uneducated to know what it means or where it comes from. So I use the word, “turd,” because it’s essentially the same word used for the same purpose, but not snuck in under the radar.
        This comment section is infested by some of the most foolish and uneducated people you’ll find anywhere on the web, and their foolishness is exacerbated by a ridiculous level of arrogance, the source of which I suspect but don’t care to elaborate upon.

        1. William Bayer asks: “Where’s the outrage when a JACKASS addresses me with “Sirah” (misspelling of “sirrah”), which is an offensive address, intended to be offensive — although it’s likely that most people here are too uneducated to know what it means or where it comes from.”

          I saw that. And that “jackass” aka “Late4Dinner” responded to a comment in which I simply thanked her/it for some information by writing this to me:

          “Civility is so unnatural, Plumbkin.”

          Look up the crude/slang meaning of that word and then let me know if you still think the commenter named “Late4Dinner” is a clever, civil little old granny in her 80s named ‘Diane’…

          and if she is this granny called ‘Diane’ — as many seem to believe, then she is indeed a sick individual. I think “Late4Dinner” only comments during certain morning hours, and never at other random times, b/c that’s when she is allowed in the common room at the mental hospital. Mental illness like that is a sad thing to witness.

          1. TBob said, “Look up the crude/slang meaning of that word and then let me know if you still think the commenter named “Late4Dinner” is a clever, civil little old granny in her 80s named ‘Diane’…”

            I had no idea whatsoever that you wicked whippersnappers had made a nasty slang term out of “plumbkin.” My use of the term was intended as a pun for the name, TBob, which is akin to a plumb bob and, therefore, a Plumbkin. How was I supposed to know that you utterly perverted misogynists had already coined the term for your disgustingly juvenile sexual pranks? But even more to the point, having coined such an offensive term as an instrument of misogyny, on what planet do you now pretend to be offended by your own instrument of misogyny, Plumbkin???

            1. My take is that Late4Dinner is a mentally ill, hostile old lefty who sits in her room in the mental ward chewing on the ends of her hair when she’s not running up and down the halls shouting disgustingly juvenile vulgarities at the staff. And sometimes, when she’s sufficiently medicated, they let her have supervised computer time in the common room where she spends it commenting here on this blog. Tell me where I’m wrong L4D.

        2. Proud Bayer demands to know, “Where’s the outrage when a JACKASS addresses me with “Sirah” (misspelling of “sirrah”) . . . their foolishness is exacerbated by a ridiculous level of arrogance.”

          Such a whiny little crybaby Bayer is. Sirrah is the perfect form of address for that terrible little two-year old thrower of temper tantrums on the Turley blawg, William Bayer. Meanwhile . . .

          To arrogate is to take without asking nor proposing that what was taken should have been given or granted. As such, arrogance is an unwarranted presumption of superiority of place or position.

          For example, if one had a superior ability to appreciate classical music, and if one asserted one’s superior music appreciation skill as though it were just cause for cursing one’s neighbors as jackasses and turds, then one would be presumptuous to the point of arrogance. Because superior music appreciation is not a warrant for the choleric outbursts of terrible two-year olds.

          Sirrah also said “. . . the source of which I suspect but don’t care to elaborate upon.” Really? Proud Bayer cares not to elaborate on his choice of the word “turd.” Fascinating.

          1. Diane – Shakespeare used all those terms. Ben Jonson used the f word in one of his plays. Annotators have been trying to get around it since the play was first printed in 1617. Jonson was the first playwright to print a collection of his own plays. Anyway, he is just calling you what Shakespeare would call you, you should feel honoured (spelled in the British manner in honour of Shakespeare).

  13. :Randy Newman Lyrics
    “Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)”

    We’ve taken all you’ve given
    But it’s gettin’ hard to make a livin’
    Mr. President have pity on the working man

    We ain’t asking for you to love us
    You may place yourself high above us
    Mr. President have pity on the working man

    I know it may sound funny
    But people ev’ry where are runnin’ out of money
    We just can’t make it by ourself

    It is cold and the wind is blowing
    We need something to keep us going
    Mr. President have pity on the working man

    Maybe you’re cheatin’
    Maybe you’re lyin’
    Maybe you have lost your mind
    Maybe you’re only thinking ’bout yourself

    Too late to run. Too late to cry now
    The time has come for us to say good-bye now
    Mr. President have pity on the working man
    Mr. President have pity on the working man

  14. U.S. expulsion of Putin diplomats- “Setting the stage for the next Cold War with Trump as Russia’s inside man” -an internet comment.

    1. @ggreenwald

      Glenn Greenwald Retweeted The Associated Press

      1) Other than bombing Moscow, is there anything Trump could do to make people rescind the “he’s-a-Kremlin-puppet” line? (would bombing Moscow even work?); 2) who will be the 1st to say Putin told him to do this to hide the plot?; 3) can’t Putin use the pee-pee tape to stop this?

      1. The Cambridge Analytica/Russian oil company link doesn’t help Autumn’s case.

        1. Autumn for her part and Greenwald for his, have always maintained that if proof of Trump collusion with Russia is there, it should be made public. If it is, fine, but if not then many of the accusations that have turned into pseudo proofs by repetition are grossly unfair regardless of how vulgar or crooked in other ways one thinks Trump.

          The same goes for Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election. Autumn and Greenwald, and of course many others such as myself, complain that there is no compelling evidence of Russian meddling (beyond what all countries do – the US most of all and with the biggest budget to do it). Evidence, mountains of it, remains almost entirely circumstantial of any real meddling and therefore looks more and more like something the DNC and Hillary cooked up and then got involved in to the point they couldn’t get out without major scandal. So they doubled down. Soon, we had allegations pointing to other allegations pointing to yet more allegations that seemed by their very volume to support each other so they looked compelling, but when you take the time to unwind them, they each, individually, lack hard evidence.

          Even Republicans neocons, unable to resist a good poke in Russia’s eye, finally went along with Russian involvement in election tampering, only their spin,of course, is that the meddling was on behalf of Hillary. Between the two parties, we have a parade of reckless fools. If only they would instead involve themselves with fixing our voting systems (including particularly the DNC’s primary fiasco of a multi scam system) so that there are solid paper trails that can’t be hacked in all states.

          Who knows about financial collusion – that is probably a richer field in terms of real evidence, but it is true that such was not part of the initial inquiry and dragging it in now, even if it succeeds, has a considerable amount of foul play in it.

          On the subject of Russia, Trump’s willingness to have dialog with them is one of the most sane things he has done. You want a nuclear exchange with this country??? You want to keep piling on merit-less sanctions and installing missile systems on their boarders until someone makes a foolish mistake and we all go up in smoke??? You don’t have to love Russia, or admire Putin, to understand that they are a FULL nuclear power. The DNC, in addition to the MIC, must share considerable blame for putting so much pressure on Trump that we now have Bolton pouring toxins in Trump’s ear.

          1. Republicans are adding corruption to the voting system by impeaching the judges who found against gerrymandering and by implementing Jim Crow voter suppression.
            BTW, read the recent New Yorker and WaPo articles about Cambridge Analytica. The interference predates the 2016 elections.

            1. I wrote a rather longish reply that seems to have trouble getting posted. I’ll try again.

            2. My original reply seems to trip some sort of condition that prevents my comment from being posted. Probably not a bad thing. It can be sumarized as

              1) everybody gerrymanders, Democrats would pass Jim Crow voter repression laws if they felt it were in their interest (BTW, they don’t give a hoot about immigrants, they care about cheap labor).

              2) While not sure I read what you were referring to (you were not specific), what I could find from the NYT and the Post mentioned only one Russian and that a US citizen without explicit ties to Russian government at any level. Moreover, it appears the whole Cambridge Analytica story may be a giant con meaning waaay overstated on the expertise and influence they have.

              3) The NYT and WaPo are no longer trust worthy sources. At a minimum, one must read them with a great deal of skepticism. They are both thoroughly in the tank for neoliberal interests which include regime change in Russia so that it can be replaced with one friendly to American corporate financial interests in going in with investments (and unpayable loans) where the sole purpose is to strip the resource rich country of Russia as bare as they can (which is exactly what they did at the end of the first Cold War to the point that Russia was almost a bankrupt failed nation).

              1. Da Russian oligarchy with Putin’s permission as he gets a cut have taken da money to London Miami and T rump tower.

              2. America and its values that reject Kochtopus control, will be defended by true patriots, none of whom are Republicans at this time.
                My empathy for and sympathy to those people across the world fighting concentrated wealth, the plot directed and funded by oligarch globalists intent on exploitation.

          2. T rump interviewed Bolton in da beginning. Da Bush folks talked da warmonger T rump out of hiring him. Now T rump is gettin da cabinet he always wanted. T rump is a violent authoritarian. These two rageful men have always wanted war in da Mideast. You seem naive about T rump. He is killing more people than Obama with his drone war. Next you will say da DNC made T rump take up with Duterte and Da evil Saudi Prince.

      2. T rump could start by tellin how much he is in debt to Putin before Mueller presents da case.

      1. Janice, this obsession with Hillary Clinton, are you sure it’s healthy?

        Cordially, Bill

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