Sessions And How No Good Deed Goes Unpunished In Washington

jeff_sessions_official_portraitBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on the continuing attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  There is obviously an effort to push Sessions into resigning while laying the groundwork for firing him if he is still around after the completion of the Mueller report.  Sessions on the other hand is standing firm, a position that is clearly encouraged by career officers at Justice who view the threats as undermining the integrity of the department.

Here is the column:

“I wish I did!” No words should be more unnerving for Donald Trump’s legal team. After a year of investigations triggered by the president’s firing of former FBI director James Comey, Trump still wishes that he had not picked Attorney General Jeff Sessions because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. Indeed, Trump tweeted a quote by former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova that the “recusal of Jeff Sessions was an unforced betrayal of the president of the United States.”

The “betrayal” of Sessions was, in fact, one of the few correct moves made by the administration during the first year of this scandal. More importantly, it may prove the one thing that restores part of Trump’s legacy if the investigation finds no criminal conduct. Sessions personifies the rule that no good deed goes unpunished in Washington.

Before his recusal, some of us publicly said that Sessions had no choice ethically but to take that step due to his role in the campaign as well as questions related to his contacts with Russian diplomats. Even Trump’s lead counsel, Rudy Giuliani, admitted this week that he would have had to consider recusal had he been appointed attorney general. Sessions ultimately recused himself after career ethics advisers at the Justice Department concluded that recusal was necessary.

None of that seems to help Sessions with Trump. Recent reports show Trump was irate and wanted to fire Sessions and even tried to dispatch aides to do so. The only reason he did not take that catastrophic step appears to be the refusal of his aides to carry out the order, particularly White House counsel Don McGahn. Still, Trump ordered Sessions down to Mar-a-Lago in March 2017 to berate him and demand that he “unrecuse” himself, a highly inappropriate demand to make of any lawyer, let alone the attorney general of the United States.

Trump appears incapable of forgiving Sessions for taking the clearly, unavoidably ethical path. Even if he is unwilling to see the ethical imperative, he should at least come to see the practical benefit of what Sessions did. By recusing himself, Sessions guaranteed the best case scenario for Trump. If special counsel Robert Mueller concludes there is no evidence of criminal conduct by Trump, Sessions removed any question that his involvement prejudiced or influenced the outcome.

Moreover, if Sessions had, as Trump clearly wanted, barred the appointment of a special counsel and then cleared the president, the legitimacy of this administration would have remained tainted, and impeachment would have become the only avenue to the truth for many citizens. Conversely, if Mueller finds criminal or impeachable acts by Trump, recusal by Sessions was clearly warranted. Furthermore, in an impeachable proceeding, the need for additional investigation is blunted by the long and independent investigation by Mueller.

None of this seems to register with Trump, who blames Sessions for a nightmarish year, even though it is the president’s own conduct that has prolonged and broadened this investigation. If the president had simply fired Comey when he took office or waited until after the conclusion of the investigation, it is doubtful that we would have had the appointment of a special counsel. All of his top aides, with the exception of Jared Kushner, reportedly argued against firing Comey at that time.

Some of us had questioned the basis for a special counsel’s appointment until Trump fired Comey and then told Russian diplomats the next day that the firing took pressure off him. He followed that up with an interview with Lester Holt that included the dumbfounding statement that he had the Russia investigation in mind when he fired Comey. That debacle was not brought about by Sessions or his pesky ethical standards.

In the end, Trump always has had a strong defense against these charges despite his best efforts to convey the contrary. The firing of Comey remains a poor basis for an obstruction charge. There were ample reasons to fire Comey, as suggested by a host of Republican and Democratic former attorney generals and Justice Department officials. Moreover, Trump’s self-immolating statement to Holt stands in contrast to the testimony of numerous witnesses and Comey himself.

All witnesses recount how Trump demanded that Comey make public what he had told numerous people and members of Congress in private that Trump was not a target of the investigation. Trump failed to see why Comey could tell so many people outside of the FBI that fact but refuse to do so publicly. Most importantly, Comey told Congress that Trump agreed with him that the investigation should continue to its full conclusion.

Giuliani indicated this week that the president is just waiting for the investigation to end to fire Sessions in some cathartic release of long simmering anger. Presumably, that would come with a report finding no basis for criminal allegations. Otherwise, Trump would push his administration further toward impeachment if he fired Sessions for not stopping an investigation that ultimately found potential crimes by the president. Thus, at the very moment when the decision of Sessions to recuse himself would pay its full dividend of benefits for Trump, the attorney general could be fired for the favor.

History may show that one of the men who did the most for Trump’s legacy was Sessions. This beleaguered figure has resisted pressure to resign in the best interests of not simply the Justice Department but this administration. His reward may be a pink slip after the release of the Mueller report as the president’s “wishes” come true. Indeed, the Trump sounds like the old Perry Como tune about forlorn desire, “If Wishes Were Kisses.” The song declares, “If dreamers were schemers, I’d make my dream come true.” However, this is one dream that would have been a nightmare if Trump made it come true.

Had Sessions blocked the investigation, there is a real possibility that Congress would have moved toward an impeachment investigation or the enactment of a new Independent Counsel Act. In the latter circumstance, Mueller could have easily led the same investigation and add his own Como twist, “If wishes were kisses, I’d still be investigating you.”

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

416 thoughts on “Sessions And How No Good Deed Goes Unpunished In Washington”

  1. Ivan, I don’t generally rely on Market Watch for what I do but it put things in simple terms so I thought you might be interested. It looked at more than one side.

    Why Trump thinks he can win a drawn-out fight over trade with other countries

    For the lazy:

    “The economy is doing well. You don’t want to see it happen, but there are a lot of worse times [a trade fight] could happen,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh.

    By contrast, the Canadian economy is growing at its weakest rate in two years, and Europe has suffered a surprising slowdown. Both could post sub-2% growth in 2018. China, for its part, is enduring a bear market in stocks tied in part to anxiety over trade.

    The U.S. economy is more shielded because so much of what takes place involves Americans selling and buying from other Americans. Exports represent about 12% of the American economy vs. nearly 20% for China, one-third for Canada and almost 50% for Germany.” [ Remember our discussion on Greece?]

    If it did cause a bite in the US the article goes on to say that could cause a slight fall in the GDP growth. Not a very big deal if one were going from 3.0 to 2.8 especially since current predictions for GDP growth are considerably higher.

  2. Ivan, I have something else for you to read:

    “The French foreign minister accuses the American president of furthering a “divorce” between the United States and its European allies. “Deep Trade Rift With Allies Seen,” is a New York Times headline. “The Roots of Western Disunity” is the headline over another New York Times piece”

    You might think these are today’s headlines that have to do with Trump but they are actually the headlines when Ronald Reagan was President. You might find the article where the above quote came from interesting along with providing you with a bit of historical perspective.

  3. Ivan, I am going to post another article by Hanson that just reached my email box. I think this editorial will help to join together things that you seem to think conflict with one another. Hanson is a historian so he tries to piece things together. You don’t have to agree but try and look for other answers and when they don’t appear don’t just assume that they exist. This article will require a bit of thinking and retrospection.

    The Dream and the Nightmare of Globalization

    Victor Davis Hanson

    After World War II, only the United States possessed the capital, the military, freedom, and the international good will to arrest the spread of global Stalinism. To save the fragile postwar West, America was soon willing to rebuild and rearm war-torn former democracies. Over seven decades, it intervened in proxy wars against Soviet and Chinese clients, and radical rogue regimes. It accepted asymmetrical and unfavorable trade as the price of leading and saving the West. America became the sole patron for dozens of needy clients—with no time limit on such asymmetry.

    Yet what would become the globalized project was predicated on lots of flawed, but unquestioned assumptions:

    The great wealth and power of the United States was limitless. It alone could afford to subsidize other nations. Any commercial or military wound was always considered superficial and well worth the cost of protecting the civilized order.

    Only by piling up huge surpluses with the United States and avoiding costly defense expenditure through American military subsidies, could the shattered nations of Asia and Europe supposedly regain their security, prosperity and freedom. There was no shelf life on such dependencies.

    American popular culture, democracy, and free-market consumer capitalism would spread beyond the West. It created a new world order of sameness and harmony—predicated on the idea that the United States must ensure, at great costs, free trade, free commerce, free travel, and free communications in a new interconnected global world. The more American largess, the more likely places from Shanghai to Lagos would eventually operate on the premises of Salt Lake City or Los Angeles. The world would inevitably reach the end of history as something like Palo Alto, the Upper West Side, or Georgetown.

    Open borders would draw into America—and later Europe and the former British Commonwealth—the world’s poor, uneducated, and dispossessed, who would become model citizens and reinforce the global resonance of the West. Although many of the liberal architects of diversity did not welcome political diversity at all, and sought to avoid the ramifications of their ideas in the concrete, nonetheless the borders of the West became and stayed open. An orthodoxy arose that it was racist, xenophobic, or nativist to question illegal, mass, non-diverse, and non-meritocratic immigration into the West. Ideas that mass illegal immigration undercut citizen workers, drove down wages, and negatively affected the citizen poor were derided as cheap bias and ignorance.

    The end result of the last seven decades was a far more prosperous world of 7.6 billion than was ever thought imaginable. Stalin’s nightmare collapsed. So did Mao’s—sort of. Radical Islam was checked. The indigent in the Amazon Basin got access to eyeglasses. Amoxicillin made its way into Chad. And Beyoncé could be heard in Montenegro. The impoverished from Oaxaca became eligible for affirmative action the moment they crossed the U.S. border. Europe no longer tore itself apart every 20-50 years.

    But soon a number of contradictions in the global order became self-evident. Consumer quasi-capitalism not only did not always lead to democracy and consensual government. Just as often, it enhanced and enriched authoritarianism.

    Democracy and referenda became suspect, the moody fickleness of those who did not know what was good for them.

    Nations subsidized by the United States often resented their patron. Often out of envy elites embraced anti-Americanism as a secular religion. Sometimes in the case of Europe, America was faulted either for having in the past defeated a European nation or from saving it from defeat.

    The global cop, patron, market—call it what you will—was resented as not good because it was not perfect. The world’s loud second greatest wish was to topple U.S. hegemony; its first quiet desire was to ensure that America—and not a Russia, China, or the Middle East—remained the global policeman.

    America itself split in two. In reductionist terms, those who did well by running the global show—politicians, bureaucrats of the expanding federal administrative octopus, coastal journalists, the professionals of the high tech, finance, insurance and investment industries, entertainers, universities—all assumed that their first-world skills could not be replicated by aspiring populations in the Third World.

    In contrast, those who did things that could be done more cheaply abroad—due to inexpensive labor and an absence of most government safety, environmental, and financial regulation—were replicated and soon made redundant at home: factory workers, manufacturers, miners, small retailers and farmers and anyone else whose job was predicated on muscular labor.

    A Brave, New Postmodern America
    Globalization became a holistic dogma, a religion based on the shared assumptions: man-made global warming required radical changes in the world economy. Racism, sexism and other pathologies were largely the exclusive wages of the West that required material and psychological reparations. Immigration from non-West to West was a global birthright. State socialism was preferable to free-market capitalism. Those whose jobs were outsourced and shipped abroad were themselves deemed culpable, given their naiveté in assuming that building a television set in Ohio or farming 100 acres in Tulare was as valuable as designing an app in Menlo Park or managing a hedge fund in Manhattan.

    The logic was that anything foreigners could not do as well as Americans was sacred and proof of U.S. intelligence and savvy. Anything that foreigners could do as well as Americans was confirmation that some Americans were third-world relics in a brave new postmodern America.

    Crazy things followed from the gospel of Americanized globalism. Language, as it always does in times of upheaval, changed to fit new political orthodoxies. “Free” trade now meant that Beijing could expropriate technology from American businesses in China. Under free trade, dumping was tolerable for China, but a mortal sin for America. Vast trade deficits were redefined as meaningless and the talking points of empty-headed populists. Only America believed in free and fair trade; most everyone else in mercantilism.

    “Protectionism” was a pejorative for those who believed that a retaliatory United States might emulate the trade practices of those “free” traders who piled up surpluses. For example, to copy the mercantilism of a China, Germany, or Japan would be castigated as mindless protectionism.

    “Nativism” did not refer to the highly restrictive and ethnically chauvinistic immigration policies of a Japan, China, or Mexico, but only to the United States, given that it occasionally pondered recalibrating open borders and requiring legality before entering the country

    “Isolationist” was a charge leveled at Americans who thought rich economies like those in Germany could afford to spend two percent of their annual GDP on defense, about half of what Americans routinely did. Not intervening in nihilist civil wars, or assuming that NATO nations needed to keep their promises, was the proof of the isolationist mind.

    Failed Promises
    The winners of globalization—the universities, financial powerhouses, the federal government, big tech, and the marquee media and entertainment outlets—were mostly located on the two coasts. Their dogmas became institutionalized as the gospel of higher education, the evening news, the Internet and social media.

    Unfortunately, globalization otherwise did not deliver as promised. Half of the United States and Europe did not enjoy the advantages of the universal project. They found the disappearance of a good job not worth the upside of using Facebook or downloading videos. It was hard to see how someone in rural Pennsylvania or in West Virginia benefitted by knowing the most of the world’s Internet technologies were now American. It was nice having Amazon deliver goods to the front door, but one still had to have the money to pay for them. The logic of bombing Libya or fighting a 17-year-old civil war in Afghanistan was a hard sell.

    The credentialed and expert had allowed North Korea to point ballistic missiles at the United States. The best and brightest forged a deal with Iran that would ensure it too would become nuclear—and then jawboned banks to violate U.S. law to allow Iran to convert its once embargoed currency into Western money.

    Most of the globalized commandments turned out to be empty. A trade-cheating ascendant China did not become democratic in its affluence. Iran still hated the Great Satan, the more so, the more concessions were given to it. The Palestinian question is no more central to the Middle East peace than the Middle East is central to world peace. There is no such thing as “peak oil” for the foreseeable future.

    Jeans, t-shirts, and cool did not mean that the lifestyles and mindsets of a Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos were any different from their kindred spirits of the past—J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, or Jay Gould. What we call globalization our ancestors called monopolies, trusts, and disdain for national sovereignty.

    Globalization’s Cynical Laws
    The entire alphabet soup of Western-inspired globalization—the EU, the United Nations, the World Bank, the WTO—did not quite end up as anticipated. Their shared creed is not the fulfillment of their originally envisioned missions, but to protect an international cadre who run them, and to ensure that any who question their missions are branded as heretics.

    In sum, globalization rested on a few cynical laws: those who drafted globalized rules for others had the resources to navigate around them. Talking about abstract cosmic challenges—world peace, cooling the planet, lowering the seas—were mere ways to square the circle of being unable to solve concrete problems from war to poverty. The world’s middle classes lacked the romance of the poor and the tastes of the elites and thus were usually in the crosshairs of any global initiative. Loud progressivism was a good cloak to hide quietly cashing in. Most wished to live in a Western or Westernized country; those who could not, hated both. Degrees and credentials were substitutes for classical and traditional wisdom and knowledge.

    But the nexus of expertise—marquee journalists and pundits, academics, five-term politicians—really had few answers for current chaos. They were stunned that their polls were wrong in 2016, that their expertise was unwanted in 2017, and their venom was ignored in 2018—and the world all the while could go on better than before.

  4. I answered Ivan’s first point and NII added additional information, but I don’t think Ivan is going to reply nor will he provide the HTTP for the numbers he said were from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. They may have been but isolated numbers alone can reveal the opposite of what one is trying to say. NII clearly showed that with one set of numbers. I don’t think Ivan can answer because his information is regurgitated all over the blog and on his clothing (He should wear a bib.)

    I’ll skip to another of his facts by providing an article that contains some new information.

    “Obama’s Treason: Even Worse Than We Thought

    Obama’s Treason: Even Worse Than We Thought
    But Leftist Privilege will prevent him from ever being held accountable.

    June 7, 2018

    The Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday that “the Obama administration skirted key U.S. sanctions to grant Iran access to billions in hard currency despite public assurances the administration was engaged in no such action, according to a new congressional investigation.”

    And it gets even worse: “The investigation, published Wednesday by the House Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, further discloses secret efforts by top Obama administration officials to assure European countries they would receive a pass from U.S. sanctions if they engaged in business with Iran.”

    This revelation comes after the news that came to light in February, that, according to Bill Gertz in the Washington Times, “the U.S. government has traced some of the $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to Iranian-backed terrorists in the two years since the cash was transferred.”

    There is a law that applies to this situation. U.S. Code 2381 says: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

    In a sane political environment, Barack Obama would be tried for treason.

    Barack Hussein Obama has planted seeds that will be bearing bitter fruit for years, and probably decades, to come. He is, without any doubt, the worst President in American history. Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan? Yes, the doughface Presidents made the Civil War inevitable, but worse came later. Grant? Blind to corruption and out of his depth, but there have been worse than he as well. Wilson? That black-hearted Presbyterian bigot arguably gave the world Hitler and World War II, so he is definitely in the Final Four. Harding? Nah: his tax cuts and return to “normalcy” got the American economy, and the Twenties, roaring. FDR and LBJ gave us the modern welfare state and dependent classes automatically voting Democrat; the full bill on the damage they did hasn’t yet been presented. Nixon? A crook and an economic Leftist, who betrayed Taiwan for the People’s Republic; his record certainly isn’t good. Carter? Nothing good can be said about his four years of sanctimony and incompetence.

    But there is one thing Barack Obama has on all competitors: treason.

    He showered hundreds of billions of dollars on the Islamic Republic of Iran. There are those who say, “It was their money. It belonged to the Iranian government but was frozen and not paid since 1979.” Indeed, and there was a reason for that: not even Jimmy Carter, who made the Islamic Republic of Iran possible, thought that money, which had been paid by the Shah’s government in a canceled arms deal, belonged to the mullahs who overthrew the Shah. Likewise Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush all thought that the Islamic Republic was not due money that was owed to the Shah.

    Only Barack Obama did.

    The definition of treason is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran order their people to chant “Death to America” in mosques every Friday, and repeatedly vow that they will ultimately destroy the United States of America and the state of Israel. How was giving them billions and helping them skirt sanctions applied by the U.S. government not treason?

    Other Presidents have been incompetent, corrupt, dishonest, but which has committed treason on a scale to rival the treason of Barack Obama?

    The Iranians also operate a global network of jihad terror organizations, one of which, Hizballah, is quite active in Mexico now, with the obvious ultimate intention of crossing the border and committing jihad massacres of Americans. Obama has given a tremendous boost to these initiatives, as well as to Iran’s nuclear program, with his nuclear deal that has given the Iranians hundreds of billions of dollars and essentially a green light to manufacture nuclear weapons, in exchange for absolutely nothing.

    There is no telling when the worst consequences of Obama’s aid and comfort to the Islamic Republic of Iran will be felt. But they likely will be felt in one way or another. Even as President Trump moves swiftly to restore sanctions and put Iran on notice that its nuclear activity and global adventurism will not be tolerated, those billions cannot be recovered, and the Iranians have already spent a great deal for their jihad cause.

    However this catastrophe plays out, there is one man who will suffer no consequences whatsoever: Barack Obama. That’s Leftist Privilege. It’s good to be a powerful Leftist in Washington nowadays. Laws? Pah! Laws are for conservatives.

  5. “So, who is “your type” Allan? ”

    My type is one who doesn’t make things up, is reasonably informed, and acts intelligently when conversing. You don’t fit the bill. You are not very smart and you are far too divisive. Additionally, you have fascist tendencies. I think Race, religion gender, gay etc. doesn’t matter though sometimes a more varied group of intelligent people can make a discussion more interesting. I don’t even care what political beliefs one holds as long as they do not intend to break the law and aren’t stupid parrots something all too common on this blog.

    “your type of personality would soon want a big clear out of the US of all “undesirable” elements. ”

    That is correct. I don’t want criminals, misfits, terrorists or illegal aliens in the country. I don’t like your type of bashing either. You have hatred towards individuals you do not know nor understand and are willing to let others break laws to make everyone see things your way. You will respond that I don’t know you well enough to say that but what you have written from the start paints that picture.

    “The hatred for Trump by my “my type” is just as visceral as the hatred for Obama amongst “your type’”, so let’s call it honours even.”

    It didn’t take long for you to prove my last point except I never hated Obama. I hated his policies, not all, and I expressed myself mostly by discussing his policies and the specific points he raised. I also questioned some of his character flaws just like I question some of Trump’s flaws.

    1. Stop talking about “fascist” tendencies the whole time – it is an very easy label to stick onto something you don’t like or disagree with.

      Obama was a two-term President who left political office with pretty high approval rating – enough said. I am sure Trump is fairly personable in person – if you like the Mar-al-Lago crowd – but I equally ‘hate his policies (you use this emotive word) as do many others.

      And I have not set up Obama as being perfect at all – I have said he was weak on foreign policy (e.g. Syria) and he was far too much biased towards political correctness in all its shapes and forms.

      So I am not sure what ooint you are trying to make here – that I am some kind of Antifa ‘fascist just because I take umbrage with your Superhero?

      Come off it, Allan, you can do better than that, so please stay away from the ‘fascist’ label as it is intellectually demeaning.

      1. “Stop talking about “fascist” tendencies the whole time ”

        Why? The way you express yourself is aligned with many that are fascists or inclined in that direction. It is up to you to change the way you speak.

        I don’t care about the approval rating of Presidents. I care about what they accomplished and to date, it appears Obama was likely one of the worst Presidents the US ever had. We might have to wait to find out the degree corruption in his administration to find out how high it went. It is too early now as things are still unfolding. I just posted a piece on Iran which is demonstrating some newly released information from an investigating committee and that seems to demonstrate even greater corruption than previously known. The author suggested Obama committed treason. I can see his point but I would need a lot more proof and discussion before reaching the same conclusion. Do you think Obamacare functions well? Do you think Obama’s use of a pen to bypass Congress demonstrates a President representing all the people and one that understands why checks and balances exist? Some of Obama’s closest advisors were admitted communists and he had very few that understood the business world.

        Trump hasn’t done anything much that excluded Congress from decision making even though he could. Most of the things he did involve repealing executive orders with executive orders canceling out much of Obama’s actions that bypassed Congress. Even the Iran deal bypassed Congress because such a deal should have been a treaty but that too never made it to Congress. Though Trump may fail he has gotten further with North Korea than any other President and North Korea is key. Korea is where Iran gets a lot of support for their nuclear program. Some of the money Obama provided to the Mullahs goes back to Korea and another large portion goes to aid terrorism throughout the middle east.

        One can continue to discuss policy, principles and the specific actions of Trump. He is not perfect but in total, he has improved the nation and the lives of its people.

          1. “You are a moron if you follow and and admire a moron like Trump.”

            So much for your claim that politics shouldn’t be so divisive. I wouldn’t call you a moron for following and admiring Obama. I would call you a moron for advocating policies based on propaganda to make your claims palatable. I would call you a moron for promoting such an opinion and dropping the subject when two good responses are provided. You lack a lot of knowledge and a total ability to see past your nose.

            “Now Trumpus Dickus is advocating Putin be readmitted into the G7. He makes me puke. End of conversation”

            Since you don’t know the circumstances or what is in Trump’s head not only is that statement stupid but demonstrates a person who cannot think along any path other than the one that is clearly marked out for him.

            I don’t know what Trump’s intentions are. Obama’s actions permitted the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and Crimea. I won’t get into that. Nonetheless, it is important for big powers to get along. They need warmer relationships and one can see why in the Middle East. Take note how negotiations between Israel and Russia in Syria prevents the spread of hostility and death.

            This offer by Trump might be what is needed to warm relations with Russia who is also, though minor, a player in the North Korean and Iranian negotiations. What is bad about Trump’s offer? A sign of weakness? No, because they can see what Trump has done and most get the point that he is not like Obama. If you don’t like the idea of Russia being part of the G7 don’t worry, I don’t think the other countries are ready to permit the Russians in. In other words, you are going into spasms and wish to create all sorts of divisiveness when Trump creates goodwill out of thin air.


            1. C’mon Allan you are trying to defend this idiot’s approach towards Russia that even you secretly disagree with.

              Don’t try to pull the wool over my eyes – just admit – as Rex Tillerson rightly concluded – that Trump is a moron. Please don’t reply to this – I am fed up with talking about this wealthy slob.

              1. “you are trying to defend this idiot’s approach”

                Ivan, you make it impossible to have a reasonable discussion with your mindless hate. Yes, what I said is one way of interpreting Trump’s moves. I don’t know what is in Trump’s mind but I do know that Trump has been maneuvering enough that he got Kim to the table with the objective of Kim giving up nuclear weapons.

                You, on the other hand, think linearly in a leftist and fascist direction. You don’t know sh-t.

                1. Whilst Putin cavorts with China – two countries that in no way have the US’s interests at heart – you are defending an American leader who says that, despite Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine, the country should reunited back into the G8. You really are completely blind in your loyalty to him. Meanwhile the other world leaders are much more alert to Putin’s machinations and are taking appropriate action:

                  Trump can go down his own ‘isolationist’ path but in international politics you need to have friends. Just as in his own personal life, he – or rather the country he is running as his own personal fiefdom – is losing these fast.

                  1. You are an idiot. I provided a possible rationale since no one can really know what is in the minds of people. That can only be discovered by the results. The results of the Obama foreign policy was the Russians invasion and the incorporation of Crimea while attempting to do the same thing in Ukraine.

                    The G8 is near meaningless and no matter what, at this time, Putin will not be accepted. He won’t draw back from the Crimea so I guess it was permissible to play nice with him under Obama and give him Crimea but not OK to try and make peace to aid in getting North Korea to denuclearize among other things.

                    The other leaders are not that alert and some of them are committing national suicide which is proof that their ideas don’t work unless Ivan, you are a suicidal maniac. Perhaps you are when you make statements like you have above.

                    “Trump can go down his own ‘isolationist’ path ” Another idiotic statement. Defeating ISIS and other actions in the middle east along with his actions with North Korea indicate a President that is not isolationist. You are looking for a handout from the American people to some of those who are failing to adequately protect their own nations and people.

                    The US is the envy of the world. That is why so many want to come here and so few want to leave.

                    1. Trump makes out that the whole world is trying to rip off America – even its closest allies! Don’t you see that he is trying to create antagonism between the US and every other country – this is his modus operandi.

                      This is what politicians like Putin do to show that their country is ‘under attack’ from hostile entities and they are the only one who can save them, and in doing so justify their actions.

                      You swallow the Trumpus Dickus B.S. hook, line and sinker. Try to before analytical about what he is saying and doing instead of praising every move he makes.

                    2. “Trump makes out that the whole world is trying to rip off America”

                      For good or bad America has troops all over the world spending the American taxpayer’s money. We spend it on NATO while our allies do not live up to their financial burdens. Our technology is stolen. While European nations are willing to commit suicide our nation tries to protect western civilization.

                      Yes, I would say that these other nations you are so worried about are takers and have been permitted to take from us by our former leaders. What is actually in Trump’s mind I do not know, but I do know that our NATO allies are living up to their agreement in NATO better than before. That is a positive not a negative.

                      Putin is a strong leader not a weak person of the type you represent. However, he is an authoritarian while Trump has remained within the Constitutional boundaries of the US. If the US had left the problems of Naziism up to the Europeans you might today be speaking German.

                      Despite what you say I have provided potential scenarios while all you have done is provide weak rhetoric absent any tangible ideas.

                    3. The U.S. needs NATO as much as vice versa – don’t try to make out that it is one-sided.

                      The combined GDP of the G6 far outstrips the US’s. If Trump wants to play hardball he and America are going to get f@@@ed up their proverbial arse. Then he can run of to his new buddies Kim and Vlad to help him out.

                    4. “The U.S. needs NATO as much as vice versa”

                      Ivan, tell that to Ukraine aspiring member status in NATO.

                      Take note who does the hard lifting. The US.

                      Good or bad despite their combined GDP plus the rest of NATO’s 27 members, the US spends more than double on the military. The US is able to defend itself but is the G6?

                      Hurray to Poland a nation that has learned what it is like to be dominated by another nation. They actually pay their share and understand the threats around them.

                    5. “This us a very good article about the general sentiment in Europe towards yoyr Superhero:…”

                      That is what everyone with his hand out says.

                    6. So you think the rich G6 nations all come to the US with tgwir begging bowls. That is completely absurd. The countries where the US spends its dollars are those in which it seeks to retain political influence – no difference to Chins and Russia – but you swallow the Trump B.S.

                      If you think Trump can win by imposing tariffs then think again. He has just personally insulted the leader of one of the US’s closest allies, pissed off all the other powerful G6 leaders/EU/IMF and has now set a trade war in motion. And you think this man is the right leader for your country?:

                    7. Ivan, you have a very limited view of the world and things in general seemingly without enough curiousity to bother looking at the facts or integrating the facts that are obvious to those that delve deeper than you.

                      Let’s take Germany, a very industrialized nation with a good GDP. Do you think they can’t afford to keep up with their NATO dues? If they can pay, why don’t they? Why should the US hold such a great burden? Take a look at the EU and who is a dominant player. Germany. They are an exporter and need to export to maintain their GDP. They have helped to set the regulations such that other countries in the EU can’t compete in the production of many goods, countries such as Greece which is in poor financial straights. That makes Greece poorer, unable to produce the lower quality and less expensive things that could help their GDP. Take France with its VAT. Take bananas that at least in the past could not be imported from American companies because the curve of the banana was too great. Take the various tariffs.

                      I am not even mentioning the US military that keeps the sea lanes open for trade paid for by the US taxpayer. Yet, you prefer to stand out there with your hand out playing dumb.

                      Negotiations mean just that, parties negotiate so that there is give and take and all are better off. I am only afraid of a trade war because I don’t trust the intelligence or the mindset of the leaders of those fine countries involved.

                      “The countries where the US spends its dollars are those in which it seeks to retain political influence”

                      We still have armed forces in Germany. What are they there for? If our political influence is not desired may be the troops should leave. If they are desired along with our military strength then maybe the burden should be better shared.

                      You are worried about trade wars. Little wars occur on a constant basis. Too many of our leaders of the past have permitted too many of these wars to favor other nations and have not thought about the people of this nation, the US. It’s a change and you don’t like change. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can squeak all he wants but I don’t think any great trade war will occur. If it does it won’t be because other nations weren’t self-serving. Ultimately, I think the US will come out in a better place.

                    8. Believe that and you are a fool my friend. Trump is taking the US into very dangerous waters because in my opinion he lets his personal impulses rule decision making that should be a long and slow process.

                      And Allan do stop banging on about NATO payments. Many countries like Poland exceed their obligation and the disparity is not that great. Stop whinging and bleating about the US paying out money. The EU doesn’t need it and America needs to spend in other countries where it has to have global influence. You seem quite happy to have China dominate the South China Sea and Ryssia to threaten and bully smaller European states who have traditionally supported the US – Christ you whine as much as your Superhero.

                      Do you know what real politik is all about? Do you think the US can just asit on its stash of cash and hope it’s rivals will just maintain the status quo? Your nativity is outstanding.

                    9. “And Allan do stop banging on about NATO payments. Many countries like Poland exceed their obligation ”

                      Why stop when the richer countries of Europe depend on handouts. I think Poland makes a good ally and they understand what it is to work under communism/socialism.

                      “You seem quite happy to have China dominate the South China Sea and Ryssia to threaten and bully smaller European states who have traditionally supported the US ”

                      No, and that is why I thought Obama’s Presidency was a failure. Trump, on the other hand, seems to be accomplishing those things that Obama was a failure at. I applaud Trump for behaving the way he does while keeping our enemies off balance and making our friends stop taking us for granted.

                      I understand your feeling. You aren’t American and you are standing up for your European heritage. I think to some extent that is good since some European countries seem to be committing suicide. However, while you are looking after your own I will look after my country. Unfortunately for you, the balance is shifting and your countries are becoming more and more irrelevant. The US, however, has a bright future ahead if we stay on this path. England is already showing the strain and as demonstrated by Tommy Robinson even freedom of speech is becoming something of the past.

                      “Do you know what real politik is all about?”

                      Absolutely, but it seems that you have the words but don’t have the slightest idea of what they mean. Read a few of Kissinger’s books or Donald Kagan. If you like those from the home country read Churchill.

                    10. Don’t pull the “blame it on Obama” line just like Trumpus Dickus. When Putin annexed Crimea it was Obama who raised a coalition against him and who coordinated the imposition of tough economic sanctions so Trump is talking complete B.S. ad usual.

                      America has a bright future my arse – Europe does not have any leader in place who slags off their closest ally in public and who dictates policies on who he likes/who he doesn’t. Trumpus Dickus has also shown himself to be incapabable of relating to smart, powerful women like May and Merkel.

                      Eastern Europe, Austria and now Italy are starting to straighten out the EU on immigration policy – it’s one big flaw – so your statement “some countries seem to be committing suicide” is patent nonsense, and again simply parroting Trump.

                      You need to start thinking more for yourself instead of simply defending everything your “Superhero” does. Also the US is completely tied into the global trade network. Tariffs on Florida oj (a swing state), bourbon whisky (Mitch McConnels state) and Iowa pork – Trump’s heartland – will have an economic impact as well as at the ballot box. I don’t need to read Churchill to understand that – perhaps you do.

                    11. “Don’t pull the “blame it on Obama,,,”

                      Bull! It was Obama’s weakness that was exploited by Putin, but weak nations and weak people are unable to garner the strength to recognize that fact. We can note the real Obama, whose administration broke the law when dealing with Iran, showered Iran with money, didn’t make an agreement that was verifiable and lied to Congress. You guys would like to repeat Chamberlain over and over again and then get bailed out.

                      Even Trump’s meeting with Kim doesn’t cause you or the people you follow to wake-up and realize what is important and what isn’t. Your hatred and your leader’s self-serving political weaknesses haven’t led to a recognition that this meeting is an important meeting to reign in bad actors and that includes Putin. All the bad actors see the weak response by you and your leaders as an open door to running you over in a second. But then, what can we expect when your leader nations are committing national suicide. I have little use for the cowering I see.

                      I leave out eastern Europe from my comments because they are real nations recognizing the horrors of people like Putin and thereby other bad actors. They still have the taste of the communist dictators while the rest of Europe jumps into the pot of water that is slowly heating up to a boil.

                      Let’s get it straight Trump has and will make mistakes that your weak leaders will capitalize on while they neglect what he has done that works and works well. However, in total, he will be a tremendous asset to the US and the world. I’ll accept that over the sniveling of our European allies.

                      You can threaten tariffs, fight, etc. and I won’t object or find that mean-spirited. That is all part of the trade negotiations. In the end, agreements will be made. If not there could be a trade war unless your nations convince Trump he is wrong or Trump convinces them that they are wrong. That is in essence how agreements are made. The pain of a trade war should keep all of them honest but if one feels too abused (right or wrong) then a track war might ensue.

                      You don’t have the slightest idea of what is going on and simply parrot a response based on the left. I freely admit that there are a lot of things hidden from the American public so I can’t be specifically sure of these things but I certainly, after watching Obama, know that whatever Obama did wasn’t done to make America strong so I will rely on Trump to correct past mistakes.

                    12. That several nations are taking decisive action against the pc liberal approach to hugging migrants when they get off the boat.

                      It’s bloody obvious if you actually get off your intellectual arse and follow what is happening on the ground in Europe, “Mr I am so much smarter than you.” Christ you can be obtuse sometimes.

                    13. “That several nations are taking decisive action against the pc liberal approach to hugging migrants when they get off the boat.”

                      Yes, a welcome relief, but I think Tommy Robinson is still in jail. Freedom of speech is disappearing in London. Some have developed common sense, but is it too late for some nations that likely have already forfeited their cultural existence? To you this is something new but that is only because of your recent awakening. You need to read more and spend more time thinking. Stop thinking that what you learned today or yesterday is new to someone else. Your old enough to know better but better to awaken at an older age than to never have awakened at all.

                    14. Abd justvheard a great comnent on CNN: “Trump is doing everything that Putin would want him to do”. Couldn’t be truer…

                    15. “Abd justvheard a great comnent on CNN: “Trump is doing everything that Putin would want him to do”. Couldn’t be truer…”

                      Ivan, it is a dumb statement and consistent with everything you say.

                    16. Yes, consistent with everything I say because it is completely true – as all along I have argued that it is in Putin’s interests for the US to have fractured relationships with its traditional Western allies. Are you blind?

                    17. No Ivan, I am not blind but being a bit more intelligent than you I recognize that sometimes a path that is not entirely straight might lead to greater success.

                      Trump’s making his statement on Russia and the G7 doesn’t assure Putin membership so stop laying eggs. Trump has gone directly against Putin elsewhere very strongly so we know this doesn’t have to do with Putin’s comfort rather what Putin can do for the world. Can Putin help in the Korea negotiations? He can certainly hurt and has done so but a decrease in hurt has the same result as helping.

                      I’m not interested today in placing Putin back in the G7 and he isn’t going to be a member at least not soon. Our western allies have not been so supportive of America under Trump. I don’t find our need for an alliance as great as Western Europe’s. If for political reasons they choose to treat our President and nation poorly my response is ‘we don’t need them’.

                      I love Canada but I have listened to Justin Trudeau. If that is what Canadian people want for a leader they indeed are in trouble.

                    18. When it comes down to it – and Trumpus Dickus started it – the EU could easily see the US as an aggressor and vice versa. If that is what Trump wants, that is what Trump will get.

                      But I believe he will chicken out and despite his bruised ego, tone down his rhetoric after his usual bluff and bluster. The EU, Canada and Mexico are not rolling over as he expected them to.

                    19. Ivan, I don’t expect Trump to get everything he wants and neither does he. I’d be careful though as the US has a tremendous economic impact on the world so just minor changes have major implications. I remember talking to a South American in the gym and he seemed pleased to the facts at the time (many many years ago) that the US was having a slight economic downturn. I had to explain to him that when the US gets the sniffles other nations shouldn’t laugh because that means a lot of them will get pneumonia. Sometime later when we met he didn’t seem too happy.

                      What I am saying is not meant to be nationalistic cheer. It’s reality. Once you get a tiger in a headlock you have to hold on tight because once he gets loose he can kill you.

                      Don’t worry about Trump’s ego for he has been around the block many times. Worry more about the unseen than the seen.

                  2. This us a very good article about the general sentiment in Europe towards yoyr Superhero:

                    He works for us. If Eurotrash don’t care for him, it’s a matter of no interest.

              2. “Obama caught lying…again
                Posted: 08 Jun 2018 01:06 PM PDT
                (Scott Johnson)
                Glenn Reynolds could have trademarked his expression of exasperation “I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about my carbon footprint.” I have a similar feeling about of exasperation complaints of President Trump’s challenges to veracity. Reading Marc Thiessen’s great column today about newly revealed disgraces committed by Team Obama in furtherance of the Iran deal, I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about Trump’s lying. Here is the conclusion:

                [T]he Obama administration: (1) told Congress it would not allow Iran access to U.S. financial institutions; (2) issued a special license allowing Iran to do exactly that; (3) unsuccessfully pressured U.S. banks to help Iran; (4) lied to Congress and the American people about what it had done; (5) admitted in internal emails that these efforts “exceeded” U.S. obligations under the nuclear deal; (6) sent officials, including bank regulators, around the world to urge foreign financial institutions to do business with Iran; and (7) promised that they would get nothing more than a slap on the wrist for violating U.S. sanctions.

                How bad is this? Remove the words “Obama” and “Iran” and replace them with “Trump” and “Russia” and imagine the outrage that would ensue over the same revelations. Democrats would be holding news conferences, and the story would be front-page news.

                We hear a lot these days from the media about the danger of presidential lies. Well, when it comes to the Iran deal, the Obama administration took lying to new heights. And no, that’s not Fake News.”

                1. Stop banging on about Obama – he is long gone and this – even if verified to be factual – is all history

                  With Trump, in a nutshell you are trying to excuse the inexcusable.

                  1. Just want to make it clear to stupid people that when they complain about puffery they should think again and recognize how many lies they were willing to put up with as long as the guy was from the right team. Stupidity reigns and I don’t believe you are left out.

          2. Ivan, you were so incensed at Trump’s G7 recognition of Russia as a world player I thought you might be interested in this new article from Gatestone. What Trump did was to demonstrate that the king was wearing no clothes (G7) since while the Europeans hide behind an appearance of disgust of Russia and a pro-Ukrainian stance their actions demonstrate quite the opposite. To most informed people these facts are well known though forgotten by those very partisan individuals who talk before they think.

            “EU offered to “mediate” between the two.
            Mediate away a favorable judgment for Ukraine? Isn’t this whole Russia-boycott project about Putin’s interference in Ukraine’s march to democracy? Talk about collusion.”

            “While claiming to be appalled by Russia’s behavior in Syria, however, Germany continues to push trade not only with Russia, but with Russia’s partner in the Syrian genocide, Iran.

            “And as Iran seeks military technology, Germany obliges.”

            “A 2018 German intelligence report confirms that Iran is currently seeking nuclear technology in Germany.”

            “In sum, then, President Trump’s faux pas appears to be having the temerity to suggest that Russia — a key German trading partner — have a place at the table for international trade talks. Perhaps it would be better to leave the hypocritical Germany out in the hallway.”


            1. This is a very biased report. The Europe and are pursuing trade links with Iran because Iran is abiding by the nucleur agreement, and so why shouldn’t they trade?

              If Trump thinks differently to the other major signatories then it his choice not to continue trading with Iran – but he IS IN HIS OWN ON THIS just as he is on tariffs imposition – basically imposing these because the US is non-competitive now (not that Trump will admit this of course).

              All the major players in Europe continue to support sanctions imposition on Russia over Crimea and now the Skripal poisoning.

              1. The Europe and are pursuing trade links with Iran because Iran is abiding by the nucleur agreement,


              2. Biased article? No. Self-serving and stupid (5 of the G7 residing in Europe)? Yes.

                But you complain about Russia and look at how Germany has dealt with Russia. These nations, the leaders of the EU, are full of it and when one looks at the data one needs to take a bath.

                In any event just look at the EU itself with Brexit, the northern group, the southern group and the eastern group. It looks like Brexit was smart. The southern group is being taken advantage of and used to keep at least Germany’s economy going while their economies falter. The northern group is committing suicide. The only group that seems to have a head on their shoulders with eyes open is the eastern group. The eastern group isn’t in the G7 and though Japan is it exists in a completely different neighborhood where North Korean missiles have actually been seen.

                I understand there are news reports of Canadians boycotting the US. I’ll read about such boycotts after the real estate section demonstrates that Canadians are selling their homes in Florida.

                When things get really bad at the EU I expect them to find new leadership. It wouldn’t surprise me if they chose Obama as King.

                1. The Americans loved to bash the EU because the EU is a very powerful trading bloc in its own right.

                  Apart from its abysmal immigration policies the EU as united entity of member states has done wonders for Europe.

                  Tell me Allan, did you ever visit Europe before and post communism? I have a feeling you just read Gatestone. The EU infrastructure programme has completely transformed Eastern Europe. The Eastern Europeans only resent the EU on immigration – on trade the Member States present a very united front when they feel Europe’s collective interests are threatened.

                  Don’t just read the American alt-right guff on the EU. It has helped to raise European living standards, brought millions out of poverty and is continually improving European competitiveness and skills in every sector. There are still millions of Europeans who support it, although many like myself would like to see it reformed- NOT DISMANTLED.

                  So keep on EU bashing if you like and Nutamaniac can as well but in Donald Tusk the EU has a very effective leader who is very aware of Trump’s unreliability, and Juncker is no slouch in reacting to Trump’s machinations. Trump should be aware that a friendship is based on mutual rather than divergent interests, but then again he has no real friends it seems.

                  1. “The Americans loved to bash the EU because the EU is a very powerful trading bloc in its own right.”

                    I don’t bash the dollar numbers rather I bash the leaders behind the EU. It will collapse. Greece can’t get out of its economic hole unless it can produce goods but Germany to a large extent dictates what type of goods can be sold and for some reason, a lot of Greek goods weren’t good enough to meet the EU standards set in northern Europe. That means they import products from Germany and Germany has a place for exports. Germany racks up a lot of money that it then lends money to Greece.

                    “Tell me Allan, did you ever visit Europe before and post communism?”

                    Yes. I visited Europe quite a bit both before and after. I have also spent a lot of time in Asia and to the north and south of America’s borders. I’ve also been to almost every state of the union. I think I left out Hawaii which I was leaving for the future. Last time I was in France and Italy I was not impressed and do not think I will return to either country except maybe the Uffizi and the hills of Tuscany.

                    Now that you know my past travel plans what is your point?

                    I neither wish to see the EU dismantled or retained. That is their business. I don’t think very much of bureaucracies and the EU Bureaucracy grows more oppressive every day.

                    Donald Trump has done very well for the US so I’ll keep him and you can keep your leaders. AS far as “Nutamaniac can as well” ask him. He has the numbers and the numbers provide more truth than your mind that invents things to service your ideology.

                    1. “No Allan the EU is not going to collapse”

                      I guess that depends upon how one interprets the word collapse. I am using that term in a broader sense meaning it will not look the same in the future because its present management will eventually kill the deal.

                      Tell me what Brexit indicates? Tell me how the EU will eventually handle the problems in Greece? Let me know how the freedom to cross borders isn’t being drastically impacted by the eastern European states that are putting up walls to immigrants? Those are just a few questions which demonstrate that the EU is fracturing.

                      Right now despite the fact that the unenlightened don’t recognize that what we are seeing is negotiations, I think agreements will be found and settled. What I would like to see is a consumer tax like a VAT on all purchases instead of taxing our businesses so much. In that fashion, we raise taxes on all goods but reduce expenses on goods with reduced business costs.

                      I’m not sure what this Canadian tariff of almost 300% on American dairy products is for. Can you explain? Maybe the US should adopt a payment scheme for healthcare like Germany providing healthcare benefits by the state which would lower the production costs of our cars making them so much less expensive than German cars. While we are at it maybe we should remove the almost 30,000 troops stationed in Germany that costs the American taxpayer a lot of money. That could help reduce our debt. Maybe our navy should inform the world that it no longer will be involved in keeping the peace or let countries sign up and pay for our navy to protect them. That would certainly give a lot of countries time to think. How long can Japan go without imports 3 weeks? The US spends a lot on its military to protect our allies. Did you ever look at what Germany spends?

                      During WW2 one of the things our northern European allies of today wanted was the US not to be neutral in world affairs and help them. Today that lack of neutrality costs the US tremendous amounts of money while benefitting much of the world. How much could the US save by becoming isolationist? I’m not advocating such an occurrence but if push comes to shove the US can survive within its borders. How long can England survive?

                    2. Ok. I agree that Trump is right to put pressure on NATO members to cough up their fare share – why shouldn’t they. Ref. the milk tariff – all I know is is that the US has no restrictions on milk supply so there is a huge milk surplus in the States. I think the Canadian govt imposed quotas on its own farmers.

                      Generally I think the world is much better off if the US and Europe show a united front to the likes of authoratian regimes. Perhaps Trump is playing hardball just to get some concessions on trade – all I know is that instability is always a negative factor in the long run and this guy thrives on it.

                    3. ” I think the world is much better off if the US and Europe show a united front to the likes of authoratian regimes.”

                      Ivan, neither you, the Democrats, the never Trumpers, many RINO Republicans or most members of the G7 have ever given Trump the benefit of the doubt where there were good reasons to do so. Even at the start of the most critical negotiations between Trump and Kim, there was no let up from any of these parties except Japan. That shows how little they care about world security and how much they will protect their own images even if those images rob the people of their nation’s from the security their people desire.

                      You should be ashamed of yourself in the way you talked about Trump. I have no problem with disagreements with him and I might have some myself but I don’t hold him to the impossible because of personal feelings such as you have displayed on this blog.

                      “all I know is that instability is always a negative factor in the long run and this guy thrives on it.”

                      You are wrong. Sometimes chaos is a good thing. It was a chaotic relationship that brought us the Trump Kim summit. People and governments get caught in a rut and are afraid to explore things outside the well-travelled road that is leading to failure. Trump thrives on innovation and finding new ways to make things better.

                      Many on this blog comment that he failed at certain ventures. That is because they themselves are failures never courageous enough to try an untravelled road that can lead to tremendous success. Failure is part of success and those too worried about failure should seek stable employment or a government job instead of becoming entrepreneurs. Trump is not afraid of failure, he is not afraid of chaos, he is not afraid of his image and that lack of fear makes him successful and make the unsuccessful G7 leaders squawk and attack him. They do so because they are too fearful to do anything else. Many of the leaders at the G7 are far too concerned with how they are personally perceived, are afraid of risk and won’t do anything unless they test which way the wind is blowing and the wind knows nothing about the subject matter at hand.

                    4. Paranoia. Trump never let’s up on criticising his political opponenents so just getting a taste of his own decisive medicine.

                    5. “Paranoia”

                      That is your explanation after reading the IG report? That demonstrates ignorance.

                      You don’t even seem to care whether or not the Korean peninsula is rid of nuclear weapons. That demonstrates a small mind.

                      Trump, a nonpolitician, with little to no political support had to fight his way to the top of the Republican ticket against 16 opponents many of which were well known political figures. Every step of the way the Republican Party tried to prevent him from becoming the candidate. Each time their pick failed the Republican Party picked another candidate again. This went on and on until Trump was the only candidate left and even then he never got the deserved Republican support.

                      During that time period and afterwards, the media made a consistent attempt to stop him from becoming president and hamstring him after he did so. This was abetted by the Obama Administration including the DOJ and the FBI. I cannot think of a time in American history where one candidate who later became President was treated in such a fashion where accusations against him were all too frequently lies and created by the justice department.

                      Under those circumstances, one would have to be as stupid as they come to respond with the word “Paranoia”.

                    6. You were giving the example of Greece as a failure of the EU. Well it looks like you were wrong on that, Allan. The EU, despite its failed immigration policies (Merkel, Juncker to blame) is still a very effective economic organisation that looks after its own.

                      Greece had multiple problems requiring it to be bailed out. Successive governments were spendthrifits, pensions were far too generous and retirement too early, state salaries were far too high – a teacher was earning 4,000 EUR/pcm. So, the Eurozone finance ministers have now sorted Greece out and restored it back to health:


                    7. Ivan, your understanding of what has been said and reality is a bit shallow. I broke the EU into four parts to demonstrate the different groups existing in the EU. Greece has many problems but I provided one and I note right in the headline you provided that it seems the EU recognized exactly the problem I pointed out (you apparently didn’t understand it at the time). “Athens hails agreement to give country access to markets in August after final bailout” You had to wait until the guardian chewed the information for you so you could spit it out. Much like a bird has to chew the food before the baby bird can swallow it. It appears that you are very much behind the times.

                      “Greece had already received €275bn in financial support from its international creditors over the past eight years and twice came perilously close to being kicked out of the eurozone group,”

                      Germany is an exporter and funded a good portion of Greek debt. Germany is desperately trying to keep Greece financially stable to get some return on the dollars they spent while at the same time trying to keep them as a recipient of their goods. Is this solution going to work? That depends on the numbers and we won’t know them for quite awhile. The problems faced are deeper than the loans which only act as band-aids.

                      Remember, right now economic times are pretty good. The US will reach GDP growth of over 4% next reporting period. Other countries are doing well. What happens when there is a downturn in the world economies? Will things continue to look “good”? How will Greece fare or will it plunge into further debt? The economies of the world are cyclical and go from favorable to unfavorable in a cyclical manner so you have to take such cycles into account. The leaders of countries and the EU frequently exist as leaders for a shorter time span than the cycles and many times are betting that they will no longer be in government when the cycles reverse. You are always behind the trend and playing catch up.

                      Take note, “The International Monetary Fund had resolutely refused to sign up to the country’s latest bailout unless eurozone creditors agreed to a restructuring that would ultimately make the debt load sustainable.” Do you know what restructuring is? That is similar to Chapter 11 in the US which is what you were complaining about when it had something to do with Trump. I can see finance is not your strong point.

                      Off topic point of curiosity: You quote a lot from the Guardian and they need money. Do you give them that $1 requested?
                      “If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $1, you can support the Guardian – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.”

                    8. No Allan it seems finance is not your point. I can assure you that US growth is going to be hit by tariffs. The tax reductions will give it a short-term bump but many are already acknowledging that this positive effect will be cancelled out by tariffs.

                      Ref. Greece you seem to think that it is Germany’s main export market. It is a small pimple my friend.

                    9. Ivan, it appears that your work experience is as an employee perhaps even hourly based. You certainly don’t seem to have the credentials of one that would understand how to engage in negotiations. Right now we don’t know what is going to happen. My guess is that gradually tempers will quiet down and an agreement will be made where everyone will be saying how they got the short end of the stick to the other negotiators but back at home how well they did. Of course, there could be what some call a trade war. We already know that significant “tariffs” have been levied on the US in the broader or more specific sense so a trade war doesn’t put the US at the disadvantage you think. Instead though uncomfortable for the US a trade war would reduce the continuous erosion of our capital.

                      Think of it this way. Americans have a lot of things even those on welfare. They might have to cut back. American homes have at least 2 bathrooms and many with 3 or 4 or more. The trade war could cut down on the number of bathrooms so that perhaps instead of 3 some will have 2 and those with 2 have one. I suspect you will have to share your bathroom with at least one neighbor.

                      Yes, Greece isn’t a huge importer but it adds to Germany’s revenues as do other nations that do not have the infrastructure of Germany to produce goods approved by the EU. As you add them together they cause a strain on German resources as do the loans and the migrants. Germany is sensitive to oil prices and as the economies cycle through good and bad one sees the cracks that develop and make the sustainability of the EU as it is today in question.

                      I will say it again finance is not your strong point. You sound like a very replaceable widget.

                    10. “Shut the f##k up Allan”
                      “you yanks are so “damn superior” because you can shit in 3 bathrooms instead of two.”

                      Ivan, you seem to have a problem verbalizing things. We “yanks” aren’t superior. We just have more money and in general more freedom. We can also defend ourselves and chew gum while we think. I shit in a lot more than 3 bathrooms and all of them are clean. I don’t use used toilet paper and when I press flush everything goes down at once.

                      I do feel a bit superior to you because I am. I know more, can do more things and can actually think and create things while you trail along cleaning up.

                      “It is that very same arrogance that loses your country friends.”

                      Friends? We have allies and a specific affinity to some people. Some of our friends don’t even pay their NATO bills and can’t raise fighting forces to defend NATO policies. Love is very transient. Consider the fact that you love The Guardian, but when they ask you for $1 your answer is you don’t love them that much. You might think you said otherwise but you didn’t. Instead, you confirmed the usual commitment held by those that have little understanding of the world.

                      “The US has seen its glory days, China is shafting it and now the EU, Canada and Mexico are too.”

                      As I have said before if China gives us a simple upper respiratory infection you guys will come down with pneumonia. I’m not looking for anything from you. I just want you to take your hands out of the American pocket.

                    11. “Ref. my contributions to The Guardian, that is between me and them”

                      I get it, you don’t give them a dime.

                    12. Quite happy to see the EU prosper and thrive at the expense of the US and all other trade blocs … Trump with his America First policy is an unmitigated disaster. Mark my words!

                    13. ” Trump with his America First policy is an unmitigated disaster. Mark my words!”

                      Ivan that may be true, but likely it would only be true for nations with their hands out and people that don’t have their eye on the ball. If you compare median household incomes between the US and the UK you will find the US household has a lot more money to spend. Our citizens living off of welfare frequently have more household amenities that those working citizens in the UK.

                      Even UK healthcare is hurting. The survival rates for common cancers in the UK are quite low compared to the US. Those survival rates are frequently quite low compared to other European nations including Japan and Australia, Don’t get me wrong. I like the British and consider them among the best of our allies so don’t assume I have anything against the UK. I don’t.

                    14. Well kick out all the illegal economic migrants and the rest of the non-Europeans and it would soon relieve the burden on state institutions.

                      Problem is that Britain is so multicultural now it is too late to change, but at least there now seems to be more pride in celebrating traditional values. I left for Poland 16 years ago because I was fed up with all the multiculturalism. Poland is a completely homogenous heterogeneous society that sticks strongly to its inately Christian values.

                    15. “.Problem is that Britain is so multicultural now it is too late to change, but at least there now seems to be more pride in celebrating traditional values.”

                      Those are the words of a typical failure. Get a spine. When I use the word failure I use it in the sense of a person that has to live a safe life and lets someone else take the risks for him. Later, he might be envious of the rewards success provides.

                      It is not too late for Britain to change. Many immigrants that are now citizens like what Britain has to offer. They don’t want to give it up so if you and others like you have a spine they will be part of the people fighting to maintain a culture rather than adopting a culture of death that has a completely different set of laws and brings with them the culture they wanted to escape from.

                    16. Plus, Allan, I am glad you brought up ideologies. I am not sure why you mention this in my context – perhaps a nasty bolshie lefty (although I am anti immigration and political correctness) – but you have definitely bought into the ‘Trumpian ideology’- big time!

                    17. Ivan, though it may distress you I am all in favor of trying to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Too bad you can’t keep your eyes on the ball and too bad you can’t realize its importance.

                    18. Well it will be a big feather in Trump’s cap is he pulls it off, but I think it will be Pompeo doing most of the graft.

                      I am very disappointed that Trump constantly gets bogged down in stupid personal spats. His infrastructure plan seemed a very good idea, for example, but seems to have gone out the window.

                    19. “Well it will be a big feather in Trump’s cap is he pulls it off, but I think it will be Pompeo doing most of the graft.”

                      Ivan, I’m not sure what you mean by your use of the word “graft”.

                      Pompeo is great, but it is Trump that is the driving force. That is why Trump is President and Pompeo works for Trump. Trump hired John Bolton who scares a lot of people but Trump knows that sends a message to Kim and a lot of people. A lot of negotiations are actually messages being sent. Why do you think over dessert Trump quietly told Xi he had just launched missiles against Syria? All these things lead to specific goals and one of those goals is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Take note that most of the things Trump does are to create a bit of chaos to help him achieve his objectives.

                      “I am very disappointed that Trump constantly gets bogged down in stupid personal spats.”

                      While Trump was getting bogged down ” in stupid personal spats” he nearly reversed all of Obama’s regulatory nightmares. Everyone was focused on the fighting and no one bothered to look at what was being done. The news media most of all were clueless.

                      Ivan, I deal in a lot of things and am very used to what I see. I also dealt with magic for fun. I watch people trying to figure out how the tricks are done when frequently the trick is done long before they start to pay attention. The patter and mannerisms of the magicians are what make the magician. At the Magic Castle in LA where great performers actually did their acts for free, I have seen magicians absolutely confuse other magicians in a small room closeup. Their illusions depend on patter and mannerisms. Consider Trump somewhat of a magician.

                    20. And that’s about all he has done. You rate Trump a great President for simply overturning his predecessor’s policies – many of which were positive e.g. Iran, CPP etc. – and whose only policy achievement is introducing new tax cuts helping the rich to get even richer … you are a dunderhead.

                      Only positive about Trumpus Dickus is his crackdown on illegal immigration.

                    21. “You rate Trump a great President for simply overturning his predecessor’s policies – many of which were positive e.g. Iran..”

                      Sometimes God shortchanges people when providing them with brains. In your case that is regrettable.

                      I don’t judge him as a good President merely because of actions rather I judge him on results and the results are phenomenal. Look at the US economy. What a change over the Obama years when on video Obama more or less stated that the American would have to learn to live with less. Those in Europe weren’t terribly happy with Ronald Reagan’s policies either until they saw they American success and then they wanted to know from Reagan how to do it. They were slow learners and then they forgot what they learned.

                      You think the Iran deal is a good deal. The regime was running out of money and a potential revolution was brewing. Obama gave them a deal and didn’t even make them sign. The verification process was like Swiss Cheese so we don’t really know what has happened to Iran’s nuclear desires based on the inspections. We do know what we can see from satellites and spies. They are quite active along with testing ballistic missiles that even the Europeans can see. That agreement which lacked the necessary Senate approval for it to be considered a treaty was and is a farce.

                      Add to that our propping up of the Iranian regime with $150 billion dollars and illegal cash stuffed into airplanes and one can only see a President attempting to create a false legacy. That money went into their nuclear program along with supporting terrorists and an intervention into Syria.

                      North Korea is another example of Trump doing exactly what the left wanted and every point along the way the criticism reverses itself to attack the President as you do. You don’t care about the tens of millions that could be lost due to North Koreas nuclear ambitions. You don’t care that North Korea is a major sponsor of Iranian nuclear advancement. Instead, you call me a dunderhead based on your personal ignorance and vanity. You are a sad excuse for an assumedly educated individual.

                    22. “Only positive about Trumpus Dickus is his crackdown on illegal immigration.”

                      Really, are you that obtuse? What about the economy and jobs? What about The potential North Korean deal? What about how much quieter the word is getting but for the blowhards that you believe represent your idea of being men with ideas?

                      What about ISIS, his Supreme Court nomination, what about Middle Eastern nations banding together to prevent the expansion of Iran supported by Russia that you guys focus on so much when it doesn’t count, what about the improved US border security (drugs and human trafficking) and what about the improvement in our military’s capabilities that languished under Obama (Reagan faced the same thing and Trump did what Reagan did), What about MS 13 permitted by Obama to kill and rape American citizens. etc. etc, etc.

                      We also can’t forget that he stopped the Clinton machine and all the illegalities that surround it along with exposing a deep state with an FBI leadership that was dangerous to the Republic.

                    23. Stop just repeating Trump’s propaganda Allan – you are like a bloody parrot.

                      What North Korean deal – Kim is leading Trump by his snout. Europe has not cancelled the Iran deal. Trump has iniated a trade war and alienated his closest allies. The US has never been so divisive as under this President. His grifter family is exploiting the white House for all they can get. The environmental protection safeguards are a shambles. The unnecessary fiscal deregulation is laying the foundation for another recession.

                    24. “Stop just repeating Trump’s propaganda Allan ”

                      Everything to you is propaganda, Ivan. You are just not man enough to debate each and every item or any item I mentioned that the President accomplished.

                      Kim may or may not be willing to denuclearize but Trump is giving up very little and will continue to incentivize Kim until Kim does what should be done. If and when Kim gets rid of nuclear weapons you will be saying Trump didn’t do that Obama did. That is the nature of a person that wears your stripes. If Trump doesn’t succeed I will applaud him for his efforts.

                      Trump hasn’t insisted on a trade war. All he has done is to stop our allies from pissing on America. This is not something new. We went through this with Reagan and then fools like you that hated Reagan later said they voted for him. That is a sign of a weak ego and a weak man. Get up out of the dirt Ivan and make a man out of yourself.

                    25. Unlike Trumpus Dickus I don’t keep on dredging up Obama’s name because he is long gone. Same with Hillary Clinton. Trump had a 4 hour meeting with Kim and you think he has saved the world. It just goes to show how much you swallow his B.S. How naive are you?

                    26. Obama’s name keeps getting dredged up because a good deal of the success of the Trump administration has to do with rectifying the problems created by the Obama administration. Further, it is quite clear that the Obama administration had a lot to do with the FBI and DOJ’s bad actions. We still face problems from other bad actors in the Obama administration and even in their prosecution since they were granted immunity so the justice department could never delve in to correct the problems.

                      You wish to hide from those problems, but that is because you are a wimp.

                      Trump has rightfully reversed Obama’s policies on ISIS and they no longer occupy large portions of the middle east. He has reversed Obama’s Iran and North Korea policies and has made more headway with Korea in 18 months then Obama did in 8 years.

                    27. ivankinsman – you don’t think a 241% tariff on milk by the Canadians is an ACT OF WAR?

                    28. In the video, it is totally admitted that the tariff exists. The Canadians can call it market control and so can the US when we impose the same type of market control tariffs.

                    29. “Canada restricts its milk supply to meet domestic demand, US doesn’t.”

                      All that you have done is demonstrate that you don’t understand free trade, protectionism, and tariffs. That is what Canada has done. Protected its milk industry. Why should another country not be able to do the same?

                    30. Canada needs to allow more access to its dairy industry, but Trump is going about this is his usual ham-fisted manner.

                      Just read this interesting piece. You are always dredging up Obama. Well it seems that Trump likes to lie a lot more than his predecessor. In fact, he lies so much it is getting difficult to distinguish fact from fiction – which is just how he wants it:

                    31. “Canada needs to allow more access to its dairy industry, but Trump is going about this is his usual ham-fisted manner.”

                      It’s about time for you to stop diving for garbage and start looking around. The US is the superpower and is the one that has helped fund many countries along with protecting them at great expense.

                      Americans like Canadians and I think the feeling is mutual but that doesn’t mean that our pockets have to be open all the time. That is what Trump is saying. He wants to correct some of the trading discrepancies. That is it. I don’t think he wants a trade war or even to deviate away from relatively free trade. That means some nations will feel a pinch but a justified one. The squawking we hear is predictable and will pass.

                      What you call Trump lies are frequently lies by media outlets, errors, puffing or relatively insignificant departures from the Truth. Obama outright lied to the American people and to Congress and his administration has had major scandal after scandal. CNN and much of the mainstream media never reported much on those things but they exist and they aren’t relatively insignificant. They are a danger to America and the rest of the world. These lies had to do with major American policies. Even some private entities refused to do his bidding because they felt such an action was against the law. That never stopped Obama.

                      Examples: Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, Filling planes with money and sending it to Iran, the entire Iran deal was not disclosed truthfully to Congress, his use of unsecured phones talking to his Secretary of State and then lying that he didn’t know she was using unsecured phones. His misuse of the justice department along with illegal spying on American Citizens. There are many more major problems with Obama but you choose to forget about them.

                      By the way, the first lie listed by CNN was a lie in itself only you don’t know it, American history or American law. You are garbage diving.

                    32. Allan – never trust a man who cannot keep his eyebrows on. 😉

                    33. Trudeau should be involved in something involving vanity rather than being a leader of a nation. But that seems to be endemic with too many western leaders. They are more concerned with their personal images than their nations.

                    34. Ivan, read this. Check out what he says. CNN is a horrid network and most people laugh it away watching other newsmedia. Do they get some things right? Of course, but in general, they spin. I don’t know if CNN would exist but for its presence outside the US, airports etc.

                      (Hanson is a major intellect and well grounded. Surprisingly he was and might still be a registered Democrat though he is a conservative. Most of all he is a man with ideas that one can understand whether or not they agree with him.)

                      How Democracies End: A Bureaucratic Whimper By Victor Davis Hanson

                      Posted By on May 21st, 2018

                      How Democracies End: A Bureaucratic Whimper

                      One strange trait of the die hard NeverTrump Republicans and progressives is their charge that Donald Trump poses an existential threat to democracy. Trump, as is his wont, says a lot of outrageous and weird things. But it is hard in his 16 months of rule to find any proof that Trump has subverted the rule of law.

                      Most of the furor is over what we are told what Trump might do, or what Trump has said, or which unsavory character in Europe likes Trump. These could be legitimate worries if they were followed by Trump’s anti-democratic concrete subversions. But so far, we have not seen them. And there has certainly been nothing yet in this administration comparable to the Obama-era efforts to curb civil liberties.

                      While we understand those on the left refuse to believe that a constitutional “legal scholar” like Obama would even think of allowing the executive branch to go rogue, it is indeed strange that in almost every NeverTrump attack on Trump’s conduct, there is almost no recognition or indeed worry that we have been living through one of the great challenges to constitutional government in our history.

                      Does anyone remember that the Obama Administration allowed Lois Lerner (“Not a smidgen of corruption”) more or less to weaponize the IRS to help the Obama 2012 reelection effort? Does anyone remember Eric Holder’s surveillance of the Associated Press journalists and Fox News’s James Rosen? Why have conservative constitutionalists focused on what Trump has said rather than the strange treatment accorded to investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson by U.S. intelligence and investigatory agencies? Do we even remember the Benghazi pseudo-video narrative and the strange jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula?

                      Is there even curiosity about why and how the departing Obama Administration suddenly and vastly expanded the number of agencies that could have access to classified surveillance in its aftermath? Do we remember the more than 20 times Obama warned before reelection that he was not a “king” and, as a constitutional scholar, could not by fiat offer blanket amnesties? Do the authorities in California realize that they are resorting to the extralegal states-rights arguments that South Carolina on the eve of the Civil War and Alabama in the early 1960s used to nullify federal laws?

                      But stranger still is what we already know of the 2016 election, and the lack of outrage from constitutionalists, who daily warn us of what Trump might do—when we already know what the U.S. government has done in violation of civil rights, constitutional principles, and likely federal laws. So far there is no information that Stephen Bannon ordered taps on reporters, or that Nigel Farage was hired by Trump to find Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton, or that Stephen Miller requested the unmasking of surveilled names associated with the Clinton campaign and then leaked them to the press.

                      But we do know that U.S. officials, including the head of the FBI and chief deputies in the Justice Department, misled a FISA court to obtain intelligence surveillance on U.S. citizens, by providing information that they knew at the time, but did not disclose to the court, was by their own private admission unverified, compiled by a foreign national whom they had used and fired as an unreliable informant, paid for by the Clinton campaign, and served as the basis for news accounts that were used in circular fashion to verify to the court the dossier’s contents.

                      We do know that members of the Obama intelligence and national security teams—Susan Rice and Samantha Power among others—requested the names of American citizens surveilled (likely obtained through improperly obtained FISA warrants) to be unmasked. Then someone illegally leaked their names to the press to damage the Trump campaign and his presidential transition.

                      We do know that FBI Director James Comey, in succession, has admitted that he in singular fashion took notes of a confidential one-on-one meeting with the president, briefed him on the existence of a campaign dossier on him, did not disclose that it was purchased by the Clinton campaign, assured him that he was not the subject of a FBI investigation at a time either he or his subordinates were leaking the opposite to the media, and then, after being fired, leaked those memos (at least one of which was classified) to the media to ensure the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the president, who turned out to be a friend of Comey’s, Robert Mueller. Comey by his own admission has also stated that he calibrated the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton to the likelihood of her election to the presidency. FBI directors in a lawful society are not supposed to do such things.

                      We do know that the FBI placed some sort of an informant in the camp of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign in association with gathering information about data used by a foreign national and a paid operative of the Clinton campaign, Christopher Steele, in his effort to collude with Russians against the campaign efforts of Donald Trump.

                      We do know that the deputy director of the FBI is currently under investigation for lying to federal investigators, on at least four occasions, about his own conduct in investigating candidate Hillary Clinton—at a time not long after Clinton-related political action committees gave several hundred thousand dollars to the political campaign of his wife.

                      We do know now that both James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and John Brennan, head of the CIA, knowingly gave false testimony under oath to Congress. Clapper has previously lied about the surveillance of American citizens; he has lied about his knowledge of the Steele dossier, and likely also lied about leaking its contents. Brennan had lied under oath to Congress about the U.S. drone assassination program, lied about CIA surveillance of computers used by U.S. Senate staff, lied about leaking the existence and promulgation of the Steele dossier, and lied yet again to Congress that the dossier was not used to prompt a CIA investigation into so-called collusion.

                      Again, the government’s two highest intelligence officials did not tell the full truth about their knowledge of the Steele dossier or their own roles in promulgating its contents. In a constitutional republic both such reprehensible officials who betrayed the public trust would be subject to criminal investigations for knowingly lying under oath to Congress and undermining the sinews of constitutional government.

                      We do know that senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr met with the architects of the Steele dossier and that at the time his wife was working on the Clinton-purchased Fusion/GPS Steele dossier, information not disclosed as required by the law on a federal form.

                      Mueller’s special investigatory team, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and the media have not yet found any credible evidence of Trump-Russian collusion. Indeed, it is more likely that the indictments and confessions of some Trump campaign officials and Michael Flynn, on counts having nothing to do with collusion, either will be dropped, retracted, or will not lead to convictions, given much of the information used against them was obtained by misleading a FISA court judge and through improper conduct at the highest level of the FBI.

                      There is a reason why over a half-dozen top FBI officials either have been fired, reassigned, resigned, or retired. We have not yet seen the inspector general’s full report, but its publication may lead to more departures from both the FBI and the Justice Department, if not to criminal prosecutions.

                      If the present constitutional crisis really involves high federal officials and former federal officials who were colluding with foreign governments, then we have ample evidence that 1) Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation received large sums of money from Russian-related interests in association with ongoing requests to buy into companies that might control North American uranium stocks; that 2) John Kerry has met clandestinely with members and former members of the Iranian government to craft joint strategies to save the so-called Iran Deal, from which the president of the United States just withdrew; and that 3) Hillary Clinton’s campaign hired a foreign national to use sources from other foreign nationals to help subvert the campaign of her 2016 opponent.

                      We are all worried, on occasion, by nationalist and anti-democratic movements abroad in former democratic countries. We all sometimes wish Donald Trump would ignore personal spats and curb his tweeting and thus let his considerable accomplishments speak for themselves.

                      But that said, the current and chief threats to Western constitutional government are not originating from loud right-wing populists in Eastern Europe, or from Trump wailing like Ajax about the rigged deep state.

                      Rather, the threat to our civil liberties is coming from supposedly sanctimonious and allegedly judicious career FBI, Justice Department, and intelligence agency officials, progressive and self-described idealistic former members of the Obama national security team, and anti-Trump fervent campaign operatives, all of whom felt that they could break the law—including but not limited to illegally monitoring American citizens, and seeking to warp federal courts and even the presidential election because such unsavory and anti-constitutional means were felt necessary and justified to prevent and then subvert the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

                      It is willful blindness for progressives and NeverTrump Republicans to overlook what has happened only to damn what has not happened. The dangers in America are not from transparent right-wing authoritarians (who are easily spotted in their clumsiness), but from mellifluous self-styled constitutionalists, whose facades and professions of legality mask their rank efforts to use any anti-constitutional means necessary to achieve their supposedly noble egalitarian ends.

                      This is the way democracies end—not with a loud boisterous bang, but with insidious and self-righteous whimpers.

                    35. All well and good and Trump can continue with his Trumpian agenda so long as Mueller doesn’t pin anything on him.

                      Strange that this highly insightful writer mentions not one word about the wrong doing that Mueller has unearthed so far – but of course that does not fit In with his ‘anti-Obama pro-Trump” narrative, just as he bangs in about the Steele dossier but not a squeak about the Trump Tower meeting involving Trump’s son, son-in-law and various other unsavoury characters.

                      A biased report if ever I have read one – no balance at all.

                    36. “Strange that this highly insightful writer mentions not one word about the wrong doing that Mueller has unearthed so far ”

                      What wrongdoing has Mueller unearthed that affects the Presidency? Be specific.

                      Hanson comments regularly so he doesn’t place all his thoughts in one op-ed. Let’s hear specific wrongdoing and proofs that you wish unearthed and I will look around for one of his columns that addresses that. The problem is that the wrongdoing has been caused by Trump rather they have been a result of the FBI and the prior administration’s invasive spying on American citizens along with the scandals of the Obama administration some of which by now you should by now be aware of.

                      So far I haven’t seen any significant laws Trump has “violated” where he hasn’t altered what he did or where he hasn’t been prevented from doing so. He has been a pretty straight shooter so far.

                      ” but of course that does not fit In with his ‘anti-Obama pro-Trump” narrative,”

                      Hansons narratives follow large principles (such as adherence to the Constitution) It is not that he likes Trump and dislikes Obama personally. It is that Obama was unprincipled.

                      Re the Russian tower meeting: Though Trump Jr.’s meeting may not have been the smartest meeting I can’t seem to find evidence for illegality. Obama and Hillary would have been politically smarter and used third parties to ensure better optics but the intent would have remained the same.

                      The report was not meant to be balanced as a comparison between individuals. He was talking about how Democracies end. The left just can’t manage the unprincipled behavior of the Obama administration. Under that administration, our republic (democracy) took a lot of steps backward and some of those steps were listed for you but you have no answer.

                    37. I will answer Allan as and when the Mueller investigation is over and then we can make a like-for-like comparison. Until I hear Mueller’s findings I am staying stuhm

                    38. Ivan, I can understand why you wish to remain “Stuhm”, whatever the word means. I can also understand why you want to hear Mueller’s findings but apparently, you haven’t been very “Stuhm” in your responses throughout the blog as long as they reflect negatively on Trump and you don’t care if those statements you make are rumors or lies. That doesn’t reflect well on your character.

                      With all the negative comments you have made against Trump surely you can mention one single wrongdoing Mueller has unearthed that affects the Presidency.

                      The silence is deafening.

                    39. As is Mueller’s. He is the only person who really knows what Trump has done/hasn’t done. I am not jumping the gun and have no insight into his work, so how can I comment? I, like many others, are waiting for the conclusion of his investigation. I suggest you too be patient. The guy is well known for his thoroughness.

                    40. Ivan writes: “As is Mueller’s. He is the only person who really knows what Trump has done/hasn’t done. ”

                      Ivan, you have just demonstrated why this investigation of Mueller’s is inappropriate. His job is to investigate a crime but if no one knows what the crime is then he isn’t supposed to be called in to investigate. You have gotten to the core of the issue. There was no crime to investigate and this “investigation” is entirely political.

                      You keep accusing Trump of significant crimes yet there are none but there are loads of significant crimes that occurred during the Obama administration. I’ll bet you never argued against those crimes that were real. The heads of departments had to take the fifth and were then granted immunity with nothing being done after the immunity was provided. This was done to protect the administration by rogue members of the DOJ and FBI. That is truly a danger to a free society.

                      “The guy is well known for his thoroughness.”

                      He is also well known for putting people in jail that are innocent and his actions have led to the suicide of at least one innocent person. … And guess what, while he was the head of the FBI some of the crimes that have been mentioned were committed under his watch.

                      You are a pure partisan who doesn’t care about the truth and who hides behind nonsense because the truth is staring him right in his face.

                    41. Allan – I would think that Trump is the only one who knows what he has done. 😉

                    42. Who has he put in jail who is innocent? He is investigating whether a crime has been committed or not … now you are even reasoning like your uber master.

                    43. Four people in prison for 30 years in the Whitey Bulger investigation and they were entirely innocent. Settlement $100 Million for false imprisonment. 2 died in prison. A number of people need to be held responsible for this. It was discovered the FBI withheld evidence from the court of their innocence in order to protect their informant.

                      This is just one incident of many that tarnish the reputation of Mueller.

                    44. This investigation is not political. It is a non-partisan investigation to determine if American democracy has been undermined – something you like to beat your drum about.

                      If Trump is innocent he has nothing to worry about. If his minions however are culpable then they deserve to go to the slammer. Manafort for one is a very nasty slimy piece of work.

                    45. “This investigation is not political. ”

                      Your comment doesn’t sound very smart in light of all the released messages and the IG report. When more than one investigator says they intend to stop Trump that tells you right away it is political.

                    46. Investigators investigate – that is their job. If Trump is innocent, why is the fat old rich slob bitching so much? His problem is he can’t shut up about anything … whereas Mueller can. Impeccable credentials, gets on with his task in a very professional manner and is very well respected on both sides of the House. So why don’t you quit your bitching too Allan?

                      And whilst where on this topic, get rid of that slimy turd Pruitt. God he makes me want to puke … Trump’s bitch if ever there was one.

                    47. Ivan, you asked for an incident involving Mueller and I gave one but you completely ignored it. I provided information as have others that the Mueller investigation is tainted both legally and politically. You then play dumb as if none of these things happened. Right now you are devolving into a child that is frustrated. Your response is little more than a tantrum because you didn’t get the answers you wanted. Try sucking on a bottle with a nipple.

                      It looks like the next quarter’s US GDP may exceed 4% and the economy is roaring. Good things are happening while you are rooting for failure. I’m not sure what happens in Poland when gas prices rise but in some countries, such rises in gas prices cause economic retraction with layoffs and lower salaries. Fortunately, Trump is pushing the production of American energy so even with high prices the country will be better off. Trump is fantastic and he is doing a great job. I love his tweets and I love his speeches. All of this talk puts you in a place you belong.

                    48. To quote:
                      “There is barely a handful of people in all of America with the reputation and experience to take on the task of untangling a multi­pronged Russian influence operation from one of the most disorganized presidential campaigns in memory. After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May, initiating a crisis at the very top of government, the sighs of relief in Washington were audible when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named Robert Swan Mueller III to the task of investigating. Democrats and Republicans alike praised the patrician former Marine. Even Newt Gingrich, a close Trump ally, tweeted that day, “Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity.””

                    49. Ivan, I note your long quote that tells us how wonderful Mueller is. I can find similar quotes and entire stories telling us how wonderful Stalin’s Russia was. Those stories (a series of stories) came from the NYTimes which won a Pulitzer Prize for those stories. It seems that there is an intellectual challenge here and you can’t get over the barrier that many things written in print are plain wrong. The intellectually soft try to walk around the barrier and never learn the truth. That is you.

                      I’ll give you an example. I provided an alternate opinion of Mueller and you asked, “Who has he put in jail who is innocent?” I gave you the answer that is easy to check out and could come up with a lot more. You walked around the barrier and skipped your question and the response.

                      Earlier in our discussions, I explained to you that much of what is happening to Trump happened to Ronald Reagan. Did you bother to think about that? No. It was too intellectually taxing for you so again you walked around the barrier. Yesterday I posted an article I read and figured I would post it for you as well. Maybe you read it. Maybe you didn’t but it turns out that Ronald Reagan was right yet at the time we had a lot of Ivan’s writing the junk you have written.

                      That is OK with me. I don’t expect anyone to necessarily agree with Ronald Reagan or Trump but I do think the level of conversation should be on a higher plane. It can’t be with all those barriers you walk around.

                    50. ““The economy is roaring- STOP parroting your hero”

                      What do you mean? The economy is roaring. You just don’t like the results so like a three-year-old you are throwing a tantrum. Trump is doing a fantastic job. MAGA!

                      ” leading your country into a very messy trade war.”

                      With Canada’s tariff on American milk products maybe Canada is leading the way into a messy trade war? Unfair trading practices occur all over the world but you want to hold America (who has deep pockets) to a higher standard. Your real complaint is you like handouts and you don’t want those handouts to stop. If you don’t want a messy trade war take your hand out of my pocket and put it in your own.

                    51. ivankinsman – Mueller ruins lives of innocent people. He has blood on his hands.

                    52. ivankinsman – if Time likes him I know there is a problem. Hitler made the cover of Time, didn’t make him a good person.

                    53. You might be choosing the right side of the immigration issue but perhaps for the wrong reasons. Sometimes you sound like a white racist nationalist fascist. At least that is what many of your authors claim when they write about Trump’s immigration policy. [Trump is for legal immigration.]

                    54. Standing firm with Trumpus on immigration, have no doubt about that, in the face of all the pc liberal crap over the migrant children. If the illegal economic migrants didn’t try to cross the border, then there would not be a problem.

                      However I never look at any politician through rose-tinted spectacles. I never did this with Obama and you should not do it with Trump.

                    55. Ivan, I don’t care how you think you think because it is evident that you become hysterical when the left pushes your buttons. I stand with Trump only as long as he does a good job. I didn’t care what party Obama belonged to or what color he was. I only cared about what he did for America and he was terrible.

                      Take note that the left has put on the table a new unimportant issue every time there is new news so that you can read about Stormy or made up stories about potential immigration messes. There are people that monitor the press you read and the important news is being hidden so people that do not look don’t know what it is.

                      The problems the media is discussing today is decades old and a problem faced by multiple Presidents all of them dealing with the same laws. The children need to be protected, no doubt, but the person with them frequently is not the parent and could be a drug runner, a criminal, a terrorist, or involved in human traffic. Parents have sent their children without supervision across the lands and through deserts with criminals where their children might be subject to rape or other terrible occurrences. That is child abuse. We are encouraging this type of trafficking by not adequately sealing our borders and letting people in through legal channels which we have.

                      The news media, as usual, distorts the picture. The illegal entry is a bit of a mess, but the children are not put in cages rather transferred to HRS where they are treated quite well. The Democratic leaders want open borders. They do not care about the children or American citizens. They are leftists that wish to destroy cultures that have been in existence for centuries and millennia.

                    56. “This report had me…”

                      Ivan, it looks like you change the subject every time you are provided with information you don’t like. This is your way of throwing a tantrum.

                      I will quote from your article that is a hit piece. “New findings, for instance, show that the Trump Foundation’s largest-ever gift — $264,631 — was used to renovate a fountain outside the windows of Trump’s Plaza Hotel.”

                      This is part of your stupidity. You don’t bother with the facts, you simply listen to hit pieces. The fountain in question is just south and across the street from Central Park. It is city property and enhances Fifth Avenue and the entrance to the park. It is a park unto itself. I don’t know how many people sit for free around that very favorite park open to all visitors and New Yorker’s alike. It is not attached to the Plaza and the Plaza has nothing to do with who uses the fountain or how it used. The fountain is an added attraction for New York City and was a welcomed donation.

                      Trump also reconstructed the skating rink in Central Park and that cost millions. That too is another site loved by tourists and New Yorkers alike. I think that can be seen through the northern windows of the Plaza so maybe the author should have included the skating rink as well. She probably didn’t because I don’t think Trump owned the Plaza at the time.

                      Among his gifts were:

                      Central Iowa Center in Iowa $100,000 I don’t think that faces the Plaza though maybe one of your crazy citations will say that one could see Iowa from the top floors of the Plaza.

                      How about $100,000 to The Disabled American Veterans in Cold Spring Kentucky. Maybe some of those veterans sit around the fountain Trump’s Foundation paid for.

                      Green Beret $100,000. They wear green hats and Central Park is green. Maybe they sit at the fountain with the green hats complementing the green color of Central Park.

                      I can list loads more including more veterans or disabled soldier foundations whose soldiers kept you from speaking German and permitted you to wear the idiot’s costume you are so accustomed to wearing.

                      Yes, your author has a lot of spoiled meat there and you suck it down like the fool you are.

                    57. “Strange that this highly insightful writer mentions not one word about the wrong doing that Mueller has unearthed so far”

                      I looked back at Hanson’s editorial and thought about the fact that you couldn’t provide one item Mueller unearthed that affected the Presidency. To date, there has been no wrongdoing provided by the Mueller investigation. That is true but Hanson explains why you think there is so much more when there is nothing.

                      “Most of the furor is over what we are told what Trump might do, or what Trump has said, or which unsavory character in Europe likes Trump. These could be legitimate worries if they were followed by Trump’s anti-democratic concrete subversions. But so far, we have not seen them. And there has certainly been nothing yet in this administration comparable to the Obama-era efforts to curb civil liberties.

                      While we understand those on the left refuse to believe that a constitutional “legal scholar” like Obama would even think of allowing the executive branch to go rogue, it is indeed strange that in almost every NeverTrump attack on Trump’s conduct, there is almost no recognition or indeed worry that we have been living through one of the great challenges to constitutional government in our history. ”

                      Face it, Ivan, you are a biased person that has little knowledge of the subject matter.

                      Continued at:

                    58. “rump I would consider more in the light of a A-rated fraudster who is extremely clever at hiding his fraud. ”

                      What stupidity. If he hides his fraud so well no one would know about it. I talk about denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and you talk about a charitable trust. What a petty excuse for a man you are. The trust paid out just under 3 million in 2016 and not one of those payouts went to anything but a charity permitted to accept 501(c)3 donations. No one was paid a salary and no one used the trust to travel around the world. In fact, they may have paid some of the trust’s obligations out of their own pockets.

                      Is there a charity that you believe that charitable money shouldn’t go to? Even Democrats contribute to those charities so what is your beef? You don’t have one and that is what irks you so much.

                    59. The grifter claims the trust took in 18.8 million and he paid out 19.2 million in charitable donations … my arse. He used some of the money to pay off his loans. It will all out eventually my friend, and this is a state prosecution case so he cannot interfere in it.

                    60. Ivan, sex and this trust seem to be your basic objections to the president. The trust is meaningless and yes it could pay out more than it took in.

                      You don’t know much about anything do you?

                      On the other hand, denuclearizing the Korean peninsula to you is of little importance compared to this measly trust fund. You don’t give a sh-t about the lives of millions of people. That makes you a poor excuse for a man.

                2. The Americans loved to bash the EU because the EU is a very powerful trading bloc in its own right.

                  No, we bash the EU because it’s institutions have perpetrated appalling economic disasters and because Europe’s elites have made use of it to take consequential public decisions out of the realm of popular sovereignty.

  6. The hatred for Trump by my “my type” is just as visceral as the hatred for Obama amongst “your type’”, so let’s call it honours even.

    Nuttin’ doing. Our Facebook feed gets crasy-ass manure from ordinary Democratic voters on a daily basis. We hear very little (and that lightly humorous) from our Republican friends. The latter was true prior to 20 January 2017 as well. I’ve seen the term ‘Obama Marxist Regime’ in pixels. I’ve never heard if from someone I actually knew in meatspace. What was the equivalent, in 2009, of the pussyhat marches? Tell me where I can find starboard antifa? Your only example is some random dude from Ohio.

  7. And whilst we are on this theme, the demographics are going to beat any “Trumpian vision” in the long-term. Trump wants to maintain the rich white man retaining control at the top of the heap in the US – that’s why he hates Obama so much because 1) he is more intelligent and popular than him and 2) he represents the new vs. the old America. Come what may, the Trump base is having its last bite of the cherry:

    1. And whilst we are on this theme, the demographics are going to beat any “Trumpian vision” in the long-term.

      We keep hearing that from you people, right before we hear from you people that it’s somehow nefarious if we’re actually motivated by what you keep telling us you want to do.

      1) he is more intelligent and popular than him

      Obama is a man quite without accomplishments in any phase of his career prior to 2008. Since 2008, he’s been the author of misbegotten enterprises like Obamacare and the Iran deal (and, no, he doesn’t have a granular knowledge of his own insurance scheme).

      2) he represents the new vs. the old America.

      Really? The ‘new America’ is a land of complacent and conceited motormouths?

  8. Reply to Ivan [ivankinsman June 7, 2018 at 1:20 AM]

    “OK, Allan. I don’t like to get personal in these debates but…”

    …But you do like to get personal and you do like to be divisive as proven in your next statement.

    “you remind me of a bean counter, beavering away in the back office on your calculating machine, feeling underappreciated and just waiting for a Hitler – sorry Trump – to release your inborn potential…”

    You are looking in a mirror and perceiving yourself while trying to heighten the divisiveness by comparing Hitler to Trump. Why not compare Hitler to Reagan since we faced many of the same political problems during the Reagan administration. Your type doesn’t use logic or knowledge. They simply demean and use innuendo. You are not a pleasant person and you have already shown yourself to be a liar.

    “ Trump: Three million jobs have been created since Trump took office,” booms Trump’s news release. He made the same claim at a rally in April. Fact: the rate of job creation under him is actually slower than the last four years under Obama. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.188m jobs were added in 2017. Obama added 2.3m in 2013, 2.99m in 2014, 2.71m in 2015, and 2.24m in 2016″

    I don’t deal with what the President states. I deal with the numbers. The statement made above can mean many things including jobs that exist for a week or are one hour a week jobs. I also don’t deal with contrived numbers something the fact checkers do deal with and you have used. Show me the HTTP at the “Bureau of Labor Statistics” where you got the Obama numbers and left out the Trump numbers. Did your fact checker leave you an HTTP or define what they are talking about? NO. They baited you and then hooked you, hook, line, and sinker. A human should have a larger brain than a fish.

    Your secondary claim is that the unemployment rate isn’t really declining because people stopped looking for jobs. The U 3 has declined to 3.8 while the U 6 covers much of your argument and declined to 7.6. Only a fool like you would believe a hit piece that convinces him that unemployment is actually getting worse with a U 3 of 3.8% and a U 6 of 7.6%

    I’ll quote a definition of the U 6 from the net in full so there is no misunderstanding. “The U6 unemployment rate counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar U-3 rate), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.” Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week. And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work. The age considered for this calculation is 16 years and over”

    I’ll take your proofs one at a time because all you do is go to a political fact check site that creates contrived numbers to represent whatever they want. I’m starting with your #1 and then I will work down after discussion.

    1. Your secondary claim is that the unemployment rate isn’t really declining because people stopped looking for jobs. T

      He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The ratio of employed persons to persons past their 16th birthday is now 0.604. It was 0.599 when Trump took office. It’s the highest it’s been since January of 2009. While we’re at it, the share of the population past their 65th birthday was 12.6% in 2008 whereas it was 15.2% in 2016. We have higher employment-to-population ratios even though a higher share of the population is old.

      1. Thanks, NII. Ivan conflates bits of selective data to prove a point that cannot be proven by the real data. He is a fool. I’m waiting for his response interested more in whether we as a nation are better off or worse off regarding each singular item he placed under discussion. I don’t think any of those ideas he wrote were spontaneous. I think he fact-checked the items on a left-wing blog and then regurgitated junk that he doesn’t even understand.

        He is anti-immigration. I’ve been to his site on immigration and listened to him. I have a suspicion he is against immigration for the wrong reasons and those reasons potentially involve racist ideas.

  9. Seems worth mentioning that Trump could simply be angry at Sessions for FAILING TO MENTION that he would need to recuse himself, before taking the job.

  10. Much misinformed ado about the disfunctional health care payment system in this country to be found below.

    My youngest son is the chief hospitalist at a large urban hospital. He sometimes complains about the large staff of clerks and lawyers the current version creates.

    1. He bankrupted several of his businesses –

      No, he applied for reorganization in regard to the same set of businesses – his Atlantic City properties – on four separate occasions. Eventually, he gave up trying to make them profitable and sold them.

      1. Ivan has to be forgiven. He doesn’t know what he is talking about and appears to be ignorant of that fact.

      2. He left many of his investors, suppliers and employees screwed – something you seemed to have failed to mention here.

        1. Strange as it may seem to you, companies apply for re-organization or liquidation when they cannot meet their obligations. That’s what bankruptcy courts are for. I don’t know why you fancy all business enterprises are guaranteed successes. They’re not, and any non-idiot investor in equities or corporate bonds knows they are not. The same is true of any vendor who supplies on credit.

          1. He has bankrupted several companies – not just one or two – during his infamous career. He is an absolute walking disaster.

            1. NII tired to nicely explain to you a bit about bankruptcy, but you still don’t seem to understand the different types of bankruptcies that exist in the US. Instead, you repeat your inane comments. Nor do you recognize how many companies he was involved with or what happened to other similar companies during a recession.

              These corporate bankruptcies were chapter 11 (reorganization). Let me mention some other companies that filed chapter 11. Bloomingdale’s, very popular in the US. Marvel Studios, Coach (ask your wife who Coach is.) Chrysler, General Motors, and many others. I don’t even know if Trump had a majority share in any of the companies you are talking about.

              Elon Musk, Tesla came within weeks of going bankrupt.

    2. Since it seems apparent you are attempting to promote your website on Professor Turley’s blog, you might attract greater interest by not insulting nearly everyone here–as you have in most of your previous comments.

      1. you might attract greater interest by not insulting nearly everyone here–as you have in most of your previous comments.

        Darren, you take away the conceit, and there is nothing left with most of these people. They have stylistic variation in how they express that conceit, but the conceit is the nub of it. Not one of them has a well articulated conception of the contours of political economy. Enigmas about the only one who is even 25% of the way there.

      2. DSS – maybe it is just me, maybe it is just too much coffee, however, I am not seeing a connection between your two sentences.

          1. DSS – I believe that as much as I believe JT is paying me to blog. 😉

      3. Not promoting anything Darren but showing valid sources to back up my points. I was not the first to use words like ‘foolish’ or to make bigoted comments.

        1. Ivan,

          Having looked over your website, I probably agree with all I have so far seen there about the environmental issues you voice. But when you comingle the environmental cause with vitriolic rhetoric against President Trump’s supporters and others you damage a message of fundamental importance–environmental degradation–and as a consequence turn away many individuals who might otherwise support our efforts.

          Comingling environmental advocacy with angry politics does as much damage to the cause of environmentalism as does those who advocate measures that pollute oceans or our food.

          Though you are of course free to voice your opinion here in criticism of politicians or others, do the cause a service by not alienating others or tainting it with insulting half of America.

          1. You say you advocate the cause if environmentalism whilst remaining a supporter of Trump – this is interesting to me. I am not sure how you conflate your political backing if Trump with his stance in the IPCC’s efforts to reduce the impact of AGW and his deliberate appointment of his lapdog Scott Pruitt to neuter the PEA and it’s effectiveness on

            1. key environmental initiatives.

              And don’t mistake me for some kind of rabid Guardian-reading leftie. The only issues I really get behind Trump on is his strong stance on immigration nnd his push back against out of control political correctness. But that is as far as it goes.

  11. Sessions is either one of two things: A Deep state plant or a fool. I lean toward the latter. He had to choose between his boy scout ethics and protecting the President (his boss) and chose the former. He’s obviously a lawyer who’s in love with being a lawyer and seems to believe the DoJ is the 4th branch of government. I used to think he should be moved to Homeland Security, but after his stint at DoJ – he’s more fitted to being a Senator or Judge – as opposed to an executive who runs things and gets things done.

    He’s done incredible damage to the country and Trump by letting Rosenstein give Mueller a blank check. He and Rosenstein should be fired as soon as its politically possible. Jeff can then go and bask in the admiration of his Republican lawyer friends for his “high ethics” – while the Dem’s laugh behind his back.

    1. Not sure. I think Sessions misjudged Rosenstein and Wray and is now stuck with them for the time being. That was a grievous error. I think it’s possible sessions is holding his cards close to his chest right now.

      1. NII, that is a possibility. Another possibility is that Sessions is a ditherer. Don’t get me wrong. I always liked Sessions because of certain things he stood behind but in retrospect, I wonder what he actually did while being a Senator.

  12. “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced nazi of the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists” Hannah Arendt. The Origins of Totalitarianism. 1951


    No president in memory has publicly abused a cabinet secretary to the extent that Trump has dumped on Sessons. What’s more, Trump’s reasons for abusing Sessions are irrational. Sessions was totally correct in recusing himself, from the Russia probe, having worked on Trump’s campaign.

    Trump’s treatment of Sessions is proof that the former lacks any sense of maturity or common decency. Trump will turn on anyone when seized by a tantrum.

    Last year we saw Trump turn on Senate Majority Leader McConnell when the Obamacare repeal faltered. Never mind that McConnell did everything he could to facilitate that legislation. That abuse was every bit as irrational as Trump’s treatment of Sessions.

    Therefore when one looks at the abusive behavior of Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, it takes little imagination to figure that Cohen truly represented Trump. Cohen’s call to that Daily Beast reporter, captured on audio tape, no doubt reflected Trump’s abusive style.

    Every day Trump remains in office he continues eroding civility in America. We are becoming a meaner, stupider country as a result of Donald Trump. And one can see that mean stupidity in the comments of Trumpers on this blog. They are most certainly ‘deplorables’ as Hillary Clinton aptly labeled them.

    1. Last year we saw Trump turn on Senate Majority Leader McConnell when the Obamacare repeal faltered. Never mind that McConnell did everything he could to facilitate that legislation. That abuse was every bit as irrational as Trump’s treatment of Sessions.

      Members of the congressional Republican caucus had been babbling about an Obamacare repeal for seven years. They should have had a polished piece of replacement legislation good to go. They had nothing on deck, because they didn’t mean it; it was all campaign slogans they didn’t think they’d have to implement. The congressional Republican caucuses suffer from delusions of adequacy. Nothing wrong with a little truth from the Chief Executive.

      1. Nutchacha, I agree with two thirds of your comment here. The Republicans promised a replacement bill for 7 years and never came up with one. And there’s a good reason they couldn’t.

        The Republicans couldn’t craft a replacement because Obamacare is the only scheme for keeping a free-market in place while offering adequate healthcare to the masses at a halfway affordable price. And it might have worked had Republicans not been obsessive in their sabotage.

        Nevertheless Mitch McConnell made an earnest effort to wrangle Republican votes for that tax-cut disguised as a healthcare bill. It was just McConnell’s bad luck that two women senators had enough integrity to vote against it. You know how women are!

        1. No matter what the Republicans did it was only a matter of time before Obamacare died. The only thing the Republicans could have done was to put it on life support so it could crank on longer and be even more devastating to the American public. Look at the middle class that has watched their premiums skyrocket while their deductibles increased and out of network charges destroyed them.

          Obamacare could not work for a sustained length of time and impaired the free market while destroying jobs and causing companies not to grow. It also led to consolidation so that we could see how monopolies work in the opposite interest of society.

          1. Allan, my brother happens to be a top executive in the healthcare system. He was telling me the system was about to collapse ‘before’ Obamacare. And it was! Obamacare was essentially a rescue package to the hospitals. They were getting killed ‘before’ Obamacare. Too many people had either no insurance, or policies with holes. People thought they had insurance when it barely covered E R.

            Obamacare was a good-faithed effort to address those problems while preserving a free-market healthcare system. And the Health Insurance Companies were thrilled to go along. Obamacare could be prospering right now while providing affordable rates.

            But Republicans basically said, “Screw the hospitals!. We don’t care if people don’t have insurance. We’re just going to sabotage Obamacare for reasons of ideology. Make sure it never has a chance. We must neglect America’s Number One Need as ordered by the Koch Bros”.

            1. Allan, my brother happens to be a top executive in the healthcare system.

              Go for broke, Peter. Tell us you’re a lawyer and a nurse-practitioner to boot.

            2. I don’t know your brother Peter, but if he told you that in those words without a better explanation he should stick closely to his job and not involve himself in healthcare policy because he knows cr-p. The two of you seem to be birds of a feather involving yourselves in things above your pay grade.

              Get your brother on the blog. Maybe he can make sense out of what you said and redeem 1/2 of your family that we know about.

            3. And the Health Insurance Companies were thrilled to go along.

              Waal, the individual market customer I know best (who’s buying off exchange) has had this experience: (1) bronze plan disappears; rolled over into a more expensive silver plan; (2) 50% rate hike; (3) request to state insurance commissioner for a 64% rate hike. The state in question has about two insurers left who cover the individual market. Thanks Obamacare!

          2. The problems with Obamacare have been delineated again and again by Megan McArdle: it’s made the individual market for medical insurance quite unstable, and it’s in a death spiral in state after state.

            Mitt Romney faced this situation in Massachusetts when he took office in 2003, and the derided ‘Romneycare’ was an effort to stabilize that market. (The deriders have never acknowledged he needed to work with a Democratic legislature to repair matters). We need a Romney right now. What we’ve got is the Republican congressional caucus, which is totally useless. Restructuring the finance of medical care does not appear to be on Trump’s agenda right now.

            1. You’re right, Nutchacha, Trump is willfully wrecking the healthcare system to dis Barrack Obama. We should understand, of course, Obama was horrible to Trump.

            2. Megan and a lot of others have pointed out the problems with Obamacare. The day it was passed it entered a death spiral.

              To Romney’s credit, he fought for a better bill and many of the problems of Romneycare were provided by the Democrats who owned the legislature during and after Romney was gone. The Heritage foundation screwed up royally and have been embarrassed by it ever since.

              I supported Romney at one time figuring he had the talent to manage the bureaucracy but his campaign demonstrated he didn’t have the heart or the fortitude to carry out the mission assigned to him.

              We don’t need a Romney. We need new legislators on both sides of the aisle. The Republicans demonstrated that they could talk but they couldn’t produce. Bring on term limits and oust most of the legislators of both parties.

          3. Your ilk fails to understand that people with no insurance are still gonna take their sick kids to the emergency room when they get sick. We, as Americans, have decided that we aren’t going to be stepping over the bodies of dead children stacked outside of the hospital doors, so they are and will be treated. If you don’t like that, then perhaps you’re not one that the American ideal appeals to. Your entire family and ilk must be ashamed of your lack of patriotism.

            this is to “I’d renounce my citizenship in a New York second if any other country would have me” allan

            1. Mark, you are an idiot on the subject of healthcare reform. No one envisions kids dying on the streets and no one is going to permit that. Your ilk will just bleed them to death patting themselves on the back thinking themselves so smart.

              It’s appalling that you know so little of the law and now you are willing to expose your ignorance on healthcare.

      1. Thanks Ivan. I saw that in The Guardian. Half the regulars on this thread would sneer at The Guardian. But I scan its home page everyday with particular attention to their arts stories. Its a classy paper ‘even’ with their Bernie bias.

        1. Peter Hill – I am sneering at the Guardian because they are not protecting Tommy Robinson. #FreeTommyRobinson

          1. darn it. all of the funny, intellectually stimulating, yay visceral comments have been deleted by JT’s strong arm webmaster

            Other than Paul’s witty comments, this blog is not very fun

          2. Paul, The Tommy Robinson situation represents the decay of a great civilization.

            1. Allan – if you know English history, they were always imperialist warmongers, not a great civilization. Their best writers were Irish, for God’s sake.

              1. Paul, you have to look at history based on the time that the history was made and not based on the time you are living in. Think of Locke, the Magna Carta, Churchill, Thomas Paine (born in England), Dickens, Darwin. There are loads more and you are wrong.

                1. Allan – they are Anglo-Saxons or Normans (Vikings) and the royal family is German, too. I stand by my statement. 🙂

  14. The real problem is we have three, co-equally corrupt branches of govt. The people who are under the auspices of any of these corrupt branches are equally corrupt.

    Sessions isn’t a model of integrity any more than the DOJ itself has integrity, anymore than Trump has integrity. I think we need to stop pretending that any person with power at this time possess integrity. The fact that we the people have no honest broker to represent us is horrifying. Our govt. is a sham.

    I will grant the fact that occasionally one or another person does something correctly but the underlying system is completely and utterly corrupt. That absolute corruption through our entire govt. is the real problem that we must confront as a nation.

    1. So what would you recommend instead? No government at all? Replacing all current government workers with “virtuous” ones? — but who would decide?

      1. Maybe we the people need to form a new govt.

        I think through the use of peaceful assemblies we might start that conversation between any and all persons of the US who feel the govt. no longer represents us, that it is out of control, that we basically have a corporate run police state. It shouldn’t matter what party one belongs to. We should just start having a conversation trying to understand what went wrong and how might we fix that.

        1. To add, people who don’t think there is anything wrong with the nation should come to the assemblies as well. Lets go over things together.

          For example, the DOD has stolen 21 trillion from US tax payers. Where is that money? What was been done with it? If you don’t care that the DOD took 21 trillon from tax payers then argue your case as to why you don’t care. We need to talk about these things together.

          1. I don’t like waste no matter where it comes from, however, it appears that you would prefer the US to be dissolved and under the thumb of some despotic nation like Russia. To me, that type of thinking is pure stupidity

            1. Allan, this is what I actually wrote: Maybe we the people need to form a new govt.

              I think through the use of peaceful assemblies we might start that conversation between any and all persons of the US who feel the govt. no longer represents us, that it is out of control, that we basically have a corporate run police state. It shouldn’t matter what party one belongs to. We should just start having a conversation trying to understand what went wrong and how might we fix that.

              Taking what I actually wrote, how do you get to the conclusion that I believe…”the US should be dissolved and under the thumb of some despotic nation like Russia?” There is nothing in what I said that can lead to your statement about what I wrote. Did you mean to respond to someone else?

              1. Jill, this is what I responded to. “For example, the DOD has stolen 21 trillion from US tax payers.”

                Hyperbole of that nature can only enhance the position of our enemies.

                1. Allan,

                  Why don’t you look it up? It happened. The truth does not enhance the position of our enemies.

                  1. Tell us how the DOJ stole 21 Trillion dollars. Do you know what the word “hyperbole” means?

                    1. Allan,

                      If you were genuine, you would look it up yourself. It’s in the IG report and you can find other information using the internet all by yourself. Do so.

                      With your disingenuous response you still do not answer how you get from my statement to the weird idea that I want the US dissolved and under a despotic regime like Russia. Here’s what I actually wrote.

                      Maybe we the people need to form a new govt.

                      I think through the use of peaceful assemblies we might start that conversation between any and all persons of the US who feel the govt. no longer represents us, that it is out of control, that we basically have a corporate run police state. It shouldn’t matter what party one belongs to. We should just start having a conversation trying to understand what went wrong and how might we fix that.

                      You don’t get your statment from anything I wrote.

                    2. “If you were genuine, you would look it up yourself. It’s in the IG report… Here’s what I actually wrote. Maybe we the people need to form a new govt. ”

                      Jill wrote on June 3, 2018 at 11:49 AM

                      “For example, the DOD has stolen 21 trillion from US tax payers. ”

                      Nowhere in any IG report did it say “the DOD has stolen 21 trillion from US tax payers.”

                      Maybe NII was correct when he called you a liar. “You never stop lying.”

          2. For example, the DOD has stolen 21 trillion from US tax payers.

            It’s done nothing of the kind. You never stop lying.

            1. NII, I don’t think Jill is lying. I think she is plain ignorant.

              1. Allan,

                You can look up this info for yourself. Perhaps you will find out that you are ignorant of this situation?

                  1. How do you know it’s hyperbole? Did you look it up yet? You really need to look into this as it has happened.

                    1. I am waiting for you to provide the proof. Until you do (and you won’t) your statement was pure foolishness.

                  2. Allan,

                    What is wrong with what you are saying? First, you accuse me of being a Russian agent or an agent of East Asia –or whoever the present govt. says is its current enemy– simply for excercising my rights as a citizen of the U.S. This is the very type of police state tactic which is destroying our nation.

                    You further claim that to criticize the US govt. is to “give aid and comfort to the enemy”. That is both a ridiculous and dangerous statement to make in any so called free society. I stand by my statement; any person with a computer and intergrity can look up. However, even if you will not look it up (apparently you refuse to do so), your claiming that criticism of the USG is “giving aid and comfort to the enemy –the enemy of the day as you define it– flouts the First Admendment of our Constitution.

                    Yours is the age old tactic of the police state. I leave you to it. Here is a report for you: (BTW, I did a quick google search and even USA today covered this story.)

                    by Dr. Terrence Leveck, 17 February 2018

                    “On September 10, 2001, then Secretary of the Department of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that for the 1999 DOD budget, “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” The War On Waste [was the CBS News report about this, dated 10 September 2001]. The following day the US sustained the terrorist attacks that forever changed our world, and this startling revelation was largely forgotten, until recently.

                    When a discrepancy occurs in an account that cannot be traced, it is usual to make what is called an undocumentable adjustment, or journal voucher. This is similar to when your balance is off by ten dollars when you reconcile your checkbook, so you add or subtract that amount to make everything balance with the bank. In 1999 the amount the Pentagon adjusted was eight times the DOD budget for that year, and one third greater than the total 1999 United States federal budget.

                    By 2015 the amount reported by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) had increased to $6.5 trillion for the Army only. ”

                    Look at Washington’s Blog, May 23 to read the whole story where you will see whistleblowers get retaliated against and reports start to disappear!

                    1. Jill, first start with your statement that you are running away from: “the DOD has stolen 21 trillion from US tax payers.”

                      Then read my response: “I don’t like waste no matter where it comes from, however, it appears that you would prefer the US to be dissolved and under the thumb of some despotic nation like Russia. To me, that type of thinking is pure stupidity”

                      Then you tried to change the subject: “Allan, this is what I actually wrote: Maybe we the people need to form a new govt.”

                      …And I responded: ” Jill, this is what I responded to. “For example, the DOD has stolen 21 trillion from US tax payers.”
                      Hyperbole of that nature can only enhance the position of our enemies.”

                      You make yourself appear as a conspiracy nut and sometimes our enemies use the ideas of conspiracy nuts in an attempt to demoralize or radicalize segments of our population. I didn’t accuse you of being a Russian agent. You seem to have a problem integrating ideas and facts. Then you use hyperbole as a fact and draw all sorts of conclusions from the hyperbole you provided. That doesn’t make you sound as intelligent as you probably are.

                      You continue with your delusions: “I stand by my statement; any person with a computer and intergrity can look up.” I only commented on one portion of your statement and quoted it: “the DOD has stolen 21 trillion from US tax payers.” Your mind is rambling and you can’t seem to face the initial response to your own words. You write a lot having nothing to do with my comment and you complain a lot.

                      The one thing you haven’t shown is “the DOD has stolen 21 trillion from US tax payers.” That is a nutty thought and comes from a mind full of conspiracy theories.

    2. Thanks comrade. don’t miss that quota.

      this is to “the bots are gonna take my job” jill

    1. Why couldnt boy wonder from Oahu do this? What is it about liberals not being able to deliver a successful economy nor grow and build a nation?

      “Boom — jobs aplenty as economy steams ahead”
      by Washington Examiner

      “The economy is booming. Even the New York Times, no fan of the president, decided that “splendid” and “excellent” were appropriate adjectives to describe Friday’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

      These showed the nationwide unemployment rate falling to 3.8 percent. If it improves yet further, it will hit lows not seen since the 1960s. The unemployment rate among black people fell to 5.9 percent, an all-time low, which makes one wonder how many African-American voters might think twice about voting against the incumbent Republicans in the midterm elections. The Hispanic or Latino unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point, but remains below 5 percent. Before President Trump took office, that stat could only be said of one month since the statistics bureau began tracking it in the 1970s.

      The good news is not confined to the fact that there is an abundance of jobs. Wages are rising, too. For the first time since the National Federation of Independent Business began surveying about wages in 1986, 35 percent of small business owners increased compensation last month.

      The stock market liked what it saw on Friday, and the Dow Jones industrial average responded with a jump of 0.9 percent, while the Nasdaq climbed 1.5 percent, and the S&P 500 index rose 1.1 percent.”

      1. Have you looked at the unemployment rate for the last ten years or so? Are you claiming that unemployment was awful until Trump was elected? If you look at the actual historical data, Obama steadily whittled down the high unemployment he inherited from Bush 43. Trump has only continued that trend.

        1. Look again. The decline should have been more rapid under Obama and less rapid under Trump because the closer one gets to full employment the slower the numbers go down. Time for you to pull out your slide rule and check the rates. You don’t know what you are talking about and what you say seems to contradict what you say in earlier times.

    2. “Trump’s Trade And Immigration Policies Could Wipe Out Tax Cut Benefits”

      Take note of the word “Could”. If things are done badly then those policies will wipe out benefits but if things are done will those policies will enhance benefits.

      It seems you need someone to interpret the headlines for you.

      1. I’m not sure that Trump actually has “policies.” More like he has gut feelings that he acts on, when the mood is right. Having policies requires careful study by people who understand complicated issues, and have attention spans longer than 30 seconds.

          1. I used to visit a friends grandfather who was very old and senile. Having a conversation with him was only to make him comfortable in the years before he died. He didn’t know what was going on around him so he would use one-word answers like “Yup”.

            1. What a heartwarming story. You probably once heard a real person tell one similar and modified it to fit your rambling and incoherent style.

              this is to “I often just make sh*t up for the hell of it” allan

                1. Anonymous, your empty head only permits very limited statements. Time to move on before you become even more repetitive.

              1. Mark, your responses are pretty close to the “Yup” response only longer and not as pithy. I can’t tell if you are a child trying to gain knowledge or a senile individual that has lost his knowledge. Any way we look at it you are a putz.

        1. “I’m not sure that Trump actually has “policies.””

          You don’t have to tell me that because it is obvious you don’t have the slightest idea of what real policy is. If you want to engage in real discussion you can’t deal with small movements in policy. You have to deal in principles. Do you have a list of your most important principles and can you define their limits?

            1. Principles precede policies. Policies are supposed to follow from principles–albeit, contingently so. Trump has neither policies nor principles. Trump has positions. Trump takes his positions based upon Trump’s Twitter scores for likes, follows and retweets. Oddly enough, Trump’s positions almost but don’t quite fit C. S. Pierce’s definition of truth as the final opinion of a community of investigators; except that, reality is neither the object of the conceptions of that community of investigators nor the practical bearing of their final opinions.

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