Reality Check: Why Trump Is Neither Vindicated Or Vanquished By The Recent Filings

Below is my column in The Hill Newspaper on the unrestrained hype on both sides after the recent filings by the Special Counsel and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. 

Here is the column:

In Washington, both sides appear intent on putting the hype back into the hyperbole. Faced with a serious charge that he directed the commission of a federal felony through attorney Michael Cohen, President Trumpimplausibly declared the filings “totally clears” him. Conversely, incoming House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) declared that Trump is now looking at the “real prospect of jail time” and the “bigger question” of pardons is whether the next president would pardon Trump. Incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) declared that the filings establish that Trump is at the center of a “massive fraud.”

So the public can choose between imminent vindication or conviction, or it can choose reality. The fact is these filings present a serious threat for Trump but do not yet establish a clear likelihood of imprisonment or even impeachment of the president. Here are the reality checks for both sides.

For Republicans 

Trump explained on the weekend that the White House is “very happy with what we are reading because there was no collusion whatsoever.” Yet, if anyone in the White House is “happy” about these filings by the special counsel late on Friday, they are engaging in denial bordering on delusion. It is certainly true that the filings conspicuously omit any evidence of collusion with the Russians, let alone a crime connected to collusion.

Indeed, while Robert Mueller references additional efforts of the Russians to reach out to the Trump campaign promising some “campaign political synergy,” nothing apparently came of those queries. Indeed, Cohen does not even appear to have followed up with the newly disclosed offer. However, the documents clearly implicate Trump in directing a campaign finance violation. More importantly, the special counsel suggests that Cohen may have coordinated his efforts as well as false statements with people in the White House, including his perjury before Congress.

Trump clearly does not want his historic 2016 election victory to be tarnished by collusion allegations. However, collusion is not a crime, whereas federal campaign violations are, and the Justice Department has now accused Trump of directing the latter. That becomes more serious if the Justice Department has evidence that the president or his staff sought to conceal the crime or to suborn perjury or to tamper with witnesses.

Finally, Nadler indicated that he may seek to “toll” or to extend the statute of limitations for crimes by Trump to allow for him to be charged after leaving office. The Justice Department has long held the position that a sitting president cannot be indicted while in office. It is a constitutional interpretation I have long rejected as unfounded, but its effect is that a president can run out the period to be charged with crimes. The proposal by Nadler is a fair one so long as it applies to all presidents. If the Justice Department is going to hold to this interpretation, Congress has the authority to guarantee that no president can effectively hold out in the White House until the clock runs out. It would mean that even if Trump is elected to a second term, he still could be charged after leaving office.

For Democrats

There are a couple of threshold observations warranted for the way the Democrats reacted. First and foremost, Trump is correct that the alleged campaign finance violation has nothing to do with the original purpose of the Russia investigation. This special counsel investigation has jumped the rails, and it is really not clear where it is headed. I should note that I have always maintained that the payments to two women who alleged having affairs with Trump have represented a more direct and serious threat to him, and that Cohen himself was also a growing threat. However, if Schiff is referring to the campaign finance violation as posing the first “real prospect of jail time,” it would prove the exception rather than the rule.

Such violations are rarely prosecuted as criminal matters, though it would not be unprecedented, and the vast majority are resolved by fines. For example, the Obama campaign committed a finance violation that was almost 10 times larger at nearly $2 million, but the Justice Department declined to prosecute while President Obama was in office. Of course, there was no evidence that Obama himself directed the violation or sought to conceal damaging information. The Clinton campaign was also accused of violations in hiding millions paid for the controversial Steele dossier as “legal services” while denying the funding of the dossier.

The last such prosecution involving this type of finance allegation was brought against former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards after his campaign finance chairman and a friendly heiress paid off his mistress. In 2012, he was found not guilty on one count while the jury deadlocked on five others. It is often difficult to prove that payments were made for political as opposed to personal reasons when it is meant to hush up an affair, particularly affairs with a porn star and Playboy bunny.

Again, the greater threat would be efforts during the administration to conceal or tamper with evidence or witnesses. Nadler has a legitimate interest in extending the statute of limitations, but he has overextended the meaning of these filings in describing a “massive fraud.” Indeed, the Justice Department has engaged in an unusually prosaic narrative that portrayed as Cohen conspiring “from the shadows” to undermine the democracy. Putting aside the purple prose, Cohen may have violated federal law, but concealing these payments hardly changed the outcome of the election or represented a “massive fraud.” Prosecutors describe the crime as violating the intent for election transparency, but Trump is widely viewed as an adulterer and his affairs already were widely reported.

Payments to conceal an affair before an election would present a weak case for impeachment without additional criminal acts. Not only is the basis for the charge debatable but it turns on motivation and knowledge. Moreover, many presidents from Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton had affairs, before and after elections, that were actively concealed and kept quiet. Nevertheless, Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) declared over the weekend that the filings show the actions of President Trump are now “beyond the stage” of what led to the impeachment of former President Clinton. This is simply not true. Clinton had lied under oath “at this point,” an act that a federal judge later said had clearly constituted perjury.

The fact is Trump could be criminally charged with a federal campaign violation. The real threat, however, is not that allegation but secondary crimes linked to obstruction or subornation or tampering. These are crimes that are parasitic, in that they rest on or feed off original crimes. Ultimately, they can prove more serious for prosecution or impeachment. The continued effort to play the public will only undermine the credibility of our system as a whole. A president has been accused of directing a federal crime. That is neither a vindication nor a conviction. It is serious, and the last thing Americans need is more hype from both sides.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. He testified on the Bill Clinton impeachment standard, represented former attorneys general in that litigation, and served as the lead defense counsel in the last impeachment trial.TAGS

238 thoughts on “Reality Check: Why Trump Is Neither Vindicated Or Vanquished By The Recent Filings”

  1. MSNBC/CNN reporting on Cohen con man sentencing as if campaign finance plea was only issue addressed whereas in reality it was political/ass-saving add-on charge to much more serious fraud and tax evasion charges which carry the bulk of the weight of 36 month sentence. #FakeNews&WitchHunt

  2. NATIONAL ENQUIRER WILL ‘FLIP’ ON TRUMP

    TABLOID COORDINATED HUSH MONEY PAY-OFFS

    The National Enquirer’s parent company has agreed to tell prosecutors everything it knows about Donald Trump — and it might know a lot.

    In a court document released Wednesday, the tabloid publisher, American Media Inc., admitted to coordinating a hush-money payment with Trump’s 2016 campaign, reversing two years of denials. The confession came as part of an immunity agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office in New York, made public shortly after Michael Cohen was sentenced.

    But the disclosure might just be scratching the surface. Based on court documents and a plethora of media reports, Trump and his aides have worked for years with the tabloid to kill incriminating stories. AMI’s CEO David Pecker also had a decades-long copacetic friendship with Trump.

    Legal experts say that could mean more legal peril for Trump, who has already been implicated in directing Cohen to work with the National Enquirer during the 2016 campaign to pay women in exchange for their silence about alleged affairs.

    As part of the deal, the tabloid publisher acknowledged a series of “admitted facts” tied to its work with the Trump campaign to ensure damaging allegations about the real estate mogul didn’t come out before Election Day 2016. The arrangement — which involved Pecker, Cohen and one other member of Trump’s campaign — stretched back to August 2014, according to a separate court filing on Friday.

    In the document released Wednesday, AMI confirmed that it paid a woman $150,000 in “cooperation, consultation and concert” with Trump’s campaign to ensure she “did not publicize damaging allegations about that candidate before the 2016 presidential election and thereby influence the election.”

    The admission marked a dramatic about-face for the company, which had previously denied making that exact same payment to Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playboy Playmate of the Year, when The Wall Street Journal first disclosed the payoff in a story published four days before the 2016 election.

    In his 2016 race, the National Enquirer endorsed Trump’s campaign and took aim at his Republican primary rivals, including a cover piece as Trump inched closer to the GOP nomination suggesting Ted Cruz’s father had a link to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

    In the general election, the National Enquirer turned its fire hose on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, with front-page headlines blaring in bullet points that she was on the verge of indictment for “TREASON! BRIBERY! FRAUD! ESPIONAGE! EMBEZZLEMENT!” while also suffering from various health ailments including “TWO SECRET STROKES!” and “LUNG CANCER BATTLE!”

    But it might have been the National Enquirer’s role in helping keep otherwise politically embarrassing headlines about Trump out of the news that ultimately causes the president legal problems.

    Edited from: “A Loud Gong: National Enquirer’s Surprise Deal Could Imperil Trump”

    Today’s POLITICO

    1. There is nothing inherently illegal in paying hush money no matter who the person is. People pay money all the time to get better press. The media even pays for crazy stories that they can pubish. They even have been known to pay by the word so they can fill their paper.
      Here is an example of a National Enquirer story:

      “CLINTON SEX ROMP CAUGHT ON VIDEO!

      May 29, 2003 @ 4:00AM

      Bill Clinton has been caught on videotape cheating on Hillary — and the steamy sex romp could torpedo her political career!…

      This story is a lot more interesting then anything Peter Shill writes, but both are equally wrong.

      1. You don’t really pay attention, do you? Paying “hush money” to suppress a story which would negatively impact an election campaign is characterized as a benefit to the campaign and thus the funds are rightfully considered a contribution. Using campaign contributions to pay “hush money” is manifestly illegal. None of these facts are even controversial and have been commonly known and understood for many, many months. Perhaps in your little bailiwick no one knows because no one really pays attention to anything other than hannity’s necktie or day glo bozo falsehoods or some such other “valuable” information. So sorry for your disability. Pro tip: just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s false.

        this is to “but I’ve become partial to imbeciles who are old and white” allan / allen

          1. Diane, you are a funny person and that is one reason you are known as the If-Girl because most of your conclusions start with the word IF (or something similar). Nowhere in your citation does it state that a political candidate cannot pay hush money to keep a story quiet that could affect his business or personal life. You are inserting an “if” into the question of what that money was for. Insert the IF into the following sentence. IF Trump were paying hush money to protect his marriage he would not be guilty of any crime. After doing that refer yourself to the John Edwards trial and then look around at the Bill Clinton saga. When done refer yourself to a psychiatrist.

        1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

          Campaigns are prohibited from accepting contributions from certain types of organizations and individuals. These prohibited sources are:

          •Corporations, including nonprofit corporations (although funds from a corporate separate segregated fund are permissible)
          •Labor organizations (although funds from a separate segregated fund are permissible)
          •Federal government contractors
          •Foreign nationals
          •Contributions in the name of another

        2. Also excerpted from the article linked above:

          For purposes of contribution limitations and prohibitions, a limited liability company (LLC) is treated as either a corporation or a partnership.

          An LLC is treated as a corporation if:
          •It has chosen to file, under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules, as a corporation; or
          •It has publicly traded shares.

          An LLC is treated as a partnership if:
          •It has chosen to file, under IRS rules, as a partnership; or
          •It has made no choice, under IRS rules, as to whether it is a corporation or a partnership.

          If an LLC is treated as a corporation, it is prohibited from making contributions to candidate committees, but it can establish an SSF. It may also give money to IEOPCs. If it is considered a partnership, it is subject to the contribution limits for partnerships

          1. “More homework for Allan and Bill:”

            Diane, refer yourself back to what I previously said.

            “Diane, you are a funny person and that is one reason you are known as the If-Girl because most of your conclusions start with the word IF (or something similar). Nowhere in your citation does it state that a political candidate cannot pay hush money to keep a story quiet that could affect his business or personal life. You are inserting an “if” into the question of what that money was for. Insert the IF into the following sentence. IF Trump were paying hush money to protect his marriage he would not be guilty of any crime. After doing that refer yourself to the John Edwards trial and then look around at the Bill Clinton saga. When done refer yourself to a psychiatrist.”

          1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

            An expenditure made by any person or committee (including an SSF) in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate’s campaign or a party committee is also considered an in-kind contribution to the candidate or party.

          2. Also excerpted from the article linked above:

            An extension of credit outside of a creditor’s ordinary course of business is considered a contribution. If the creditor is incorporated, an extension of credit beyond the ordinary course of business would result in a prohibited contribution.

                1. The complaint alleges that the disclosure was misleading–as in mislabeled “legal services” instead of “opposition research.” The complaint concedes that opposition research is a legal campaign expenditure “if accurately disclosed.” The complaint does not allege that the campaign expenditure for either “legal services” or for “opposition research” was an illegal in-kind campaign contribution. Because expenditures for opposition research and legal services are legal campaign expenditures. So the disclosure of the campaign expenditure was misleading, or inaccurate, but the campaign expenditure, itself, was legal.

            1. “Also excerpted from the article linked above:”

              I’ve stopped counting the number of referrals to excerpted articles on this subject. I think this obsession of Diane’s is severe enough for her to be institutionalized.

        3. Mark, I actually pay attention and don’t let my politics get in the way of my intellect.

          “Paying “hush money” to suppress a story which would negatively impact an election campaign is characterized as a benefit to the campaign”

          This is true, but there were many good reasons for Trump to pay hush money that involved things other than politics. As a lawyer you should recognize that once something else is involved the dynamics of the situation change. John Edwards was not found guilty for those reasons. You are a bit too involved with your ideology of hate and that takes your mind off the ball. You are pushing for a country where life becomes intollerable because anything one does becomes a crime. Foolishness reigns in your world. The hate shows up almost everytime you sign off on one of your postings.

          You need help. I recommend you get it from a competent psychiatrist. You can keep you political views but your crazyiness will eventually degrade both your legal abilities and your homelife if you still have any.

            1. “The timing of the payment negate any credible excuse. You surely know this.”

              The timing of payment was created by the one being paid off. She or her agents chose the timing. Trump paid for silence and had a multiplicity of reasons for doing so. Unless you can get rid of the other reasons you can’t claim the campaign was the cause. Additionally, take note of the John Edwards court case and take note of the typical actions for campaign violations.

              Kimp, in the end the timing of payment was not his. You surely know this.

  3. Imagine if you will, and submitting for your approval a place of smoke and mirrors in the world of a bubble of their own making.You’re moving into a land of where the sky is green, and the grass is blue, where only right turns are used and obeyed so they move only to the place where they have been before. Where truth and facts are not wanted or needed, Where moral compasses are not used, as to have their ignorance justified in their own minds. Where indefensible, morally complicit behavior is rejoiced and cheered. You are entering a world of alternate universe and reality that pulls a person into a void of pathological lies and deceit………you are now entering the Trump Zone.

    1. Imagine you are in a dark cold dormitory with a thin, stinky, scratchy, woolen blanket. Kept awake by plegmy coughing of the other sleepers around you, you feel hungry, hungry stomach fed only with one bowl of thin gruel, and yet, feeling like soon able to sleep because you are aching tired from digging ditches outdoors all day long. Back sore, feet cold, aching blisters, hungry stomach, cracked lips! And yet drowsy and welcoming the prospect of rest.

      How unfair it is that a PHD in women’s studies should have to work in the fields! Directed by a crude bearded man on a horse with a red hat and a shotgun! working side by side with other hungry, skinny, but formerly fat HR admins, compliance experts, news editors, crticial studies deans, and so forth! the vanguard of the future, now reduced to back breaking labor with spades and pickaxes! You think to yourself, “how did those ignorant rubes, wannabee kluckers, and pocket grifters ever latch on to Maoist thought and revolutionary tactics? ” The audacity of them establishing “retraining camps” for, for, rrr, well, their betters!

      And the gall of them saying that “the constitution has evolved” and tossing out the old protections on the dungheap of history!

      Your former job as a university title IX investigator did not prepare you for this exhaustion of hard labor nor the humiliation of being ordered about by those you deemed your inferiors….. ….well at least you made it through the initial “collapse” are are still alive unlike many from your old office, who never made it off campus when the lights went out, the police and rentacops disappeared, and the rioting and looting started…. at least you made it here. You feel a pang of sadness, thinking of your old life, as you slip into oblivion, dreaming of “whole foods” buffet filled with delicious soy products that you once enjoyed… if only you could have some tofurkey like the old days…..

      1. Haha. “Collapse.” You wackjobs lurk around obscure, loner-loser websites scaring each other about what “those people” are claimed to be up to and spread your hogwash so often that you numb-skulls start to believe. Pro tip: “Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Walking Dead” are works of mere fiction. Our beloved country is much too stable and secure to have some sort of “collapse” because a plurality of gullible rubes, dupes, klan wannabees, pocket-traitors and grifters on the make got taken for the big con and temporarily put an incompetent, imbecilic buffoon in the white house. So, there’s really no need to keep stockpiling cammo underwear and hiding silver ingots in your rectum. You’re welcome.

        this is to “I’m also taking cammo-facepaint lessons” kurtzie

        1. Kurtz is a disciple of Oswald Spengler, who wrote the two volume set, “The Decline of the West,” way back in 1918 and 1922–most likely before Kurtz popped out of his Mother’s womb. Kurtz has been waiting his whole life, already, for Spengler’s mopey soothsaying to come true. Santa Trump is Kurtz’s best shot at living to see Spengler’s prophecy come to fruition with Kurtz’s very own eyes.

          Remember Steinberg: Booga Booga!

  4. What “… historic 2016 election victory….” are you talking about? He is not the only person who lost the popular vote to nevertheless wind up in the White House. J.T. is starting to sound just as delusional as Trump. Also, J.T. must have forgotten that Trump denies dalliances with Daniels and MacDougal.

    Note is made once again of the Trumpsters engaging in ad hominem attacks against critics of Trump, just like he does. He has coarsened our national discourse by normalizing such things.

    1. coarsened? perhaps you are ignorant of american history. the founding fathers traded insults and slanders in their elections and in case you forgot alexander hamilton was killed in a duel.

      i think by that standard things are not quit so coarse as they used to be

      1. “insults” and “slanders” were not disseminated internationally in real-time, nor were they the usual response to someone who challenged any of the founding fathers. They haven’t been considered normative until Trump.

  5. Professor, you are wrong on two items. First “collusion” is a crime if it constitutes criminal conspiracy and that is the real point of peril for Trump and you know that. To say collusion isn’t a crime belies a willingness to repeat nonsense from Giuliani. Second, whether or not Mueller has gone out of the bounds of his charge, Mueller didn’t charge Cohen with the campaign finance violations. That was the SDNY. You know that too. Why would you try and conflate those things? I’m disappointed in you on this.

    1. Horuss, specifically what peril are you talking about that involves Trump being President or running for the Presidency?

    2. “First “collusion” is a crime if it constitutes criminal conspiracy and that is the real point of peril for Trump and you know that. ”
      *********************

      Yes and to follow your reasoning: “collusion” is a crime if it constitutes bank robbery, too. Why not leave legal interpretation to the law professors who do it best rather than embarrassing yourself. Collusion is not, in and of itself, a crime unless you’re in the anti-trust realm. bu conspiracy to commit a crime is itself a crime if all the legal elements are met. However, that’s not the evidence so far. Do be disappointed just acknowledge you don’t know everything.

  6. DEFEATED BLACK FEMALE REPUBLICAN WARNS PARTY

    Mia Love, whose parents immigrated from Haiti, represented a congressional district in Utah. She was, however, defeated last month by a Democrat.

    Love was not only the lone Black female among House Republicans, but her departure will leave House Republicans with less women than any time in recent memory. Today Love wrote an Op-Ed piece for The Washington Post warning Republicans they are on borrowed time as a national party.

    This paragraph stands out:

    “We must do a better job of connecting with individuals and families that may not traditionally vote Republican. We must listen to their experiences, visit them in their comfort zones and take their priorities to heart. Our policy implementations must be personal — not transactional. And we cannot fall into the trap of thinking that there are Democratic issues and Republican issues”.

    That last sentence is significant. Because of right-wing media, Republicans tend to think that many important issues are only for Democrats. Healthcare, Climate Change, Consumer Protections, Mass Transit, Gun Regulations and Collective Bargaining are all regarded by Republicans as issues of interest to ‘only’ Democrats.

    Then Republicans wonder why they can’t reach voters in major metro regions. Why Blacks tune them out completely. Why a growing number of women are tuning them out. It’s because Republicans instinctively dismiss a range of important issues.

    1. Take note, despite what you say Mia Love is a Republican. Republicans are more diverse than Democrats and have a multiplicity of opinions. She is right that many Republicans don’t address certain issues. You mention healthcare. The Republicans should have ended Obamacare but didn’t. Trump therefore had to act alone and permitted the less affluent population to leave the Obamacare mess without paying a hefty fine while being permitted to buy more reasonably priced insurance denied to them by Obamacare. He is also trying to open up the insurance market so that HRA’s and other types of financing of health insurance is permissible since Obamacare made the purchase of insurance so difficult and expensive.

        1. I don’t know why our Grievance Studies professa is thinking out loud but I guess whatever he is thinking is due to his intense feelings of victimhood. Stop crying.

          1. Show me a picture to document your claims of diversity. Senate Republicans, the House, interns, Republican College clubs, you have your choice of any Republican group in the nation to make your point. Even the Black Republicans in Congress have tried to join the Democrat Congressional Black Caucus because they have none of their own.
            To be fair, there does exist the Log Cabin Republicans allegedly representing the LGBTQ in the Republican Party. Every 4 years they show up at the RNC and lose in their attempts to get anti-gay provisions out of the Republican platform, but they do exist. Show me one picturedemonstrating their diversity? Just one!

            1. Mr. Grievance committee boss who can’t surpress his feelings of victimhood should realize that my comment regarded diversity in political thinking, but supposed victims are quite paranoid and think everything is about their delusions.

              (The question of diversity of actions towards different groups remains a question that we are not debating at this time.)

                1. No, prince of victimhood and head of Grievance Studies. You screwed up which is what happens when one becomes a permanent victim without cause.

                    1. Allan says: December 12, 2018 at 12:01 PM

                      Republicans are more diverse than Democrats and have a multiplicity of opinions.

                      [end excerpt]

                      All-in can’t follow his own argument unless you rub his nose in it.

                    2. Diane, you are not free to interpret another’s words anyway you wish though you do that all the time. I already responded to Enigma so that he understood the meaning of my words (see last paragraph). The conversation dealt with Mia Love who had political differences with other Republicans which is not uncommon in that party. Mr Victimhood immediately went to the Grievance Committee so that he could shout racism. You have taken up his banner without even knowing the subject matter so instead of rubbing someone elses nose in your stupidity rub your own.

                      “Mr. Grievance committee boss who can’t surpress his feelings of victimhood should realize that my comment regarded diversity in political thinking, but supposed victims are quite paranoid and think everything is about their delusions.”

                    3. Enigma, what ridiculous claim did I make? I tried to clear up your misperception but apparently victimhood has eaten away at your brain. Go to the grievance studies library and bang your head with one of those books. Maybe that will knock some sense into you.

                    4. What ridiculous claim did you make?
                      “Take note, despite what you say Mia Love is a Republican. Republicans are more diverse than Democrats and have a multiplicity of opinions.”
                      The part I highlighted was that Republicans are more diverse than Democrats. You were responding to comments about Mia Love and why Republicans have less appeal to blacks and women.
                      You tried to change your statement later and say you were talking about diversity of ideas which is a different subject and also not true (unless by different you mean totally dissociated from reality like climate change denial). It is ridiculous to say as you did that Republicans are more diverse than Democrats. I give you the chance again to provide a picture (other than Ben Carson’s family at HUD although only he officially works there).

                    5. What a doofus you are, Enigma. Mr Grievance committee is spouting his usual nonsense and based on his prior victimhood complaints one can easily recognize that Mr. Grievance is full of horse sh!t.

                      Mr Grievance Committee says: “You were responding to comments about Mia Love and why Republicans have less appeal to blacks and women.”

                      I responded to a specific issue that didn’t include indentity politics. The following paragraph contains what I said. I was dealing with issues not gender or color. To clear up a possible misunderstanding I posted an explanation noted in the second quote. Mr. Grievance Committee likes to pursue the idea of victimhood so he continued on his own line of thinking. His line of thinking had nothing to do with mine.

                      “Take note, despite what you say Mia Love is a Republican. Republicans are more diverse than Democrats and have a multiplicity of opinions. She is right that many Republicans don’t address certain issues. You mention healthcare. The Republicans should have ended Obamacare but didn’t. Trump therefore had to act alone and permitted the less affluent population to leave the Obamacare mess without paying a hefty fine while being permitted to buy more reasonably priced insurance denied to them by Obamacare. He is also trying to open up the insurance market so that HRA’s and other types of financing of health insurance is permissible since Obamacare made the purchase of insurance so difficult and expensive.”

                      “Mr. Grievance committee boss who can’t surpress his feelings of victimhood should realize that my comment regarded diversity in political thinking, but supposed victims are quite paranoid and think everything is about their delusions.

                      (The question of diversity of actions towards different groups remains a question that we are not debating at this time.)”

                    6. Mr Kurtz – I know and like a couple black Republicans. There are a good number of Hispanic Republicans (mostly of Cuban extract) in South Florida. The rest of Florida Hispanics are much more likely Puerto Rican and likely Democrats. Would you go as far as to say the Republican Party is more diverse than Democrats? Asking for a friend.

                    7. Enigma

                      in my opinion, the Republican party does a better job of representing the average white person’s interests than the Democrats. by far. It is certainly not explicitly the white man’s party, but implicitly, more so than the Democrats.

                      Mostly the Democrats are like a barbell; the party of the lumpenprole at one end and the billionaire like Soros-Bezos at the other. And the people in the middle be darned. And, at the lumpen end, it’s very diverse, if not the billionaire end of it!

                      In general I would say the Republican party is less diverse if we are talking about racial and ethnic constituents. But, maybe Allan meant in terms of opinion? I think he said that’s what he meant, and that would be a more interesting proposition for conversation. I think you guys should try and play nice.

                    8. Mr Kurtz – If you said the Republican Party represents the average rich white person’s interests I’d have agreed. Sure there are coal miners in West Virginia who are waiting for the mines to reopen and poor Southerners grateful that Republicans keep other groups lower than them but their interests aren’t really represented. Who really got the benefit from the big tax cut vs who is losing their healthcare?
                      As far as Allan, He wrote what he wrote which has a literal meaning. In the age of Trump it may be en vogue to interpret what he meant as opposed to what he said, I choose the literal meaning. It’s impossible to play nice with Allan. Sometimes he’ll ask a reasonable question but by round two he devolves into personal attacks. He follows me around like a sad troll. He never actually answers questions, and is hardly civil. You and I can disagree all day and still be reasonable. Allan is incabable of that.

                    9. “Allan. Sometimes he’ll ask a reasonable question but by round two he devolves into personal attacks.”

                      Enigma, you like to play the race card. Play the race card and get burned.

                      You also like to misquote people. You are not civil in your rhetoric when you accuse people of racism for ideological purposes. You should know better, but you don’t.

                    10. “Like I said, a troll, ultimately incapable of any form of argument except personal attack”

                      You are full of grievances, most of them phony or outdated. You misquote people and play the race card. You seldom if ever correct your mistakes and then lament about personal attacks with your own personal attack. It sort of says everything one needs to know about you.

                    11. “But, maybe Allan meant in terms of opinion? I think he said that’s what he meant”

                      You are correct Kurtz and I repeated what I was saying in different words in a follow up post to Enigma, better known as Mr. Grievance. His specialty is creating grievances to keep his rhetoric employed. Truth and fact aren’t necessary to Mr. Grievance Committee. He even called Donald Trump a racist because of an article written in 1928 that made him believe that Donald’s father was a racist and therefore Donald was as well. An article including Fred Trumps name existed but Enigma lied about the details.The article didn’t say Fred Trump was a racist or anything close.

                      Imagine that. One of the first grievances to me from Mr Grievance was that an article from 1928 proved that Donald Trump born in the late 1940’s was a racist. Sort of crazy. Isn’t it?

                    12. I’m all for the protection of white people, which is not the same thing as legislatively maintaining a status quo in which they have an inherent head start. A level playing field is not reverse-discrimination.

                1. go to wiki, its one of the Reconstruction era black republican representatives. i am sure you probably are familiar with all this but for the readers, wiki says at that link:

                  “The first African Americans to serve in the United States Congress were Republicans elected during the Reconstruction Era. After slaves were emancipated and granted citizenship rights, freedmen gained political representation in the Southern United States for the first time. White Democrats regained political power in state legislatures across the South and worked to restore white supremacy. By the presidential election of 1876, only three state legislatures were not controlled by white Democrats. The Compromise of 1877 completed the period of Redemption by white Democratic Southerners, with the withdrawal of federal troops from the South. State legislatures began to pass Jim Crow laws to establish racial segregation and restrict labor rights, movement and organizing by blacks. They passed some laws to restrict voter registration, aimed at suppressing the black vote.

                  From 1890-1908, Democratic state legislatures in the South essentially disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites from voting by passing new constitutions or amendments, or other laws related to more restrictive electoral and voter registration and electoral rules. The Democratic Party essentially dominated the “Solid South” until the 1990s. As a result of the Civil Rights Movement, the U.S. Congress passed laws in the mid-1960s to end segregation and enforce constitutional civil rights and voting rights.

                  During two waves of massive migration within the United States in the first half of the 20th century, more than 6 million African Americans moved from the South to Northeastern, Midwestern and Western industrial cities, with 5 million migrating from 1940 to 1970. Some were elected to national political office from their new locations. During the Great Depression, many black voters switched allegiances from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, in support of the New Deal economic, social network, and work policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. This trend continued in the 1960s when the national Democratic Party supported the civil rights legislation to enforce constitutional rights. At the same time, there was a different movement among whites in the South, who began to vote for Republican candidates for national and then state offices.

                  A total of 153 African Americans have served in the United States Congress, mostly in the United States House of Representatives. This includes six non-voting members of the House of Representatives who have represented the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, John Willis Menard was elected to the House of Representatives in 1868, and P. B. S. Pinchback was elected both to the House of Representatives and the Senate in 1872, but neither was seated due to election disputes.

                  Ten African Americans have served in the U.S. Senate, four in the Republican Party. Two African Americans served as Senators from Mississippi during the Reconstruction Era and one from Massachusetts during the 1960s and 1970s. The remaining seven served more recently: six Democrats, three from Illinois (including Barack Obama) and one each from Massachusetts, New Jersey and California; and one Republican from South Carolina.”

                  1. An excellent recap of ristory, leaqving out some relevant facts. And let me give full credit to the Republican Party of yore whose founding principles included opposition to slavery. Reconstruction was a period of which they could be proud, but it only lasted as long as it was backed up by Federal troops still residing in the South. Southern Democrats traded away the Presidency in a contested Presidential election and in the Compromise of 1877, allowed Republicans to win the Presidency in return for the removal of Federal Troops. Once the troops were gone, Reconstruction immediately ended and was replaced with Jim Crow.
                    Democrats did all they could in the South to keep blacks from voting implementing tactics like literacy tests, moving polling places, poll watchers, removing black people from the rolls and of course, lynching. As late as the mid-1900s this was going on and until the Voting Rights Act of 1964, black people were screwed. The Act was passed by Lyndon Johnson who reluctantly proposed it yet pressure from Civil Rights Leaders and the nationally televised beating of MLK, John Lewis and others on Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus bridge. Johnson underestimated when he sid he’d, “lose the South for ageneration” to the Republicans. Democrats responded by flocking en masse to the Republicn Party and the “Dixiecrats” are fairly representative of what the Trump base looks like. The Republican party despite its great beginnings, is the place where racists call home, although representing a minority of the Party. Yet, to win elections, Party leaders do what they must to appeal to the worst element, giving lip service and more to the Southern Strategy, anti-immigrtion policies and an education policy which is as close to segregation as they can legally get.

                2. sorry maybe not the right entry. here is the one about the guy in the picture:

                  Hiram Rhodes Revels
                  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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                  Hiram Revels
                  Hiram Rhodes Revels – Brady-Handy-(restored).png
                  United States Senator
                  from Mississippi
                  In office
                  February 23, 1870 – March 3, 1871
                  Preceded by Albert G. Brown
                  Succeeded by James L. Alcorn
                  Personal details
                  Born Hiram Rhodes Revels
                  September 27, 1827
                  Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.
                  Died January 16, 1901 (aged 73)
                  Aberdeen, Mississippi, U.S.
                  Political party Republican
                  Spouse(s) Phoebe Bass
                  Children 8
                  Education Beech Grove Quaker Seminary
                  Darke County Seminary
                  Knox College
                  Military service
                  Allegiance United States
                  • Union
                  Service/branch Seal of the United States Board of War and Ordnance.svg Union Army
                  Years of service 1863–1865
                  Unit Chaplain Corps
                  Battles/wars American Civil War
                  Hiram Rhodes Revels (September 27, 1827[note 1] – January 16, 1901) was a Republican U.S. Senator, minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), and a college administrator. Born free in North Carolina, he later lived and worked in Ohio, where he voted before the Civil War. He became the first African American to serve in the U.S. Congress when he was elected to the United States Senate as a Republican to represent Mississippi in 1870 and 1871 during the Reconstruction era.

                  During the American Civil War, Revels had helped organize two regiments of the United States Colored Troops and served as a chaplain. After serving in the Senate, Revels was appointed as the first president of Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Alcorn State University) and served from 1871 to 1873 and 1876 to 1882. Later in his life, he served again as a minister.

                  Early life and education
                  Revels was born free in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to free people of color. His parents were of African, European, and Native American ancestry. His mother was of Scottish descent and his father was a Baptist preacher.[1] He was taught by a local black woman for his early education. In 1838 he went to live with his older brother, Elias B. Revels, in Lincolnton, North Carolina, and was apprenticed as a barber in his brother’s shop. Barbering was a respectable trade in this period, as men of all races used barbers. After Elias Revels died in 1841, his widow Mary transferred the shop to Hiram before she remarried.[citation needed] Revels attended the Union County Quaker Seminary in Indiana, and Darke County Seminary in Ohio.[2] He was a second cousin to Lewis Sheridan Leary, one of the men who was killed taking part in John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry and to North Carolina lawyer and politician John S. Leary.[3]

                  In 1845 Revels was ordained as a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME); he served as a preacher and religious teacher throughout the Midwest: in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, and Kansas.[2] “At times, I met with a great deal of opposition,” he later recalled. “I was imprisoned in Missouri in 1854 for preaching the gospel to Negroes, though I was never subjected to violence.”[4] During these years, he voted in Ohio.

                  He studied religion from 1855 to 1857 at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He became a minister in a Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland, where he also served as a principal for a black high school.[5]

                  As a chaplain in the United States Army, Revels helped recruit and organize two black Union regiments in Maryland and Missouri during the Civil War. He took part at the battle of Vicksburg in Mississippi.[6]

                  Political career
                  In 1865, Revels left the AME Church and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was assigned briefly to churches in Leavenworth, Kansas, and New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1866, he was called as a permanent pastor at a church in Natchez, Mississippi, where he settled with his wife and five daughters. He became an elder in the Mississippi District of the Methodist Church,[5] continued his ministerial work, and founded schools for black children.

                  During Reconstruction, Revels was elected alderman in Natchez in 1878. In 1869 he was elected to represent Adams County in the Mississippi State Senate. As the Congressman John R. Lynch later wrote of him in his book on Reconstruction:

                  Revels was comparatively a new man in the community. He had recently been stationed at Natchez as pastor in charge of the A.M.E. Church, and so far as known he had never voted, had never attended a political meeting, and of course, had never made a political speech. But he was a colored man, and presumed to be a Republican, and believed to be a man of ability and considerably above the average in point of intelligence; just the man, it was thought, the Rev. Noah Buchanan would be willing to vote for.[7]

                  In January 1870, Revels presented the opening prayer in the state legislature. Lynch wrote,

                  That prayer—one of the most impressive and eloquent prayers that had ever been delivered in the [Mississippi] Senate Chamber—made Revels a United States Senator. He made a profound impression upon all who heard him. It impressed those who heard it that Revels was not only a man of great natural ability but that he was also a man of superior attainments.[7]

                  Election to Senate

                  Letter dated January 25, 1870 from the Governor of the State of Mississippi and the Secretary of State of Mississippi that certified the election of Hiram Revels to the United States Senate.
                  At the time, as in most states, the state legislature elected U.S. senators from the state. In 1870 Revels was elected by a vote of 81 to 15 in the Mississippi State Senate to finish the term of one of the state’s two seats in the US Senate, which had been left vacant since the Civil War. Previously, it had been held by Albert G. Brown, who withdrew from the US Senate in 1861 when Mississippi seceded.[8]

                  When Revels arrived in Washington, D.C., southern Democrats opposed seating him in the Senate. For the two days of debate, the Senate galleries were packed with spectators at this historic event.[9] The Democrats based their opposition on the 1857 Dred Scott Decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that people of African ancestry were not and could not be citizens. They argued that no black man was a citizen before the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, and thus Revels could not satisfy the requirement of the Senate for nine years’ prior citizenship.[10]

                  Supporters of Revels made arguments from the relatively narrow and technical to fundamental arguments about the meaning of the Civil War. Among the narrower arguments was that Revels was of primarily European ancestry (an “octoroon”) and that the Dred Scott Decision ought to be read to apply only to those blacks who were of totally African ancestry. Supporters argued that Revels had long been a citizen (and had voted in Ohio) and that he had met the nine-year requirement before the Dred Scott decision changed the rules and held that blacks could not be citizens.[11]

                  The more fundamental arguments by Revels supporters boiled down to this idea: that the Civil War, and the Reconstruction Amendments, had overturned Dred Scott. The meaning of the war, and also of the Amendments, was that the subordination of the black race was no longer part of the American constitutional regime and that it would be unconstitutional to bar Revels on the basis of the pre-Civil War Constitution’s racist citizenship rules.[11] One Republican Senator supporting Revels mocked opponents as still fighting the “last battle-field” of that War.[11]

                  Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner said, “The time has passed for argument. Nothing more need be said. For a long time it has been clear that colored persons must be senators.”[10] Sumner, a Republican, later said, “All men are created equal, says the great Declaration, and now a great act attests this verity. Today we make the Declaration a reality. … The Declaration was only half established by Independence. The greatest duty remained behind. In assuring the equal rights of all we complete the work.” [12]

                  On February 25, 1870, Revels, on a party-line vote of 48 to 8, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats voting against, became the first African American to be seated in the United States Senate.[10] Everyone in the galleries stood to see him sworn in.[9]

                  Sumner’s Massachusetts colleague, Henry Wilson, defended Revels’s election,[13] and presented as evidence of its validity signatures from the clerks of the Mississippi House of Representatives and Mississippi State Senate, as well as that of Adelbert Ames, the military Governor of Mississippi.[14] Wilson argued that Revels’s skin color was not a bar to Senate service, and connected the role of the Senate to Christianity’s Golden Rule of doing to others as one would have done to oneself.[14]

                  U.S. Senator
                  Revels advocated compromise and moderation. He vigorously supported racial equality and worked to reassure his fellow senators about the capability of African Americans. In his maiden speech to the Senate on March 16, 1870, he argued for the reinstatement of the black legislators of the Georgia General Assembly, who had been illegally ousted by white Democratic Party representatives. He said, “I maintain that the past record of my race is a true index of the feelings which today animate them. They aim not to elevate themselves by sacrificing one single interest of their white fellow citizens.”[15]

                    1. ” Doesn’t help Allan make his point though.”

                      Perhaps not because Mr Grievance wants to argue race when I am talking about political opinion.

    2. Republicans can and should take a more favorable stance towards organized labor. That could go hand in hand with opposition to cheap migrant scab labor . Just ask Jack London

      and also against the schemes of globalists that want to reduce wages and rights for American workers equivalent to third world sweatshops in Mexico…. if not by moving factories to Mexico than by moving millions of Mexicans north

      black people with lower educational levels have seen their jobs taken by cheap migrant labor first. the Democrats ignored this but so did the Republicans.

      in part because of money-men like the Kroch brothers backing ill advised policy proposals like “right to work laws”

      1. Republicans can and should take a more favorable stance towards organized labor.

        Again, ‘organized labor’ in our time would be ‘organized public employees’, ‘organized utility employees’, and ‘organized employees of industrial oligopolies’ (what’s left of ’em). Mark Steyn’s description of GM in 2009 was apt: a vast welfare program with a modest, loss-making, commercial subsidiary. And then there’s my old union, SEIU. Lots of transactions costs, union dues paid, and…we got what the company was willing to give us anyway.

        1. United steel workers favor Trump.

          You can bet a ton of Teamsters do too if not the leadership.

          There are emerging opportunities. Don’t be blind to them.
          Democrats have had the lock on them for too long in part because of corruption.
          But mostly because of effort. Effort by Republicans would help just as it does in all things. For too long Republicans have written off organized labor foolishly.

          1. ” Republicans have written off organized labor foolishly.”

            Again it comes down to definitions. Government employees think they can’t be fired because of their union. That is not good. Private unions of private industry that demands union fees from all workers union or not that then give to political entities is not good.

            1. Allan, you have collective bargaining or you don’t. There’s no collective bargaining without dues and agency fees.

              1. There are things such as right to work and there are considerations that union dues that are not voluntary shouldn’t go to third parties such as political contributions.

          2. Kurtz, I think you are a Republican and you argue “For too long Republicans have written off organized labor foolishly.”. That is what is meant by diversity of opinion.

      2. Mr. Kurtz, God is calling you

        The economic asylum caravan in Tijuana wants $50,000 USD per person & they will go home…God willing

    3. Mia Love is not characteristic what can be expected as an opportunity for blacks coming into Republican party. However, the dynamic is more in play with Asians, particularly

      https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/obama-asian-americans-voted-republican-gop-wants-bring-them-back-n873401

      and the Asian Americans can turn on a dime. They are smart. And their social and economic interests in the native born generations align very well with the core Republican constituency.

      sensitivity on immigration was partly a consequence of Jeff Sessions very stupid and excessive policy of attempting a major deportation initiative against green card and temporary work card holders from Asia with minor paperwork issues. Which affected a lot of Asians. Whilst he failed to take any decisive action at all on the millons of illegal immigrants here from Central america and mexico. Good riddance to jeff sessions and Republicans can easily stop this by reversing this particular stupid policy:

      https://www.newsweek.com/trump-rule-legal-immigrants-deportation-1064298

      1. it is almost a no brainer. I keep on mentioning this because it is low hanging fruit for republicans and the new Attorney general can reverse the stupidity with a stroke of the pen and get busy on more important things instead of picking on legal immigrants.

        they could have a big press conference to show a new face and with an offer to trade DACA relief for border wall funding totally outflank the Democrats and take major wind out of their sales. there is already talk of that one but I wanted to toss the failed Jeff Sessions policy into the mix too.

        NO CHARGE FOR THIS GREAT IDEA REPUBLICANS I OFFER IT FOR FREE

  7. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/12/gilets-jaunes-paris-protesters-france

    When I left Paris four years ago to settle in the pretty Drôme valley in south-eastern France, I opted for a village not far from the city of Valence. I wanted to be close to a high-speed rail station, but remote enough to finally be able to enjoy the fresh air and rural surroundings. At the time, I didn’t expect I’d be moving from one world to another. I had reckoned on making regular trips back to the capital. But Paris has gradually become a distant, hazy concept. When I do go to visit friends, it feels cut off, like a city in a bubble, carefully concealing its pockets of poverty while proudly showing off its cultural trophies and temples of consumption.

    Life here, in contrast, has been tranquil, almost slow motion. The woman on the till at the local shop takes her time to chat to customers and no one complains, unlike in Paris. When people see someone speeding they often say: “Ah, that guy’s from the city.”

    More and more of us city people are taking refuge here, between the Alps and Provence, in France’s top organic food-producing region. We fortysomethings looking for new meaning in life often cluster together. We’re easy to spot, haunting local markets with hessian bags and lining our cupboards with preserving jars. Supermarkets are for “the others”.

    Until the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests began a month ago, I’d had little contact with those “others”, mainly employees, artisans and small contractors. But the other evening my partner, a local farmer, and I stopped to chat to a group of people protesting at a roundabout. The group of men standing around a fire seemed pleased to see visitors.

    “Not too cold,” my partner asked. “No, no, we’ve seen worse,” one man replied. “Climate change is a load of nonsense: it doesn’t exist,” he went on, complaining about one of the reasons the government introduced the fuel tax rise that triggered the protests. “Really,” I asked, “but what about all the flooding, and the heatwave this summer?” “Listen,” he said, “we had a heatwave in 1976, and in 1960. You’re too young to know, but I’m 70 and I was born on the land. I can tell you: they’re lying.” The word “they” pointed to an utter distrust of the media and elites.

    “But what would ‘they’ stand to gain by lying about climate change,” I queried. “Well, obviously, pushing the price of petrol up!” he answered. It was baffling logic, but I felt that he was harking back to an apparently stable, reassuring time in which the seasons followed an unchanging pattern. I sensed his fear of a world that was cracking up, the kind of fear that stops us seeing what is blindingly obvious.

    A white-haired, moustached gilet jaune then came up to us with another explanation: “It’s all the migrants’ fault. Africa is invading us. These people are OK to work for €1 an hour. It makes the rest of us poorer. We no longer count in our own country.” It was dark, and he couldn’t see that my skin was light brown, which was just as well. “Don’t you think you’re crediting migrants with rather a lot of power?” I suggested. “Perhaps it’s the multinational firms that dictate the terms in the job market and pocket the profits?” He paused and nodded: “Yeah, you’re right.” He added: “Here we’ve always welcomed everyone – the Poles, Italians, Portuguese – no problem. In the 1970s in our block of flats in Valence, we’d always greet our Algerian neighbours. The women didn’t wear headscarves then. Everything was fine.”

    A sandwich box stacked with pizza slices was handed around. A car drove by and hooted the gilets jaunes in a sign of support. The man with the moustache raised his arms to form a V and shouted: “People of France, rise up!” It was just another sign of how deeply Marine Le Pen’s ideas have seeped into people’s minds.

    But another gilet jaune joined in to say: “I don’t agree with any of that. It’s true there are Front National supporters around here, but many others are of all possible stripes, and the important thing is that we’re all talking. We want nothing to do with political parties. I’ve just joined the movement, I usually never go to demos. Now I’m utterly fed up and above all I hate [Emmanuel] Macron. I can’t stand how arrogant he is. I want the system to change, not just the price of petrol.”

    Like many people in the Drôme valley he lives 20 or 30km from his workplace in Valence. With rail services having been cut, he has little option but to drive. In Paris, people can cycle and rent electric cars. There’s nothing like that here.

    “We’ll stick it out to the end,” the gilets jaunes insisted. One of them proudly explained he’d continue to stand there at the roundabout despite working hard all week. He was full of enthusiasm. In fact, they all seemed pleased to be socialising, discussing work, life and their hopes of creating another world.

    A few of them said they’d like the gilets jaunes to join a wider campaign to move away from capitalism: fewer cars, less consumption, better quality of life, a safe planet. But others focused on the deep faultlines in France: “Some people can afford to think about the end of the ‘system’, but most of us just worry about how to cope until the end of the month.”

    Among the thousands of gilets jaunes outposts that now dot this country, each person has his or her story, and each one is experiencing something entirely new. For France, too, this is different. The gilets jaunes have brought life and colour to places that many assumed had fallen fast asleep. In these rural areas where so many bistros have closed and social organisations are disappearing, the movement is creating a sense of belonging, helping people connect to a wider story.

    It’s unclear whether President Macron’s TV statement on Monday, including a pledge to increase the minimum wage, will stem the anger. It could even inflame it further. As a former city-dweller something may set me apart from the gilets jaunes, but when all is said and done I much prefer an anger that brings people out of their homes and stirs debate and passionate outbursts to the fear that separates people into bubbles. That fear can deadlock an entire society.

    1. Why Mr Kurtz that is a splendid article! Please may we have another?

      https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Instability-and-populist-unrest-is-the-new-world-13458426.php

      he particulars might be different, but the upheavals playing out in Britain and France this week have familiar and common undercurrents, born of the same forces – rebellion against globalization, fear of immigrants and distrust of traditional leaders – that have stoked discontent in Germany and other European countries and that are roiling politics in the United States.

      Instability appears to be the order of the day, whether in the United States or in Europe. Traditional politics, of the kind practiced in Western democracies for decades after World War II, is on shaky ground nearly everywhere, struggling to find the point of equilibrium that can satisfy populations fractured by economic, cultural and social changes.

      In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May clings to power as she struggles to win support among skeptical members of her Conservative Party – and others – for a Brexit deal with the European Union. In France, President Emmanuel Macron, flying high a year ago after his election, is in retreat, chastened by a series of violent demonstrations against his reform agenda. In Germany, Angela Merkel will step down as leader of the Christian Democrats this month, though remain as chancellor, in an acknowledgment of the decline in support for her party and frustrations with her leadership.

      In the United States, meanwhile, an already divided country faces the prospect of more unrest as special counsel Robert Mueller moves toward the conclusion of his investigation, with the prospect of hearings – and even the possibility of the start of impeachment proceedings – in the new Democratic-controlled House that could further destabilize the Trump presidency ahead of the 2020 elections.

      Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, summed up the state of affairs this week in a Tuesday morning tweet. “A bad day as far as politics for what we used to call the West: political chaos over Brexit in the UK, political capitulation in France that will not satisfy anyone or settle anything and a political crisis in the United States that continues to grow in breadth and depth alike.”

      The dividing lines in this new world of unrest are no longer simply those along a left-right continuum, with conservatives pitted against liberals. Those battles still exist, here and elsewhere, but increasingly the forces of destabilization are coming from other angles and other directions. They are driven by what Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and U.S. ambassador to NATO under former president Barack Obama, described as “a population that is increasingly upset with how 20, 30, 40 years of globalization have changed the internal dynamics of society.”

      This has taken forms that are changing politics, political alliances and policies here and abroad: a growing divide between cosmopolitan and non-cosmopolitan populations; deepening cultural differences between urban and rural parts of society; widening differences among those favoring a society more open and welcoming to immigrants and those favoring closed borders and turning inward and taking care of the home front.

      In this country, the urban-rural split has become one of the largest and one of the fastest-growing divisions among the electorate. In Britain, the narrow victory for those citizens who called for Britain to break away from the European Union in the Brexit referendum was fueled by those parts of the country outside major urban centers. In France, Macron has been under assault by demonstrators from rural areas and small towns protesting his fuel tax, among other measures, that would disproportionately affect them and their lifestyles.

      There is another commonality to what has been seen in country after country, which is that the protests and political rebellion are organic rather than led by traditional groups or acknowledged leaders. Brexit caught political leaders by surprise. Trump’s victory in 2016 was unforeseen in large part because it was from the bottom up and aimed at the establishments of both parties.

      Bronwen Maddox, director of the Institute for Government in London, described a confluence of factors that has put governments and elected leaders on the defensive, from growing demands or expectations for services to tight public finances to rising mistrust of leaders and institutions. But she said the answers to the problems that have sparked the rebellions and the protests – withdrawal from the European Union dictated by the Brexit referendum in 2016, for example – “are not the answers to their problems.”

      Mistakes by those in power have contributed to the conditions that have sparked this rising populism. May’s predecessor, former prime minister David Cameron, thought a Brexit referendum would, once and for all, end the debate within his party over Europe. It ended up as a spectacular miscalculation. Merkel produced a backlash against her power and policies after she opened her country in response to a refugee crisis in the Middle East.

      Macron came to office with little governing experience and having created a new party of the center whose members similarly lacked experience. For a time he took on the role of chief advocate for internationalism and a united and vibrant Europe, in opposition to Trump’s America First. For that he won praise from many quarters. But he made the elemental mistake of neglecting the people at home. He has heard them now.

      European leaders, and others, think the United States under Trump has contributed to the instability among Western democracies. “We couldn’t solve all these problems but we could try to be part of the solution,” Daalder said of the United States. “There is this sense on the part of European leaders that they’re standing there all by themselves . . . not looking at international solutions but national ones. That’s the fear about things coming apart.”

      Rather than seeking to strengthen alliances, as past presidents have done, Trump has attacked them, from NATO to the EU to the Paris climate agreement, the Iran nuclear agreement and multilateral trade agreements.

      Last week, as this country was saying goodbye to former president George H.W. Bush, an ardent defender of the postwar world order, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Brussels, where he defended the president’s policies and challenged the role of existing organizations from the U.N. and the EU to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

      Trump, he said, “sees the world as it is, not as we wish it to be,” and he added that the president’s policies were helping to return the United States “to its traditional, central leadership role in the world.” That prompted a rejoinder from the Financial Times editorial board, which described the Trump doctrine as “belligerent unilateralism,” and added, “The U.S. has become weaker and the world more disorderly, as a consequence.”

      But the world was becoming increasingly disorderly before Trump became president and he probably was elected because of that disorder. Instability and unrest are now commonplace, testing the strength of elected leaders and creating fertile ground for those in reaction. As Maddox put it, “This is a difficult time to run a modern democracy.”

      1. thus many are seeing that a time approaches when political conflicts will only be resolved as they ever have been throughout history, with organized force.

        the election of Donald Trump by our people shows that we are developing the instincts necessary to survive the coming chaos.

        “I had a dream” and here is my dream:

        “I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That’s my dream; that’s my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor… and surviving.”

    2. Kurtz, all this upheaval, Trump’s election, Brexit and the current friction in France, suggests that capitalism is failing commoners in the early 21st Century. Average working people, throughout the western world, feel smaller and smaller against the forces of global trade.

      So one has to question why Republicans keep doubling-down on so-called “Free-Market Solutions”. Is it because their donors are mostly billionaires?

      1. Peter, capitalism isn’t failing rather the socialized systems have reduced the wealth of many people all over the word. Additionally the socialized politicians interested in their own well being have sold their people out permitting free trade to be corrupted by communist dictatorships. Trump is willing to fight that type of illegal action and some of the western nations are starting to recognize the benefits of his actions.

        The billionaires are the one’s you quote so frequently. Jeff Bozos owner of the WP recognizes that the Democrats offer unlimited illegals to destroy the wages of ordinary American workers. He also recognizes that he is at the top of the elites so a collectivist approach rather than a democratic republic’s approach leaves him with even more power. The billionaires of Google, Twitter etc. are also donors to the Democrats as they do shadow banning and other acts in an attemt to eliminate other voices from the Internet.

        You have your head screwed on backward.

        1. global capitalism has the “free movement of capital” as one of its goals as it does ” the free movement of labor”

          capitalism works as a system inside a nation, to unleash the forces of human creativity and productivity. socialism retards human creativity and rewards incompetence and thus fails.

          but capitalism must be subject to the national interests and not allowed to overtake them. that is why DJT is my hero. He is both a successful capitalist but one that reigns in the capitalist subject to the national interest.

          that is why global capitalists like bezos and soros hate him

          capitalism has had many of its onerous features trimmed in the national interest. mass migration needs to be one of its emerging features that needs a severe cutting down to size.

          that is always a question of degree and good judgment and restraint. at this time the alignments are confusing and doctrinaire approaches do not work anymore.

          1. “global capitalism has the “free movement of capital” as one of its goals as it does ” the free movement of labor”

            The free movement of labor may or may not be a part of what one considers global capitalism. One can’t have a ‘free movement of labor’ in an entitlement state. Entitlements corrupt free movement.

            Freemarket capitalism is not without rules and regulations. Hayek would probably say that government can interfere in certain things if they do it with the least interference in the free market.

            Is Bezos in the freemarket if his workers are not paid enough so that they require food stamps, state subsidies for healthcare and retirement?

            1. i believe it is appropriate to have borders to nations which restrict the free flow of migrants and that means labor. that is a restriction on capitalism that I and the average joe thinks is good but Soros and the other billionaires that are advocates and operators in what I call global capitalism– they dont like these borders. a big issue right now and will be more and more as the pressure of migration increases due to war, famine, drought, changes in coastal regions, etc etc. the problem is not going away

              1. Kurtz if you believe in the free flow of people across borders then you might believe that preventing such free flow interferes with capitalism. I don’t agree but I find the idea for discussion acceptable. If you believe that nations have borders then I don’t know that we would define controlling one’s border as akin to “a restriction on capitalism”. Private financial ownership is not involved. There are loads of things governments do that one could say restricts capitalism such as the release of toxic chemicals so that the way you seem to be defining restrictions on capitalism IMO is somewhat meaningless. Adam Smith recognized government as a necessary part of the free marketplace. I don’t think capitalism exists without some form of government control.

                1. i believe the nation state is a stable social form like the family. i oppose “progress” whether coming from globalist left or globalist capitalist which seeks to eradicate nations, families, gender ethnic and other organic social differences. i believe these ancient social forms are reflective of a fairly stable human nature that does not change much even as other things like technology and history evolve.

                  property rights in the personal sense are reflective of human nature which is responsive to rewards and punishments. corporate property rights extends that in powerful ways., but, corporate persons do not have precisely the same rights as human persons nor should they. here my thinking begins to diverge from doctrinaire apologists for capitalism considerably.

                  at the level of the nation state there are many socalled human rights and corporate property rights that have to get truncated in the national interest by laws.

                  labor is a national resource which needs replentishing. industrial society has lead to the decline in fertility everywhere. labor needs continue. corporate demand for labor only sees green, maybe, but people are not interchangeable. if you have a national labor shortage the immediate solution should not be to import millions or tens of millions of vastly different people just so that wages don’t go up. the reason is that the fundamental nature of the nation itself changes when a big percentage of a native population is replaced by foreigners. in biology with animals that is considered a threat to biodiversity but for some reason nobody is worried about the negative biodiversity effect of influx of somali immigrants into sweden for example. why? are swedes bad, somalis good? i dont see it that way. and if I have to pick one I like better, then I pick swedes not somalis. Sorry!~

                  I think that’s part of what happened in America. i am not sure why, perhaps not a direct relationship, but a small contributing factor, but stagnation in wages which emerged in the 70s was also roughly contemporaneous with dramatically increased mass migration from the third world. obviously that started with the 65 immigration reform act but the influx of illegals from Mexico followed later on from that.

                  1. “i believe the nation state is a stable social form like the family.”

                    I don’t agree and I don’t think I agree with a lot of your definitions. It also seems that you are mixing too much together and building on an insecure base. That is why I can’t comment on your substance.

                  2. Alain Soral is a thoroughly disreputable character who sometimes reformulates familiar tropes in an interesting way:

                    https://www.counter-currents.com/2015/08/is-alain-soral-a-nazi/

                    [T]he far-right [as a slur], at least since 1945 and more so since May ’68, is an invention of leftism, under Atlanticist sponsorship, that is of the business right (what I call the Bank) to hide the fact that National Socialism was socially left-wing.

                    That too is one of the keys to understanding everything that has been at stake since the Second World War.

                    As a French national socialist, I am irritated at being lumped with the far-right, a term which for me designates the neoconservatives, the Americano-Zionist imperialists, and the international banking power . . .

                    So, my answer is that I am not of the far-right, but I am a national socialist, but one can consider this to be worse!

                    I would add, so that I am not merely taken for a provocateur, that I am a French national socialist: With no need to refer to a racial theory for reasons of living space, which corresponded to the German situation. Ideology often stemming from geography!

                1. “Tabby, we dont know how much Putin has offered Trump.”

                  We know about how much Putin and others have paid Hillary and Bill. Only those that can only count on their fingers might actually think you have something worthwhile to say.

            1. Not at all. he could make more money right where he was before the election. seriously you guys have to understand that a billionaire stays busy and makes money very quickly. when he does the work of president he is not making the kinds of money he could make if he had just stayed out of it. not even close. this is a fantasy that ignorant people have who do not understand anything about how executive leadership works. i do not take you for an uneducated boobus americanus peter so don’t repeat their trite delusions

      2. peter good question.

        I would say no not mostly, certainly not, there are not that many billionaires out there
        but YES the Kroch brothers are too influential.

        as allan observed many billionaires such as Geo Soros and Jeff Bezos are staunch Democrats and big pushers of mass migration.

        that said yes I think global capitalism is a major threat to the existence of Western culture as such. I do favor free enterprise, private property, and fair trade, but global capitalism is a late stage of imperialistic capitalism is something quite different than what Adam Smith envisioned as a form of capitalism in one nation.

        Just as the international socialism of Trotsky was far different than the socialism in one nation of Stalin,
        the global capitalism of Soros and Bezos is far different than capitalism in one nation.

        1. “yes I think global capitalism is a major threat to the existence of Western culture as such.”

          Kurtz, don’t you think it depends upon one’s meaning of the words global capitalism and the nature of the state with relationship to entitlements?

          1. of course. capitalism and a firm enforceable regime of property rights inside the nation is important and the only real way to unleash human creativity and potential.

            capitalism in terms of superstructures that erode national soveriegnty like the UN or the EU, or aspects of certain trade deals, or elements of how entities like the World Bank or IMF operate, that is global capitalism and it is a different matter than capitalism inside the nation.

            likewise international phenomena that arise which are not institutional but social, which have a destructive impact on the nation but may arise and be perpetuated by capitalist elements, such as mass migration, there again you have to consider drawing a line to protect the nation. like a line in the sand at the border!

            1. I assume global capitalism means capitalism that transcends national borders. I don’t think the UN should play a part in its definition. I think you are mixing things up based on what you see and what you like or don’t like.

              ” capitalism and a firm enforceable regime of property rights inside the nation is important and the only real way to unleash human creativity and potential.”

              Human creativity and productivity can be unleased by things other than capitalism and property rights. To date capitalism and private property rights seem to be the best method to accomplish that goal.

              1. i agree capitalism and property rights are the best way shown so far to unleash a society’s productivity and creativity., ironically that was also the precise conclusion of the Communist party of China in the post Mao era of Deng Xiaopoing and thus they adopted capitalism inside of China “like a bird in a larger cage becomes more strong”

                They have no illusions that the national interest comes first however,.
                So does DJT. I am not sure that all our presidents have had such a firm sense of that as he. I think that Bush who negotiated Nafta and Clinton who signed it, both had a weak sense of what was in America’s long term interests and they were too beholden to advice from soullless gutless deracinated investment bankers who “ran the numbers” and failed to consider the many externalities that would arise to the detriment of Americans. The main focus was on a sort of transnationalist global capitalist bean counting conception of economic activity divorced from all other important considerations

                globalist financial capitalism and industrial capitalism, somewhat different things … economist michael hudson can define terms far better than me

                https://michael-hudson.com/2013/07/the-insiders-economicdictionary-part-a/

                1. “i agree capitalism and property rights are the best way shown so far to unleash a society’s productivity and creativity., ironically that was also the precise conclusion of the Communist party of China” as long as the communist party reigned supreme and had ultimate control.

      3. peter i would further point out that Hillary is the staunch favorite of Democrat capitalists just as “anyone but trump” was initially the favorite of the Republican global capitalist faction.

        GHWB is gone now and buried may he rest in peace. And rest with him a Republican party that would ever again be controlled by investment bankers like him and his kin.

        Financialization and globalization have run amuck. If Democrats won’t act to reign them in then Republicans have to do it. Trump has taken up the reformation of Nafta and other bad trade deals in the interests of the nation. A short period of pain will yield a firming industrial footing moving forward, that is, if he is not sabotaged before his work is complete.

        and yes Republicans may have to jettison some other aspects of unbridled capitalism like the abject worship of Mammon at every turn. We want business and success and prosperity and industry but skyrocketing profits made on the backs of destroying nations is not the kind of success that serves us well. It is toxic and needs to be crammed down to size. The Republicans need to be and appear to be more embracing of other social and cultural goals besides economic growth at any cost.

        National identity, national culture, including responsible conservation of national resources, those are all interlinked notions depending on having a core idea of “nation” that honors the past and does not always insult and discount it. A people must have a sense of a shared destiny. Has America grown too diverse to share that sense? Only time will tell.

        at the moment, i think Gilets jaunes point the way.

        1. ” Republicans may have to jettison some other aspects of unbridled capitalism like the abject worship of Mammon at every turn”

          Why? Is greed essentially bad? If it causes a successful person to produce more. That is a good thing for the rest of us. Perhaps illegal greed is what you are talking about or greed that is fed by too much government involvement in the free marketplace.

          1. greed was considered a vice to the Spartans and Plato elaborated on that in the Republic. so it is both a bad thing for the person and society. I can’t do better than that. It is also considered a vice in traditional Christianity. Yes greed is a vice.

            I am familiar with Ayn Rand’s book the virtue of selfishness and I don’t hold to her viewpoint.

            Normal ambition and acquisitiveness within proper moral and social restraint is not greed. There is a question of degree and moderation. The analogy is to hunger and gluttony. Hunger is good, it helps you live. Gluttony is bad, it kills you with obesity etc.

            1. Greed was considered evil in the 1987 movie “Wall Street”.
              It took aim at the speculative excesses in the market, and the lack of integrity of some in the investment industry.
              The speculative excesses of the late 1990s far exceeded anything that we saw in the 1980s.
              As long as the party lasted, until the dotcom bust that started in early 2000, you didn’t hear much about greed as a vice.

            2. “greed was considered a vice to the Spartans and Plato elaborated on that in the Republic. so it is both a bad thing for the person and society.”

              Just because Plato elaborated on greed doesn’t make it a bad thing.

              “Yes greed is a vice.”

              Then perhaps you wish to say the Catholic Church is a vice though I don’t know that I would agree. Greed is a funny word. A person is greedy not because he is or is not but because another says so. I think envy is more of a problem. I charged a lot for what I did and eventually I didn’t need the money. Is that greed?

              “Hunger is good, it helps you live. Gluttony is bad, it kills you with obesity etc.”

              Hunger is good but people die of hunger. Obesity might be bad for one’s health but there are gourmonds that find overeating very satisfying to their lives.

              “I am familiar with Ayn Rand’s book the virtue of selfishness and I don’t hold to her viewpoint.”

              Forgetting Ayn Rand “selfishness” is a part of the free marketplace. The butcher doesn’t butcher cows out of altruism. He does it in his own self interest.

              1. i dont explain myself very well. Catholicism and old timey protestantism and orthodoxy all regard greed as a vice. Self interest and greed are not the same. Rand painted with too broad a brush when she equated simply healthy self interest and greed. the words are not the same and she was just making an overstated point in her book. That was her style.

                Lycurgus’ laws for classical Sparta took a severe stance against greed and even the use of specie as money. they went so far as to require the use of iron ingots as a form of fiat money and bar the use of silver and gold. Sparta is much looked down on today except in movies and it’s not clear what would have emerged in “the west” if Greece had been reduced to a zoroastrian colony of Persia. Which is where it was headed without Sparta’s famed stand at the Gates of Fire.

                Ayn Rand wrote a lot to try and demolish Plato. Her philosophical writing depended on oversimplifications. It also lacked a sense of where the important questions laid in the 20th century and that was not where her interests located them. Her characterizations of Platonic thinking were straw man misrepresentations at times.

                Self interest and greed are not the same. Hunger and gluttony are not the same. you feel hungry and eat but not overmuch. overmuch is gluttony. you feel self interest and so you work. greed is doing bad things to get money and thus it shows you valued it overmuch, like gluttony

                greed and pride are related. All the vices emerge from pride in a way. Not a healthy sense of self but an excessive self valuation that is pride. I will stop. I am not a very active Christian but I am a Christian yet in some sense, and others have explained it all very much better than me.

                as for Catholicism it famously attracts greedy men to lead it but it has an excellent teaching on virtue and vice. It’s like the high school teacher who is a bad person. that teacher may be a great teacher but do bad things. the Church is a good teacher as a corporate entity but it tends to attract a lot of the very worst kinds into its clergy. For centuries it seems.

                1. Look at it this way, if you are envious of what another has you can call him greedy and if you have power you might even be able to take what the other has and line your own pocket with it.

                  1. yes envy and greed and pride all bound up together
                    in america the lumpen underclass and deracinated elites share plenty of all that and stick the middle with the bill.

        2. Kurtz, regarding Global Capitalism, the genie’s out of the bottle. Therefore governments have to think of ways to assure people they won’t be marginalized or discarded at age 50.

          1. No you don’t just throw in the towel. It exists in a context of how international trade and finance work and that is a complicated network of laws and institutions and contractual arrangements. That can be modified as DJT is doing with the trade negotiations.

            Global capitalism also motivates mass migrations that can disrupt nations. It can drive wars. It can lead to environmental damage that is not constrained by property and environmental protection laws at the nation state level. It can create financial contagions and run amuck. Capitalism in the centuries old Adam Smith sense of free enterprise and what we have today are as unlike as a sand caste wall and the Great wall of china. They have some similar properties but are overall very unlike.

            We need strong leaders like DJT to reign in certain harms of global capitalism and that’s precisely why a larger number of Wall Street financiers gave big bucks to hillary instead. Now they’re doing ok with Trump obviously but you can see some elements still greatly dislike his program of national enhancement.

            Social welfare systems are a legitimate activity for government. It’s not up to me to work out the details. Republicans are not trying to dismantle Soc sec or medicare so they are plenty on board for things like that. That stuff is a question of prudence and facts and details.

            1. Global capitalism also motivates mass migrations that can disrupt nations. It can drive wars. It can lead to environmental damage that is not constrained by property and environmental protection laws at the nation state level. It can create financial contagions and run amuck.

              It doesn’t do any of these things.

              1. You have pioneer migration due to some systemic shock, commonly a breakdown of political order, natural disaster &c. After that you have chain migration. How manufacturers array their plant and equipment is not a vector. Larger quanta of information sloshing around has an effect on people’s objects, but it would have that effect no matter how manufacturing is arrayed.

              2. It doesn’t drive wars. Wars are a consequence of power struggles, not industrial production or finance.

              3. Environmental damage is a consequence of poor regulation of how common property resources are used and a consequence of collectivities having other priorities. Doesn’t have much to do with how production is arrayed. Industrial sectors proportionately large enough to be able to shift costs to ambient populations are most likely to be found when extractive industries are king. International trade in oil and minerals is not a novelty.

              4. ‘Global capitalism’ is not an active agent. Abstractions do not create ‘financial contagion’, actors in the financial sector do. That banks have cross-border transactions is not an issue. It’s an issue when they have deposits and custodial accounts domiciled in multiple jurisdictions.

            1. No need to blame the state for the shticks of corporate management or for the effects of aging on people’s perspicacity

              1. DSS are you saying that the higher insurance costs on older persons has nothing to do with “discarding people after age 50”? I don’t think so, but your 2 liner comment doesn’t seem to be an adeuqate response to what I said.

                1. DSS are you saying that the higher insurance costs on older persons has nothing to do with “discarding people after age 50”?

                  It might be a vector. People being discarded either work in technology and engineering or they are professional managerial types cut for performance deficits, cut in reductions in force, or cut due to intramural office politics. They have to locate an employer who will take them and it means a pay cut at the least. However, discarding people over 50 is not the general rule in this economy. The last round of this I say was in the IT service where I worked and the broad firing people and forcing them into retirement was a generic executive who knew little or nothing about what her subordinates were doing. I cannot imagine who cooked up the scheme she was told to implement. She was the interim replacement for the previous interim replacement, who was respected by his subordinates and peers but thought he had to get out of Dodge before he was fired. (Amusingly, the executive he was at odds with was canned by the board but landed a job running another institution, which then disposed of him after two years when he failed to stop financial haemorrhaging. He’s landed a new position, but is, like many people pushing 60, downshifting).

                  1. “It might be a vector.”

                    It is not a might be a vector rather it is one of the vectors. Employer sponsored health insurance leads to job lock. Why? Because for many that is where they get their insurance and for older people they know that if they lose their job they lose their insurance and will find it more difficult to find a job because the insurance costs to hire a young person are much less.

                    Despite what you think many more sectors of the economy will get rid of those with higher pay along with those with higher benefits so your cut and dry thesis isn’t accurate, but it seems you do recognize the multifactoral problems created by government laws, regulations and tax policy.

                    1. The employment-to-population ratio for workers 35 to 44 is 0.804 That for workers 45-54 is 0.788 as we speak. In 2017, the ratio for workers 55-64 was 0.648.

                      The ratio of Social Security beneficiaries to workers is 0.028 for those 35-44, 0.063 for those 45 to 54, and 0.297 for those 55 to 64. Try a rough back of the envelope calculation

                      35-44: 0.804 x. 1.028 = 0.827
                      45-54: 0.788 x 1.063 = 0.837
                      55-64: 0.648 x 1.297 = 0.838

                      I’m guessing the difference is employment levels between the three age groups is due to disability adjudications and old age retirement. I think that’s inconsistent with the thesis that the entire population of employers discards workers over 50 (though select industries may treat such workers badly).

                    2. Your numbers are lacking some variables and a comparison value to derive meaning. There are loads of reasons to explain your numbers. Start thinking in the manner you were trained to do. Don’t guess. Go into companies and see what is actually happening to many people. I am not saying that there is only one vector. I said government is one of the causes.

      4. Kurtz, all this upheaval, Trump’s election, Brexit and the current friction in France, suggests that capitalism is failing commoners in the early 21st Century.

        The ‘current frictions’ in France were triggered by an excise tax and irritating DMV regulations. If you fancy transferring sovereignty from elected officials to a repulsive apparat in Brussels has something to do with ‘capitalism’, you should quit pretending you know something. As for Trump’s election, it had little to do with ‘capitalism failing people’ and a great deal to do with standard-issue Republican candidates (Scott Walker, I’m looking at you) listening to their donors rather than their voters.

        1. The EU is in its origins and execution is very much a creature of capitalism.
          A globalist form of capitalism managed by bureaucrats but yes a form of it.

          Global capitalism and Adam Smith style national-capitalism are different creatures altogether.

          1. “The EU is in its origins and execution is very much a creature of capitalism.”

            You could say that but you can also say …is very much a creation of socialism. That doesn’t make either comment correct.

            1. There was a coterie of American strategic leadership in the immediate postwar period that helped bring about the Common Market with long term viewpoint towards not only economic cooperation but transnational political structures.

              https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html

              according to some French, German, Greek, Russian, and other various European nationalists, they see the EU as a sort of managerial structure for European states within a postwar order erected by America to contain them within boundaries acceptable to American strategic military and financial interests. I find the viewpoint plausible at the least.

              1. that is such a good link i will spell it out

                _____________

                HOME»NEWS»WORLD NEWS»EUROPE
                Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs

                By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Brussels12:00AM BST 19 Sep 2000

                DECLASSIFIED American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.

                The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA.

                The documents were found by Joshua Paul, a researcher at Georgetown University in Washington. They include files released by the US National Archives. Washington’s main tool for shaping the European agenda was the American Committee for a United Europe, created in 1948. The chairman was Donovan, ostensibly a private lawyer by then.

                The vice-chairman was Allen Dulles, the CIA director in the Fifties. The board included Walter Bedell Smith, the CIA’s first director, and a roster of ex-OSS figures and officials who moved in and out of the CIA. The documents show that ACUE financed the European Movement, the most important federalist organisation in the post-war years. In 1958, for example, it provided 53.5 per cent of the movement’s funds.

                The European Youth Campaign, an arm of the European Movement, was wholly funded and controlled by Washington. The Belgian director, Baron Boel, received monthly payments into a special account. When the head of the European Movement, Polish-born Joseph Retinger, bridled at this degree of American control and tried to raise money in Europe, he was quickly reprimanded.

                The leaders of the European Movement – Retinger, the visionary Robert Schuman and the former Belgian prime minister Paul-Henri Spaak – were all treated as hired hands by their American sponsors. The US role was handled as a covert operation. ACUE’s funding came from the Ford and Rockefeller foundations as well as business groups with close ties to the US government.

                The head of the Ford Foundation, ex-OSS officer Paul Hoffman, doubled as head of ACUE in the late Fifties. The State Department also played a role. A memo from the European section, dated June 11, 1965, advises the vice-president of the European Economic Community, Robert Marjolin, to pursue monetary union by stealth.

                It recommends suppressing debate until the point at which “adoption of such proposals would become virtually inescapable”.

                1. Bedell Smith died in 1961, Allen Dulles in 1969. Britain didn’t join the EU until 1973 and it wasn’t until 1979 that there was an attempt to construct something more intensive than a customs union.

                  1. they laid the foundation and the work carried on

                    https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/pais/people/aldrich/publications/oss_cia_united_europe_eec_eu.pdf

                    But what was the alternative to being a puppet or excuse me an ally of the US?

                    Some things that were not allowed to see the light of day but were well worn paths in German history. “Drang nach osten.” Here elaborated in an excerpt from an interview with a German Ernst Remer, of some notoriety who was repeatedly banned from politics due to both his wartime service to German and also his postwar friendship with Russia. This was published in 1990.

                    “Q: General Remer, you have called for German-Soviet cooperation. Can you tell us about that?

                    A: We Germans must leave the NATO alliance. We must be militarily independent. We must create a nuclear-free zone. We must come to an understanding with the Russians. That is, we must obtain reasonable borders from the Russians. They are the only ones that can do that. The Americans don’t have any influence at all in that regard.

                    In return, we will guarantee to buy [Russian] raw materials, and cooperate on hundreds of projects with the Russians, and that will eliminate our unemployment. All this has nothing to do with ideology. The Russians are so economically backward that they will readily and happily agree to this, and they’ll be free of ideology.

                    Q: How would the French react to this?

                    A: France will have to work together with us. France is so much economically weaker than we are that it must trade with us in the West or not at all. The Americans are our mortal competitors.

                    Q: Might not a German-Soviet alliance lead to war?

                    A: No. On the contrary, we would prevent war. The Russians do not need a war. That’s why Gorbachev makes his proposals. It’s America that wants war.

                    Q: Wouldn’t America try to provoke hostilities?

                    A: If we really come to an understanding with Russia, then it’s all over for America…..”

                    ——————————

                    My comment: Remer understood the strategy of America and he had an idea of how Germany could proceed independently of American influence. it is not a new idea and has been called before the Drang Nach Osten. Bismark had such a strategy too.

                    But not through conquest rather in the 1990 via cooperation with Russia then still the USSR. This strategy was similar to what was pursued by Ribbentrop before the war and also Schacht see this interesting article from 1939 https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/germany/1939-07-01/drang-nach-osten-continues

                    What happened not long after this interview? The Berlin Wall fell, the USSR collapsed, the false guarantees were given not to expand NATO, Yeltsin let the US have its way in all things, NATO expanded, and when Putin emerged he became the new bogeyman. To keep France and Germany in the American sphere of influence. Which is what a lot of all this jive today is about with respect to Trump.

                    A false sense of tension with Russia which is necessary to military and financial supremacy in Western Europe. Which is cemented in place by the EU. There is a geopolitical dynamic of Atlantic sea power and trading empires versus Eurasian land empire here too. That’s my basic hypothesis and it works pretty well for understanding a lot of things right on down to the persecution of DJT.

                    1. they laid the foundation and the work carried on

                      Rubbish.

                      But what was the alternative to being a puppet or excuse me an ally of the US?

                      There were no puppets and Switzerland and Norway have functioned just fine without being members of the EU.

                    2. yanis vafourakis explains in his book global minotaur how the EU is instrumental to American financial interests and government. you might find it a good read.

                      as if it is not obvious enough anyways that the EU is the secondarily emergent political and economic counterpart to NATO even if there is not a complete overlap. the fact that frequent suggestions to build an EU army go nowhere belies the reality that the EU doesnt need an army because it has the US to coordinate and lead NATO. there is a very real sense in which the US colonized western Europe after the war but you perhaps may think that is another conspiracy theory and rubbish etc.

                      I do not think it is rubbish but you say so. you can always advance your own superior hypothesis and explanation if you like.

                    3. Switzerland is incomparable to the rest of Western Europe for a whole host of reasons none the least of which its strategic defensibly, political stability as a confederation, neutrality and economic interests as a banking haven for centuries long time.

                      Norway is part of Nato not EU,
                      Austria, Finland, Ireland, Malta, and Sweden are EU but not NATO. the particulars of each are important but they don’t really disrupt or undermine the overall pattern that I asserted

                      Which posits the EU as a supranational political and economic body intended to cement the NATO relationship and milk the European nations in a sort of pale imitation of the US and stabilize the whole of it in a continued client relationship to American commerce and finance. A key strategic factor is keeping Germany in the American sphere and out of the Eurasian sphere. It is still a driving force in almost all the considerations at hand in Europe including the German dominated EU budgetary austerity inflicted on the lower productivity naitons of Europe like well hell nearly all of them! Which mostly services again German financial and industrial interests primarily and indirectly American financial and strategic interests as well.

                      The EU certainly does not service Greek national interests and they are not free to leave in the slightest bit. moreover the EU was cobbled together with a core of states and then questionable plebiscites in various countries if you recall the repeat votes again and again to ratify Maastricht.

                      I never made you for an apologist for the EU Spastic but hey i can tell you are a contrarian by nature.

                    4. yanis vafourakis explains in his book global minotaur how the EU is instrumental to American financial interests and government. you might find it a good read.

                      No, I’d find it another piece of waste-of-time crank literature by self-aggrandizing twits who have to produce something salable to justify their advances. The EU is not an instrument of American banks. Nor would the U.S. Government be appreciably injured were it to disappear.

                      A false sense of tension with Russia which is necessary to military and financial supremacy in Western Europe.

                      No, there’s a real tension over outstanding issues. Nor would any ‘sense of tension’ be ‘necessary’ to anyone’s ‘military and financial supremacy’.

                      Here’s my suggestion. You’re recycling someone else’s specious nonsense, and you should stop it.

              2. erected by America to contain them within boundaries acceptable to American strategic military and financial interests. I find the viewpoint plausible at the least.

                Only Britain, France, and Germany had been ‘outside’ their boundaries at any time recently. Germany wasn’t going anywhere because they’d been reduced to rubble and in re France and Britain they didn’t have the wherewithal anymore to maintain their portfolio of dependencies in the teeth of disgruntled local elites.

          2. Global capitalism and Adam Smith style national-capitalism are different creatures altogether.

            This is a nonsense statement. ‘Capitalism’ refers to the disaggregation of functions in a private enterprise, wherein master-journeyman-apprentice was replaced with configurations wherein finance was separated from ownership, masters replaced with managers or contractors, and journeymen and apprentices were replaced with employees or subcontractors who were not incorporated into the master’s house.

            As for the fooforaw over ‘globalization’, it refers in large measure to a revival of international capital flows which imploded during the interwar period and to production processes which have components manufactured in various locales and then shipped and assembled to points convenient for distribution. It also refers to a more recent phenomenon of outsourcing services to points abroad. Both phenomena are technologically-driven and the former has been a thing for 50 years now.

            1. well if it was a nonsense statement i find that amusing because you just helped make the distinction that I did not. thank you please elaborate more what i was trying to say ! lol

  8. It is amazing to me that the Democrats are hell bent on impeaching this president. Take the fact that in his place they were ready to put the queen of crime on the throne in Washington. It seems like politicians have lost their minds, in both parties. Some of the things they come up with make no sense at all considering the fact that politics is a dirty game to start with and ignoring their own skeletons in the closet seems to be the norm in Washington. As an average citizen I find it laughable that these idiots can stand up in front of a crowd and call for all kinds of ridiculous things like open borders, free college, free medical care for all. And then there is the president’s problems. Maybe Trump should have taken a second look at some of the things in his background like paying off women, knowing that at some point the opposition would use that against him. I have pretty much lost all faith in the judicial system and the current interpretation of what was intended to be the standard for governing our country.

    1. Trump is a naughty fellow but a hero because he volunteered to lead us in this time of crisis, in spite of knowing full well they would attack him for every success as well as every personal failure.

      If I were him I would not have done that. Maybe I would not have sinned as badly but I would not have succeeded as well either. And I damn sure would not ever even run for dogcatcher. But I am not him and I never will be. I am too cautious and I don’t believe in America like he does. Trump is a true believer in America. And Trump is bold. Thank God for DJT !

  9. Third world leaders are frequently imprisoned or assassinated following their term of office. If the US elects a third world personality, imprisonment is also likely to occur, especially when neither the elected official, nor those who imprison him have much in the way of scruples.

    1. Sam, then please don’t run for office and confine your third world personality to keyboard admonitions. thank you

    2. If ever there was a third world or Russian type oligarch; it is Trump. Trump’s entire life has been ‘just outside the law’ linked to ‘when caught, never admit it’. Trump goes bankrupt and to him it’s a success. The fact of the matter is that Trump makes out but all those that got into bed with him, except the lawyers, get screwed. As President, Trump is no different; except it will be us getting screwed.

      There is loyalty to your champion and then there is common sense. We’ll see what prevails.

      1. um bankruptcy is a legal right. and i think all his bks were corporate not personal. and cohen is a lawyer and cohen is screwed. so i dont follow the reasoning there. sorry

        Trump is a hero. Yes he has the starch in his sails like many of the strong men of Russian history. Finally someone shows up here with that kind of mettle! God is kind to us yet again.

  10. Well, then, here we go again–same as yesterday–from the SDNY sentencing memo on Cohen:

    With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election. Cohen coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments. (PSR ¶ 51). In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1. (PSR ¶¶ 41, 45)

    Executives of the Company agreed to reimburse Cohen by adding $130,000 and $50,000, “grossing up” that amount to $360,000 for tax purposes, and adding a $60,000 bonus, such that Cohen would be paid $420,000 in total. Executives of the Company decided to pay the $420,000 in monthly installments of $35,000 over the course of a year. (PSR ¶¶ 52-53). At the instruction of an executive for the Company, Cohen sent monthly invoices to the Company for these $35,000 payments, falsely indicating that the invoices were being sent pursuant to a “retainer agreement.” The Company then falsely accounted for these payments as “legal expenses.”

    The “sophisticated means” enhancement is addressed to Cohen’s use of complex means to carry out and disguise his crimes. For example, Cohen created shell companies for his commission of the campaign finance crimes, including one shell entity (Resolution Consultants) for use in the transaction with Woman-1 and another shell entity (Essential Consultants) for use in the transaction with Woman-2. (PSR ¶¶ 43, 47.) Cohen also agreed to structure the reimbursement for his payment to Woman-2 in monthly installments, and to disguise those payments by creating fake invoices that referenced a non-existent “retainer.” (PSR ¶ 54.)

    [end excerpt]

    Shell companies, fake invoices, a non-existent retainer and, looky looky, corporate money used to fund campaign expenditures in direct violation of FECA. And all for the sake of concealing from the FEC, by deceptive or dishonest means, information that an agency of the United States needs to perfom its legitimate governmental function. Did the conspirators enter into an agreement to defraud the United States? But of course they did. Did the conspirators take at least one overt act in the furtherance of the conspiracy? But of course they did. In fact, the conspirators took many overt acts in the furtherance of their conspiracy to defraud the United States. What’s more, they did so knowingly and willingly, because the Trump campaign legal counsel Don McGahn served as an FEC commissioner for roughly five years from 2008 through 2013. Worse yet, in 2013, Don McGahn got Michael D. Cohen and Roger Stone off a technicality for their previous use of corporate money to fund Trump’s aborted 2012 Presidential exploratory campaign.

    Nadler is not exaggerating when he says that Trump is at the center of a massive fraud. However, Nadler would have been more accurate had he said that The Trump Organization is at the center of that massive fraud. There’s no reason that SDNY can’t indict the Trump Organization for conspiracy to defraud the United States.

    And another thing, the notion that there are no bullets in the revolver that Trump, himself, is holding to his own head because Mueller has not yet forced Trump to squeeze the trigger is the exact sort of gambler’s fallacy that the intensely fatalistic inventors of Russian Roulette will no doubt deeply appreciate. Trump will have to pardon The Trump Organization. But Trump will not be able to pardon The Trump Organization without being impeached. So Trump might have to run for reelection in 2020 as the first incumbent President to have been acquitted at an impeachment trial in the Senate for having pardoned his own company’s conspiracy to defraud the United States. It’s so unfair. Trump’s personal, private business interests are supposed to be the business of America.

    1. “Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election. Cohen coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments. (PSR ¶ 51). In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1. (PSR ¶¶ 41, 45)”
      *********************************
      Like any other document prepared by lawyers, it’s an advocacy document filled with the writer’s interpretation of events skewed to present his client’s case in the best possible light. It’s not the product of measured consideration of facts, but rather zealous editing of facts on behalf of the client.

      Take it with a grain of salt, L4D.

      1. SDNY has tape recordings of Cohen and Trump entering into an agreement to conceal the bimbette hush fund from The FEC, even if they thought they were concealing the same from Melania, because they knew they were running an election campaign for president at the time that they entered into that agreement, and because the Trump campaign legal counsel, Don McGahn, served as an FEC commissioner for five years from 2008 through 2013, during which time McGahn got both Cohen and Roger Stone off on a technicalities for both Cohen and Stone’s previous illegal use of corporate money from the Trump Organization in Trump’s 2012 exploratory campaign for president. (See: mens rea; knowingly and willingly.)

    1. Trump in his own words about The Trump Tower Moscow Project:

      “There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won [the election], in which case I would have gone back into the business,” he told reporters on Thursday. “And why should I lose lots of opportunities?”

      1. OK Columbo – you just now figured out that international developer Trump expressed some interest in building in Russian capital. Now maybe you can go and solve the case for why Madam Clinton lost 2016 election. Hint: you might need to travel to Wisconsin and Michigan to talk to some voters – something that Madam Clinton was unwilling to do. Good luck Veronica and rest Scooby Doo crew in solving this mystery.

        1. The possibility has not yet been eliminated that Hillary Clinton took a dive deliberately, intentionally, on purpose just to stick to Mr. The System Is Rigged She Never Should’ve Been Allowed To Run Crooked H Locke Her Up. Ha-Ha!

          1. “The possibility has not yet been eliminated that” the GOP intentionally lost the House to the Democrats in the midterm election.
            Instead of accusations of blatant partisanship on the part of a GOP majority by Adam Schiff on his TV episodes, the Republicans can now point out the extreme partisanship of Schiff, Nadler, Mad Max, etc.
            And those expecting salvation from the Democratic messiahs soon to be in charge of the House will have to at least partially assign blame to the Democratic House for everything that might go wrong over the next two years.

          2. The increasing and indiscriminate use of “Ha-Ha” or its variations by L4D is somewhat alarming.
            There was a song long ago that dealt with the Ha-Ha Syndrome, and variations thereof.

                1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

                  Some Trump supporters also report feeling more stressed, confiding to therapists that uncivil discourse and attacks on the president were causing them anxiety.

                  [end excerpt]

                  Ha-Ha!

                  1. Also excerpted from the article:

                    “About 26 per cent of Republicans polled post-election considered “the political climate” to be a source of stress, compared to 72 per cent of Democrats who felt the same way.”

                    It seems such disorders occur with almost 3 times as many Democrats as Republicans and if one notes the author’s example it was the Democrat side that couldn’t seperate family from politics.

                    One of my oldest friends, a total leftist, said he couldn’t speak to me any more because of my views. I understood what he was feeling because a year earlier he stopped speaking to his own daughter because of her views. Leftist Democrats have gone crazy and Diane is one of them.

                2. Excerpted from the article linked above:
                  “About 26% of Republicans polled post-election comsider ” the political climate” to be a source of stress, compared to 72% of Democrats who felt the same way”.

      1. excerpted from the article linked above:

        The US imposed sanctions on VTB in 2014 and 2015, which froze its assets in the country and blocked US entities from doing business with the bank.

        [end excerpt]

        So, if Trump had lost the 2016 election, how would the Trump Tower Moscow deal go through with financing from a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions? Since Trump won the 2016 election, the Trump Tower Moscow deal could’ve gone through had Trump rescinded Obama’s EO sanctions on Russia, or if Trump “delisted” VTB bank from those sanctions. Delisting is a complicated procedure. The bank would have to sign a consent decree with the U.S. Treasury Department that would have to certify the bank’s compliance with the consent decree and notify Congress of each of the foregoing details on an ongoing basis.

        1. Not that you know anything about it or care, but OFAC is a Frankenstein monster operation that has grown far too large and overbearing in a complicated world economy

          https://www.treasury.gov/about/organizational-structure/offices/Pages/Office-of-Foreign-Assets-Control.aspx

          you seem to like details and have lots of energies. read up a little on AML compliance topics and you may get that idea that things are not quite so simple as politico commentators pretend them to be

          1. OFAC is a Frankenstein monster operation that has grown far too large and overbearing in a complicated world economy

            It’s a subagency with a staff in the low three digits

      1. What if the Trump Tower Moscow deal was handed off from Cohen and Sater to Papadopoulos and Sergei Millian? What if the deal was still in play right up until the time that Papadopoulos was arrested? What if Mueller and crew are not yet finished with The Covfefe Boy, George Papadopoulos?

        1. “What if” we’re back here a year from now and Mueller has still not wrapped this thing up?
          What if these regular early AM Propaganda posts from the coven continue non-stop for another year?
          What if Trump cooperates with Mueller to go after the Big 🐟 Fish, Putin?
          What if Mad Maxine passes on impeaching Trump, then Pence, but instead follows through on her threat to impeach Putin?
          What if the Democrats do impeach Trump, the country revolts as Trump predicted, and Trump declares Martial Law for the country and Emporer for Life for himself?

          1. My hypotheses are far likelier than yours. But I’m glad to see you trying your hand at guesswork. Don’t throw in the towel. Go the whole fifteen rounds. Remember:

            The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.

            1. Since L4B spins out hundreds of prophecies/hypotheses, yes, it is likely that some will actually come to fruition.

              1. Boxing referees routinely stop a boxing match when one of the fighters can no longer see through his swollen eyelids. Thinking so is superfluous to the fact of the matter. But keep on floating, anyhow, Butterfly.

          1. Mr. Kurtz,…
            It’s important, in this multi-cultural society, to recognize that many covens do not celebrate Christmas…not sure about L4B/Diane’s coven.

        2. “What if the Trump Tower Moscow deal was handed off…What if the deal was still in play…What if Mueller and crew are not yet finished…”

          The what If-Girl is at it again.

  11. This is just silliness, bordering on inanity.
    A large part of Trump’s win was his displayed personality, including his peccadilloes. Any rational adult American knows full well the relative ‘normalcy’ of Trump.
    These continued conversations just serve to distract from the true criminality of those in government and the awful impact on the residents of this nation.

  12. If Trump ‘were’ an otherwise popular president, I don’t think anyone would care too much about these payments to mistresses. But Trump is ‘not’ a popular president. Especially not with female voters.

    There was the “Access Hollywood” tape. Plus claims of unwanted advances by several disgruntled women. Those two factors alone made a bad impression on women at large. Add to those Trump’s willingness to criminalize abortion. And Trump becomes the un-coolest of hypocrites! No wonder suburban women turned against him last month.

    1. These are among the reasons that Trump could never be elected in 2016.
      These factors did not just surface last month.
      I think I saw you write that you were about 300 miles ?? from the Mexican border….the L.A. area is c. 150 miles from Tijuana, so I was wondering about your estimate of the distance.

    2. PH, You seem to imply that the perceived level of popularity of a president is important factor in determining whether persecuted and/or impeached for private bimbo payments. You also acknowledge that Access Hollywood tape etc was already baked into 2016 election cake. The examples you cite did not include the two bimbos that were paid by Cohen and hence following your narrative would not have moved the needle and thus were irrelevant to the outcome.

      1. Trump Organization corporate money reimburse Cohen campaign expenditure shell companies, fake invoices, non-existent retainer = not private bimbette hush fund.

        1. Private Trump Org controlled by Trump is not campaign. Taking issue with structure of discreet payments to extorting bimbos does not rise to level of impeachment. Those who go down that path are like the kid on Friday afternoon who says “Teacher, Teacher, you forgot to give us homework”.

          1. Concord Management and the Internet Research Agency are two privately owned companies that Mueller has already indicted for conspiracy to defraud the United States along with their sole proprietor and principle owner, Putin’s Chef, What’s-His-Name Prigozhin.

            Next time make the homework assignment harder, Teach.

            1. Dear Ms. Late4Yoga: You are trying to infer relationship with private Trump Org bimbo payments to unrelated entities involved in some typical mischievous Russian meddling that has been going on for decades. This is like the spaghetti mosaic approach that left media throws against wall with buzz words Trump and Russia mixed in cherry picked mess in hopes of duping American public. Nice try Lady, but I give you an F for this messy and dishonest effort. Infer away Dear Lady with tin foil hat howling at moon in town square.

              1. Check Oil Co. has failed again to rebut the argument that was asserted. Check Oil Co. excels, however, at shadow-boxing with straw-man arguments that Check Oil Co. concocts for a surrogate sparring partner designed to take a dive for Check Oil Co..

                Trump Organization bimbette hush fund = Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.

                Concord Management and the Internet Research Agency were indicted for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.

                And yet, Trump Organization DOES NOT EQUAL Concord Management and the Internet Research Agency.

                Even so, the Trump Organization, Concord Management and the Internet Research Agency are each privately owned corporations.

                Trump-appointed Judge Dabney Freidrich ruled that Mueller’s indictment of Concord Management and the Internet Research Agency for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States comports very well with both the statute [18 USC 371] and the case law [to numerous to list]. So there’s no reason that SDNY cannot indict the Trump Organization for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States in re the bimbette hush fund conspiracy. Ha-Ha!

      2. Bill, one could argue that voters in 2016 had a right to know about those mistress payments. They also had a right to know about Trump Tower Moscow. Those two factors could have played a decisive role in the election.

        1. PH: No obligation to report bimbo payments until after election. Access Hollywood tape and other info you pointed out already painted Trump in bad light with ladies at time of election so superfluous bimbo info would make no difference per your narrative. Trump disclosed all financial info prior to election. He was not obliged to report pipeline of potential projects in which no cash changed hands and no financial interest – just preliminary talks and thoughts.That would be like requiring Michael Bloomberg to disclose information on new capital markets business terminal that he has thoughts about developing as part of his election financial disclosures. You all need to look at calendar and realize that we are closer to 2020 election than 2016 election and maybe focus on picking a candidate that has a coherent thought process and vision and not too lazy to travel to Michigan and Wisconsin, instead of this sloppy coop attempt and lazy excuse-making.

          1. Bill, Peter has an agenda. He doesn’t care about the full story, only the parts that place Trump in a bad light. He then blows up those parts forgetting, as you say, those parts that “already painted Trump in bad light with ladies at time of election”. …And that forgets that paying off sex partners to be quiet is not unusual. Of course on the other side of the coin Peter has already determined Hillary and Obama totally innocent based on a cursory look and a weaponized FBI. He will unendingly state that the Mueller offices have been totally silent and then quote a NYTimes article that says information from anonymosus sources say…

            There is no debate with Peter as he won’t discuss the massive evidence that demonstrates his point of view to be invalid.

          2. Michigan and Wisconsin, Bill? Those same states that imposed strict voter I.D. laws to discourage minorities? Those same states that have gerrymandered legislative districts? Those same states that are trying to change the rule to hamstring their new governors and A.G.’s?

            1. “Michigan and Wisconsin, Bill? Those same states that imposed strict voter I.D. laws to discourage minorities?”

              What Peter thinks is discouraged minorities is really illegal voting. There is no problem with strict ID laws. Poor whites face the same problems as what you call minorities. We have seen on video how the lack of voter ID promotes illegal voting and it appears in California that the sudden change of 7 Republican victories to Democratic may very well have been due to illegal voting.

            2. PH: Are these the excuses for Madam Clinton not going to Michigan and Wisconsin to campaign in 2016? Case in point: more lazy excuse-making and delusional hopes for sloppy coup success vs. facing reality and development of straight up election game. Shame.

              1. Tab Guitar stammered, “No obligation to report bimbo payments . . . ”

                Wrong. Candidates for elected offices in the United States are governed by the Federal Election Campaign Act. Both campaign expenditures and campaign contributions must be reported to the FEC. Concealing expenditures as contributions and concealing contributions as expenditures is expressly prohibited along with the direct use of corporate money for either purpose. The Trump Organization’s bimbette hush-fund conspiracy used corporate money to violate both of those prohibited concealments, by deceptive and dishonest means, for the express purpose of defrauding the United States.

                That which is legal for a corporation or its principle owner to do is not necessarily legal for a candidate for elected office to do, just because that candidate is also the principle owner of a corporation. The Trump Organization was not on the ballot in 2016. The Trump Organization was not eligible to run for president. The Trump Organization did not swear the Oath of Office for The POTUS. The Trump Organization is not the Chief Executive officer of the United States. There’s no reason that the SDNY cannot indict the Trump Organization for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States for its part in the bimbette hush-fund.

    3. perhaps but I wonder if we can wisely accept the “analysis” coming from a biased propagandistic media machine that is very much in the business of influencing elections. and always has been.

      i avoid talking to suburban women about politics. But surrounded often by many women, from various walks of life, when I can’t avoid politics, I find continued verbal support for Trump. But as one person the sample size is very small. Also women like me and instinctively try to please me, so knowing that I like Trump, they maybe trying to curry favor with me by saying they like him too.

      certainly, I know very little about opinion metrics. And taking cues from women’s opinions has never been my forte. Perhaps you are an expert in that.

    4. oh and trump could care less about abortion. I said this before about him and Kavanaugh too. And did anyone notice kavanaugh just weighed in with a SCOTUS vote for Planned parenthood. WHAT DID I TELL YOU?

    1. Doubtless but then apply the kiss principle

      “s Cohen conspiring “from the shadows” to undermine the democracy.”

      To agree with that amazingly inept statement one would have to first be prepared to prove the existence of a democracy. Proving such a political creature does not exist only requires a modicum of education and research ability. Proving such exists is the proverbial sticky wicket.

      a. Not in the Constitution nor it’s amendments. The basiclaw of the land
      b. Not in the Declaration of Indpendence. The Mission Statement.
      c. During the two years and two sessions it took to produce item ‘a’ such a thing is mentioned in the ‘journals’ of those proceedings nine times and correspondingly rejected nine times in favor of a Constitutional Republic.

      Therefore something that doesn’t exist can be neither supported or undermined

      The education level of whomever wrote that all to common error can be taken as proof of absence of any such level of education and thus the intellect challenged without fear of contradiction.

      But it does show the lack of perspicacity. and the shrewd foredsight of the founders of those who rejected that notion nine times.

      1. Hypothetically speaking, had The Electoral College elected Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump, would Michael Aarethun still proclaim the impossibility of “undermining democracy” in America???

          1. The Party of John Quincy Adams ceased to exist quite some time ago. Some people claim that The Whigs eventually transmogrified into Republicans. It’s a well-known fact that Republicans transmogrify on a regular basis. Just look at what’s going on now.

            1. Unlike the steadfast and consistent Democrats, who can still be regarded as the pro-slavery party long after Andy left us.

              1. Tom, really, we’re arguing the Civil War again?

                If the pro-slavery forces were so evil, I”m sure you agree that we should remove confederate statutes.

                1. The pro-slavery and discrimination forces that existed since the Civil War were heavily Democratic and then the party opened their doors to blacks so they could rejoin the plantation and vote Democratic. What the Democratic Party has done for blacks is still an open question if one is looking for results rather than political speeches.

                2. I don’t think they were so terribly evil, just complicated, and no don’t tear their icons down ! they were Americans too and loyal to their own homes if not the wider far flung abstract “Union”

                  an argument could be made that blacks flourished under the Southern Democrats’ Jim crow system as they rapidly ascended from chattel slavery. now that would be called paternalistic and racist. but the rate of capital accumulation in that time period compared to the time since “civil rights era of the 1960s” would suggest that maybe it wasnt quite as bad as people make it out to be (jim crow)

                  racial issues in america are complicated and rarely get a calm and dispassionate treatment in any venue

                  likewise one has to have the sense of the difficulties of wage-earners in the 19th century as compared to now, to get a sense of some of the negative motivations of Yankee industrialists in resolving the slavery issue as quickly as possible through war. a war waged with abudant cheap migrant labor and cannon fodder from Ireland btw.

                  https://www.historyireland.com/featured-archive-post/tracing-irish-american-civil-war/

              2. “I’m sure you agree that we should remove Confederate statues.”
                Agreed, Peter.
                We also need to obliterate the faces of the two slaveholders carved into Mount Rushmore, and change the images on the nickel and the $1 bill.

            2. Oops. Correction: Initially a Federalist like his father, he [John Quincy Adams] won election to the presidency as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, and in the mid-1830s became affiliated with the Whig Party.

              P. S. Why would so many African Americans prefer the supposedly pro-slavery party over the Republicans who gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and are just itching for a chance to gut the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to boot???

              1. Why do some ignore the fact that it was the opposition of the Southern Democrats which needed to be overcome to pass major civil rights legislation of 1964?
                Was it Democrats or Republicans filibustering/ threatening to filibuster to block passage?
                Why is Everret Dirksen’s name all but forgotten, after LBJ all but promised Dirksen that his name would be spoken for the next 200 years as the (GOP ) man who made passage possible?
                Why does Walgreens’ now card anyone, of any age, if they purchase 🍺 beer or wine????

                1. Aaaaaahhhhhh…
                  Because the world is round it turns me on
                  Because the world is round…aaaaaahhhhhh

                  Because the wind is high it blows my mind
                  Because the wind is high…aaaaaaaahhhh

                  Love is old, love is new
                  Love is all, love is you

                  Because the sky is blue, it makes me cry
                  Because the sky is blue…aaaaaaaahhhh

                  Aaaaahhhhhhhhhh…
                  Aaaaahhhhhhhhhh…
                  Aaaaahhhhhhhhhh…

                2. why i think it was Strom Thurmond who engaged in a historically long filibuster and he was a Democrat, at the time. And it was LBJ who turned coat on the other Southern Democrats to ram it through. Perhaps a large part of why he was um put into office in the first place. JFK could not overcome the logjam.

                  The federal building in Chicago is named after Everrett Dirksen

                  Walgreens aint what it used to be. There’s another Illinois connection. You in Chicago anonymous?

                  1. I think that Robert Byrd and Richard Russell, too, were yacking it up, or up to bat to continue filibustering when LBJ/ Humphrey got the votes to stop it.
                    I wonder how many people not old enough to remember Everett Dirksen….a majority of Americans….know his role in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
                    I’m in Washington State….no space to type in my name and email on some replies, so it posts as “Anonymous”.
                    Walgreens is OK… But I had a 24 OZ. can of Budweiser among the items I bought the other day.
                    Had my “loyalty card” and credit card out, then had to fish for my drivers license.
                    Then they scan it…if that info is retained, is it then available to Mueller? Or Putin?
                    What if I buy Russian vodka? Will the Special Counsel target me?😉

                    1. Robert Byrd was one of the best democrats in 20th century history and people should stop holding it against him that he represented his core constituency which was working class whites. That is not a demerit to his legacy even though Republicans won’t stop bringing it up again and again.

                      The Democrats threw the white working class voter overboard in 1964 and that is why Nixon’s southern strategy was possible.

                      There is no amount of pandering that will get a large proportion of black folks to vote Republican. Smart ones will perhaps but the numbers are not that helpful. Reaching out to native born Asians and even Hispanics with higher educational levels and entreprenurial expertise is the long term growth strategy for Republicans outside the white voting black.

                      The project of winning large numbers of black votes for republicans is– ironically– something like the project of the Confederacy: a lost cause. Let it go!

                  2. PS…Sen. Fullbright was another one who participated in the 1964 filibuster.
                    An “early” opponent of LBJ’s Vietnam policy, Fullbright was instrumental in ramming through the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution with minimal debate.
                    Fullright also filibustered against the 1965 Civil Rights Act.

              2. easy answer. They hand out a lot of free stuff to blacks. And linguistically service their opinions with false promises of more, more more. The relevant voting block is poorly educated and thus perennially easy to mislead.

                thriving in a capitalist society is a complicated endeavor and those who do not fare well in it, will not vote to advance the party of property rights and free enterprise. they will vote with the socialists.

      2. comparing the Declaration to a Mission statement is brilliant. I never thought of it that way. I usually just think of it as inspired propaganda but that’s what all Mission Statements are after a fact, aren’t they? thank you

      1. Dr. Benson might not make it this far downstream from his comment about his head swimming.

        P. S. If you still have the capability to text-message Paul C. Schulte, then would you please roust him out of his apparent slumber?

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