Rod Rosenstein’s Deepening Ethical Quandary

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on an overlooked issue from the letter of Attorney General Bill Barr to Congress on the Special Counsel report. Whatever happens to the allegations and evidence facing President Trump, there remains the question of what to do with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Here is the column:

President Trump was understandably elated by the finding of special counsel Robert Mueller that the evidence did not establish a crime related to Russian collusion, as well as the subsequent decision by Attorney General William Barr that there was no basis for an obstruction charge. While Trump has described these conclusions as “total exoneration,” most believe the measure of presidential conduct is not found exclusively in the criminal code. Nevertheless, if it was not exoneration, it was to some degree vindication. There was, however, one person implicated in the letter Barr sent to Congress: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Soon after Mueller was appointed, I wrote a column detailing what I considered a conflict of interest for both him and Rosenstein. Mueller interviewed for the FBI director job left by James Comey and met with Trump soon after Comey was fired by Trump. That made him a possible witness to the events that he was appointed to investigate. But the more serious conflict, and most glaring ethical anomaly of the special counsel investigation, was presented by the direct involvement of Rosenstein.

Before Mueller was appointed, former Attorney General Jeff Sessionscorrectly recused himself from the Russian investigation due to his involvement in the Trump campaign. However, the investigation was then headed by not just a witness to alleged obstruction by Trump but a key witness. The first major task for Rosenstein as deputy attorney general under Trump was reviewing Comey’s record and writing a memorandum that concluded Comey’s tenure was marred by “serious mistakes.”

The memorandum cited a long list of former attorneys general, federal judges, and leading prosecutors from both parties who believed that Comey “violated his obligation to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the traditions of the department and the FBI.” Rosenstein also found that Comey “violated long standing Justice Department policies and traditions” and “refused to admit his errors.” The review of how Comey conducted himself and the sharing of those findings with Trump made Rosenstein a key witness on alleged obstruction. That position was magnified after the White House claimed Comey was fired on the basis of the memorandum. That led to a rare public rebuke by the recently appointed deputy attorney general in which his displeasure was leaked and he reportedly confronted the White House to demand a retraction.

When Mueller was appointed, Rosenstein was a witness to events before and after Comey was fired. He was central to the alleged false statement put out by the White House on the firing. For those of us who opposed the appointment of a special counsel because of the lack of a cognizable crime in the collusion theories, those circumstances shifted the equation entirely and prompted many of us to call for the appointment. Once Mueller was appointed, Rosenstein would be one of the first witnesses who would have to be called by the special counsel. Yet Rosenstein was technically Mueller’s boss and supervisor at the Justice Department.

To make matters worse, Justice Department officials later said Rosenstein participated in meetings that not only raised the possible need to remove Trump as an incompetent president under the 25th Amendment but reportedly discussed wearing a wire to implicate Trump in crimes, a suggestion that Rosenstein said was a jest but others insisted was serious. Rosenstein is also a key player in some of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants targeting Trump campaign aides in the Russia investigation. The conclusions of the special counsel report would have direct bearing on Rosenstein’s professional standing and record.

All of that would seem a clear basis for recusal. After all, Mueller could ultimately question the judgment or conduct of Rosenstein during those critical days. Mueller had to inquire into those actions and subsequent accounts if he was to do an objective investigation. Yet Rosenstein oversaw the investigation over two years, despite being a material witness, making decisions to expand its scope and resources.

It turned out that I was not the only one raising the conflict question after Mueller was appointed. A later report indicated Rosenstein ignored demands within the Justice Department to remove himself in 2017. It details a heated argument about his apparent conflict with then Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who objected to Rosenstein demanding that McCabe recuse when Rosenstein had an equally glaring conflict.

Over the course of writing numerous columns, I could arrive at only one compelling reason from an ethical standpoint for Rosenstein’s decision, which is that Mueller had made an early determination that there was not a likely basis for obstruction. This seemed possible because Trump had independent compelling grounds to fire Comey. I remain skeptical about any real basis for an obstruction charge for precisely that reason.

However, it now turns out that Mueller not only did not dismiss the obstruction allegations but was unable to reach a conclusion on possible criminal violations. He left it to others to decide. That takes us to this fateful line in the letter Barr sent to Congress: “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the special counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense.” Rosenstein was therefore one of two officials who made the final call on obstruction.

The timing also is concerning. Rosenstein was scheduled to leave the Justice Department weeks earlier but surprised many by announcing that he would stick around. Reports indicate that the Justice Department was told Mueller would not reach a conclusion of obstruction around that time. It would have been wise to avoid any role in the final report, given his personal and professional interests. Instead, he stayed in his position and, according to Barr, played a critical role in rejecting the basis for an obstruction of justice charge despite his potential conflict.

Rosenstein had opportunities to avoid making these decisions, including the final decision on the merits, and went out of his way to stay involved. He also reportedly is involved in redacting the report, including any material to protect the “reputational interests of peripheral third parties.” Of course, Rosenstein was not a “peripheral third party,” which is why he should not have appointed Mueller, overseen the investigation, defined its scope, ruled on the merits of obstruction, or now work on the redactions. To put it simply, the report implicates Rosenstein as much as it vindicates Trump. It also tarnishes the final decision on obstruction in a way that undermines both the investigation and the Justice Department.

The public report is likely to be issued in a matter of weeks. Americans have every right to review that report and gauge not just the alleged crimes but the conduct of the president before “exoneration” can be claimed. However, Trump is not the only person who may have much to answer for in the aftermath of the public special counsel report.

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

463 thoughts on “Rod Rosenstein’s Deepening Ethical Quandary”

  1. Canuck here is part 1 of my reply to you from:

    “you are not accepting my definition of what demand actually is,”

    Ok, Tell us your definition of demand and your definition of supply.

    How did those definitions change when Keynes came on the scene?
    “It is worthwhile to remark that a product is no sooner created than it, from that instant, affords a market for other products to the full extent of its own value.” (J. B. Say, 1803: pp.138–9)

    Government involvement became great at the time of Keynes and yes, government intervention alters ALL economic laws, at least that is what I believe. Saying Say’s law doesn’t exist IMO satisfies the need of those that wish increased government involvement.

    No theory will satisfactorily answer every question put forth especially in an economy where the cause and the effect can be very distant from one another.

    1. Canuck Part 2

      “Demand for the iPod was zero because of course the iPod did not exist. “

      The supply of iPods was an idea. The intent of the idea was to be able to purchase other ideas that could become realities. The hope was that the value of the iPod would be high and then they (the iPod people) could purchase a lot of other goods. When both parties had supply a transaction could take place. Demand always exists but isn’t realized until one produces a supply in exchange. The supplier is always looking for something to meet another’s needs at the highest value possible and that is where the confusion enters the picture.

      “People can’t want something that doesn’t exist.”

      But they do at least according to you when it came to the iPod. They just didn’t recognize the form it would come in, but there was a desire for it. Look at your prior statements on the iPod.

      1. Canuck I decided to put the rest of the ideas into Part 3

        “I think that you were trying to simplify demand by completing it with production.”

        The opposing term is supply not production. Production produces the supply.

        “You posit the question about those who do not produce… Those who do not produce are not the issue.”

        Why not? They satisfy your definition of demand. “(1) its utility to satisfy a want or need”

        and your definition provides a reason for the non producer to produce supply “(2) the consumer’s ability to pay for the good or service.”

        ” There are many people in the economy who do not produce, but if they have money, that’s not relevant. They can buy because they can create demand.”

        They can buy only because someone created a supply that permits the purchase to be made. That can be done by any individual or family member of by government. Perhaps denying Say’s law is an entryway to government interference. I’m not saying government interference is good or bad only it is providing an explanation for what you are seeing.

        ” For that change to be made, there has to be a benefit to the word press people”

        Competition for your dollar or the dollar that arises because of you is what creates a lot of change.

  2. Late4Yoga still trying to save the Republic, like Don Qixote battling the windmills of LaMancha. You go girl!….

      1. You don’t understand. Putin wants Trump to launch a counter-investigation against the United States, so that The Kremlin can find out more about how their operatives got caught in 2016, so that The Russians won’t get caught next time around in 2020. A fair bit of the evidence uncovered by Mueller would be exculpatory for the subjects and targets of Putin’s counter-investigation against the United States. But that means that exculpatory evidence will have to be suppressed so that Putin won’t gain access to it. And that means that the subjects and targets of Putin’s counter-investigation would be more likely to be indicted because of the suppression of exculpatory evidence. And that, in turn, would mean that those defendants would have to be tried under the Classified Information Procedures Act so that Putin won’t gain access to the exculpatory evidence.

        If Trump caves in to Putin’s demand for a counter-investigation against the United States, and if any of that exculpatory evidence ends up in the hands of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin of the Russian Federation, then prime suspect for the resulting espionage charges will be The President of the United States, Donald John Trump.

        This ain’t no disco. This ain’t no fooling around.

          1. I garbled the lyrics. Shame on me. Measure twice. Cut and paste once.

            Talking Heads – Life During Wartime Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

            [Chorus 2] This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco. This ain’t no fooling around. This ain’t no Mudd Club, or C.B.G.B. I ain’t got time for that now [Verse 3]

        1. That is the most ludicrous statement I have ever read here, and given many of your comments, that’s saying a lot. It is the most outlandish and inane excuse for objecting to an investigation, presumes that Russia is incompetent and has no idea how they got found out (as if they care!). The fact is, laws were broken and real issues foundational to the proper exercise of authority, constitutionality and law were badly compromised – for political advantage and not the advancement of the Union.
          The people behind this need to be held to account – something they, and their fellow mindless liberal sycophants – are terrified of. That’s because they realize that if America comes to understand just what happened – and we can see the broad outlines in what we already know – Democrats will wander in the wilderness of opposition for a generation.

          1. [Verse 2]
            Transmit the message, to the receiver
            Hope for an answer some day
            I got three passports, a couple of visas
            You don’t even know my real name
            High on a hillside, the trucks are loading
            Everything’s ready to roll
            I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nighttime
            I might not ever get home

            [Chorus 2]
            This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco
            This ain’t no fooling around
            This ain’t no Mudd Club, or C.B.G.B
            I ain’t got time for that now

        2. you should give a stab at writing spy novels, you’re very creative with fiction

    Allan and Wally M.,
    I’m using the only “Reply Box” I can find, so this will likely be out of sequence.
    When I showed some of the characteristics on-screen to my tech expert, he said he’d never seen anything like it.
    And he works mostly in the field with SmartPhones.
    Whatever happened 7-8 months ago here, whether it was due to WordMess or other factors, really did a number on this website.
    Anyway, I was able to investigate L4B’s deterioration at different stages of her life…the first provided a link that revealed her “man-issues” when she was young ( very, very, very, long ago).
    Now, the current link I attached here shows her years later. And it also relates to her ability/inability to have positive interactions with men.
    While this investigation is not yet completed, it seem “highly probable” that her man-hating issues were there at least from early adulthood, and got progressively worse over the decades (or centuries….no one really knows the true age of anyone in her coven).

  4. I’ll use this reply box in the absence of one below my comment about Lies4Breakfast, which just posted as “anonymous”.

    1. You’ve grown overly accustomed to the presumption that your fellow blawg hounds are deeply concerned about the persistence of your technical difficulties.

      P. S. I can read for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles. O! Yeah!

      1. If comments are posted out of sequence, or posted mislabeled as “anonymous”, I note why that is.
        This isn’t “a matter of concern” to those who read comments here.
        It’s a straightforward explanation … and those are foreign to someone like L4B.
        That’s why L4B doesn’t understand that, but I’m not going to translate into Dianese for her.

        1. You were hoping that someone else besides L4D would find your reply button explanation comment so that you could be driven into the dash-mark-wide text window with missives from well-wishers cheering you on to great greater “widths” of constant carping complaints.

          1. Short term memory loss is, unfortunately, common with dementia.
            So I’ll point some of these things out without assuming that L4B is totally to blame for her memory gaps.
            She had an exchange with someone here who explained something to her that was very similar to the glitches I’ve experienced and mentioned.
            I don’t expect her to remember that exchange under the circumstances, but even L4B appeared to understand what that person was explaining to her about the technical problems he was experiencing.
            Additionally, there were numerous comments about 7-8 months ago about newly-experienced problems some were suddenly having with the comments threads here.
            This was not sonme major, burning policy issue of the day, but the user-friendly essentially of this site’s thread was discussed.
            I don’t think that L4B ever weighed in on this as a big concern of hers, or paid much attention to it.
            And I don’t assume that she remembers the exchange with the one individual I mentioned, but she did not make an issue out of his observations about the glitches he was experiencing.
            Since my comments in that same area appear to be an issue with her, she’s free to now make an issue out of something that was never previously an issue with her.
            Even if it’s a chicken**** nitpicking thing to do, I applaud L4D’s determination to invent an issue she can now weigh in on.
            There’s nothing to that mysterious or important about someone correcting the labeling of a posted comment.
            There are reasons for do doing so, but no real reason to make an issue out someone identitifying the author of a comment when the comment is mislabeled anonymous.
            Nor is there a reason make a major issue out of an observation about the lack of a relpy box.
            Trolls don’t really need a reason, of course. So I anticipate many more comments from L4B now that she found something else to nitpicking about.
            Maybe she’ll tackle this in one of her daily columns here.

            1. Tom Nash would seem to be obsessed with posters he wrongly perceives to be “trolls.” He obviously doesn’t have much going on — upstairs or anywhere else.

              1. That’s about as specific and detailed
                a thought as one will ever see from the troll groupie, LT Anonymous.
                Nothing specific or substantive…..just the normal bitchy little sentence or two that the anonymous Anonymous specializes in.
                When she ventures outside of posting links , cutting and pasting, and otherwise using the thought and words of others.
                That dimwit is about the last person here who’s in a position to talk about some else not have anything upstairs.
                If you keep plugging away and if you’re really good, maybe you’ll get promoted from troll groupie to full fledged troll, anonymous Anonymous.😉🤗😄😃😂
                You’ve got a real good strart on it by working so hard to prove you’re an *******.

                1. For clarification, I’m not “obseesed” with trolls.
                  (Anonymous Anonymous has not yet been promoted to troll status….mostly engages in ***kissing the few trolls here).
                  There’s room for everyone here , including maybe 4-5 trolls.
                  When they slither out from under their rocks and make their presence known here, I’ll occasionally note their slimy behaviour.

                    1. Listen Gnash: Your new found friend, Moran, makes a far better replacement for Don Pablo Eschoolbus than you do. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy wrangling with you almost, but not quite so much, as I enjoyed wrangling with PCS. There will never be another preposterous lunkhead quite like Schulteacher. But Moran looks more promising than you, anyhow, Ptom.

                  1. People should stick with names and names similar to names they were known by. It just makes it simple for everyone to know who’s interacting with ‘who’.

                    People insisting on the Anonymous handle are fundamentally disingenuous. For whatever reason they don’t stand behind their comments. Comments mean nothing when posted by ‘Anonymous’.

                    1. Mr. H, I’ve spent enough time in Mr. Smith’s penalty box to tell you that there are times when “commenter’s anonymous” is the only way to get a message through Smith’s bit bucket blockade. In the future, I might add the abbreviation L4D to the next anonymous comment I’m forced to post. But when it comes the one and only original anonymous, you really need to try harder to comprehend the meaning of the comment before you cavalierly dismiss it out of hand on the basis of the alias out in front of it, Mr. H. Surely, you can tell the difference between Kurtz’s anonymous versus Nash’s anonymous versus Estovir’s anonymous versus The Great Natacha’s Anonymous??? Can’t you, Mr. H?????

                    2. L4B,
                      I neither enjoy nor dislike wrangling with you.
                      More than anything else, I find it interesting that you’ve been given the leeway you’ve had to propagandize, lie, rewrite and distort the JT columns, claim to know things you don’t know, make ridiculous predictions with certainty that make you look like an even bigger fool when you’re so far off the mark, etc.
                      This is the only site where I submitted comments.
                      About 4-5 years ago, I spent time online researching a lawsuit about a specific issue.
                      I read a lot of comments, left some relevant to the specific topic of articles, and had no interest in finding a “chat room”.
                      The comments sections were largely a joke; I won’t go into all of the reasons why that is, but trolls, liars, propagantists, and morons made their presence felt.
                      This is not to say that it was more than a small minority of those commenting; but it does not take very many dedicated fools with a lot of time on their hands to really screw up a thread.
                      When I saw, during a Google search, an article on the very topic I was researching, I read a column by Darren Smith on that issue.
                      What surprised me was that the comment threads were a cut above what I’d seen elsewhere; the people participating were well-informed, straightforward in there exchanges, on-topic.
                      And there was a notable absence of trolls and others who played games and decided it they were oh-so-clever-and- cute by serial distortions and lying.
                      And I don’t remember one person who lectured JT, or other guest columnists about how “obtuse” they were. And placed themselves as the True Experts in Every Area.
                      All of that has changed here from those earlier years, and over the past couple of years, the same kind of scum that messed up other threads set up shop here.
                      It was probably inevitable that that would eventually happen, and these threads were, at one time worthwhile, turned into pretty much of a mess.
                      But I want to recognize your efforts, along with some other low- life trash that has slithered over here, in f***ing up this site.
                      And I wish you and your sidekicks all the success into continuing your hijacking and sliming of this site.

                    3. Well lately I’ve got this purple ink blot that looks like 5 others.
                      So people don’t necessarily know their political allies.

                      A devious person, who’s good with dialogue (a Hollywood term), could totally undermine this blog by changing their written voice several times per day while using ‘Anonymous’.

                      For this reason I think every time someone comments under Anonymous, the platform should generate a distinct symbol to differentiate from other anonymous’ .

                    4. People who are capable of changing their written voice are either trained intelligence operatives or multiple personality disorder patients with no control over which of their several voices grabs the keyboard and the mouse at any given moment. Of course, the possibility has not yet been eliminated that various military intelligence agencies may have trained a few of their operatives to have multiple personality disorder. If so, then those operatives could have been trained to have multiple avatar disorder as well.

                      I have to wonder sometimes exactly how many Trumpeters on the Turley blawg might inhabit the same physical body. If only there were a way to check their reflections in a mirror . . . wait a second . . . [processing] . . . would the mirror break? I have no idea. Except that Mr. Hill is always Mr. Hill. I’m utterly convinced of that. And, really, who would adopt Allan as an alter-ego?

                    5. BS. I write professionally, and I often change my style to suit the demands of the article, or audience, as necessary. I guarantee you, were I to do so here, you would not know it. It’s a skill, much like that of Mel Blanc, who created and voiced so many different characters in his time:
                      “The-the that’s ALL folks!” “You hear me boy? I say, do you hear me?” “What a maroon.” “You make me soooo angry.”
                      I am willing to bet that most of us here can put a name to each of the characters signature comments I’ve just written out. But no one would presume, if only hearing these without the necessary background knowledge, that they were spoken by the same person.

                    6. i agree with that except some comments are just short dumb remarks that don’t merit an attribution

                1. That’s better, anonymous Anonymous.👍
                  When you as dense as you are, and totally lacking any original thoughts, stick in your comfort zone and post another link.

                    1. Stick with what you are comfortable, Linc. Do not venture far beyond posting and re-post and cutting and pasting and quoting and bitchy.
                      These are your limit specialities whenever you show the level and limits of your capacity. I do not hold it against you that you are both stupid and ignorant….you probably can’t help that. It is your history of being an ass**** that I will occasionally note; when you keep confirming your status as an *******, I’ll give you the recognition that you apparently seek.

      2. Diane, A broom gives one the height to see more but less of everything.

        1. You have no idea what I’m really going to do with that broom. Do you, “Amadou” Allan? Picture it in your imagination. Ha-Ha!

          No. Wait. Diallo is the guy who got shot for reaching for his wallet. It was some other guy who got the broom handle up his hoorah. Well there you go Allan. Since your obviously bored off your rocker, please remind of the name of the broom handle guy before the one and only original anonymous beats you to it the way she, and only she, can

          1. “You have no idea what I’m really going to do with that broom.”

            Certainly you are not going to use the broom to sweep the house, Diane.

      3. “P. S. I can read for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles. O! Yeah!”

        Diane, A broom gives one the height to see more but less of everything.

        1. Allan claims that sweeping the house gives one the height to see more, but less, of everything. Allan lives in a Bauhaus house built atop a dust heap in a place where the wind won’t blow.

          1. Diane, you look from miles away flying your broom but it is actually in your basement. The rest is fantasy.

  5. I’ll post comments from now on wherever I manage to find a reply box wider than this – dash.
    I’ve had 3-4 exchanges with Anon the Parrot in response to his asking the same question here 20+ times.
    There is no point in attempting an kind of a real exchange with someone who is on auto- pilot and mired in believing what he wants to believe.
    I’ve explained things to him in language that even he should understand, and he keeps asking “are we there yet,? are we there yet?, are we there yet”.
    On his comment about the narrowing of Hillary’s lead in the POPULAR vote in the final two weeks of the campaign…I’ve discussed that with him, and the wall around the complex down the street to equal effectiveness.
    I’ll point out that the winner of a presidential election is determined by the Electoral College.
    Moreover, a check of articles and analyses RIGHT UP TO election day 2016 showed Hillary winning comfortably by a margin of anywhere from 40-60 “extra” E.C. votes ( beyond the required 270).
    Anyone who has observed presidential elecrions and is assessing a candidate’s chance knows that you look primarily which states will deliver which EC votes.
    And using that method of determining the likely winner, Hillary’s chances were thought to be excellent….she was largely considered to be a shoo- in to win.
    So citing the narrowing of the popular vote polls as a source of pre-election pessimism for Hillary supporters is nonsense.
    I’ll get out of the way now so that Anon the Parrot can post his same question another 20 times or so here.

      1. Who know, Cindy. Comment threads are wide open for all sorts of anonymous games.
        In some cases, the multiple aliases are hard to miss. Especially over time.
        It wasn’t that big of an issue here until a couple of years ago.

          On a more serious note, we recently moved into a diffent co-op recently.
          And our neighbors shun us merely for our political views and expressing those views.
          I can sense their unfriendliness every time I step out on to our balcony.
          This is another thing that’s gotten worse over the past couple of years; intolerance of political views and party affiliations.
          I display one little flag of our party and neighbors make a BIG deal out of it.

    1. DIsappointing that Tom reverts to his favored posting style of personally attacking perceived enemies on this board. Most of his posts here are tit for tat nonsense and gossip to or about favorite targets, and sure scroll-over territory to me. Suffice it to say, he is also not well informed on parrots, who as far as I know don’t address debating points one at a time as I did in my response to him, and as I strive to do with others I have (had in his case) previously deemed worthy a response.

      Let me see if I have this straight: The supposed Deep State sabotaged Hillary’s campaign 2 weeks before the election while protecting Trump’s campaign from similar damaging information. That is not a question, it’s fact.

      The question is how did this supposed lethal cabal manage to effectively shoot it’s hero if it’s existence and goals are as described by purveyors of this sublime nonsense? Tom ventures that they were too cavalier and couldn’t be bothered to leak or announce Trump’s investigation – the latter would have been no more a bombshell than Comey’s letter, and in fact would have added balance and valuable information for voters. If this is true, then we are to conclude that the DS are complete incompetents incapable of the simplest tasks as well as poor judges of the political climate.Surely such plotters would carefully know the most recent polling and the nose dive Hillary took in them immediately following the letter and while there was still time to do the October surprise Part Deux. As justification for believing this tripe, we are to be incensed that an important FBI agent who was found by the IG to be guilty of nothing beyond using an agency phone for embarrassing personal and political communications with his sweetheart had strong political beliefs! Oh nooooooo! This cannot be!!!

      Of course Tom is free to believe this unlikely scenario, and will no doubt as it allows him and the other Trumpsters here to continue enjoying being lied to every day by someone with so little respect for them that he doesn’t bother to make the lies – like the Deep State – believable. This group – apparently in act of generosity toward Mexico – even want to pick up the tab for the wall now. A different bird than a parrot comes to mind when considering this exchange – that one in Africa that sticks it’s head in the sand.

      1. Anon,
        I had 3 exchanges with you relating to your 20+ repeated “Deep State ‘ question; once you proved that you were not interested in a real dialogue, I don’t perceive you as “an enemy”.
        You’re simply another person who likes to play games and is here primarily for that purpose. If I wasted time drawing up some “enemies list” based on that, it’d be too time-consuming. Those games are as common as dirt, but maybe you can find someone else to play.
        Lottsa luck, Tom

        1. Since no one here has been able to answer the obvious Deep State question, forgive me for not remembering your posts. You can repost them or not. One would assume that others besides me would like to here anything that makes sense about this supposed conspiracy. In any case, your call.

          1. Please allow me to explain: [Sarcasm Alert]: The Rules of the Game clearly and distinctly state that Trumpeters always win by definition; Trumpeters never lose also by definition.( I’m telling you: Those rules might as well be Euclidean postulates.) Consequently, the most recent commenter posting under the alias “Anon”–(who never loses, who always wins and who is anything but a Trumpeter)–simply must be a stinking cheater. Look it up. It’s in The Rules. There’s only one Meadowlark Lemon allowed on the court at any one time. And “Anon” is no Meadowlark Lemon. More like Oscar Robertson, if you ask me. Or even if you don’t. They say that The Big O set the stage for Dr. J, Michael Jordan and Sir Charles. Maybe New Rules are a-brewing. Maybe.

            1. After a bit of research on L4B’s background and the tavern connection, I have a better understanding of the workings of the “wet brain”.
              It’s highly probable that her word salad comments are directly related to her time on a barstool, documented in 2 of my earlier posts.

          2. Anon, there is no guarantee that the answers to your questions on the deep state will be comprehended by you. They haven’t and that has been proven by the many answers from different people provided to you. That is your problem, no one elses. It is a product of your glib and shallow discussions.

            1. Since no one has provided an answer to this most unlikely DS version of events, your statement is hypothetical. Let’s see if I can understand yours. Go ahead.

              1. Anon, it is not that no answer has been prided rather that you have not comprehended or discarded reasonable answers with glib responses that do not promote discussion. I answered you in several different fashions so I won’t try again. Why not go over the VDH Victor David Hanson article I posted and tell us where he goes wrong.

                1. Why don’t you summarize Hanson’s column, or post a few concise facts from it. I’m not spending time reading long columns by idiots.

                  1. Anon, the column is virtually a list. There were so many people doing so many inappropriate things and so many people in jeopardy that the entire op-ed is little more than a list.

                    It provided both fact and opinion, but grouped the offenses under different titles such as lying, foreign collusion, leeaking, Obstruction of Justice, and conflict of interest, You should actually read the list in its entirety but you can pick out the most eggregious errors of Hansom. Then we can see what you think is eggregious.

                    For example: “Andrew McCabe currently is under criminal referral for lying to federal investigators about leaking to the media.” Do you wish to say that this statement is a lie?

                    “Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has admitted to lying under oath to Congress—and since lied about his earlier admission of that lying.” Do you think this is not true? What did Mueller do to people he thought lied even though others in the department didn’t think they did?

                    1. McCabe is accused of lying to investigators about whether he “leaked” – he maintains that in his position, he had the authority to release information to the press – a correction to a WSJ article. The supposed lie is not the information he leaked, but the procedure he used. So what?

                      James Clapper in an appearance before a Senate Committee answered “no” to the question of whether the NSA collected data on Americans. He later clarified that under section 215 of the Patriot Act, we collect metadata:

                      ” This metadata information included originating and terminating telephone number, telephone calling card number, International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, time, and duration of phone calls, but did not include the name, address, or financial information of any subscriber.[49] ”

                      So what?

                      Where’s the DS conspiracy stuff?

                    2. Anpon:

                      ” he maintains that in his position,” Intent in a series of lies. You do realize he was dismissed from the FBI.

                      James Clapper lied multiple times.

                      “Where’s the DS conspiracy stuff?” It seems that you can make up conspiracy when it suits you and deny conspiracy when it doesn’t. You can take multiple acts and pretend they are one act. The claims presently against McCabe do not involve conspiracy at this time, but we can see that you spread your fiction to justify what you want to see.

                      We’d all love to see you justify even more of the wrong doing count after count. It doesn’t put you in a good light.

                    3. Allan seems to think that disputed charges irrelevant to the issue are therefore proof of a conspiracy for which he offers no evidence.

                    4. “Allan seems to think that disputed charges irrelevant to the issue are therefore proof of a conspiracy for which he offers no evidence.”

                      Anon, you can’t even repeat what another said on this blog correctly. Virtually everything you say is wrong. Where did I say “proof of conspiracy”? Actually I said the opposite and this demonstrates how twisted your arguments are and how wrong you are in almost everything you say.

                      Here are my quotes with regard to conspiracy.

                      “It seems that you can make up conspiracy when it suits you and deny conspiracy when it doesn’t.”… “The claims presently against McCabe do not involve conspiracy at this time, but we can see that you spread your fiction to justify what you want to see.”

                      Take note that I denied conspiracy at this time. You either have trouble with the English language, make many mistakes or you are a liar. Tell me which one you are.

              2. Anon says: April 7, 2019 at 9:50 PM

                “Since no one has provided an answer to this most unlikely DS version of events, your statement is hypothetical. Let’s see if I can understand yours. Go ahead.”

                I forgot to mention that one of the rules of the game clearly states that Trumpeters don’t need no stinking answers to no stinking questions. The corollary to that rule holds that any non-Trumpeter answers given to any non-Trumpeter questions are obviously flat-out lies. For instance . . .

                When Strzok wrote to Lisa Page the email that said, “No, we’re going to stop it,” what Strzok was referring to was his own proposal to conduct aggressive and provocative FBI interviews of Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and a few other members of the Trump campaign during the Summer of 2016, so that the Trump campaign would know that the FBI was investigating them during the Summer of 2016, and so that the Trump campaign would leak to the press (if it chose to do so) the fact that the FBI was investigating them during the Summer of 2016.

                Strzok’s proposal was overruled by Bill Preistap and Andrew McCabe, in keeping with previous orders from Comey and Sally Yates, for the very reason that the FBI was convinced that the Trump campaign would leak to the press the fact that the FBI was investigating them during the Summer of 2016, if the FBI had followed Strzok’s advice to conduct aggressive and provocative interviews of Carter Page and Papadopoulos et al.

                The upshot from that, in keeping with the rules of the Trumpeters’ great garbling game, is that, since his superiors at the FBI told Strzok [paraphrase] “No, we’re not going to conduct aggressive and provocative interviews of members of the Trump campaign,” therefore, the statement in Stzrok’s email to Lisa Page, “No, we’re going to stop it,” supposedly can only mean that the FBI supposedly preferred to depose Trump after he was elected rather than do anything that might damage Trump’s chances of getting elected.

                To quote my colleague, P. Hill, “That’s how dumb it gets.”

      2. “The supposed Deep State sabotaged Hillary’s campaign 2 weeks before the election while protecting Trump’s campaign from similar damaging information. That is not a question, it’s fact.”

        This is an example of an error ridden person. Let me rewrite it.

        The supposed Deep State may have recognized the need to protect themselves and made one comment about Hillary Clinton’s campaign that was watered down and occured in the time frame when the FBI’s own lawyer considenerd charging Hillary Clinton. No one knows for sure why the comment was made so neither explanation is fact. Anon apparently plays loose with the facts.

        He continues with his rhetoric “while protecting Trump’s campaign from similar damaging information. That is not a question, it’s fact.”

        Few people aware of what has been going on consider what Anon says here to be a fact. It is an opinion and a bad one at that. I refer you back to the VDH article published in full. Those facts indicate that something very bad was going on at the FBI and indicate that the FBI was involved for over two years in disrupting the Trump campaign while leaking and doing other bad things.

        The only thing that Anon’s statement shows is that Anon has placed his fiction in front of clear reality. Let’s wait for Anon to disupute the facts (not opinion) stated by VDH.

        1. So, 2 years “disrupting” the Trump campaign, but supposedly it was too much trouble for the “DS”to leak or announce it’s investigation of that campaign when it did Hillary’s? WTF. Get serious.

          1. Anon, maybe you can reword your question and make it more specific as to what you think happened and what you think should have happened.

            1. Inspector General Horowitz investigated the email exchanges between Strzok and Lisa Page and determined that the statement, “No, we’re going to stop it,” referred to Strzok’s proposal for aggressive and provocative FBI interviews of Carter Page and George Papadopoulos and a few other members of the Trump campaign during the Summer of 2016. IG Horowitz also determined that Strzok was told emphatically that he could not conduct aggressive and provocative interviews of any members of the Trump campaign because that would cause the Trump campaign to leak to the press the fact that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign in the Summer of 2016.

              Hanson garbles that email deliberately, intentionally, on purpose. Because Hanson is a professional garbler. Hanson gets paid to garble as much as Hanson possibly can garble.

              1. Diane, intertwining small bits of truth with your fantasies still leave you requiring a straight jacket and a lot of pills. Go back to your basement and fly your broom.

                Take the facts Hanson provides and tell us what is not true. You can’t. pure BS is all you are capable of providing.

                1. Allan, why would the deep state prefer to depose Trump after he got elected, when they could have much more easily ruined his chances of getting elected in the first place?

                  1. “While we feel compelled to alert the Congress and the American people to this reopening of the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s handling of emails, in the interests of fairness as well as that of the importance of an informed public, we are also at this time investigating the Trump campaign for possible involvement with Russian attempts to corrupt our election. I emphasize that at this time neither candidate is assumed to be guilty, and in the case of Mr Trump, he is not personally under investigation at this time.”

                    Anyone could have written this and it would have raised hell, as did the Hillary letter.

                  2. Diane, those opposing Trump never thought he would win and only stretched the envelope so far hoping that their acts wouldn’t fall into what could be called criminal acts. I think some of the acts are criminal but that will be decided in court.

                    Trump won and now they are all looking at what they did and trying to prevent it from being exposed. They are playing for time and hope that those that protect our laws will become embroiled in too many other things to come after them.

                    1. every defensive play from a favorable position, has to be in part a play for time.

                      that’s what “permanent election” is all about

                      it’s as real a doctrine of social conflict as Trotsky’s “permanent revolution” to which it owes its inspiration

                      Trotsky was indeed a genius, but he was out maneuvered by a man less intelligent, but so much wiser than himself

  6. Wally Moran,
    You don’t know for a fact that someone dropped L4B on her head when she was born.
    That might have happened to her later in life, just as easily “as when she was born”.
    Or maybe she dove head-first into an empty pool.
    While it’s “highly probable” that one of these accidents caused the damage, we don’t know for sure which one did.

    1. @Tom Nash… you’re quite right, I can’t be certain of when it occurred, or how it occurred. However, given what we see of her, it argues strongly that whatever happened happened very early. The other possibility, one which I’ve had to discount because I can’t show proof that sexual congress between a rat and a screech gull produces viable offspring, would’ve led me to argue congenital birth defect.

      1. Wally G.,
        Departing from the source of impairment issue, we have L4B and one other hard-core misandrist here.
        While it’s highly probable that they belong to the same coven, it’s uncertain if coven indoctrination is the reason for that.
        Maybe they started out in life that way, or developed that characteristic before they even became members of the coven.

        1. I thought she was more of a misanthrope than misandrist, because she sounds pretty hateful all the way around. That’s when she’s not sounding foolish or uninformed, which is all of the time.

          1. Moran mistakes criticism of Moran for misanthropy. Thusly does Moran attempt to poke people in the eye with a sharp stick then go run and hide behind The Mother’s skirts of the human species. It’s a bit sissy-like, Moran.

            1. No matter how hard she tries, L4B will never be half the man that Wally Moran is.

              1. If only half-men like Moran could carry pregnancies to term and deliver 10 lb. infants into the world without crying for their Mommies like a bunch of whiny little school girls, then, and only then, would L4D be only half the man that Moran dreams of becoming..

                1. L4D,
                  Just curious …..was your mother’s name Rosemary?
                  Your comment about giving birth prompted my question.

      2. The Self-Employed Professional Writer wrote, “I can’t show proof that sexual congress between a rat and a screech gull produces viable offspring.”

        That’s because you deny the proof shown right before your very own eyes; namely, Trump.

  7. “most believe the measure of presidential conduct is not found exclusively in the criminal code. ”
    If not in the criminal code, where is the measure of presidential conduct found?
    Thanks in advance for a reply

    1. Bob Miller,
      I’ll take the liberty of answering that.
      The sole measure of presidential conduct is the degree to which a president’s policies are aligned with my own political/policy beliefs.😉
      If I find those policies acceptable, then I’ll find his conduct acceptable, no matter what.

      1. At long last Mr. Winky Face freely admits the distilled essence of a Republican partisan hack. The criminal code applies to Democrats exclusively. Republicans are exempted from the criminal code so long as they serve the political/policy interests of The Republican Party. BTW, the Winky Face emoji on that comment is also a lie.

        1. Right…I’M the partisan hack. Coming from a propagandist and troll like L4B, that really hurts.

  8. Seems to me there ought to be a change in the law. If you lie to the state, county, or city police it has to be about something relevant to an illegal act that they’re investigating in order to get wrung up. But if you lie to the F.B.I. about ANYTHING, you’re done. And suppose you make a false statement inadvertently during a 2 hour interview or longer. If they want to be jerks, they can say you did it on purpose. And if you take the federal government on, you’ll lose even if you win. Best to take a plea bargain whether you’re guilty or not.

    How is that supposed to encourage citizens to work with the F.B.I.? Flynn and Papadopoulos are pretty good reasons not to do so.

    1. If you haven’t yet done so listen to the Howard Root video and how he was prosecuted. One needs to listen to the ~50 minute video. It is the equivalent to a law school course on prosecutorial abuse.

      1. Thanks for that. And I was struck by his question to others that contemplate a trial against the federal government. His first question is: “How much money do you have.”

        The only person I know of who stood up to a Special Council or Special Prosecutor was Casper Weinberger. And he was independently wealthy. Silly Judge Walsh told him he would accept a plea to a misdemeanor, or he would charge Weinberger with 5 felonies. Now there’s no way out for Walsh on this. Either Judge Walsh has determined that Weinberger was guilty of 5 felonies, in which case he should not allow such a “criminal” to get away with a misdemeanor. Or Weinberger is guilty of a misdemeanor, or something slightly more, in which case you don’t charge him with 5 felonies.

        Of course, Weinberger wasn’t guilty of anything. Had he not been pardoned, it probably would have cost him half his life savings, and I’m not sure he would have survived, as he was getting up there in years, and the creature that Judge Walsh turned into would have used every trick in the book to extend that farce of a trial out for at least 2 years.

        And a lot of them are. The only person I know He’s a millionaire and a patriot.

        1. And for the record, I haven’t listened to all of it yet. Half now, half later. I’ll see if I spot anything that surprises me. But not so far.

        2. We have to be careful in permitting the power of government to destroy individuals. They can. Look at what Mueller did to people at Arthur Anderson and ML along with the companies. Some of those people were treated as if they were living in horrible dictatorships despite their innocence.

    2. Why is it that politicians elected to congress are exempt from slander? They lie all the time and no one even bats an eye. What’s up with that? Just another example of double standard.
      Justice for me, none for thee

    3. well said steve

      but can you imagine a legislator trying to sell a change in that law? hard to explain

  9. NY Times, Washington Post are still disgracefully enabling ‘Collusion Delusion’

    By Post Editorial Board
    Proving themselves happy to pander to folks who can’t let go of the Collusion Delusion, The New York Times and Washington Post are both suggesting that Attorney General William Barr spun special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to make President Trump look good. But neither account amounts to more than clickbait.

    Previewing Thursday’s front-page story, a Times online headline Wednesday screamed: “Some on Mueller’s Team Say Report Was More Damaging Than Barr Revealed.” The Washington Post ran a similar story.

    Message: The truth is out there! Barr’s just corruptly covering up for Trump!

    Except that neither paper even pretends to have such info from anyone “on Mueller’s team” — just chatter from people who say they’ve talked to Muellerites.

    It’s a shameless followup to months of stories in both papers, and across much of the media, that relied on anonymous sources to feed the Delusion.

    Especially when it’s already known that Mueller’s report has some info that will make the president look bad — because Barr said so, noting that Mueller found “evidence on both sides of the question” of obstruction.

    Of course Barr’s four-page summary of a 300-plus page document left out plenty. But there’s no coverup: The AG plans to release the report in a week or two (after it’s redacted in accordance with laws and Department of Justice rules) so folks can read it for themselves.

    It’s also nuts to think Barr would lie about Mueller’s findings: Mueller himself would go public rather than let that happen.

    But die-hard Trump haters can’t let go, and their media and political enablers don’t want to disappoint them. (Thus Rep. Jerry Nadler’s grand show of threatening to subpoena the full Mueller report.)

    Much of the news media, and many top Democrats, already have egg on their faces, thanks to Mueller’s findings. It’s astounding that they’re trying to recover by digging the hole deeper.

    1. Straw-man fallacies piled atop straw-man fallacies. Nobody thinks AG Barr lied about the Mueller report. What people do think is that AG Barr selectively quoted two sentence fragment from the Mueller report that elided Mueller’s own words even while studiously ignoring the four prepared summaries included in the Mueller report in favor of Barr’s own four-page preliminary summary letter to Congress. And the reason people think that AG Barr selectively quoted an elision of Mueller’s own words is that AG Barr selectively quoted an elision of Mueller’s own words. Likewise, the reason people think AG Barr studiously ignored the four prepared summaries included in the Mueller report is that AG Barr studiously ignored the four prepared summaries included in the Mueller report.

      And that is why the purveyor of straw-man fallacies is at pains to construct straw-man fallacies that attribute to other people thoughts that those other people do not think. How else shall the well-known facts of the matter be palmed up the Straw-Man’s sleeve?

      1. We have heard your squawks and we constantly hear you’re revisions. No one listens to anything you have to say any longer.

      2. That does it. I’m out. This last statement is beyond anything a rational person should have to read, particularly on a Monday morning. It’s the absolute definition of circular reasoning. Est quod est. Ridiculous.

        1. There exists such a thing as a permissible use of tautology. There are also three permissible uses of tautology that are sometimes known as The Laws of Thought. The first one of those thought laws (called the Principle of Identity) clearly states: If a statement is true, then that statement is true. Guess what, Moran? Each of the circular sentences in my comment is a true statement that repeats itself. Here’s a subtler example: If Moran is Cunuck Sailor, then Moran is Canuck Sailor. Will you dispute those truths, Moran? Or will you enlist the aid of Canuck Sailor to dispute thus and so.

          1. Moran is Canuck Sailor, and Canuck is Moran. It actually depends on what I’m using to reply – my phone, or my laptop. However, since you’ve ‘busted’ me here, I’ll use strictly Canuck from here on in if I can get the blog to co-operate.
            Tautology is only acceptable if the statements are proven. Using a tautological statement as proof of itself is tautology squared, and not acceptable amongst rational debaters. In this case, since you are clearly not rational, I guess we’ll have to accept this idiocy from you.
            And now, Canuck Sailor is going to take Moran for a sail to another gorgeous Bahamian island and get some fresh air.
            Hasta luego, chiquita.

        2. Too bad, Wally M. You’ll miss one of the loons here give one of her dissertations on “logic”.🤔🤭🙃😄😂🤣
          All undergrad courses…..all the way from “Sophistry 101” to the Sophistry 400 level.

          1. Please don’t get me wrong… I intend to remain to watch the fun, but wasting precious energy to respond to this level of Stupid (capitalized because stupid when practiced at that level is clearly a proper noun) is not what I want to do.

        3. Wally, Diane is a blithering idiot. I understand the civility rules but there is no other way to describe Diane.


    Trump has floundered since Barr’s reprieve. This is because he defines himself by what he is against and organizes his presidency accordingly. For nearly two years, he has been against Mueller and the phony hoax rigged WITCH HUNT by angry Democrats(!!!). Now with this (ostensibly) behind him, he has a hard time figuring out what he is for, rather than just what he opposes. He struggles in the absence of an adversary.

    Even before the Mueller probe, Trump largely defined himself in opposition — against President Barack Obama, against Hillary Clinton, against Chuck and Nancy, against taxes, against horrible trade deals, often against his own appointees. His signature proposal, a border wall, is really against Mexico and illegal immigration.

    After the Mueller inquiry ended, Trump had a chance for a fresh start. Instead, he reached for a new foil. He attacked pencil-neck shifty Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), but nobody much cared. He attacked Obamacare, but Republicans blanched. He attacked Mexico, but his aides balked. He lamented Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) fading worth as an opponent: “I hit her too hard, too early, and now it looks like she’s finished.” Trump, a man who once boasted about sexual assault, attacked Joe Biden over his treatment of women.

    Trump could push for, say, major infrastructure legislation or several other items with broad support that he floated in his State of the Union address. Instead, he’s choosing to use this moment of opportunity to define himself again by what he’s against. Even the windmill menace.

    Trump had attacked wind turbines before, saying people who live near them “go crazy after a couple of years.” (His “natural instinct for science,” acquired because his late uncle taught at MIT, has also led Trump to deduce that exercise is unhealthy, flu shots don’t work and climate science is bunk.)

    Now the knight errant sallies forth again on his perpetual quest for confrontation, his Sancho Panza at his side. White House communications official Mercedes Schlapp tells reporters she’s waiting for a “readout” on Trump’s discovery of the windmill-noise/cancer link.

    Edited from: “In Which Our Knight-Errant Slayer The Carcinogenic Windmill”


    1. THE ABOVE notes what has always been obvious: ‘Trump defines himself by what he’s against’. In this regard Trump is essentially a ‘one trick pony’. Without grievances and outrages, Trump has no connection to his base.

      1. Before and after the election Peter has said that “Trump has no connection to his base.”

        Without “connection to his base” Trump won the Presidency.

        Logic is not something Peter has an abundance of.

        1. P. Hill says: April 6, 2019 at 1:02 PM

          Without grievances and outrages, Trump has no connection to his base.

          Allan says: April 6, 2019 at 1:12 PM

          Before and after the election Peter has said that “Trump has no connection to his base.”

          Without logical fallacy, Allan has no logic.

          1. No Diane, Allan said “Without “connection to his base” Trump won the Presidency.”

            You can’t even quote correctly. Another reason no one listens to you.



    3. “He struggles in the absence of an adversary.”

      Well that’s correct. But by the behavior of the Democrats, they seem determined to give him one.

      He has no health care plan. He says he’ll replace the affordable care act with something else. That something else is nothing.

      His spending is our of control. Clinton and Obama were easily more fiscally responsible than W. or Trump. Whether Trump can outdo W. as the biggest spender since L.B.J. remains to be seen.

      GDP growth was higher under Obama in 2014 and 2015 than compared to Trump in 2017 and 2018

      Monthly job growth was higher under Obama than in Trump’s first two years

      The unemployment rate was falling faster under Obama in 2014 and 2015 than in Trump’s first two years

      Growth in the Employment-to-Population Rate has slowed under Trump

      Wage growth grew sharply in 2016 and 2017 — when were still under an Obama budget. Then, in 2018, it slowed.

      The pay gap based on ethnic background declined in Obama’s final years—it has widened under trump

      Adult and child poverty rates have fallen—but much faster under Obama

      Unfortunately, I have to be told by Democratic elites that we’re being taken over by the Russians for the past 2 plus years. And that’s not going to work.

      1. Clinton and Obama were easily more fiscally responsible than W. or Trump.

        Appropriations bills are composed by Congress.

        The ratio of federal expenditure to gross domestic product carried the noted median value during the range of calendar years named:

        1993: 0.2252
        1994-95: 0.2174
        1996-2001: 0.1942
        2002-07: 0.2002
        2008-09: 0.2299
        2010-11: 0.2484
        2012-15: 0.2236
        2016-17: 0.2198
        2018: 0.2187

        1. This is typical. The main statistic is the rate of increase. For example, spending increased under Ronald Reagan. But he dramatically reduced the rate of the increase — what the Democrats laughably referred to as “cuts.”

          In addition, I am not going to attribute to Obama the bailout for the financial meltdown — an incident that belongs squarely at W’s doorstep.

          1. This is typical. The main statistic is the rate of increase.

            No, it is not. The main statistic is the propensity to divert available resources to political uses.

        2. 1993: 0.2252
          1994-95: 0.2174
          1996-2001: 0.1942

          In other words, Clinton reduced.

          2002-07: 0.2002
          2008-09: 0.2299

          In other words W. increased.

          2010-11: 0.2484
          2012-15: 0.2236
          2016-17: 0.2198
          2018: 0.2187

          In other words Obama reduced — not as good as Clinton mind you — but he did get handed the B.S. bailout he had to deal with through no fault of his own.

          1. Well actually in a way Obama did do better than Clinton. I was comparing the 2018 figure to the 2009 figure. And given the financial fiasco which belongs at W’s doorstep, that may not be fair to Obama.

            1. And given the financial fiasco which belongs at W’s doorstep,

              Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were run by a stew of Democratic Party insiders, among them Franklin Raines, James Johnson, Jamie Gorelick, and Barney Frank’s butt-buddy, Herb Moses. Barney Franks may have been the most consequential member of Congress in defeating legislation intended to compel the GSE’s to adopt more transparent accounting practices. Such legislation was sponsored by John McCain.

              No clue why George W. Bush is responsible for the bizarrely imprudent trading in credit default swaps by Joseph Cassano’s staff at the Financial Products Unit of AIG. As for other actors, Bush wasn’t a friend of Angelo Mozilo of Contrywide. Christopher Dodd was. And who in the Congress presided over the lobbyist bull sessions which wrote the financial sector ‘reform’ legislation in 2009 and 2010? Why do you think they call that legislation ‘Dodd-Frank’?

              1. Ah yes. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Never mind that they were NOT underwriters for the housing mortgages that people could not pay for, and were then bundled into mortgage backed securities so that, as W said, everybody could own a home.

                This whole W. idea that everybody should own a home, even if they can’t afford it, is the impetus. Create an economy so that they can afford it. That’s how you get to home ownership. But W never did that.

          2. I can’t figure out if you’re confused or you’re a really bad press agent.

            “Clinton” did not do anything. The initiative was taken by a Republican Congress. Clinton differed from Obama in that he was an experienced executive who could cut deals. The first Republican budget went into effect in October of 1995. Prior to that, Clinton was working with a Democratic Congress (and, not surprisingly, the propensity to spend was higher).

            The spending levels during the calendar years 2008 and 2009 were determined by the appropriations approved by the Democratic Congress to which the spent and preoccupied Bush acceded. Those in 2010 and 2011 were the issue of the Democratic Congress working with Obama. The Republicans seized one chamber in the 2010 elections. It was only in October 2011 that their influence would have been incorporated into the spending trajectory. The first fiscal year wherein the Democratic Party controlled neither chamber began in October 2015.

            This isn’t that difficult.

            1. Ah yes, spending increased because of the Democrats in Congress. Never mind that Reagan had to deal with a Democratic Congress, and dramatically reduced the rate of spending anyway. And that W had Republican control of Congress for a good chunk of his term. You know W don’t you? The biggest spender since L.B.J.?

              1. Steve J.,
                I think you should look a the the budgets during the Reagan years if you actually believe that Reagan “dramatically reduced the rate of spending”.

            2. Tabby, I’ve read this thread a couple times. Whatever you’re arguing is not entirely clear.

              What you need are the type of charts most widely seen in mainstream media. Tables, graphs and visual pies giving a clear picture. I was telling this, in fact, to Karen the other day.

              But as usual your presentation is more complicated than needed. Employing statistics in a manner devised to ‘stump’ the reader.

              Like that’s what you really seek: to make the reader think ‘Tabby’s talking over them’. So they’ll be afraid to show their ignorance by responding at all. Lending the appearance Tabby slapped them down!

              Personally I love statistics. Back in the days of hard books, I prized “The World Almanac”. My parents gave copies for Christmas every year.

              As a longtime consumer of American statistics, I can tell you this: ‘Credible statistics are generally easy to discern. One can build a good picture with meaningful statistics. If not, the statistics may lack significance.

                1. I can explain something to you. I cannot comprehend it for you.

              1. Peter, this isn’t that difficult. The salient metric is the ratio of federal expenditure to gross domestic product. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports both the numerator and the denominator for quarters and for calendar years. I used the calendar year figures. For nine months of a calendar year, the spending level is determined by the federal appropriations which went into effect on 1 October the previous calendar year. For the other three months, the spending level is determined by the appropriations beginning 1 October. A President takes office, the first budget he influences goes into effect the following October. Ditto a new Congress.

                1993: Democratic Congress working with George Bush the Elder

                1994-95: Democratic Congress working with Bill Clinton (bar the last 3 months.

                1996-2001: Republican Congress working with Bill Clinton (bar the last 3 months.

                2002-03: Split legislature working with George Bush the Younger (bar the last 3 months.

                2004-07: Republican Congress working with George Bush (bar the last 3 months)

                2008-09: Democratic Congress working with George Bush

                2010-11: Democratic Congress working with Barack Obama (bar the last 3 months.

                2012-15: Split legislature working with Barack Obama (bar the last 3 months)

                2016-17: Republican Congress working with Barack Obama

                2018: Republican Congress working with Donald Trump.

                SteveJ, Democratic Party press agent, is trying to make the case that Democratic presidents are more ‘fiscally responsible’ than Republican ones. Appropriations bills are initiated in Congress and every President has to negotiate with Congress, and it’s atypical for the President and Congress to be of the same party. For that reason, his characterization is inane in any set of circumstances. You’ve also had some important drivers that the politicians do not control: demographic factors, business recessions, the banking crisis, and international events.

                It might help you to have charts and graphs to visualize this, but the raw descriptive statistic should be sufficient.

                1. I once posted a video by the council of economic advisors demonstrating a number of metrics that can be used to compare the economy at different time frames. This video was targeted to compare Obama with Trump and was meant to show that the metrics used by the Obamaphiles weren’t showing the real picture. The claim of the Obamaphiles was that Trump was not improving the economy rather the economy was an extention of Obama’s economic policies. The video demonstrated 6 or 8 metrics where graphs were drawn and in each graph those metrics were on the way down and shot up as soon as Trump was elected or took office.

                  The understanding of our economy does not exist on this list to any great depth and I wouldn’t judge a President based on contrived metrics though they sometimes are useful in dispelling unrealistic claims. That is why when speaking to Anon where he used generalized terms that were near meaningless I provided the U 6. The U 3 is more commonly seen but doesn’t tell as good a picture. Actually the sum of the U 6 – the U 3 tells even more but people like Anon have no understanding what so ever of what they are talking about.

                  I am not an expert either so I advocate the use of more logic and less spin. A lot of people in our government that we assume to be experts aren’t either. KISS should be the rule in how government’s operate.

                  1. One example of what you just noted, although simplistic, it’s the fact that the last quarter GDP for 2016 was 1.6%. That number started to increase immediately, and is reflected in the 2017 results. Many economists And others who understand the subject, myself included, believe that had trump not been elected, the US would’ve gone immediately into another recession.

                    1. @Allan … Interesting article, although I could not complete it, it became too aggravating. The reason for that is that, well I disagree with the feds viewpoint as initially outline, the writer himself has imo a very poor grasp of economic theory. For starters, supply does not create demand.

                      My university education was in economics, although I have never worked in the field. It has however informed a great deal of my career since.

                    2. Canuck, thanks but I think there is a major question to what you believe to be true ” For starters, supply does not create demand.”

                      The alternate opinion is that in order to have demand another must produce something. I believe this involves Says Law and I believe Thomas Sowell has an entire book on Says Law.

                      Though we use money in the exchange process until we have money we cannot create demand. Therefore to get money one has to produce a product and the dynamics of this process completely changes the dynamics of how we look at a system of production and demand.

                      We require both but think of it (using bartering), why would there be any exchange of goods if one party didn’t produce anything? However, if one party produces a good that is desireable to another, the second party might then produce something in order to exchange and get that desireable good.

                      Might explanation is probably not perfect and I don’t have all the answers but I don’t think “supply does not create demand.” is correct and over time is not workable without sudden shifts in how we stimulate and hold back the economy.

                      Read some things Steve Moore has written. I have spoken to him a number of times and though he might not be totally correct I think he is more correct than the conventional wisdom you are thinking about. I asked him to write a book because his thinking is very clear.

                    3. If supply created demand, then all one would have to do is create something and let the riches pour in. In actuality, demand and supply ate interrelated. However supply on its own cannot create demand, there must be demand to which supply rises, thus creating a price point. i’ve oversimplified it, but I know you get the point.
                      I will posit an example, but you could put almost any item in place of the one I’m going to use, and come up with the same end result. There was no demand for the telephone as such. However, there was a demand for more effective communications. Once the telephone was created, that demand for better communications VIA the telephone created greater supply. With computers, it would be the demand for better computing capability. With automobiles, the demand for better and faster and more efficient transportation. In fact, having written this, I think I would say that a demand for the concept creates Innovacion which creates a product, and the demand it then becomes for that product which is responding to the need expressed.
                      Your comment about money is, in my opinion, not accurate. Money facilitates demand and supply, simplifying the exchange process, it does not create either.
                      you said “if one party creates a good that is desirable to another”,… That implies demand in and of itself. So the demand is there that created this supply. The reverse of that would be for somebody to create something in a proposal of no demand or no need or desire. In that circumstance, I can see art being an item that creates its own to man by virtue of supply. On the other hand, I could also state that the earth was created in response to the demand for beauty.
                      I think we have very much a chicken and the egg question here.

                    4. Canuck, if demand created supply then all people would have to do is demand products, but they cannot demand anything unless they have produced something to give in exchange.

                      One can say government can provide money to help create demand but that money can only come from the producers. Reducing the producers supply of money reduces their output. Eventually everything stops if the the producers don’t produce. That is where the capital comes from. With capital comes demand.

                      Ask yourself why you produce?

                      “Your comment about money is, in my opinion, not accurate.”

                      In the comment about money my point was that money facilitates the exchange process and then I used money, confusingly so, as the product that one produces.

                      I don’t think your examples demonstrate your economic vision as true. They sound good but the only way to be able to obtain something is by producing something for exchange. The farmer that produces more wheat than he needs has the ability to trade wheat for pork which means the pork producer has to produce more pork than he needs. Read about Says Law (I hope I got that right) There is somewhat of a chicken and egg scenario here but I believe production is a greater portion of the key.

                    5. The fact is, people do demand things… They demand better this, and different that, and it is that demand that causes producers to create supply.
                      Let me try this… I have decided as a producer that there is a demand for adjustable wrenches made out of unobtanium. There is nothing inherently better about these adjustable wrenches – and everyone knows this – than standard chrome molybdenum wrenches, except that they’re made of a different metal. As a result, they’re very expensive – not because the metal is more expensive, but because I am not able to manufacture at a point where economies of scale come into play. Since they are no better, and a much cheaper product will do the job just as well, there will be no demand for them. In order for them to sell, they will have to be reduced to the price of chrome molybdenum wrenches, and then what is the point of making them of a different metal when there is no advantage to doing so?
                      Now, let’s look at a slightly different scenario. I’m a boater, and prefer my tools to be made of a non-rust proof material such as stainless steel – Even though making them out of stainless steel is quite expensive because of the inherently more expensive material, and the lower demand for such an item.
                      However, because there is a natural demand for them, producers manufacture them and I can buy them.
                      You comment that all consumers have to do is demand something… And that is exactly correct. If there is a demand for something, producers will attempt to provide that product, because they know there is a market for it. Demand in other words, creates supply.
                      In terms of this discussion however you have conflated the issue of demand with people being able to pay for it. That is not how it works. If there is a demand for a product, someone will produce it at a price point that meets that demand. If the product as designed is too expensive and there is no demand for it at that price, either the price will be lowered, or the product will be redesigned less expensively so that it can be sold profitably. On the other hand, if the demand for the product is very high, Then price becomes irrelevant, a concept known as price inelasticity.
                      We are getting deep into the weeds here… I’m going to back off for the moment and let you respond.

                    6. “The fact is, people do demand things… They demand better this, and different that, and it is that demand that causes producers to create supply.”

                      Canuck, leave the US and Canada and go to a country that doesn’t have entitlements etc. where you can die in the street. Mr X demands a telephone but has no money. How does that demand create a supply? Mr.. X wants a telephone so he produces a record player. Both entities have created “money” (or product or service). No transaction takes place until both have something to offer that makes both better off. Same with inelastic prices. No transaction can take place until the price point is met.

                      Wenches: I think you are injecting preferences into the discussion and I think that leads you down the wrong path.

                      2 centuries of Says and then Keynes. Time to wonder if Keynes and government intervention has changed our perspective. Keynes is what is mostly taught in school so graduates will tend to believe what they were taught.

                      Sowell was a Marxist and studied Marxism until he learned while researching that Marxism was bull. A lot we learn in school is bull.

                      “Say’s Law—the idea that “supply creates its own demand”—has been a basic concept in economics for almost two centuries. Thomas Sowell traces its evolution as it emerged from successive controversies, particularly two of the most bitter and long lasting in the history of the discipline, the “general glut controversy” that reached a peak in the 1820s, and the Keynesian Revolution of the 1930s. These controversies not only involved almost every noted economist of the time but had repercussions on basic economic theory, methodology, and sociopolitical theory. This book, the first comprehensive coverage of the subject, will be an indispensable addition to the history of economic thought. It is also relevant to all social sciences concerned with economic prosperity, with the nature of intellectual orthodoxy and insurgency, or with the complex relationships among ideology, concepts, and policies.

                      Originally published in 1972.

                      Say’s Law
                      An Historical Analysis”

                    7. Alan, I hear what you’re saying, but we have a basic disconnect here it seems, and I can’t see a way to explain it. Part of it is that money is not a necessary part of the demand/supply equation – not in the way you say, it’s trying to put a round peg in a square hole that isn’t there.
                      For there to be any potential for supply, there has to be a demand. Mr. X can’t nor won’t go around inventing record players – or anything else for that matter – UNLESS there is a demand for same, or a demand for some sort of ‘thing’ that plays music. In other words, for him to exchange the record player for the phone he wants, there must be a demand for that record player – or whatever medium of exchange is used, if not barter as in your example.
                      And for Mr. X to invent that record player, he has to be aware that the guy with the phone he wants has a ‘want’ – that there is a demand – for that item, or an item that fills his need to hear music. Otherwise, how did he know to create that record player? Since there is a demand – he will go ahead and invent (if he can) what the other person wants in exchange.
                      That’s why and how money came to be – if Mr. X can’t create a record player for whatever reason, he can sell something, or trade his time (work) for money with which to buy the phone. I guess you would say that money is downstream of supply and/or demand.
                      Supply without demand goes nowhere (except to the remainder bin). But demand without supply creates a vacuum that will be filled.

                    8. Canuck, what was the demand for the i-pod before it was produced? O

                      Mr. X wants an i-pod. Mr X has nothing to give in return. Does Mr X get the i-pod?

                      Mr X decides to produce more rice in exchange for the i-pod. Does he get it? Yes, if he produces enough rice. Both of them have supply so now both of them have created demand. If neither has anything to exchange the demand is meaningless.

                    9. The demand for the iPod before it was produced was the demand for a smaller and more efficient means of providing recorded music – because no one (I’m referring to the general public, not electrical engineers or inventors, etc) could comprehend what an iPod was, or that such a thing could be possible. Previous to the iPod, it was the portable cassette players, or a boom box, and in the late 1950s, the Sony Transistor Radio that my father bought. People don’t want the product, they want the utility that the product provides them. In each case here – the iPod, cassette player, etc., that utility was convenient, portable, music. The iPod is just a later iteration of the gramophone, which answered a need – demand – for having music available in one’s home. And that need, previously, was answered by non-technological means, by people having get togethers where everyone who could play an instrument would do so.
                      Count on this – demand for air travel would vanish if you could purchase a teleporter that would move you instantaneously from point A to B. But there is no demand for a teleporter now. The demand is for faster and more convenient transportation. The automobile, airplane, iPod and wrench are all just means to an end. Don’t confuse the ends as being the means. The demand is not for the means of how things are provided, but for what they permit.

                    10. The fact that it is not possible to edit answers is very aggravating. What I should have said in my last paragraph was… Demand for air travel would vanish if you could purchase a teleporter that would move you instantaneously from point a to B. But there is no demand for a teleporter now, or more accurately, while there may be a demand for a teleporter, the technological ability to create one does not exist. Instead, the demand is for faster and more convenient transportation.
                      And, I would add here… I demand for an editing facility to this blog. 🙂

                    11. Canuck, this is becoming repetitious. The demand for the ipod was 0 before it was produced. There is an infinite demand for items but we don’t have an infinite production of items. How come? How many i-pods would have been in the market if no one had produced something in order to pay for them? 0.

                      Of course producers choose to pick items people would most likely buy at the highest profit margin. That is why they don’t bother to produce cheap drugs when they can produce higher profit margin drugs when there is no competition in the marketplace.

                      Try writing a few senteces telling us how the demand of those that do not produce creates production. That is the issue. Right now you are demanding an editing facility to the blog, but you are paying 0 so how much influence does your demand directly have?

                      (I think you already realize that the anonymous response above was mine and my information was dropped.)

                    12. Lol, it is, isn’t it? I see two reasons for that… One is that you are not accepting my definition of what demand actually is, the other is maybe that one or both of us is not fully comprehending what demand and supply actually are. I am now going back and re-reading stuff I haven’t looked at in 45 years, such as the actual definitions of demand and supply, definitions of elasticity and other economic concepts.
                      in the meantime, I’m going to proceed with an answered your question on my current understanding.
                      Demand for the iPod was zero because of course the iPod did not exist. People can’t want something that doesn’t exist. But what they can want, or demand, is the utility that product, when he created, can provide. In other words, the old-line a boat if you want to be successful, find a need and fill it. In other words discover a demand and fill it.
                      I think that you were trying to simplify demand by completing it with production. That is not what demand is. It’s formal definition is as follows: “. The demand for a good or service depends on two factors: (1) its utility to satisfy a want or need, and (2) the consumer’s ability to pay for the good or service. In effect, real demand is when the readiness to satisfy a want is backed up by the individual’s ability and willingness to pay.”
                      Once the market has determined that real demand exists, then production can begin.
                      You posit the question about those who do not produce… Those who do not produce are not the issue. The issue is those who do not have money. There are many people in the economy who do not produce, but if they have money, that’s not relevant. They can buy because they can create demand. That comment can lead us into the production and economics of the welfare state etc. etc., and I don’t think we want to go there… not this discussion anyhow. 😁😁
                      You are correct that my wish for an editing function here is not creating any changes, and that is because I am unwilling to pay for it. In actuality, I doubt that there is a way that I could pay for it. For that change to be made, there has to be a benefit to the word press people, or to Turley, If in any way the editing function is under his control.
                      In this case, for that change to be made, with money not being involved, there has to be an increase in utility to either word press or Turley for making that change. The demand is already there, but unless there’s a benefit – a utility to use economic jargon – to one of the two above, there will be no change.
                      What would that utility be? For Turley, it would be something that increases ease-of-use of this site and thus improves/increases his readership. I get that because I have a blog that supports my own professional writing as well. The benefit for both of us is increased readership, measured in clicks, making it easier for us to sell our writing to editors.
                      The benefit to wordpress, and I don’t know their economic model so this is speculation, would be to increase the utility of the blogging platform to writers such as Turley and myself. Increasing the number of writers has, I presume, a benefit, or utility, to wordpress.
                      To sum this up, the payment that I offer to Turley and word press is interest in their product, or engagement with the blog of you will. The payment they receive is increased readership.
                      We are now well into the weeds here, and I look forward to your next response. In the meantime as I said, I will be researching the definitions of concepts I have not studied for over 40 years.

                    13. Canuck. I will respond to this shortly in two parts, anew, since the discussion is getting quite long and complicated and likely to be difficult to read or search out. I will provide a link that I hope brings one back to this spot.

                2. Tabby, whatever. The truth is that certain tax cuts pushed by Republicans were not responsible.

                  The tax cuts pushed by George W, for instance, were completely inappropriate when he had every intention of invading Iraq. George W became the first president in history to cut taxes on the brink of war. Consequently debt and deficit ballooned as Baby Boomers neared their retirement years. George W also pushed for Medicare Prescription Drug coverage while providing no funding.

                  The more recent Republican tax that Trump signed towards the end of 2017 was arguably the stupidest tax cut ever. The economy was doing just fine. There was no logical reason for additional stimulus. The effects of that tax cut just became a sugar rush on top of a caffeine buzz. How dumb!

                  Every study conducted so far regarding the Trump Tax Cut has shown that the richest 1% were the overwhelming beneficiaries. And they used most of that money for stock-buybacks. The average Joe barely saw any difference in his paycheck. Trump’s Tax Cut was such a bust with common folks that Republican pollsters advised the GOP to not even promote it as an ‘achievement’ in last year’s midterms.

                  Because of Trump’s tax cut, the deficit and debt are blowing up in a precarious manner. Which leaves us no slack for a tax cut when the next recession comes.

                  So if you’re trying to tell us that Republicans have been the more responsible fiscal managers, I’m not seeing that.

                  1. “George W. became the first president in history to cut taxes when we were on the brink of war”.
                    The “JFK” tax cuts ( past a few months after he was killed) we’re enacted early in the course of the Vietnam War. Moreover, they were past shortly before LBJ massively increased U.S. involvement in that war.

                    1. Anonymous, your history here is nonsensical.

                      JFK was killed in November of 1963. The Vietnam War didn’t really start until August of 1965. Furthermore, the Vietnam War escalated slowly as so-called ‘police action’. Johnson wasn’t deliberately planning a full scale war. That was the tragedy, of course; Johnson didn’t mean for the war to become full-blown.

                    2. This is an example of ceating an argument one talking point at a time.

                    3. The Marines were sent in in March of 1965. Antecedent to that was the ‘advisory war’, which ran from November 1961 to February 965. Only about 2% of the manpower deployed in VietNam was during the ‘advisory war’. However, that is when American troops entered combat operations. Lyndon Johnson’s choices were constrained by the sequelae of the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem. That was a Kennedy special.


                    Take note at the number of points Peter can make in one paragraph. That is a sure demonstration that what he is doing is putting a bunch of talking points into a paragraph. Take note that each talking point is about one sentence long absent any thought or information that brings value to a talking point.

                    I think Peter spends too much time on the beach drinking beer. His drunk friends might think he is smart rattling off talking points but they don’t realize he is just regurgitating point provided to him in easy to read articles. Peter can code the English language

                    1. Peter Hill,
                      You post that HHHNN version of the Vietnam War timeline and say that I don’t know history.
                      I wish I had had the opportunity to meet you in a debate club completion, where you would not have time to weasel out of being challenged.
                      Let’s take your statement that LBJ never really intended to get deeply involved in Vietnam.
                      And you know this how?…. there were 16,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam in Nov. 1963, and 26,000 a year later as LBJ gradually increased the numbers.
                      Neither of us knows with absolute certainty what LBJ “intended”, but the audio recordings for him in the 1964 period show that he was leaning toward ramping things up.
                      This is in addition to his c. 70% increase of U.S. forces in Vietnam before the “Vietnam War really started”.
                      And I think I did mention the massive escalation on top of that, which started in the spring of 1965.
                      I know that history very well, and I’m not “spinning it” like HHHNN.
                      The fact is that in Feb. 1964 LBJ pushed through the “JFK” tax cuts, while slowly ( at that point) getting us in deeper .
                      And those tax cuts coincided with his other “war”, the War on Poverty.
                      It didn’t take an economic genius to figure out that the amjbituous LBJ programs ( including “defending S. Vietnam) would be costly, but he cut taxes in advance of all this.
                      You blurred the Bush 43 tax cuts timeline to present your desired conclusion; I think that facts and accuracy re timelines are important, but hey, that’s just me.
                      You screw with them all you need to to make your HHHNN points.
                      I will point out that even if the Vietnam War did not “really start” until 1965 ( the troops there before 1965 might take issue with that), there was the Feb. 1964 tax cut “on the verge of” ( you like on the “brink of”) the start of the 1965 massive build up.
                      That is, even really stretching a point, a c. 12-14 month interval.
                      And the Bush tax cuts ( passed in response to the recession he walked into….you failed to mention that little detail….preceeded Gulf War II by longer than that.
                      Why don’t you study history a bit and gain some factual knowledge, instead of continually spinning the hell out of things, then claiming that others don’t know history when you are called on your HHHNN BS.
                      There is a reason that you qualify as an out and out propagandist.
                      Now take your time, consult with Brock and Soros and your HHHNN staff, then get back to us with the latest spin/snow job.

                  3. Cutting marginal income tax rates is a shtick favored by Republican politicians. It’s about the only thing they can muster a collective effort to accomplish. Keep in mind that income taxes do not finance entitlements other than Medicaid. Increases in marginal tax rates will not be applied to deficit reduction. They will be applied to wish-lists of members of Congress. You needed an unusual correlation of forces in 1995 et seq to bring spending and revenue streams.

                    As it was, the Fredcon caucus (P Ryan and AM McConnell, co-chairs) got their marginal rate reductions, then welshed on what was important: securing the border.

                    1. Marginal tax rates, all tax rates, the IRS, etc. are all unconstitutional and moot, and none will be necessary when the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution is implemented and control is rested from the American communists. Transaction taxes and user fees are more than adequate.

                      The singular American failure has been the Supreme Court which has corruptly lapsed in its charge to implement the clear and obvious meaning and intent of the Constitution.

                      It’s the spending, stupid! Infrastructure and security are the only constitutional expenditures. Charity is industry conducted voluntarily in the free markets of the private sector. If the constant collectivist caterwaulers want something, they are obligated to get a job and buy it – for themselves as individuals. The American thesis is freedom and self-reliance. They are sins to COVET and STEAL other people’s property, wives and money.

                      Few can grasp the concept of individual American constitutional freedom without the dictatorship of a monarchy or the proletariat. It’s the government that is severely limited and restricted by the Constitution while individuals are provided maximal freedom.

                      The communists have fooled you.

                      Congress has the power to tax merely for “…general Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, deliberately excluding any power to tax for individual welfare.

                      General welfare being ALL WELL PROCEED as roads, water, sewer, trash pick-up, post office, electricity, etc.

                      Congress has no power to tax for INDIVIDUAL WELFARE or for the purpose of communist redistribution of wealth.

                      Article 1, Section 8

                      The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

          3. It looks like the rate was high from 2010- 2017.
            If I’m reading these percentages correctly, I don’t see how “Obama reduced” the federal spending/ GDP percentage during those mostly Obama years of 2010-2017.
            As another measure, adding $9 Trillion to the Federal Debt during the course of 8 years of the Obama Administration doesn’t indicate America deviated from the 21st Century pattern of higher spending, and higher decificits/debt during during the 2010-2017 period.

            1. Well it’s lower than when Bush left office. Keep in mind that I don’t put much into the data he posted. But by his own data, it increased under W. and decreased under Clinton and Obama.

              1. Steve J,.
                You presented 3 batches numbers presenting periods of Federal spenting as a percentage of GDP.
                The highest overall percentages by far were found I’m your 2010-2017 batch.
                Obama years. And you’re still stating that the % was lower under Obama??

                1. But they fell from 2010 to 2018. The first year 2009, we under a Bush budget and a Bush bailout even though Obama was President. And by 2018, it was lower than when Bush left office.

                  1. A lot was made about the “deficit reduction’ by Obama by moving the goal posts in the same way. Specifically, we ran 3 or 4 consecutive years of deficits over a $Trillion Dollars on Obama’s first term. Given those huge, unprecedented numbers, the “mere” half-trillion dollar deficits in the last couple of years of the Obama Administration means that “Obama cut the deficit by 50% as President”.
                    So if we rack up deficits of $Ten Trillion Dollars in the first years of the next administration, and that administration leaves when deficits are “only $5 Trillion”, them we’ll apply the same “Obama cut the deficit”, and give credit to the next administration for the same “fiscal restraint”.
                    There was no reasonable expectation that Obama and Congress could hold deficits down during the first year or two after the 2008 meltdown. And of course the subsequent “shovel ready projects” were necessary to fix our infrastructure with Cash for Clunkers, Cash Credits for buying homes, and similar “infrastructure” spending.
                    It’s pretty hard to defend ANY administration or Congress since the turn of the century in the area of fiscal responsibility without resorting to the kind of gimmicks I mentioned in the 2nd paragraph

                    1. Kind of difficult to fill in the name and email address without a visible reply box.
                      Now that one reappeared, the “Anonymous” comment was mine, the last two letters were an attempt to fill in reply box info as it disappeared from sight.

            2. I will add that Bush 43 was inaugurated in Jan. 2001, and ran right into a recession two months later.
              The bust (started in March, 2000) and the deflating of the extreme speculative 1990s bubble helped to set up the recession that would inevitably greet Clinton’s successor.
              The 9-11 attacks, c. 6 months after the 2001 recession started, took a huge economic toll on the economy.
              Cutting taxes during a recession is not uncommon. Gulf War II started two years after the 2001 recession began, so that time gap gives weight to the conclusion that these recession- motivated tax cuts.
              In reading one comment here, it’s implied that Bush43 decided “Let’s cut taxes, we’re going to war”.
              The timeline and the facts do not support that distortion.

      2. I read crap like this coming from people like you and it infuriates me that you insult us with a pile of BS

        GDP 2013 – 1.8
        GDP 2014 – 2.5
        GDP 2015 – 2.9
        GDP 2016 – 1.6
        GDP 2017 – 2.2
        GDP 2018 – 2.9

        The average for Obama’s last four years was 2.2%. That’s pretty dismal.
        Furthermore, it is clear that Obama‘s economy was heading to another recession again when you see the 2016 GDP of 1.6%. Even Obama admitted that 2% would be the new normal. Oops he got that wrong didn’t he?
        As for wage gains… “ The average pay raise in 2019 is expected to be about 3.1%, the highest since 2008, according to professional services firm Aon’s annual survey on U.S. salary increases, which is based on responses from over 1,000 companies.Mar 1, 2019”
        After correcting for inflation during the Obama years, there were no net wage increases. And it’s the net increase that counts.

        Employment growth compared to population is obviously going to slow as the economy approaches full employment. Don’t play games with statistics, some of us understand them better than you do.

        1. Wally, I think the number for Obama is even worse. We were coming from a recession and the U 6 in 2013 was at 13.1 which to me means that if managed correctly employment numbers should rise relatively quickly and improve growth dramatically. The economy stalled, IMO because of policy. The fall in the U 6 wasn’t very great in 2016 but increased rapidly when Trump took over (the closer to full employment the slower the U 6 should fall). We still have people that can go back to work. The GDP is greatly determined by productivity per worker and the number of workers. Increase workers and productivity and tax revenues rise removing the need to spend money on those requiring assistance.

          Cash for clunkers was a dumb attempt to increase the number of workers by Obama. It raised the cost of cars for those that bought used cars because they didn’t have the needed funds to buy new ones. It cost government revenues to pay for those cars that were trashed. It caused prices to rise on new cars. It reduced wealth because even old cars have value. It created a system that was gamed. That was one problem with Obama. His economics were all screwed up. Obama should have read Bastiat instead of smoking pot (broken windows theory).

          1. Allan, I didn’t get into the U6 numbers because as you noted earlier, that is beyond many here. However, you are exactly correct in stating that U6 went down rapidly once trumps economic policies were put in place. Actually, more than anything else, the fact that the government was now being led by a business person who favored growth, rather than by an ideologue who didn’t understand growth and what it could do, was a major factor in the rapid improvement of the economy. Business once debility, and Obama was never one to provide that stability. Trump has been, and is. I say this despite the so-called trade wars and the uncertainty they caused, because those who understand recognize that there’s a specific purpose behind what Trump has been doing. Bottom line is, to solve some of the long-term problems the economy faced, such as China’s intransigence on trade and intellectual property, it’s been necessary to take steps that would not normally be necessary. Trump, bless him, has had the courage to do this.

            1. ” because those who understand recognize that there’s a specific purpose behind what Trump has been doing.”

              Absolutely. Unfortunately many professional policians do not understand how agreements are created. Trump does understand and though I may not agree totally with everything he does I agree enough. In fact sometimes when I disagree with him I later have to change my mind.

              1. One of the major issues that make politicians such poor negotiators is that they are enamored of the process, rather than the result. They also believe that they must get a result, any result, or else they have failed. A businessman knows better. A businessman knows that he wants a good result that works towards his end game. Settling for just any results so as to declare success is not what a smart businessman does.

                1. Excellent Wally. That should be posted over and over again so that it can gradually be absorbed by those that have little understanding how good results are obtained.

                  The Washington Post is always discussing the processes of Trump and never the results. That leads to many that do not keep their eyes on the ball.

        2. Yes, playing games with statistics is a terrible sin.

          “….Using past values of the spread and GDP growth suggests that real GDP will grow at about a 2.1 percent rate during the next year, just below the 2.2 percent rate for February and even with the 2.1 percent rate for January. Although the time horizons do not match exactly, the forecast, like other forecasts, does show moderate growth….”

          The tax cut sugar high is not expected to last, though the bill for it will.

          As to the common GOP complaint about the economy not responding as quickly as it had normally after the 2008 crash, this was not a garden variety recession, but the worst since 1929 and involved the entire world. In fact, the US economy after this event, outperformed virtually all other developed countries. NO, it was not in the cards that our bounce back was going to equal previous recessions and that would have been the case if Milton Freedman or Saint Ronnie had been in office.

  11. I don’t know quite where Turley is trying to go with this. The action of using your Constitutional Article 2 powers cannot form the basis of obstruction.

    Someone on this board made an interesting observation that Barr responded to a question about a hypothetical. If a President tells or asks a witness to lie in a proceeding in exchange for a pardon, can the President be indicted for obstruction. And Barr said that he could. I don’t know how much Barr can be expected to parse his words in that format, but the reason the President can be indicted for obstruction is that he committed the illegal act of telling or asking a witness to lie. The pardon has nothing to do with it. The only way it can come into the trial is as evidence (implying a quid quo pro arrangement) that the President committed an illegal act.

    My understanding with regard to Comey is that people are claiming the action of firing Comey is the obstruction. The action of firing was a legal act under Article 2. A legal act cannot form the basis of an obstruction charge.

    1. Obstruction can occur without a predicate illegal act. Such cases have been prosecuted with convictions.

      1. Do you have such examples? I’ve never heard of such a thing. And if such things have happened the defendants would have a case for an overturn. Motive alone should never constitute a crime. That has been a belief going back hundreds of years. If we are departing from that belief, it is very dangerous.

        1. Maybe the article in the WP explains why the writer is only an assistant professor. One can obstruct but where no crime exists the bar to prove obstruction is very high and the obstruction might be a crime itself.

      2. By the way, Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, when he was working for Ken Starr, came up with an absurd interpretation of obstruction that is not perfectly analogous, but fits here. He wanted Bill Clinton to be charged with obstruction because he lied to his staff about Monica Lewinsky. And some of those staff members testified before the Grand Jury about Monika Lewinsky afterwards. After he left Starr’s office and W. got into the White House, he “changed his mind.” He was no spring chicken when he came up with this absurd interpretation, and now he’s on the Supreme Court.

        He was never called on it during confirmation for politically selfish reasons by both political parties.

        1. He was no spring chicken when he came up with this absurd interpretation, and now he’s on the Supreme Court.

          He was about 33 during his (brief) 2d stint in Starr’s employ, and spent a period measured in weeks preparing Starr’s report to Congress. He’s had a legal career spanning 28 years.

          Since Clinton was never prosecuted for obstruction of justice, no clue why you’re so agitated by this.

          1. Well says he wanted Clinton prosecuted for that. That’s ridiculous. And if you want to claim 33 years is not a spring chicken you’re entitled to your opinion. He wasn’t fresh out of law school.

          2. DSS, I think Kavanaugh was employed and not promoting his own ideas. Like all attornies he takes a position for his employer and makes all the arguments possible. I believe he later rejected many the underlying basis for the argument so I don’t understand what the big deal is about unless people believe that lawyers should only represent clients they agree with 100%.

            1. Kavanaugh supported the obstruction charge. He agreed with it and argued for it. And if he didn’t, you don’t go along with an office that is off the rails. The prosecution staff has obligations that the defense attorney does not. And one of them is to look out for the citizen they are considering prosecuting, and applying the law correctly. Kavanaugh didn’t do that.

              1. SteveJ, the office wasn’t off the rails. Clinton lied and did some bad things. I didn’t agree with the impeachment charges against Clinton at the time because I felt it compromised our nation and there was no way he would be impeached and found guilty. I didn’t think Clinton met the criteria for impeachment.

                Kavenaugh wasn’t an independent person making these claims. That was his job or that was the job given to him. If you believe in our judicial system then you have to recognize that sometimes lawyers take positions they may not like. The one thing they can’t do is lie on behalf of a client. Kavenaugh did the right thing even though later (before Trump) he rejected the obstruction/ impeachment claims made against Clinton for the same reasons I did.

                Today the left seems to be tied up in knots. Just recently everyone of the candidates had to bow at the image of Sharpton or be destroyed by the censorship from the left. No one on the left that is running for President can say anything bad about Sharpton even though Sharpton was a bad dude. Letists runnimg for office have to restrict their free speech less they be destroyed. I don’t think any intelligent person wants that type of power levied against free speech.

                1. “Clinton lied and did some bad things.”

                  Under that standard, you’ll have to jail most people in Washington. Do you know how many special councils we’d need for that?

                  1. Steve, read my comments. I wouldn’t have acted against Clinton in the fashion performed and I wouldn’t have acted against Trump either.

                    However, Trump was completely innocent of collusion and Clinton was actually guity of some of the things that people often lump together.

                    1. “Steve, read my comments. I wouldn’t have acted against Clinton in the fashion performed and I wouldn’t have acted against Trump either.”

                      Well let me soften you up a little. I’ve enjoyed most of your comments. You have a good summary of the harm done by Mueller — which is not insignificant and is deplorable — which I’ve copied and pasted. Hope you don’t mind. Oh no! Is that a crime? The only question Bill Clinton should have been asked with regard to Monika Lewinski was “did you sexually harass Monika Lewinski.” That’s what the deposition was about — unwanted sexual advances. And even so Clinton answered the question regarding consensual sexual relations truthfully, based on the definition that the prosecution agreed to. How the judge allowed such questions into a deposition about unwanted sexual advances, I haven’t the foggiest idea. And I’m amazed at the dearth of articles about it. There is nothing about the Lewinski incident that indicates an unwanted sexual advance. And the idea that you would impeach a President for that is preposterous.

                    2. ” “did you sexually harass Monika Lewinski.” That’s what the deposition”

                      Steve, that IMO as well was the only thing that counted as far as sexual acts. However, if my memory serves me correctly there was more to the impeachment charges. My personal morality makes me believe that no one had a right to ask him about consensual sex or even lack of sex when a third part is involved. IMO the correct answer should have been ‘none of your business’ which is what I keep telling Peter Shill.

                      Thanks for your positive comment. We don’t have to agree on everything. Most likely we agree a lot on the ends, but the sticky question is the means.

                      There is more to the story if my memory serves me right. There was a study at the time to determine what young people thought constituted a sexual act. It was very interesting at the time and I think led to the firing of the editor of a major medical journal.

            2. Incidentally, Starr decided not to do it — not that it exonerates his egregious behavior throughout this mess. But it’s not like Kavanaugh felt like he had to do what his boss wanted — although that wouldn’t be an excuse anyway. The whole idea of obstruction in this instance is a mockery of justice, and Kavanaugh pushed for it — until a Republican entered the White House. I don’t find that incidental. I find it prejudicial. Interpret the law one way because you don’t like someone, and another way when you do.

              1. Incidentally, Starr decided not to do it — not that it exonerates his egregious behavior throughout this mess

                What, you fancy the McDougals, Gov. Tucker, and Webb Hubbell were innocent? That Hellary was hiding her billing records just to be cute?

                1. Setting aside that your comment has nothing to do with Kavanaugh’s inexplicable interpretation of obstruction, and is not a response to my comment,

                  The Clintons were cleared with regard to Whitewater. Your comment is eerily similar to the notion that Trump is guilty based on the indictments against Manafort, Papadopoulos, Flynn and others, and that since Mueller got indictments, this farce made sense.

                  1. The Clintons were cleared with regard to Whitewater.

                    No, they were not prosecuted. This wasn’t a discrete crime where a suspect is discovered to have an alibi. And it wasn’t a set of non-crimes like the Mueller investigation was chasing.

                    James McDougal had reached an agreement to co-ooperate with the Independent Counsel at the time he died.

                    There’s a reason his wife cooled her heels in jail for 18 months rather than offer testimony under a grant of immunity. There’s a reason that Webb Hubbell, disbarred lawyer, cleared $800,000 in ‘consulting fees’ ‘ere reporting to prison. There’s a reason Rose billing records were found in the White House residence with only Hellary’s fingerprints on them. There might even have been a work-related reason Vincent Foster was so miserable.

              2. Think of it this way Steve, sometimes a lawyer has to defend a heinous murderer that he believes is guilty. There are arguments in the murderer’s favor. Do you think the attorney should not use those arguments?

                Maybe you think the attorney should make it loud and clear to the judge that the man is a muderer and he will defend the man only procedurally. Does that sound good to you that he won’t be using his best efforts?

                Let’s say the case is sent to the public defender who feels the same. Do you think the public defender should quit his job?

                1. That’s a defense lawyer. The prosecutor has additional obligations.

                  1. Yes, but non the less prosecutors make the best cases they can. Kenn Starr was the prosecutor and made the decisions so that is where you might have a case to place blame. Kavanaugh wrote a substantial part of the report which was his job. For you to have a significant beef against Kavanaugh you would have to show us what Kavanaugh wrote that was wrong. I’d like to know.

            3. No clue what he thought at the time. It’s not unusual that federal prosecutors gin up inventive interpretations.(See the campaign finance violation blah blah contra John Edwards and Trump) In regard to this one, a discussion would require some granular knowledge of what constitutes obstruction of justice. Since partisan Democrats have been advancing the view that the President firing an employee for cause and the president throwing darts at Mueller’s crew via Twitter constitutes obstruction of justice, a discussion of an argument Kavanaugh made 20 years ago seems a trifle contrived.

              1. “It’s not unusual that federal prosecutors gin up inventive interpretations.”

                Not ethical prosecutors. No sir.

                1. yes there is an ideal and legal requirement that prosecutors must disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense. however, they are also obliged to make cases where they can. and some are more imaginative than others

                  Prosecutors make their bread on bringing charges, not exonerating people. Ergo, some people, not myself of course, but some people, would say an ethical prosecutor, exists at least as commonly as does a generous hooker. which is to say, quit uncommon. Most of the time, they’re not in the business of giving out freebies

              2. I suppose you think it was just fine for Mueller to “gin up” his inventive interpretations.

                1. Steve, it wasn’t right for Mueller to take the job. He didn’t have arm’s length distance. It wasn’t right for him to hire people who had already demonstrated bias. It wasn’t right for Mueller to be investigting people close to him and people that had worked for him.

                  1. I don’t see how any ethical prosecutor could have taken the job. And if they did, they wouldn’t have spent this long on it. I’d like to when Mueller knew there was no collusion, and sat on it so that he could rack up some scalps having nothing to do with his investigation.

                    1. My guess is a few days (if that long) certainly less than a month. IMO this was a hit job. The VDH editorial I posted provides a lot of the activities that were going on. The prosecution of Papadopoulos and Flynn were egregious actions of government out of control.

                    2. SteveJ said, “I’d like to when Mueller knew there was no collusion . . .”

                      Mueller never used the word “collusion.” And neither did Rosenstein nor Comey. Comey used the term “coordination,” which was later adopted by Rosenstein in the public version of Mueller’s appointment authorization. Neither “collusion” nor “coordination” have any legal status in any criminal statute. Nevertheless, the Urgent Notes between the FBI and the Justice Department almost certainly contain a specific factual statement of the probable crime to be investigated. And that probable crime at issue is almost certainly 18 USC 371 Conspiracy Against the United States under the “defraud” clause of that statute.

                      And here’s why: In his preliminary summary letter to Congress, AG Barr selectively quoted two sentence fragments from the Mueller report that used language directly taken from the conspiracy statute 18 USC 371. The language at issue is the phrase, “enter into an agreement with,” that is the first “element” of a conspiracy case under the “defraud” clause of 18 USC 371. Neither AG Barr nor DAG Rosenstein nor Special Counsel Mueller would have used that key phrase “enter into an agreement with” unless Conspiracy to Defraud the United States was the specific factual statement of the crime to be investigated at the outset of the special counsel’s investigation.

                      As to your failed attempt to pose a rhetorical question, Mueller probably did not know to a reasonable certainty that a case for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States could not be made against the Trump campaign until Paul Manafort had thoroughly breached his cooperation agreement with the Special Counsel’s Office. That breach was publicly announced, IIRC, sometime not too long after the mid-term Congressional elections. Although I could be misremembering the timing on that public announcement.

                      In any case, the reason Mueller could not make that case is likely to be insufficient evidence of criminal intent on the part of the Trump campaign. Insufficient evidence is not the same thing as no evidence. Likewise, insufficient evidence is not the same thing as no probable cause. Every Judge who reviewed the un-redacted rendition of Mueller’s appointment authorization declined to grant any motion to dismiss the charges, to suppress evidence or to quash any subpoena. And that really ought to suffice as proof positive of probable cause to investigate the Trump campaign even to the utmost committed denier. Please try harder to keep up, SteveJ.

                    3. Excerpted from the article linked above:

                      The question of whether Mr. Trump might pardon Mr. Manafort for his crimes has loomed over his case since he was first indicted a year ago and has lingered as a possibility. A former lawyer for Mr. Trump broached the prospect of a pardon with one of Mr. Manafort’s lawyers last year, raising questions about whether he was trying to influence Mr. Manafort’s decision about whether to cooperate with investigators.

                      [end excerpt]

                      This is what it is about now, SteveJ. Did Trump abuse the pardon power by dangling an offer of a pardon for Manafort in exchange for Manafort’s breach of his cooperation agreement with the special counsel’s office? Did Trump tamper with a witness, Manafort? Did Trump obstruct justice for the sake of preventing a superceding indictment against Donald Trump Jr. and other members of the Trump campaign on a charge of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States? AG Barr and DAG Rosenstein have said in their preliminary summary letter to Congress that in the absence of an underlying charge for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, the POTUS, Trump, supposedly cannot be charged with obstruction of justice either. But it is not the place of the AG and the DAG to usurp the constitutional power and authority of Congress to check and balance potential abuses of executive power by a sitting president. That is what this is about, now, SteveJ.

                2. SteveJ, how would you characterize the Trump Tower meeting and subsequent cover lie by the President, Papdopoulus’s behavior, the failure of the campaign to notify the FBI even after being briefed on Russian attempts, the Kushner back channel to Russia, the triumphant meeting with Russians in the Oval Office with only Russian press present, etc.

                  1. how would you characterize the Trump Tower meeting

                    (1) inconsequential and (2) a set-up.

                    Papdopoulus’s behavior,

                    The behavior of Mifsud and Downer is what is salient, not that of the person they spoke to.

                    1. You forgot to take a dig at “The Walrus.” Coo coo ka choo! [paraphrased]

                      Did you know that Stephan Halper was the NSD’s alternative to the aggressive and provocative interviews of Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and other members of the Trump campaign that Strzok was told emphatically he could not conduct during the Summer of 2016 because the FBI feared that the Trump campaign would leak to the press the fact that they were under investigation by the FBI?

                      Neither Sam Clovis nor The Covfefe Boy ever suspected that Halper was not playing for Team Trump. And that’s whole and sole reason that Trump never leaked to the press the fact that he was under investigation by the NSD.

                      P. S. No less than Trey Gowdy, himself, has said that the NSD did the right thing with Stephan Halper.

                  2. According to Anon an inconsequential lie by the President is significant but multiple signiricant lies involving intent by Clapper or McCabe don’t count. Anyone see a fascist type of bias there?

                    Stalin would approve of Anon: ‘I say you’re guilty and I don’t need facts because you are my enemy, I say you are innocent because you are my friend’

                    I don’t even know think there was a lie by Trump “subsequent cover lie by the President”. Anon is using his vague generalities again and is likely using statements taken out of context. That is how it seems Anon deals with political issues and that is why I find him totally untrustworthy.

              3. “Democrats have been advancing the view that the President firing an employee for cause and the president throwing darts at Mueller’s crew via Twitter constitutes obstruction of justice, a discussion of an argument Kavanaugh made 20 years ago seems a trifle contrived.”

                Don’t tell them that or their heads will explode.

  12. Given the difficulties involved in reading and posting comments on the mobile devices I’ve used, I’ll post this comment out of sequence where I can find a reply box and can view this comment as I’m typing it.
    I had a tech support professional look at the multiple and unique glitches that surfaced when scrolling, and trying to view and use these comments threads.
    We also tried to see if we could get those glitches to surface on any other website/webpage we visited, and we could not replicate similar glitches anywhere else.
    On a couple of issues; when someone asks the same question in the same way 10-20 with parrot- like repitition, it’s pretty clear that there’s not going to be an actual dialogue or debate with that person.
    No matter how many times or how many ways that same question is dealt with, the one asking it will start to resemble a little kid who keeps asking “why” in response to any possible answer he gets.
    So on that “Deep State” question the same person keeps cutting and pasting here, this comment is not a reply to him….that’s a f****** waste of time.
    In the era of the Iran-Contra activities and investigations, there was the central question of what Reagan actually knew of the arms for hostages “deal”, the Contra funding, etc.
    That question was never really clearly answered. Two possibilities were discussed; A. Reagan knew what was going on and approved those activities and B. Reagan didn’t know what was going with the “Iran-Contra/ arms for hostages” and those were unauthorized actions by others in the Reagan Administration.
    In the second scenario, there was the the concern about a “State within a State” conducting foreign policy outside of normal, legal channels. In that scenario, the Ollie North’s, John Poindexters, certain CIA officials/ agents, etc. were de facto foreign policy makers behind the scenes.
    I don’t remember the words “Deep State” back then, but the “state within a state” phrase was pretty close to the same thing.
    So speculation about who’s actually “pulling the strings” behind the scenes, and suspicion about at least the potential for hidden agency manipulation in violation of agency policies and the law isn’t new, nor is it hard to understand.
    I’ve stated that I don’t believe that there’s an establish, permanent, well -structured Deep State apparatus. That’s a pretty hard case to make.
    But I don’t think it makes sense to have blind faith that unelected, powerful agencies and individuals do not, at times, overstep in violation of regulations, policy, of the law itself.
    This kind of dismissive attitude is as extreme as those of the most dedicated Deep State conspiracy theorist.
    I was going to follow up on the other point I just made about convention platform committees and the process of coming up with a platform, but I’m out of time, gotta go.

    1. TBob, it’s pretty clear. Merkel wants to speak with an established U.S. statesman who’s not hostile to Germany or NATO. She’s probably asking Obama how reliable the U.S. is at this point. And what the American people really think of Trump.

      She can’t ask Trump those things. Nor can she ask Pompeo. But Obama she trusts.

        1. The Logan Act only applies to incoming Republican officials because reasons.

      1. Germany is essentially an autonomous state inside the American Empire. Merkel is allowed to do what she is allowed to do. She can talk to Mr Obama all she likes., She is allowed to do that.

        If you think Germany is sovereign then why exactly are the US soldiers which were stationed there to protect it from the Soviet Union still there? Why, it’s down to only 32,000 i hear.

        Perhaps the true purpose of NATO at this point is not to protect from a small Russian threat a shade of the former Soviet state, but simply to protect Europe from Germany? Kind of keep peace in the house over there, maybe? So they all don’t start killing each other again?

        Germany’s biggest claim to sovereignty is running the EU banking cartel in such a way to remain favorable to the American banking interests which cobbled it together in the first place.

        Hence, what Merkel does or doesn’t do, is not that important, for us here in the US. Germany is important but she is a caretaker not a Leader. Germany has status, but it’s about at the relative level to the US as a caporegime is to the boss of a crime family. Important, yes. Interdependent, certainly not.

    2. George W. Bush has been eating up history volumes, painting in his studio, following his exercise program, and collecting six-figure fees for confidential speeches in front of trade associations. No clue why trade association executives wish to pay these fees, but they do. We hear little about this because the talks he gives are closed to the press.

      The story was that when his father left office, he was determined to spend little time on the speaking circuit and told his staff to set his fee at $100,000 a pop (in 1993 currency), figuring there wouldn’t be many takers; there were takers. (The syndicated columnist George Will was charging $15,000 a speech in 1985; his secretary told an inquiring reporter that he’d have to raise it to about $20,000 to clear the market, but thought that anything higher than $15,000 was unseemly). You get the feeling that in regard to higher education and trade associations, principal-agent problems abound. What Danny DeVito said, “Dogs, doughnuts, and money, and best of all…other people’s money“.

    3. There is a difference, Dubya was not welcomed in foreign countries after his term, and some he could not visit due that he may have been arrested because of war crimes. Lord Cheney still can’t move around so much either.

      1. Dubya was not welcomed in foreign countries after his term,


        1. Absurd,
          Those were probably all those countries that must have had arrest warrants out for Bush43 due to his “war crimes”.
          It’d probably be easy for an expert on international law and war crimes like Fishwings to provide a list.
          Being so modest as well as so knowledgeable, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Fishwings to actually name those countries.

      2. LOL do you think Baltasar Garcon could arrest Dubya? Nah, I don’t think so. Petty magistrates do not tell retired Emperors where they can and can’t go.

  13. Hey, Democrats were worshiping the ground Mueller walked on and were secretly hoping Trump would fire Rosenstein.

    I had argued that Trump should ignore that urge and keep Rosenstein on. If he fired him Mueller would definitely have recommended an obstruction charge. I felt Rosenstein at the DOJ was going to be Trump’s best friend if Trump doesn’t fire him for the same reasons you say he should have recused himself. Though I think Rosenstein was played on the FISA warrant and by Comey in the scheme to get Mueller appointed.

    My theory all along is that Mueller was appointed to shield the FBI and the DOJ. It looks more and more like that everyday. First there is this no decision on the obstruction aspect. This is to cause chaos and make it seem there was definitely something to the FBI’s investigations. It doesn’t so far seem that the Mueller probe looked at anything at all on the other side of this. It seems clear Glenn Simpson lied about his own contacts with the Ohr’s and the contacts between Steele and Bruce Ohr. Why was their no lying to Congress charge there? If you were on Team Trump, you would get indicted.

    Now we are hearing about Team Mueller using deceptive snippets of emails on the whole Papdapoloulos affair. I surely want to know what was said in the Professor Mifsud interview, or did Mueller and team rewrite the 302’s much later like Strzok did with the Flynn interview? Now we hear that Stefan Halper, the informant might have been padding his income and setting up his informant work. Maybe he targeted Flynn.

    I would like to see a real investigation into all this other stuff. I would say I don’t think it would require a new Special Counsel, but I have no trust now in the FBI, DOJ, maybe not the CIA or NSA either.

    Rosenstein probably should have recused himself but why would he. He had the Democrats in Congress enthusiastically backing him. That decision may have come back to haunt them, but I doubt it, because the real crimes are somewhere hidden with some Clinton fans, Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele. What mischief did they really create and will any of them actually pay.

    1. Anthony, the problem with your scenario is that it paints the Republicans as absolutely helpless. They were anything but. The Republicans controlled both houses of Congress when Trump first took office.

      The truth you can’t acknowledge is that a lot of Republicans thought an investigation was warranted. All the intelligence agencies were saying Russia had meddled. Yet Trump kept calling it ‘fake news’.

      1. The truth you can’t acknowledge is that a lot of Republicans thought an investigation was warranted.

        Who, Evan McMullin?

        1. Tabby, neither Ryan nor McConnell said or did anything to stop the investigations from going forward. After Trump gave that interview to Lester Holt, there was a widespread feeling that a Special Counsel was needed.

          1. What do you fancy they’d have done that they didn’t do?

      2. Most of those Republicans now recognize that the FBI was not acting in a non partisan way and many of them are now willing to investigate the FBI and its bad actors.

        Fake news has been proven time and time again.

        1. You mean by wrecking Hillary’s campaign 2 weeks prior to the election?

          Tom, since you’re keeping score, note that I am responding to another poster’s comment on the past election.. Is he the kind you were warning us against?

          1. Anon, that’s Estovir. He wants to be mistaken for either Jill or Natasha. Jill is a so-called ‘Independent’ and Natasha trends liberal, but they both use the Anonymous handle which Estovir exploits.

            Estovir has no intention whatsoever of pursuing intelligent debates. His only thrust is sowing confusion with various ‘sock puppets’. In fact, Estovir wouldn’t care at all if he ruined this whole blog. As long as Estovir can stop a few liberals from commenting, it would be a big ‘victory’ for him. What a loser!

            1. You’ve called me “Estovir” and I’m not, just as I’m not the person who commented above. You really should get over your obsession with anonymous commenters.

                1. P. Hill @ 12:15: “I can smell a nerd.”

                  Obviously you can’t accurately determine the identities of anonymous commenters.. You just falsely believe that you can. If it’s a nice day where you’re living, get outside and clear your head. This space is toxic.

              1. That’s understandable, I guess. Estovir must have really gotten to Peter, and Peter is now imagining seeing Estovir here in these tthreads.
                It’s highly probable that Peter is also looking over his shoulder on the streets of Hollywood, trying to spot Estovir sneaking up behind him.

            2. Jill is a so-called ‘Independent’ and Natasha trends liberal, but they both use the Anonymous

              Neither Jill nor Natacha are notable as a vessel of political views.

          2. Wrecking Hillary’s campaign? She has no one to blame but herself. Comey could have used words that would have suggested indictment was necessary. He didn’t. Didn’t someone in the FBI suggest criminal referral or something like that? You seem to have the idea that Comey favored Trump over Hillary. The known details of what was happening at the FBI tells another story.

            One can only laugh thinking about the possibility of Comey suppoting Trump over Hillary.

          3. You mean by wrecking Hillary’s campaign 2 weeks prior to the election?

            I do get the impression that you were on the payroll.

            Get over it.

      3. they’re petty schemers as bad as the Democrats. Of course the Republicans in Congress wanted to try and put Trump on a leash. They mostly support Trump only because they know that the rank and file love him. Far more than they love those pikers.

  14. Anon, here are a few facts and perhaps questions. Do you think the following is nothing but lies?

    The Tables Turn in Russian Collusion Hunt – American Greatness

    The irony of the entire Russian collusion hoax is that accusers who cried the loudest about leaking, collusion, lying, and obstruction are themselves soon very likely to be accused of just those crimes.

    Now that Robert Mueller’s 674-day, $30 million investigation is over and has failed to find the original goal of its mandate—evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government to sway the 2016 election—and now that thousands of once-sealed government documents will likely be released in unredacted form, those who eagerly assumed the role of the hunters may become the hunted, due to their own zealous violation of the nation’s trust and its laws.

    Take Lying
    Former FBI Director James Comey’s testimonies cannot be reconciled with those of his own deputy director Andrew McCabe. He falsely testified that the Steele dossier was not the main basis for obtaining FISA court warrants. On at least 245 occasions, Comey swore under oath that he either did not know, or could not remember, when asked direct questions about his conduct at the FBI. He likely lied when he testified that he did not conclude his assessment of the Clinton illegal email use before he had even interviewed Clinton, an assertion contradicted by his own written report. I guess his credo and modus operandi are reflected in the subtitle of his recent autobiography A Higher Loyalty: “Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”

    Andrew McCabe currently is under criminal referral for lying to federal investigators about leaking to the media. He and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein each have accused each other of not telling the whole truth about their shared caper of trying to force President Trump out of office by invoking the 25th Amendment.

    Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has admitted to lying under oath to Congress—and since lied about his earlier admission of that lying. His recent sworn congressional testimony of not having leaked information about the Steele dossier to the media is again likely to be untrue, given that Clapper had admitted to speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper about the dossier’s contents. CNN, remember, would in turn go on to hire the mendacious Clapper as an analyst. And once on air, Clapper would insist that Trump was both a Russian asset and thus guilty of collusion crimes greater than those of Watergate. Lies. All lies.

    Former CIA Director John Brennan has admitted to lying under oath to Congress on two occasions. He may well face further legal exposure. When he lost his security clearance, he repeatedly lied that Trump was guilty of collusion, however that non-crime is defined. And as the Mueller probe wound down, Brennan with pseudo-authority and trumped-up hints of phony access to secret intelligence sources deceitfully assured the nation that Trump within days would face indictment—perhaps along with his family members.

    Brennan in 2016 also reached out to foreign intelligence services, primary British and Australian, to surveille and entrap Trump aides, as a way of circumventing rules preventing CIA monitoring of American citizens. And he may well have also reverse-targeted Americans, under the guise of monitoring foreign nationals, in order to build a case of so-called Trump collusion.

    Finally, Brennan testified to Congress in May 2017 that he had not been earlier aware of the dossier or its contents before the election, although in August 2016 it is almost certain that he had briefed Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on it in a spirited effort to have Reid pressure the FBI to keep or expand its counterintelligence investigation of Trump during the critical final weeks of the election.

    Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin likely also lied to FBI investigators when they claimed they had no knowledge while working at the State Department that their boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was using an illegal private email server. In fact, they had read her communications on it and actually inquired about its efficacy.

    Samantha Power, the former U.N. ambassador, in her last year in office requested on more than 260 occasions to unmask names of Americans monitored by the government. Yet Power later claimed that most of these requests were not made by her. And yet she either does not know or does not cite who exactly used her name to make such requests during the election cycle. In any case, no one has come forward to admit to the improper use of Power’s name to request the hundreds of unmaskings.

    Susan Rice, the former Obama national security advisor, could have made a number of unmasking requests in Power’s name, although she initially denied making any requests in her own name—a lie she immediately amended. Rice, remember, repeatedly lied on national television about the cause and origins of the Benghazi attack, denied there were cash payments for hostages in the Iran deal, misled about the conduct of Beau Bergdahl, and prevaricated over the existence and destruction of weapons of mass destruction in Syria.

    Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr did not tell the truth on a federal written disclosure required by law when he omitted the key fact that his wife Nellie worked on Christopher Steele’s Fusion GPS dossier. Ohr’s testimony that he completely briefed key FBI officials on the dossier in July or August 2016 is not compatible to what former FBI attorney Lisa Page has testified to concerning the dates of her own knowledge of the Steele material.

    Take Foreign Collusion
    Christopher Steele is a foreign national. So are many of the Russian sources that he claims he had contacted to solicit dirt on Donald Trump and his campaign aides. In fact, John Brennan’s CIA, soon in consultation with the FBI, was used in circuitous fashion to facilitate surveillance of Donald Trump’s campaign through the use of foreign nationals during the 2016 campaign.

    Foreigners such as Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, and former Australian minister for foreign affairs Alexander Downer and an array of intelligence contractors from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) mysteriously met with minor Trump aide George Papadopoulos and others. It is likely that to disguise American intelligence agencies’ efforts to besmirch, surveille, and leak to the press damaging unfounded rumors about the Trump campaign that John Brennan enlisted an entire cadre of foreign nationals. And it is likely to be the most egregious example of using non-U.S. citizens to affect the outcome of an election in our history. If there is a crime of foreign collusion—a conspiracy of U.S. officials to use foreigners to interfere with an American election—then Brennan’s efforts are the textbook example.

    Take Leaking
    Many of the names unmasked by requests from Samantha Power and Susan Rice were leaked illegally to the media. James Comey himself leaked confidential memos of presidential conversations to the press; in at least one case, the memo was likely classified.

    Former FBI general counsel James Baker is currently under criminal referral for improperly leaking classified documents. He seems to have been in contact with the media before the election and he may have been one of many FBI officials and contacts, along with Christopher Steele, that reporters such as David Corn, Michael Isikoff, and Julia Ioffe anonymously referenced in their pre-election published hit pieces on Russian collusion—all the result of the successful strategies of Fusion GPS, along with some in the FBI, to seed unverified anti-Trump gossip to warp the election. Andrew McCabe also is under criminal referral both for leaking classified information and then lying about it.

    In a fashion emblematic of this entire sordid mess, the always ethically compromised James Clapper in January 2017 had leaked the dossier to Jake Tapper of CNN and likely other journalists and then shortly afterwards publicly deplored just this sort of government leaking that had led to sensational stories about the dossier.

    Take Obstruction of Justice
    A number of FBI and Department of Justice high ranking employees such as James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, and Sally Yates all signed off on FISA warrants to surveille Carter Page without apprising the courts that they knew that their chief evidence, the Steele Dossier, was unverified, was paid for by Hillary Clinton, and was used in circular fashion as the basis for news accounts presented to the court. Nor did the Justice Department and FBI officials apprise the FISA justices that Christopher Steele had been terminated as a FBI source.

    No one believes that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch just happened to meet Bill Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac and confined their conservations to a variety of topics having nothing to do with Hillary Clinton—at a time when Lynch’s Justice Department was investigating her. Note the meeting was only disclosed because a reporter got a tip and arrived on the scene of the two adjoining Lynch and Clinton private jets—which suggests that the only thing Lynch and Clinton regretted was being found out. Few believe that Lynch had recused herself as she promised, given her strict oversight of the sort of language Comey’s FBI was allowed to use in its investigation of Clinton.

    Take Conflict of Interest
    Andrew McCabe never should have been in charge of the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton, given that just months earlier his wife had been the recipient of $675,000 in campaign cash donated by Clinton and Democratic Party-affiliated political action committees. And the apology of a “time line” that suggests conflicts of interest like McCabe’s expired after an arbitrary date is specious. McCabe knew his spouse had been a recent recipient of Clinton-related money, knew that he had substantial influence on the fate of her email investigation, and hoped and assumed that she was likely to be the next president of the United States quite soon.

    Rod Rosenstein never should have been appointed acting attorney general in charge of oversight of the Mueller investigation. He knew Mueller well. In circular fashion, he had drafted the rationale to fire Comey that had prompted the Mueller’s appointment. He had signed off on a FISA warrant request without apprising the court of the true nature of the Steele dossier’s origins and nature. He had met shortly before the Mueller appointment with acting FBI director Andrew McCabe to investigate the chance of removing Trump under a distortion of the 25th Amendment. So, in essence, Rosenstein had been one of the catalysts for McCabe to investigate removing Trump for his own part in the removal of Comey and then in Orwellian fashion joined McCabe’s efforts.

    Comey deliberately leaked a classified memo of a presidential conversation, in which he had misled the president about his actual status under FBI investigations, in order to cause enough media outrage over his firing to prompt the hiring of a special counsel. That gambit succeeded in the appointment of his own longtime associate Robert Mueller, who would be charged to investigate “collusion,” in which Comey played an important role in monitoring the Trump campaign with the assistance of British national Christopher Steele.

    Robert Mueller did not need to appoint a legal team inordinately Democratic, which included attorneys who had been either donors to the Clinton campaign, or had been attorneys for Clinton aides, or had defended the Clinton Foundation. And he certainly should not have included on his investigative team that was charged with adjudicating Russian collusion in the 2016 election both Zainab Ahmad and Andrew Weissman, Obama Justice Department officials, who had been briefed by Bruce Ohr before the election on the nature of the Steele dossier and its use of foreign sources.

    It will be difficult to unravel all of the above lying, distortion, and unethical and illegal conduct.

    The motives of these bad actors are diverse, but they share a common denominator. As Washington politicos and administrative state careerists, all of them believed that Donald Trump was so abhorrent that he should be prevented from winning the 2016 election. After his stunning and shocking victory, they assumed further that either he should not be inaugurated or he should be removed from office as soon as they could arrange it.

    They further reasoned that as high and esteemed unelected officials their efforts were above and beyond the law, and rightly so, given their assumed superior wisdom and morality.

    Finally, if their initial efforts were predicated on winning not just exemption from the law, but even promotions and kudos from a grateful President Hillary Clinton, their subsequent energies at removing Trump and investing in the collusion hoax were preemptive and defensive. Seeding the collusion hoax was a way either of removing Trump who had the presidential power to call them all to account for their illegality, or at least causing so much media chaos and political havoc that their own crimes and misdemeanors would be forgotten by becoming submerged amid years of scandal, conspiracies, and media sensationalism.

    And they were almost—but so far not quite—correct in all their assumptions.

    1. STFU already with all the lies and hand us over the full report Barr.

      1. Glynn, it seems your vocabulary needs improvement.

        Your understanding of the law follows closely behind. We all want the Mueller report to be released, even Barr and Trump. The problem is that legally it cannot all be released and some cannot be released for security reasons. However, Barr says it will be released shortly. After 2 years when the investigation probably should have ended in less than a month or never begun it will be released. I don’t think anyone should be calling this a significant delay but I recognize the need of some to complain no matter what.

        Maybe this knowledge will help improve your vocabulary.

    2. Brennan and Clapper should be presented with the same choice that Frankie Five Angels was. Have a nice bath guys.

  15. Well written article. There are certainly many issues surrounding Rosenstein and his role. Based on what is known, there is a reasonable likelihood that history will not judge his tenure as DAG kindly and I strongly suspect that there will be much more evidence forthcoming with respect to the origins of the Russia investigation, the FISA warrants and the appointment of the Special Counsel that will shed light on Rosenstein’s role among other issues.

    Regarding obstruction of justice, this will be fascinating to watch unfold both as a political and legal issue. The first primary issue is whether a President engaging in an otherwise lawful act can obstruct justice if the act is corruptly motivated. The point is that this a novel, unprecedented and unsettled area of the law–you may be the most ardent supporter or detractor of such a theory but that doesn’t change this fact. Whether using novel theories of law should be leveraged to appoint Special Counsels and/or charge Presidents with potential felonies and by extension, provide grounds for impeachment are important and legitimate questions.

    Furthermore, even if you buy into the novel Mueller theory of obstruction, obstruction will be extremely difficult to prove for the following reasons:

    1) The Mueller obstruction theory firmly places the onus on independently establishing corrupt intent as the act itself (firing Comey, for example) is an otherwise lawful act. This differs from the normative view of obstruction where the conduct in question is a crime in and of itself (subornation of perjury, for example) and there is a potential basis for charging obstruction without an underlying crime. Once Mueller established there was no Russia conspiracy/collusion, there is no basis for corrupt intent (unless, to be fair, there are other avenues of provable corrupt intent in play) and consequently, no basis for obstruction.

    2) Contrary to media narratives, Trump has cooperated extensively (in terms of documentation and interviews) with the Special Counsel and waived privilege in key circumstances. Accordingly, it becomes difficult to argue obstruction when the facts of cooperation (as opposed to the narrative) say otherwise.

    3) There is a legitimate political basis and First Amendment grounding as well for the President to provide a counter narrative to the 24/7 collusion narrative. The question then becomes was the President impeding the Mueller investigation or was he politically and appropriately protecting his Presidency from peril and possible impeachment for an offense he knows he didn’t commit?

    4) Lastly, how exactly does Special Counsel prove corrupt intent on the part of the President when they didn’t receive written or verbal answers to obstruction questions (if reports are to be believed)?

    Taken in sum and considering the question of whether the Mueller theory of obstruction is legally supportable, the case for obstruction is a an exceedingly tough task based on the known facts and principal conclusions to date.

    At the same time, make no mistake: with enough parsing and legal gymnastics, a case for obstruction will be put forth to see if sticks–sort of the ultimate partisan Rorschach obstruction test.

    I strongly suspect it will ring hollow.

    1. Historians who deign to write about this will for several decades give the benefit of the doubt to every creature involved in this caper – Rosenstein, Mueller, the Ohrs, Sztrok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, &c. American history is an apologetical enterprise, meant to manufacture a narrative which buttresses the social position of the New Class. A couple of generations down the road, the sources of social and cultural conflict will turn on different axes and we may get a more dispassionate history.

  16. I think he prefers the kind of government that they tried in Germany and Italy.

    1. your comment is out of place but let’s assume you are mocking me for saying the AG takes orders from the president

      that’s the problem with all you clowns that always are crying nazi and fascist etc etc. you generally are not working in any organization or relationship where you have to take orders. whether a job like flipping hamburgers or a job like a lawyer who takes orders from a client, people in the real world have to learn to obey and follow simple rules of AUTHORITY, even in rebellious hearted America.

      it’s ever thus, some coffeehouse finger snapping hippy living on someone else’s dime, flaunting authority

  17. The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious scandal in American political history.

    The co-conspirators are:

    Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates, Baker,

    Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud,

    Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Mills,

    Brennan, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Sessions, Obama et al.

      1. George has been well beyond the reach of remedial medicines since at least 1950 or thereabouts.

      2. Thank you, girls. Ad hominem is the measure of capitulation. I accept your concessions. And I apologize. Curious as to the potential for an objective debate of the irrefutable facts I presented, I shamefully engaged unarmed opponents. For that, I have no tenable excuse.

        1. You’re welcome, George. And, yes, your excuses are untenable. For that, you are excused.

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