In Defense Of Bill Barr

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on widespread accusations against Attorney General Bill Barr, including former prosecutors who called for his resignation before knowing all of the underlying facts. Critics have simply ignored reports that various Justice Department officials believed (as did many of us) that the original recommended sentence for Roger Stone was wildly out of proportion with the underlying crimes. They have also ignored indications that Trump’s controversial statements on the case came after a decision was made to modify the recommendation. Some have even gone as far to declare that Barr, who has served his country for decades, is “unAmerican.” Such hair-trigger attacks have become common in Washington, but there must remain some modicum of decency and restraint when so few of the facts are fully established.

Here is the column:

In the story by Franz Kafka, “In the Penal Colony,” an officer was standing next to a lethal punishing machine. When asked about his qualifications, he explained simply, “My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.” It seems many in Washington can claim the same Kafkaesque qualification this week when it comes to Attorney General William Barr.

After a Justice Department sentencing recommendation was withdrawn and replaced in the case of Roger Stone, Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “If that guy will not resign, then the House should start impeachment proceedings against him.” Not to be outdone, Representative Maxine Waters declared, “Bill Barr should not only be disbarred, but he, Donald Trump, and Roger Stone should be sharing a jail cell.”

What is most astonishing about the calls for impeachment, incarceration, and disbarment is that they ignore any countervailing information other than raw political manipulation of the Justice Department. Even more importantly, they ignore even the slightest possibility that the Justice Department may have done the right thing for the right reason.

More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials are calling on Barr to resign due to allegations of political interference. Notably, in expressing alarm over the threat to professional ethics, these lawyers did not feel it was necessary to learn critical details about the underlying controversy before warning of “future abuses” and “unlawful orders.” They show the same lack of interest in a fair process they accuse Barr of committing.

I have been a friend of Barr for years, and I also testified in favor of his confirmation before the Senate. Nevertheless, when this controversy erupted, I immediately stated that these concerns were legitimate and that an investigation is warranted. I still believe that. However, the calls for summary judgment ignore three key elements in reaching any conclusion, which are the timing, the merits, and the process.

THE TIMING

The calls for impeachment and incarceration began as most scandals do in the Trump administration with irresponsible tweets from the president. It was not surprising or unreasonable for critics to latch on to the timing of the tweets followed by the withdrawal of the sentencing recommendation and resignations of prosecutors in the Stone case.

However, both the White House and the Justice Department quickly stated that there was no communication between Trump and Barr regarding the case and that the decision to withdraw the recommendation was made previously. If true, Trump showed his uncanny ability to undermine his own administration and then magnified that damage with a type of “atta boy” for Barr after the recommendation was withdrawn.

Barr then gave a television interview criticizing tweets by the president about pending federal criminal cases as “making it impossible to do my job.” Critics seemed caught off guard for about five minutes, and then resumed their calls for his utter destruction. The interview did not fit their narrative of Barr being a witless Trump troll so it was ignored.

(Just for the record, also ignored in the coverage is how the Justice Department under Barr allowed the Russia investigations to proceed unimpeded despite continual tweets by the president, prosecuted and convicted various Trump associates, including Stone, over objections by the president, declined to charge either James Comey or Andrew McCabe despite demands by the president, continued to investigate Trump figures and related businesses, and has not only prosecuted but expanded the investigation of close associates of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.)

THE MERITS

Worse yet, many media analysts and legal experts ignored one relevant point, which is that Barr was correct. Justice Department prosecutors were wildly off base in their initial draconian recommendation of seven to nine years in prison for Stone. It was on the high end of the sentencing guidelines range, but only because prosecutors “stacked” counts against Stone, who is generally viewed as a clownish political provocateur. This time, what he has called his “performance art” went too far.

Before this controversy erupted, many of us, including critics of the Trump administration, described the sentencing recommendation as excessive. The new recommendation got it correct. It recommended that Stone be given prison time but not a maximum sentence. That is precisely what the court should do. In other words, the prosecutors got it wrong and the new recommendation did precisely what the Justice Department is supposed to do in advising a court honestly and fairly.

THE PROCESS

There are good faith reasons to question a Justice Department process that led to the resignation of multiple prosecutors after the lowering of a recommended sentence for a friend of the president. There also stands a legitimate question of why it was necessary to intervene in this particular case over a sentencing recommendation. However, there are reasons to be skeptical of the portrayals of a Justice Department commissariat slavishly carrying out orders by the president.

First and foremost, there is indeed nothing uncommon about the Justice Department criminal division supervising or even dictating the moves within a high profile federal case. You see, Main Justice has prosecutors too. The United States Attorney manual states, “If primary prosecutorial responsibility for a matter has been assumed by the criminal division or higher authority, the United States Attorney shall consult with the persons having primary responsibility before conducting grand jury proceedings, seeking indictment, or filing an information.”

It is not unprecedented for Main Justice to overrule local prosecutors. For example, in 2008 when President Obama was first running for the White House, prosecutors wanted to bring charges against Black Panthers who stood in front of polling places brandishing weapons. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department overruled them, despite a rather widespread view that the men were trying to intimidate voters. There were no calls to impeach or incarcerate Holder, who was widely viewed as one of the most political attorney generals in modern history.

Barr has explained that there was a “miscommunication” after a meeting at Main Justice where he believed it was understood that “we should not affirmatively recommend seven to nine years.” Instead, the prosecutors recommended that extreme sentence. According to some accounts, they made it over the objection of interim United States Attorney Tim Shea, a veteran prosecutor, who told Main Justice that he and other prosecutors considered the sentencing recommendation to be too harsh.

None of this means that there was no political interference or that there should not be an investigation. There are serious credible concerns to be investigated, and Barr has agreed to appear before Congress to answer those questions. However, the critics have shown the very same disregard for the facts, the merits, and the process that they ascribe to Barr.

I have my own presumptions and bias regarding Barr, based on decades of friendship. Yet neither affinity nor hostility should shape our analysis of this episode. So here is a novel suggestion. Before we impeach, disbar, and incarcerate Barr, maybe we should hear from him.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law for George Washington University and served as the last lead counsel during a Senate impeachment trial. He testified as a witness expert in the House Judiciary Committee hearing during the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

339 thoughts on “In Defense Of Bill Barr”

  1. AG Bill Barr said the other day something…. That with a President Trump it makes it “””””” Impossible for him to do his JOB!!!””””

    Well, ok Deep State, recommend who needs fired & what you think should happen.

    And thank you for your service. Best wishes for your future.

    See, it was just to tough for him, he, as head Lawyer/AG, it’s Impossible for him.

    And look at this crap, it’s so simple, it, this FCC/CDA section 230, could be turned in a day…, but what, Barr’s compromised some how??

    Just suspend those company’s CDA Sec 230 until an agreement is reached because of irreparable harm to others/companies. TORT much P Turley?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/luongo-we-dont-need-ministry-truth-protect-us-bad-people

  2. Does anyone here actually watch Lawrence (stop the hammering!!) O’Donnell on MSNBC? This is the crap they allow him to say on air:

    “The president is a Russian operative. That sounds like the description of a bad Hollywood screenplay, but it is real, and it is Vladimir Putin’s greatest achievement.”

    And then O’Donnell actually said, out loud, to his audience. that Richard Grenell’s nomination came at Putin’s direction.

    Did you get that?? Lawrence O’Donnell said that Putin is directing Trump on who to nominate???!!! OMG it hurts your brain to listen to this garbage!!!

    For anyone still buying the crap ‘narrative’ that RUSSIA stole the election from Hillary, with social media campaigns and Russian bots, please stop being such suckers.

    Now the lefty media useful idiots are calling Bernie a Russian operative too!

    This is pure propaganda/election “interference” masquerading as “news” and “analysis” that does brain damage to those stupid enough to listen to it.

  3. Meanwhile, At a rally last night, Trump called for impeaching Obama – huh? – and it doesn’t even make the news.He also described some TV network executives as “kissing my ass.” At another rally he described our last vice president as having “kissed Obama’s ass”. There’s more, and mostly deemed not newsworthy. This is what this low life has made normal in modern America.

    1. “There’s more, and mostly deemed not newsworthy.”

      Anon, I posted a summary earlier about the economy. Here’s a short summary: “Today, the Council of Economic Advisers released its annual Economic Report of the President. The Report shows that three years into the Trump Administration, the U.S. economy continues to outperform pre-2016 election expectations, delivering inclusive gains to American families. As President Trump wrote in his letter introducing the Report, “These results did not come about by accident. Instead, they were supported by our foundational pillars for economic growth that put Americans first, including tax cuts, deregulation, energy independence, and trade renegotiation.”” (cont)

      https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/2020-economic-report-of-the-president/

      The full report is at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020-Economic-Report-of-the-President-WHCEA.pdf

      You have now been supplied two summaries and the actual economic report. Now you can continue being stupid.

      1. The Council of Economic Advisors are 3 Trump appointees and part of his administration. The “pre- 2016 election expectations” Trump claimed he’d cause were 4% growth – we’ve hit 3% for exactly 1 quarter and are regularly in the low 2% range, or where we were in Obama’s last years, without the yearly $1 trillion deficits. He claimed he’d lower the balance of trade deficits, but instead has set high records, and also said he’d balance the budget. It would all be easy. Has he? Do you have to ask?

        1. “The Council of Economic Advisors are 3 Trump appointees and part of his administration.”

          Of course, these numbers are government figures so these people would be employees of the government just like the past CEA was part of the Obama administration. However, they produce real verifiable numbers that can be compared.

          Everyone should take note that suddenly Anon questions the basic numbers under Trump but never questioned them under Obama. This demonstrates the extremes of his bias.

          ” Trump claimed he’d cause were 4% growth – we’ve hit 3% for exactly 1 quarter and are regularly in the low 2% range, or where we were in Obama’s last years”

          Obama’s numbers were tanking and below 2% when he left and were artificially high for comparison purposes because the end of the recession means much higher growth rates just to get back to normal. Whereas Obama let things slide Trump is taking action on trading. He did not meet what he promised but he drastically improved the economy getting people to work and reducing welfare and food stamps as an example. The “trade war” is estimated to have taken about 0.5% off the growth rate so add that 0.5% back on. We also have to compare the growth rates all over the world and in comparison we are doing much better. Take note all of the improvements were hindered by Democrats that refused to do things just for political reasons.

          I expect Trump’s second administration will fulfill a lot more of his promises especially if the Republicans take both branches of Congress. Foreign policy will be easier because other nations will find out that under table discussions with Democrats didn’t pan out.

          1. I should have added that Trump exceeded the projected real GDP, tremendously exceeded projected real wages and salaries per household (multiples of Obama), massively reduced unemployment rate from the projected which was in the opposite direction, and also massively increased the labor force participation rate which was projected to fall.

            Obama failed and if he had been any good by the end of the third year of his second term we would be seeing the economy we are seeing today. Obama knew the economy was stuck and didn’t think there was a way out. That is why he talked about a magic wand and growth rates below 2. That is why he failed. His policies sucked.

            1. Wife: Does this dress make me look fat?
              Husband: No, your fat makes you look fat?

              Allan,
              Anon1 is no different than the wife above. If he had an ounce of objectivity in him, he would look at the economic data and conclude what this article states: Trump’s economy is what Obama always wanted but never got.

              “Some claim that the historically strong economy is simply a continuation of the previous part of the expansion,” he told reporters. “However, and this is important, typically GDP and employment growth is much faster at the start of an economic expansion. … The current recovery differs from the past ones because growth was slow initially and has accelerated since the election in 2016, more than seven years into the recovery.”
              https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/trumps-economy-is-what-obama-always-wanted-but-never-got

              Anon1 knows our economy today is the result of Trump’s policies across the board; foreign and domestic. Just like our economy during Obama’s presidency was a direct result of his foreign and domestic policies. He also knows the American people of all stripes credit where we are, to this administration, not the last one. It’s why the Democrat party and their candidates are unrecognizable as an American option. And it’s why they are still trying to breathe life into ridiculous Russian conspiracy theories. They have no other play.

              Yes, Trump’s economy is fat, putting an Obama dress on it doesn’t change that fact.

              1. “Anon1 knows our economy today is the result of Trump’s policies across the board; foreign and domestic.”

                Of course he does, but Anon is a known liar who has changed his aliases when his lies catch up to him. You have always been Olly and I have always been Allan.

                Anon doesn’t like Trump and can’t make a reasonable case against him so he lies.

          2. I didn’t “question the basic numbers”, I provided them while rejecting the political spin by in house hacks.

            Comparing Obama’s last 3 years with Trumps 1st – the Obama turn around now the longest since WW2 – his economy produced more jobs and almos equal GDP growth without the budget breaking stimulus bill. Note Allan does not address the ballooning deficit that our grandkids will be paying. Nor does he address the record trade deficits. All Trump has accomplished is extending the Obama recovery by incurring debt.

            To the great recession, the worst hit to our economy since 1929, the best measure of our recovery is a comparison with other capitalist world economies. We and Germany far outpaced the recoveries elsewhere. At the beginnings of Obama’s 1st term, the GOP preached austerity, and that strategy did very poorly in Europe. Under Trump, they all voted for a stimulus bill in an already growing economy and doctoral about deficits anymore. The result of that stimulus bill lasted a year while $1 trillion deficits are projected to continue for at least 10 years.

            1. “I didn’t “question the basic numbers”, I provided them while rejecting the political spin by in house hacks.”

              B.S., the real numbers are included with their opinion. You said: “The Council of Economic Advisors are 3 Trump appointees and part of his administration. ” Your numbers were taken out of your head and didn’t dispute any of the numbers reported by the CEA. Obama’s numbers were falling and he recognized that and even stated that we would have to accept less. Despite the democrats occupying the time of the nation on false impeachment claims that started before Trump took over the Oval Office Trump accomplished more in three years than Obama did in eight. Obama made a recession worse and led the nation in a very weak and slow recovery. Trump has exceeded Obama’s claims of Trump failures after Obama left office.

              Obama held the nation back and didn’t start any economic revival. Obama slowly got us back to where we should have been in the first place and then after his stimuli the economy turned downward again. Trump reversed that and made tremendous leaps

              “To the great recession, the worst hit to our economy since 1929.”

              Prove it. It is just as likely that Obama made the recession far worse than it had to be.

              “the best measure of our recovery is a comparison with other capitalist world economies. We and Germany far outpaced the recoveries elsewhere.”

              But now under Trump we are outpacing Germany and the rest of those nations.

              The budget deficit is a major concern. Obama increased the deficit by putting money in his friends hands such as Solyndra, crazy economic economic policies like cash for clunkers that did little except make the purchase of a car more expensive for the poor, dumb health care programs which should have been held at the time of economic crisis. Instead Obamacare was passed which caused the reduction in employment opportunities, etc.. Obama was a gigantic failure. Trump is a tremendous success.

              Trump spent money on rebuilding our defenses, a necessary item and a primary responsibility of the federal government. He spent money on stimulating our productive sectors and instead of outsourcing like Obama spent money to help those jobs move back. Just look at the employment figures and look at how much poor people are earning today compared to past administrations. Trump spent our money wisely. Obama spent our money foolishly.

                1. Chuck Jones is writing opinion that isn’t worth very much. Chucky doesn’t evaluate what the numbers actually mean. If there are 1M jobs open and 10% unemployment the rate of reduction of unemployment (Obama) will be greater than if there was 1% unemployment (Trump) that goes to zero yet the latter (Trump) is doing the difficult work while the cyclical economy is doing the work for the former (Obama). But Trump did more he created more employment opportunities so those not counted in the unemployment statistics suddenly became part of the unemployment numbers as they sought jobs. That is why the number of good new jobs increased substantially under Trup. Under Obama with a lack of jobs and lower income people stayed hidden from the unemployment numbers making his numbers look better than they were. Simple economics.

                  1. Sounds like what you’re describing is a long recovery that has multiple stages. Each stage having its own characteristics. Like everything that trends or de-trends in nature.

                    It will be interesting to see how Trump’s increased deficits and removal of capital from the economy through tax breaks on the top side affects the grander trend as a whole. He’s bucking simple economics by working from the top down on the supply side like he is…, it always leads to a channel before a large correction. We can look to Reagan’s supply side dip and the experience with Bush Jr. and Cheney to chart the path. Upper income brackets always spend roughly the same amount and are adept at tax sheltering. That combined with less middle class fueling of the economy leads to recession. So hence the flattening followed by correction. Only thing to be determined is the size of the correction (downturn).

                    1. ” what you’re describing is a long recovery that has multiple stages.”

                      Not quite. A recovery that took longer than it had to due to bad policy.

                      I don’t want to get into a long debate on your second paragraph that is quite lacking and unclear. Uncontrolled deficits are bad. That is something we all agree on. But, it depends on what the money is spent on. Corporations might borrow heavily to increase their productivity which can be good.

                      ” Upper income brackets always spend roughly the same amount and are adept at tax sheltering. ”

                      This part (including some of the rest) of your response is where things get murky, incomplete and lack definition. If you are saying personal spending remains the same among upper income brackets then I think you miss the boat. The very wealthy invest. How they invest is due to our tax policy. Tax sheltering can waste a lot of growth potential. Lowering corporate taxes can keep industry in the US and Americans employed. Of course there are two sides of the coin so one has to understand what they are doing. Overall the Trump administration seems quite successfull, but we have two parties and a lot of politics. That leaves a lot undone.

                    2. Speaking of quite lacking and unclear, care to expand on this:

                      “Not quite. A recovery that took longer than it had to due to bad policy.”

                      That could apply to any economy at any time. Care to shine a light on what you’re speaking of?

                    3. “Care to shine a light on what you’re speaking of?”

                      These things have been discussed over and over again. The important thing was jobs but the number one item for Obama was Obamacare that cost jobs.

                    4. Paul, read the law and see what the business reactions were to hiring more people based on specific provisions in the law. They were incentivized not to expand and thereby not hire more people. That is an example of the wrong type of policy at the wrong time.

                      Factcheck tries to manipulate public opinion and they got you. The law was very clear on this subject. Do you deny either the law or the result of the law?

                    5. Yes, as a small business owner and operator and someone who literally found Obamacare to be a lifesaver I deny the talking points used to attack it. Of course I live in a state that got on board with the Medicaid expansion and didn’t have a governor fight against it. That basically makes all the difference with Obamacare and its effects on business and healthcare. To not recognize this distinction is stepping over into sweeping generalization. Where I live, not only did Obamacare enable many people to get healthcare, it existed concurrently with an economic recovery.

                    6. “Yes, as a small business owner and operator and someone who literally found Obamacare to be a lifesaver I deny the talking points used to attack it. . ”

                      Paul, how many employees do you have? That is what counts under the law something you apparently do not know. The discussion doesn’t involve the merits or lack of merits of Obamacare as a healthcare law. We are discussing jobs. Obamacare incentivized small businesses not to increase their size.

                      Why instead of discussing the job aspect did you change the subject and discuss the health care aspect?

                    7. As far as the issue you take with factcheck.org I’m not sure there are words to address that. They’re dedicated to checking facts. If there’s not agreement on that point, there’s really no reason to further discussion. All that’s left is to counter one opinion piece with another. Not a very productive use of time.

                    8. “They’re dedicated to checking facts.”

                      They are dedicated to promoting their political position.

                      Paul, what in that article disputes the fact that Obamacare created a ceiling for the number of employees one could have without running potential additional costs soley due to the law?

                      “All that’s left is to counter one opinion piece with another. Not a very productive use of time.”

                      The problem is that you do not know the law so you don’t know the facts and shouldn’t be telling another that they are wrong. This is not opinion. This is what the law says and what basic economics says.

                    9. I know the law. My life literally depended on it. And yes, I only have a few employees at a time. There were serious flaws in Obamney care; i.e. the fact that as a business owner there was no distinction between gross and net when determining my income level and the fact that at income determination levels there were big gaps in coverage possibilities…but people being able to access coverage is a net plus. I’m going to guess you and I are going to disagree on that point as so no use discussing it further. Not going to agree with sweeping generalization about this because Obamney care is literally a state to state endeavor. Also, I find your opinion about FactCheck. org laughable.

                    10. “My life literally depended on it.”

                      Apparently Paul you neither know about what we are discussing or what the law says about the number of employees. The law was an example of how Obama slipped up on policy and when to implement it. It had nothing to do with health.

                      There is a 50 employee rule in the law. It was one tiny example in response to your request of where Obama slipped up when dealing with the economy. Whether the law is good or bad has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

                    11. “Also, I find your opinion about FactCheck. org laughable.”

                      Paul, that only means that you are naive and unaware. That is OK but the laughable part isn’t. It’s sad that it is so difficult for people to recognize that different groups spin the news and believe that the title of an organization tells one what the organization does.

                    12. And I changed over to healthcare in response to what you said here:

                      “These things have been discussed over and over again. The important thing was jobs but the number one item for Obama was Obamacare that cost jobs.”

                    13. And I changed over to healthcare in response to what you said here:

                      “These things have been discussed over and over again. The important thing was jobs but the number one item for Obama was Obamacare that cost jobs.”
                      ——–

                      Paul, you are trying to ressurect your argument. No need to. We were discussing jobs and Obama’s failure to recognize job and growth killers. Assuming Obamacare was the best law possible that doesn’t alter the fact that it incentivized small business not to grow.

                    14. Paul,

                      What were those numbers I was hearing recently?

                      I can get 1.62% on a demand deposit or I can get 1.5% to tie my money up in a 10 yr US treasury note.

                      Yes, you, I, my wife & Mike Spinelle, (knock wood he’s still with us) are all very lucky we can eat hamburgers today & FREE Burnie commie/…. College/Heathcare right up to the day the world stops taking our IOUs.

                      Former Congress Ron Paul was explaining this stuff as was the John Bitch Society at least 50 years ago.

                      And Paul said this type Commie crap had become so entrenched we, as nation had to wing ourselves off this free crap slowly to fix the system. It just can’t stop tomorrow.

                      Anyway,…..

                      People in the US are free to leave. Wuhan China has FREE Healthcare. It’s FREE! LOL;) & elsewhere. If someone is lucky enough that free healthcare will get them a walking cane.

                      The trouble was here long before Prez Trump.

                      But I’ll post one chart showing the trouble was here before Trump & that why millions more support Trump the last time.

                      https://www.jsmineset.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/eifme9yu0ae8xnz.jpg

            2. Everything Obama said he did for jobs, wages, etc, he lied about. The media continues to lie about. The job success, the economic success, it happened after Trump’s election.

  4. Wow! This article is awesome. It’s about time someone wrote a sequel to 1984.

    The great question that perplexed progressives throughout much of the 21st century was how to completely untether us from the past, thereby for the first time in history truly liberating ourselves from our moorings and ushering in a new age of gender freedom, radical equality, and ethnic equity.
    https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/02/libertopia-progressive-future-joseph-mussomeli.html?utm_source=The+Imaginative+Conservative+%28Daily%29&utm_campaign=ca4106a5f0-Today%27s+Essays&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b25fb6fc69-ca4106a5f0-132528881&mc_cid=ca4106a5f0&mc_eid=c1f326aae5

    1. “Whereas recent US foreign policy has emboldened the Kremlin, Sanders actually understands how to undermine it” (subtitle)

      1. Right. Only Bernie Sanders understands how to undermine the Kremlin, but nobody else currently in power does? Total propaganda bs.

      2. Right. Putin would prefer to help get Trump reelected? Rather than intervene to get Bernie elected so Russia could sit back and watch as Bernie and his policies destroy the US economy? Bernie is a commie. Putin is his comrade.

        1. Not an either/or. Read volume 1 of the Mueller report. The Russians weighed in through hacking and disinformation for Trump and sought to pit Bernie followers against HRC followers. Wildly successful operation by the way. The Mueller crew even sharpened it down to the physical locations of the offices these ops were run from.

          1. Elvis makes an insightful comment, even though I probably don’t agree on the underlying details.

            But that remark appears to appreciate on a basic level that the Russians will interfere for the purpose of discrediting the electoral system here as such.

            How they accomplished that, whether disinformation dossier, FB ads, endless RT videos amplifying internal divisions, whatever, if people think they were just trying to elevate one candidate over another, then you’ve missed the point of their influence operations.

            I have infered that their objectives were to a) discredit the electoral system as such b) weaken whomever won, and c) amplify internal division inside the American population.

            Now lets anybody continue to believe they were just picking one candidate over another, well, you are not familiar with betting strategy, game theory, or the idea of diversification, all of which are employed not only in gambling or financial markets but also modeling intelligence operations strategy.

            So, predicting what are they doing now? Lots of things, probably, including trying to “help” trump, which was a big winner for them last time due to how the Hillary faction took the bait and ran with it;

            But i bet this year they will double down on exaggerating the narrative of Dem moderates v progressives.

            Along the way they have also probably been trying to rhetorically support lesser candidacies like Tulsi, WHO WAS AN EXCELLENT CANDIDATE EVEN IF THE RUSSIANS SUPPORTED HER, BTW! I am not saying she was a Russian asset like Hillary, but sure they probably liked her. I liked her too!

            But they will also try and amplify the divisions between Democrat moderates and progressives. They will indeed be pulling for Bernie to win the election, they will be trying to help him– how? I would guess they can easily “smurf” a whole mess of small donations his way– dont worry, Im sure they’ve thought of that already, I’m not giving them any ideas! — but they will boost him on RT and on friendly internet alternative media; they probably have their own “wumao army” of internet activists; all kinds of stuff. Some legal and some not. If there is an attempt to stop Bernie from the nomination even if he’s the clear leader, then the DNC will have totally failed as an institution and the overall winner will be very compromised whether it’s Trump or Bernie.

            It is critical then, that if Bernie keeps the lead, that the DNC aquiesce to the voters’ will, and let him run against Trump. If the DNC tries to game him and cheat him out of the nomination, THAT would be the best outcome– for all foreign adversaries of the US– whether he wins or loses.

            Remember one of the key points of foreign influence operations is DE-LEGITIMIZATION of the adversary’s civil institutions. That is the long term goal ,regardless of the winner, that pays them the biggest dividends in the long haul.

            1. Now, Im going to give an example to prove my thesis

              RT is saying Pete Buttigieg is “backed by CIA”

              oh, and indeed there may be people at CIA who do very much like Pete–
              but the desired objective of the Russians is to discredit our civil institutions as such.

              They can do that with lies but they can probably do it just as well with truth.
              Framing and context are the persuasive aspects, not just details

              ————————————————–

              sorry guys I cant find the video. RT is not searchable by youtube very well now, google is clearly downplaying them in search results. but you can google it, it’s out there as a theme now from a lot of different outlets

              ————————————————

              again I am not saying the notion that a lot of CIA people like Pete is false. I am sure they do. But what the RT Russian propagandists are doing by saying that, by playing it up, is trying to discredit him as a potential winner.

              They will also help his rivals. They will say that Bloomberg is a mega billionaire. Again true but the key is to delegitimize the primary process.

              Of coruse they will urinate all over Biden, for many reasons

              One day, they will say Bernie is backed by radicals. Oh and he is! But they want to smear him if he wins.

              Then the next day, they will also help Bernie, because he might just win an election against Trump, and then, hopefully Republicans would find a way to claim “Russian meddling elected Bernie!” they would love that one, hit replay and watch! Max Keiser loves Bernie, for example.

              They tried to help Tulsi, just enough to discredit her, and goad people like Hillary into insulting her, even though she was an excellent candidate. Tulsi is at the bottom now, attention to her will fade anyways.

              Oh and they will find ways to help Trump too. Again, that doesn’t mean that Trump doesnt stand on his own merits. Whether you like him or not, you have to grant the validity of the major candidates and respect the process, or American adversaries win, regardless of which of us is declared the winner of the contest itself.

              ————————-

              See at some level, as an American, you just have to vote and not take the bait of believing that your opponent won just because foreigners supported him or her. That is to reject the legitimacy of elections themselves. And if we Americans don’t have elections to actually work through our differences to a viable path forward, then we have very little else to unite us.

            2. Kurtz, you’re not familiar with the facts and your fertile imagination is not up to discerning them. Our intelligence agencies and FBI, under Trump appointees, all state the Russians interfered to help Trump, and now we know from another Trump appointee that that is their strategy in 2020.

              What is wrong with you?

              1. Book, you obviously didnt listen, or at least, you still don’t understand my point

                I never said they did not interfere

                I never said they did not help Trump. It’s proven they ran some FB ads for example.

                I did deny they hacked the DNC system because actually that is not so.
                I realize the FBI says so but they did that based on a lame bogus investigation where they did not follow their own SOPs and seize the hardware, they just relied on a a report from a third party systems admin, which they would NEVER do in another case. I also know these ‘intelligence agencies” have an actual mission to demonize Russia as an adversary every chance they get true or not so I take their accusations with a grain of salt.

                I also deny that Trump unlawfully “colluded.” He benefitted perhaps ,but that is not collusion. Hillary may have benefitted from the pee peee dossier, likewise, but she obtained the disinformation lawfully. Hence no unlawful “collusion” even if she wrongfully engineered the FBI surveillance efforts to harass and potentially punish trump after the fact. Now you have to parse out the different assertions to understand and if its too much energy for you then feel free to assume Im full of junk, I dont care.

                I realize whatat i Have been saying about elections is boring and tiresome and complicated.
                I am trying to elaborate however on the strategic goals of influence operations and how American candidates could constructively respond to them. I content the 3 year vendetta on Trump was not constructive. But we can just disagree about that and look forward.

                Now again. Obseve they just did not “help” Trump. They helped Hillary too with the disinformation dossier. They helped Hillary by mocking Trump as a billionaire on RT, even as they mocked Hillary too.

                They “help” any and all candidates. They help not to pick winers, but to divide and exacerbate and undermine the system as such. Yes they’re doing it again. The goal is not to “help” any specific horse win it is to DISCREDIT THE RACE AS SUCH

                and it’s great they can discredit a winner, no matter who wins, because they can leak it out to the loser how they helped

                think of it like a mafia. they bribe both candidates for sheriff. that way they have an opportunity for blackmail either way.

                and realistically campaigns are so big for POTUS that they can “help” in embarassing ways that no candidate can prevent. this is due to our open society

                there is NO WAY to prevent them from doing certain things. the Russians or the Chinese for example could smurf small donations out to Bernie, or AOC, or whomever, and the candidate would not know. There are thousands of things they can do to interfere. Smart candidates will not always jump to take the bait and accuse other candidates of “collusion” just because there was some interference happening. That undermines the system as such. THat is a worser form of collusion!

                The integrity of the electoral system is a matter of robust health because all the bandaids and penicillin in the world will not do, if it is deeply sick in the first place. We can restore some health together if we focus on issues and not just demonize other candidates with rumors, innuendos, and endless ad hominems.

                Oh the insults will fly Im sure, but at least add some serious policy plans that will benefit all Americans. then we can have a legit race.

                1. I never said they did not help Trump. It’s proven they ran some FB ads for example.
                  ____________________________________

                  No that has not been proven. If by “they” you mean the Russian govt the exact opposite has been proven in court. The FB ads were by private individuals and their defense in court has been that they were simply trying to make money by generating click bait and they didn’t give a hoot about who would win the election.

                  1. I’m of the belief the Russians ran a handful of ads in favor of Trump on Facebook. Inconsequential in their size. I dont believe a lot of what the US government says but I buy that one. Sorry

                    https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2018/05/10/thousands-russian-bought-facebook-social-media-ads-released-congress/849959001/

                    I am a Trump supporter. i do not believe this discredits Trump in the least bit. The number of ad buys was trivial in the larger scheme.

                    I do not find any fault with Trump simply because some Russians bought some FB ads.

                    Foreigners are going to be meddling in our elections more and more,. We can try and limit this. Of course foreigners should not be voting of course for starters unless they are properly naturalized Americans. But elections are not perfect.

                    We better get used to it and adjust. the three year vendetta against Trump is not getting used to it, not adapting, it has made the situation worse.

                    1. I’m of the belief the Russians ran a handful of ads in favor of Trump on Facebook.
                      _________________________________
                      That belief is based on the lies in the Mueller report which both Mueller and the DOJ have retracted.

                      The DOJ has admitted in court that there is no link between the ads and the Russian govt or the Kremlin.

                      The judge in the case has threatened AG Barr and the prosecutors in the case with contempt of court for making inaccurate and prejudicial statements that led to inaccurate and prejudicial news reports such as the one you linked to.

                      The case against Internet Research Agency is likely to fail because the evidence suggests there was no intent to influence the election. The intent was simply click bait to generate revenue.

                      https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/clickbait.html

                    2. My guess is the Internet Research Agency was about both generating clickbait and seeking to influence the election. Wouldn’t be an efficient operation without these two congruent goals.

                2. Kurtz, you’re not listening. Our intelligence agencies and the FBI, under both Obama and Trump appointees agree that Russia did and will again interfere in our elections with the intent of helping to elect Trump and as part of this effort, hacked the DNC in 2016. I know this is painful for you to admit to yourself, and coupled with your affinity for conspiracies, has apparently led you to construct a fantastical alternate reality.

                  Wake up.

          2. “Read volume 1 of the Mueller report.”

            That is an excuse for Elvis not knowing very much about the subject matter. There is a lot more outside the Mueller report than inside of its written pages. If I had to pick one objective of the Russian interference I would say the intention was to radicalize and harden viewpoints. They were successful because you and others that think like you rely on confirmation bias so actual critical thinking amongst your type was suspended .

            1. Yes, enflaming partisan passions is most definitely an objective of Russian influence operations, which serves the purpose both of dividing the civilian population, and also disaffecting voters who are looking for policy help and not just listening to a contest in insults.

              but they conduct many operations, some legal and some illegal,. and they have many objectives, for advancing their long term strategies and interests

              the key thing that the Democrat vendetta is doing which is hurtful to our system is such, is that insisting that Trump colluded with the interference. There is no evidence of that per Meuller. Meuller did not say there was no meddling– he said the Trump campaign did not unlawfully collude with it. How about understanding what that means qualitatively, for once?

              I never said the Russians werent meddling. I said every time for years now that they do meddle. Their meddling does not however, “impeach” the integrity of our electoral system as a whole. It is much stronger than that! Their facebook ads, their rt content on youtube or tv, their shenanigans are not all that consequential overall, unless Americans get suckered into it. Which we have been! We have amplified the effects of their mischief. Mostly be engaging on one high drama high stakes attack on Trump as CIC after another.

              Now of course the US meddles abroad too, we have an exceptionally well known history of meddling in foreign elections, again in some legal ways or perhaps at times illegal ways. This history comes back to embarass us at times. But again that’s an issue that’s divergent from these others.

              The whole conversation suffers from constant conflation and oversimplification. For years my viewpoint has been misrepresented. And again today.

              1. partisan passions is most definitely an objective of Russian influence operations, which serves the purpose both of dividing the civilian population, and also disaffecting voters

                _______________________________________
                That describes perfectly the objectives of the Democrat and Republican parties

                1. yes Jinn because partisan passion is what gets out the vote. Undecideds mean less and less in terms of election strategy

                  I’m fresh out of ideas on how to restrain that dynamic.

                  There are profound differences of taste and manners in America. Trump is popular in rural, midwestern, southern areas in part because people on the coastal areas don’t like his manners. This sounds superficial, but it isnt. There is a deep geographic divergence happening in America trending over decades, They call it “the big sort” sometimes.

                  This is not a policy issue, but it is a political issue, reflecting social differences.

                  In my mind, Trump has mitigated the drift by lifting up the heartland, but, people that don’t like him will immediately be triggered by this. I find that the people who dislike him are often more defined by geography than party. I know various Republicans from the coastal areas and the DC Swamp that still intensely dislike Trump and refuse to support him conversationally or any other way. And I meet a lot of regular Joe Sixpack people here in flyover land who are certainly from Democrat backgrounds who flat out like the guy.

                  Democrats are loathe to admit this. But I think they recognize it, which is why a lot of them are boosting Mayor Pete,. Mayor Pete is not what we used to call a flamboyant homosexual for example. He is gay but if you didn’t make the guy talk about it, he wouldnt. He is very careful the way he talks, it’s not deeply offensive to mid-westerners in the way that a strident rabble rouser like AOC talks. Of course he is a very ambiguous in nearly everything he says. But not in an obtuse way. I think he is far more slick than Republicans are crediting. I expect Trump will win but Pete could be the winner in 2024. Bernie will have timed out by then for sure. Unless a new rival emerges to take Bernie’s place.

                  Pete, however, is not trusted by the Democrat progressives. So they may never accept him.

                  1. “Pete, however, is not trusted by the Democrat progressives. So they may never accept him.”

                    Never. (And it has zip to do with his sexual preference, just to be clear.)

                  2. yes Jinn because partisan passion is what gets out the vote. Undecideds mean less and less in terms of election strategy
                    ___________________________________

                    So why do you lie and try to blame that on the Russians?

              2. Kurtz, one has to look at what the Russians do well. Creating psychological rifts and radicalism is one of the major ones. The Russians have a much easier job because confirmation bias is quite strong especially with the left wing bloggers on this blog.

                This is something that we engage in as well and cannot be stopped. It is enhanced when the Democratic leadership misleads the public in what type of interference they are doing. The MSM should be more aware but they act like a bunch of dummies.

                1. Yes they’re skilled at manipulating foreign radical elements of all stripes for sure

                  They are definitely insightful into mass human psychology. The Soviets got deep into that, dark arts of mass manipulation. America is great at it too, but our advertising agencies are the experts at it, more so than the spooks.

                  Russians remain superb strategists. This is not just because of chess, but yeah, they like it. Also, they’re fantastic at math.

                  And Baba Yaga Putin is a judoka. Many years ago I used to play judo. I can see the methods in his words and statecraft all the time. They’re a national rival, but its ok to admire skill wherever it is employed.

            2. That is an excuse for Elvis not knowing very much about the subject matter.
              ________________________________________
              Says the guy who knows zero about much of anything.

              The Russians have figured one thing out:
              To throw a wrench in the American political gears all they have to do is tell the truth.

              The US duopoly of Right and Left is so deep into its own fantasies of lies and delusions that the one thing that it cannot handle at this point is the TRUTH.

              1. “The Russians have figured one thing out: To throw a wrench in the American political gears all they have to do is tell the truth.”

                I agree with that to a point, however, they frame truth according to their specific interests, and they never let consistency get in the way.

                So as I said, a lot of content on RT triggers white grievance, and a lot triggers black grievance. Most of all they just want a lot more grievance.

                But, I don’t call the two party duopoly left and right. It is definitely a duopoly but of parties not ideological spectrum. Trump for example, has been very responsive to perceived industrial workers’ interests, and he has been a little less belligerent in foreign military adventures. he has also rejected the free trade dogmatism that bedeviled Republicans since the days of Milton Friedman.

                I could also show how Bill and Hillary Clinton both espoused free trade to a higher degree than Trump. After all Bill signed Nafta and bragged on it. And bill incarcerated a lot of blacks and tossed out a lot of illegal immigrants.

                So the left right spectrum is not that helpful with respect to American presidential policy analysis.

                Left versus Right came from the French Revolution times. But nobody in America wants to restore the monarchy So in a way our entire experience as a republic has been inside the range of liberal capitalism as a system. There has never been much of a “Right” in America, not in the sense in which the term was used in Europe.

                The socialist things, if any, have been mild welfare state stuff, and regulation, which are now universal. So sometimes the socialism label does not help either. I think it will have some meaning in the health care debate, however, heading into the election.

                1. I agree with that to a point, however, they frame truth
                  __________________________________
                  Come on! You are going to make me split a gut with that BS. “Framed”: truth is another way of saying lie. The Russians have figured out that in the current state of affairs in the USA the Truth is their best defense.
                  ___________________________________
                  Trump for example, has been very responsive to perceived industrial workers’ interests
                  ____________________________________

                  I am an industrial worker, So you can’t snow me with that crap.

                  10% of this country are industrial workers and that means that 90% of the country cant make anything that is real no matter how hard you delude yourself into believing you can. And Trump is the leader of the 90% that can’t make anything.
                  __________________________________
                  he has been a little less belligerent in foreign military adventures
                  _________________________________
                  Ha Ha Ha you really are full of shit….
                  The US military presence abroad was at a 70 year low when Trump took office. Now it is 10% higher and growing. So no, I don’t buy that BS either.
                  _____________________________________

                  1. Jinn I said a little less not a lot less. And if you think he can just command this or that and it happens no it doesnt work that way. He pulled 50 guys out of NW Syria and DC and every newspaper went into cardiac arrest.

                    He has helped industrial workers. But you have your own viewpoint. I cant understand what you mean that “90% of America can’t make anything” and “Trump represents that 90%”…
                    this is not an intelligible remark. well, try again next week if you figure it out, I’d be pleased to speak to you again, even if you think im full of schiess

                    1. Jinn I said a little less not a lot less
                      __________________________________

                      More is neither a little less or a lot less
                      ________________________________

                      He pulled 50 guys out of NW Syria and DC and every newspaper went into cardiac arrest.

                      ______________________________
                      He didn’t pull anybody out…
                      Trump tweeted some BS and the news media responded with some BS
                      And the troop numbers have been slowly increasing
                      _______________________________
                      I cant understand what you mean that “90% of America can’t make anything.
                      _______________________________
                      Well I should have said they don’t make anything. Industrial jobs have been disappearing steadily for a long time and it hasn’t changed any recently. One in three jobs were manufacturing jobs 70 years ago and it has been declining steadily down to one in 10 jobs. It isn’t going to get better by brow beating manufacturing employers or by tweeting BS.

                    2. He certainly did pull them out of NW Syria which was the area of operations ahead of the impending Turkish invasion. There are still some in other parts of Syria. You can believe it or not, I dont care

                      https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2019/12/29/new-in-2020-will-trump-pull-the-us-military-out-of-iraq-and-syria/

                      As for industrial management, I’m not beating up on them., Nor the workers. Again I really don’t get your drift, although i understand you believe i am tweeting BS. I often do not make myself sufficiently clear, so perhaps another time.

              2. “The US duopoly of Right and Left is so deep into its own fantasies of lies and delusions that the one thing that it cannot handle at this point is the TRUTH.” -Jinn

                Let’s highlight that.

              3. Truth being the engine for awesome dark comedy as well. Seems appropriate in any venue. Although I’m not sure there is 100% objective truth, humans may not be capable of it and it can and will always be used manipulatively.

                1. Susan Rice is a liar, a hack and one of the most massively dishonest people ever to grace an administration. That being the corrupt administration of one Barack Hussein Obama. Susan Rice is a hack. And a liar.

                  1. Sitting on a panel discussion with Valerie Jarrett (ugh) and April Ryan (omg UGH) these are the f’ing comments the liar Susan Rice had to say about Rick Grenell. What a lying POS.

                    1. Expose them all Ric Grenell! Every one of the Obama corruptocrats. Do it! We know you are scaring them all because all the right people are freaking out that Trump appointed you! Go Ric Grenell! Do your job and expose the criminals from the Obama admin!

                    2. There was “criminality” that was carried over from prior administrations, as well. It all needs to be exposed.

              1. Elvis, my response stands in addition to the rest of what I said that I didn’t include. “That is an excuse for Elvis not knowing very much about the subject matter.” It’s also an excuse for not understanding what was within the Mueller Report and what was and what was not political. In other words you avoided debate by referring out your opinion to something you didn’t fully understand.

                1. Allan you never debate. You name call and accuse people of being dumb when they say things you don’t like. If I avoided debate i wouldn’t darken the doors of this place.

                  1. That is your perception Elvis but I leave it to everyone else to weigh the truth of what you say. There is none.

                    In answer to your empty statement I said: “If I had to pick one objective of the Russian interference I would say the intention was to radicalize and harden viewpoints. ”

                    I think I provided some content. Your responses provided none.

                  2. “Elvis says:February 21, 2020 at 9:53 PM
                    Allan you never debate. You name call and accuse people of being dumb when they say things you don’t like. If I avoided debate i wouldn’t darken the doors of this place.”

                    ===========

                    And he (Allan) does it again at 10:10.

                    All Allan had to say was this:

                    If I had to pick one objective of the Russian interference I would say the intention was to radicalize and harden viewpoints.

                    1. Truthfully, Mueller said that as well. Took it one step further and defined what these radicalized and hardened viewpoints would look like too. Support for Trump. Pitting Bernie followers against HRC followers.

                2. Be specific rather than general, Allan. Name a page and a paragraph and we can discuss. That would be helpful. What I won’t discuss are the vague beliefs floating around in your mind.

                  1. “Be specific”

                    Elvis, I was. To your empty statement to another you said: “Read volume 1 of the Mueller report.” To which I accurately responded and told you why: “That is an excuse for Elvis not knowing very much about the subject matter. There is a lot more outside the Mueller report than inside of its written pages.” After that I added new content and new ideas. You haven’t added content or had a new idea yet.

                    1. “…There is a lot more outside the Mueller report than inside of its written pages.”

                      So sayeth Yoda on the state of the world.

                  1. “Yes you do, baby. Don’t worry, the world will still spin tomorrow once you realize it. Ha.”

                    Elvis, is this your idea of content? One has to laugh.

                    1. “One has to laugh always. It’s the best medicine.”

                      It is and that is why I respond to Elvis. He gives me a good laugh.

              1. Elvis, along with not truly understanding the Mueller report or the subject matter you also didn’t understand my response. I try not to use big words or complex statements to avoid that from happening but there are limits. One can’t explain something to another who doesn’t understand or want to understand the basics.

                  1. Paul, how do you know the statement wasn’t about Elvis. The evidence points that way. Maybe you know Elvis. Maybe you are Elvis.

                    1. “Maybe you know the statement wasn’t about Elvis. The evidence points that way. Maybe you know Elvis. Maybe you are Elvis.”

                      Maybe Allan is paranoid.

                    2. “Maybe you know Elvis. Maybe you are Elvis.”

                      Hmm….sounds like someone has a suspicious mind.

                    3. Margo, with all the people that use the generic anonymous and change from name to name maybe that is a good thing.

                      That’s the real Elvis, not a poor copy and the real Elvis is great.

                    4. I was just looking for an excuse to post that video, lol. That and Kentucky Rain are my fave Elvis songs.

                      As to posting monikers, yes, I wish people would stick to one so I know who I’m talking to. If a person gets flamed, I can understand the urge to switch, but I figure, take your lumps and move on.

          3. Such BS. So you are buying the Dem “narrative” that Russian bots and social media campaigns got Trump elected? Hillary and the DNC and Democrats cheated like hell from start to finish and STILL lost. But it was RUSSIA!!!??? Geez you are a sucker.

            What happened in the 2018 midterms? You know, when the Democrats won back the House. We didn’t hear a peep about RUSSIA interfering in THAT election, did we? Nope. See how it works Elvis? If Democrats win and Democrat candidates do well, then we don’t hear a thing about Russia interfering! But if Trump wins and Democrats are losing, then OMG it’s the Russians!!

            And now with Bernie on his way to winning the Dem nomination, now Bernie is a Russian asset too!! Do you see the playbook yet?? It ain’t that hard.

            1. I believe Elvis said awhile back that Russian interference in American elections was, and is, standard fare. And will continue to be. Just as American influence in foreign elections is on ongoing matter. Sometimes for good reasons.

        2. “Anonymous says:February 21, 2020 at 2:38 PM
          Right. Putin would prefer to help get Trump reelected? Rather than intervene to get Bernie elected so Russia could sit back and watch as Bernie and his policies destroy the US economy? Bernie is a commie. Putin is his comrade.”

          ====

          Bernie isn’t “a commie.”

          And Putin isn’t “his comrade.”

          Go take a nap… — or something. Your comment is ridiculous, Tommy-Allan.

        3. Anonymous read what I wrote below. Russians WILL interfere and try and “help” many candidates, thus to discredit them all, to weaken them all, to discredit our electoral process as such. They actually could care less who wins.

          And I maintain that was their template in 2016 and it would have worked well no matter if Hillary or Donald won.

          They are playing a long game and making forked attacks, diversified investments, it’s very sophisticated.

          We can’t fall for this “Russians Got X elected” crud even if Bernie wins in 2020

          1. I’m not sure to which Anonymous comment your comment is addressed but, for the most part, I agree with your comment @ 3:27. This is to Mr Kurtz.

            https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/1230955711108177920

            “Michael Tracey
            @mtracey
            Maybe instead of manufacturing another bogus hysteria about elections being undermined by Russia, Democrats should focus on the election they themselves undermined in Iowa”

            1. I agree. They need to figure out how to run a clean primary and go with the results. Quit resorting to these excuses about Russians did this or that. Yes they engage in influence operations but if the Democrat party is fit for leadership at the top, then they will show it by running a clean primary, for starters.

              They are in a tizzy over Bernie. It reveals that their maniacal desire is to win win win. The irony about candidates that only talk about winning is it reveals their total selfishness. Actually Americans want leadership to focus on issues which help AMERICANS win as in we commoners.

              Of course a fellow like Trump is arrogant and selfish, as are all the rest of them. But, he established credibility with voters by focusing on their important concerns, responding to popular support for immigration restriction, which was always soft-pedaled by other Republicans, and getting after unfair trade conditions with China, which pretty much should have irritated anyone of any party with half a brain. So in these ways he established a credibility deeper than whether he’s a fibber or not, whether he’s a blowhard, whether he’s fat or what have you.

              The candidates that emphasized the important of responding to voter concerns which propelled Trump forward, most of all, was probably Andrew Yang who said it explicitly over and over and connected it to his themes of the downside social effects of robotics and AI. Yang has dropped out, Yang was going along with the crowd on other policies, but for this one solid message he should be remembered.

              The problem for Democrats intellectually is they reflexively reject the notion that Republicans could be responding to working class concerns better than they have. In my mind this is due to them being so strong with adminstrative and bureacratic elites– across the board in pretty much all institutions, apparently from the FBI to local school unions — they are so used to being considered the smart guys that they just can’t accept the possibility that they an obtuse and offensive “buffoon” like Trump– and a rich guy no less– knew the hearts and minds of the people better than they.

              Tulsi also projected a message of uniting Americans and appealing to common interests, above merely slandering and scapegoating Trump. You notice that they were both downplayed and crushed by the other favored Dem candidates and the mass media, along the ways, too.

              Now, watch for this. If Bernie wins and I think he will, he will pivot from demoniizing Trump in the general election as they have done in the primary, to get away from the general obnoxiousness that this rhetorical habit exhibits. Joe Sixpack MIGHT vote for Bernie, even if he voted for Trump, but not if Bernie is out there calling him a Russian agent every day or putting all the Trump voters down as racists.

              Bernie is about the only other candidate who understands the reality that native born workers have their economic interests imperiled by mass migration. He has said things that reveal this in the past. He might trot them out again, he might actually dust off and reuse, if he feels his position vis a vis the DNC rivals is strong enough come the general. Let’s see how that goes!

          2. Mr T,

            Yep, those damned Ruskies just keep out smarting Hillary, FBI/DOJ/FISA courts/etc….

            Ya Right & I look as good now in a Tee shirt & shorts as I did when I was 18.. Wink. lol

            I can’t believe those morons just keep repackaging that Ruskie’s did it dog crap. IE: A BJ

            And for next week’s entertainment pleasure, Ole Stormy Daniels returns for her 25th encore performance.

            Whoops, got to go…. Left’O the Clown is on. LOL;)

  5. Trump Shakes Up National Intelligence

    After They Warn Of ‘More’ Russian Interference 

    A senior U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers last week that Russia wants to see President Trump reelected, viewing his administration as more favorable to the Kremlin’s interests, according to people who were briefed on the comments.

    After learning of that analysis, which was provided to House lawmakers in a classified hearing, Trump grew angry at his acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, in the Oval Office, seeing Maguire and his staff as disloyal for speaking to Congress about Russia’s perceived preference. The intelligence official’s analysis and Trump’s furious response ­ruined Maguire’s chances of becoming the permanent intelligence chief.

    It was not clear what specific steps, if any, U.S. intelligence officials think Russia may have taken to help Trump, according to the individuals.

    Trump announced on Wednesday that he was replacing Maguire with a vocal loyalist, Richard Grenell, who is the U.S. ambassador to Germany. The shake-up at the top of the intelligence community is the latest move in a post-impeachment purge. Trump has instructed aides to identify and remove officials across the government who aren’t defending his interests, and he wants them replaced with loyalists.

    Maguire, a career official who is respected by the intelligence rank and file, was considered a leading candidate to be nominated to the post of DNI, White House aides had said. But Trump’s opinion shifted last week when he heard from a Republican ally about the official’s remarks.

    Edited from: “Senior Intelligence Official Told Lawmakers That Russia Wants To See Trump Reelected.

    The Washington Post, 2/20/20

    1. Regarding Above:

      This incident will surely cast doubt on William Barr for white-washing the Mueller Report. It appears that Trump is still in denial about Russian interference.

      1. “This incident will surely cast doubt on William Barr for white-washing the Mueller Report.”

        Now we know what Paint Chips dreams about.

      2. Seth — regarding the above, “After learning of that analysis, which was provided to House lawmakers in a classified hearing…”

        Who do you think leaked THAT to the press? Could it be Adam Schiff’s work again? You bet. The Dems/media are laying the groundwork AGAIN for another shot at the same game they played to attempt to de-legitimize the 2016 election. It was RUSSIA! Here we go again.

          1. So what is Russia going to do Seth? How exactly did Russia “interfere” in our elections? Did they change people’s minds? Tell them who to vote for? Influence voters on social media? That’s what Hollywood and the Mainstream Media tells us all day long. Vote for Democrats! Republicans are bad people! Vote for Progressives! How is that sort of “influencing” of elections different than what a foreign nation might do to “influence” our election? Russia is not changing votes in voting machines. It was never proven that Russia hacked Podesta’s emails. That’s the ‘narrative’ the Dems/media want circulating. It’s not ‘what happened.” That is just their ‘story’ they want to stick in voters minds.

              1. Seth — why is it that we never hear that Russia might just prefer to install Bernie Sanders as POTUS? Why wouldn’t Russia want to help Bernie get elected? Wouldn’t that be more plausible?

              2. Seth — could you, or someone, anyone, tell us exactly HOW Russia is “interfering” in the election in favor of Trump? Be clear and specific. You can’t. It’s a deliberately vague and muddled bs line of attack against Trump.

          2. Paint Chips, Obama was President and did nothing. Complaints started arising when Trump won. Whatever tie in with Russian or Ukranian interference that existed in the US probably came from the Clinton machine and other Democrats. We investigated the Republican side and found nothing. We didn’t investigate the lies and leaks from Brenan and Clapper along with the known illegalities of Comey and others in the FBI. Maybe your lead levels should be checked.

              1. Paint Chips, tell us what Obama did about Russian interference. We know nothing eveyn though he knew about it. In fact the Russians have been interferring forever only your brain is too muddled to notice it.

                It’s easy to call someone a liar without proving it but you, Paint Chips are a proven liar.

                1. “It’s easy to call someone a liar without proving it but you, Paint Chips are a proven liar.”

                  Says Allan the Idiot.

                  1. Anonymous the Stupid, if you had a brain and weren’t so low energy you would know that my remarks are based on realistic arguments but you are too lazy and Stupid to notice such things. That is why almost none of your responses to my remarks are fact or reality based. We all know that you are Stupid so your remarks have little notice except to your split personalities that fleetingly appear over and over again.

                    1. More civility would not hurt the conversation. Usually all it takes is patience. Of course people won’t see things your way, so rather than insults perhaps just try to convince?

                    2. “More civility would not hurt the conversation.”

                      That is true, but what is also true is that having an identifiable alias and using only one also represents civility. How do I know you aren’t Anonymous the Stupid? You have the same alias so it would be reasonable to call you Anonymous the Stupid, however in this case a valid point was brought up so I don’t care if you are Stupid or not. I answer Anonymous the Stupid based on how he injects himself into the discussion which in his case is always Stupid or how he has consistently acted in the past, Stupidly.

                      I don’t know how you act. I can only make an identification based on what you write. But it is Stupid to request more civility when using an alias that is totally uncivil.

                  1. Yes sanctions. Obama and Trump have been using the same tools, basically. They had to do so, even if neither one of them wanted to create more hostility and tension, the Deep State was agitating both of them to “get tougher on Russia” which is mostly just the ever convenient excuse for the funding of various budgets.

                    The real difference in policy is towards China. Obama attempted to pivot towards Asia, and made some progress in relations with Vietnam, which was effective vis a vis the common rival PRC. In may 16 Obama wisely lifted the embargoes on Vietnam. Very smart move! But Obama let the PRC do too much in the South China sea. If we was weak anywhere, it was excess timidity towards Xi Jinpeng.

                    Now Trump has approved more navy operations in the South China sea.

                    But his focus has mostly been on the trade contest. Rightly so. I urge restraint on Trump not to engage the PRC military however and focus instead on trade and economics. Trade and naval power go together of course.

                    Regardless of what party wins the POTUS, the POTUS does not actually have a ton of wiggle room. We can see how the bureaucracies have attacked Trump. Obama was more careful to usually take the advice of the “experts” and not rock the boat. A few times Obama was more restrained than Pentagon and CIA wanted him to be. I applaud Obama for those choices.

                    Trump is blazing a more novel trail. Unfortunately he has not delivered much on deconflicting with Russia. He could be doing more to engage Russia particularly as a regional rival of the PRC. Apparently hardly anyone in DC grasps that possibility.

                    It’s a good thing Kissenger & Nixon grasped the opportunity of positioning the PRC against the USSR. Huge benefits for the world came out of that.

                    Remember the saying, over time nations do not have friends, they only have interests. Today’s rival may be tomorrow’s ally. And vice versa.

                    Oh one more thing. I hope for all our sakes that if the PRC invades Taiwan, and I am afraid that might come eventually and perhaps when we least expect it, that the US does not escalate that into a nuclear conflict.

                    The most favorable time for a PRC invasion of time would be March.

                    1. Agreed. Whether it be Taiwan, South China Sea, or NK military escalation into the nuclear realm isn’t the answer. The Korean peninsula probably blocks the option just due to geography. As in the Korean War, the terrain is pretty much limited to one side running up and down the peninsula like it was a football game. Go nuclear is absolute MAD.

                    2. “Regardless of what party wins the POTUS, the POTUS does not actually have a ton of wiggle room.”

                      Yet Kurtz, you recognize “If we was weak anywhere, it was excess timidity towards Xi Jinpeng.” and that type of statement is applicable in many places. Add that to the rest of a feckless and weak Obama policies whether military, trade or something else and though POTUS powers are limited how those powers are used creates a lot more than wiggle room.

                    3. I dont think Xi would invade Taiwan, he knows full well what a big loss of face it was when Vietnam repulsed the Chinese border war around 1980, and eventually the money situation can lead to a virtual annexation of Taiwan over time. Also Taiwan has lost more and more diplomatic footing over the decades anyhow. Ceteris paribus, it would be very stupid for PRC to invade Taiwan.

                      However, the Covid-19 outbreak is a big surprise, chaos still in action, and who knows what political outcomes might ensue just within the Communist party of China. Xi does have rivals.

                      I can’t guess how all that will end up. It may fizzle out like SARS or it may get a lot lot worse.

                      And in the meantime it is very much on the minds of people stuck in their apartments in China with nothing to do but play with their phones.

                      The Chinese internet is saying the covid-19 was made in an American lab. I mean behind the bamboo internet curtain. Much as they are a pack of liars in the CPC, it is not impossible. Over the past week I posted several articles which claim that novel coronaviruses have been made in labs, if not the COVID-19. Perhaps there was an accident at the lab in Wuhan and one of these things designed for experimental research into a possible emergent COVID got loose and became the very thing that’s been feared. Or perhaps COVID 19 was the very sort of thing they feared would emerge and it did.

                      Here is one of the 2015 things Im referring to
                      https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/lab-made-coronavirus-triggers-debate-34502

                      On our side, speculation about such things is immediately denounced as conspiracy theory. And Twitter is banning Americans for raising the same questions. I take it the powers that be have decided discussion of that topic is under a FATWA Silicon Valley style. I suppose there is some logic behind that: if people talk to much about it possibly have been made in a lab, maybe even more Chinese will think it was made in a lab, and they will WANT Xi to go to war with us.

                      Anyways, whether Covid-19 was lab made, for benevolent research or otherwise, or whether it was as most experts seem to agree, emergent from nature, it is a wild card that is destabilizing the PRC and could lead to further unexpected outcomes.

                    4. At this point Allan I think i dislike the people that Obama surrounded himself with a lot more than I disliked Obama. Not that I liked him, I didn’t. But his presidency wasnt as bad as his campaign. That’s typical for Democrat presidents. They say crazy stuff on the stump and then it doesnt quite happen as badly as it seemed it might.

                      Now Obama has been out of office for 3 years and look at the mischief the rest of the Democrats and his former team have done. At this point Obama seems pretty moderate to me compared to the rest. Of course thats about how it was with Bill Clinton too. I didnt like him at the time but compared to what the Democrat leadership is now, he doesnt seem so bad. Jimmy Carter had faults too but he seems like a saint to me compared to some of these guys. Jimmy Carter would have been in a position to gin up a bunch of endless reprisals and investigations in the wake of Watergate and he didn’t. He had other fish to fry.

                      The POTUS is limited in what he can really do. They promise a lot more than any of them can really deliver, one way or another. The powers on paper are huge, but we can see that the vested interests in Washington DC will act to protect their turfs. That is the overarching conclusion I am taking from the past 20 years if not longer.

                    5. “The POTUS is limited in what he can really do. They promise a lot more than any of them can really deliver, one way or another” In specific you talked about Obama.

                      Kurtz, yet a great part of Trump’s promises have been or are in the process of being fulfilled and that is without any cooperation from Democrats. That is how much wider the powers are than you suggest.

              2. Seth — wouldn’t Putin prefer to work with Bernie Sanders as POTUS? Why isn’t Russia interfering to get Bernie elected?

                1. Anon/Tom: “Seth — wouldn’t Putin prefer to work with Bernie Sanders as POTUS?”

                  No.

                  *****

                  Anon/Tom: ” Why isn’t Russia interfering to get Bernie elected?”

                  Why would Russia prefer Sanders to Trump?

                    1. Baseless vague fearmongering about Russia Russia Russia is all we have heard from the media and the Democrats for 3+ years! Baseless and vague fearmongering that the lefty media spews out and regurgitates without proof just like the useful idiots they are.

                  1. Why would Russia prefer Sanders to Trump? Because Russia could sit back and watch as Bernie and his policies destroy the US economy.

                2. You guys apparently dont watch RT. RT has some very articulate supporters of Bernie on a regular basis. Such as Max Keiser.

                  But they also continue to say favorable things about Trump often as well.

                  Half the time RT is also running video shorts that show black people committing outrageous crimes on the streets– the other half the time RT shows cops shooting black guys

                  They dont care about black people not demonizing them, nor helping them.

                  They just want to deepen the conflict between blacks and whites in the US by showing these kinds of tapes.

                  It’s easy to understand these propaganda aims, of course, unless you’ve been hampered by 3 years of nonstop media BS that Trump is a “Russian asset.” Then you’ve made yourself into a simpleton trapped by a narrow viewpoint.

      3. Seth — here’s something else that “casts doubt” on your denial about “Spygate” and what really happened in 2016:

        Investigative abuses? Well-documented

        Surveillance abuses? Well-documented

        Prosecutorial abuses? Well-documented

        Classified leaks? Well-documented

        Perjury? Well-documented

        Yet nobody from FBI/DOJ/NSC/DOS/CIA has gone to jail for ANY of it. Nobody’s even been charged. #Spygate -Paul Sperry tweet

        1. Obama’s former CIA director John O. Brennan belongs in prison. Put him behind bars and get him off of the MSNBC airwaves where he recklessly spews baseless fearmongering propaganda.

  6. PALM BEACH, Fla. — (WPTV/AP) – First Lady Melania Trump is in Palm Beach Wednesday to accept Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 2020 Woman of Distinction award.

    She’s specifically being recognized for her contributions to the community and issues affecting children.

    RELATED: First Lady Melania Trump discusses bullying at Palm Beach County school

    The 29th Annual Awards Luncheon began at noon at The Breakers on Palm Beach.

    During a speech that lasted about eight minutes, the first lady thanked the university for the award and her mother and father who were in attendance.

    Melania Trump said as first lady of the United States it is a “great honor to serve the people of this incredible country.”

    The first lady told the 550 attendees at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s “Women of Distinction” luncheon Wednesday that her anti-cyber bullying and anti-drug abuse initiative has been a success.

    Melania also spoke about opioid addiction and its impact on America’s children and said for the first time in 29 years drug overdose deaths have dropped by more than 4 percent.

    The 2,500-student university says it honored the first lady for her compassion and kindness, calling her a worldwide role model”

    https://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/west-palm-beach/first-lady-melania-trump-receiving-award-from-palm-beach-atlantic-university

  7. OT: The ‘Trump Bump’ is real

    America’s slow recovery from the Great Recession gave left-wing “experts” a fresh talking point: “secular stagnation.” They excused low growth under former President Obama as a new normal. Lost factory jobs and low wages were merely a sign of the times.

    They were wrong. The first 3 years of the Trump Economy prove that low growth is far from inevitable. Common-sense policies such as tax cuts, regulatory reform, and energy independence have coincided with a remarkable turnaround: As of the end of 2019, real GDP is 1.4 percent—or $260 billion—higher than economists projected.

    President Trump’s results not only beat expert predictions—they also beat the Obama “expansion” by the metrics. There have been turnarounds or improvements in homeownership, prime-age labor force participation, manufacturing employment, labor productivity, and, crucially, net wealth for the bottom half of American households.

    graphs included https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/trump-bump-real/?utm_source=ods&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=1600d

      1. Paint Chips, only dummies think that. Obama’s performance was terrible and he should have had fabulous numbers coming out of a recession. He didn’t. Obama was a total failure and wrecked the economy. One can see how after the stimulus was gone the economy was tanking and before that the recovery from the recession was very weak and slow. Time to put on long pants and take responsibility for your asinine comments..

        1. Paint Chips Alzn: you’re just denying reality. Growth rates are always higher in the early stages of expansion. Because there’s more slack to take up.

          1. Exactly. And that’s why Obama is tweeting right now, currently, and taking credit for the booming economy today. Obama built it! You didn’t build it President Trump! No no! I did it, me, Obama, this MY economy. Thanks Obama. Me. I did it. Dat’s right.

            Sorry Obama. You blamed Bush for the economic numbers during the first seven years of your presidency and now three years into Trump’s presidency, YOU are here trying to take credit. Unbelievable hubris.

            1. “Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history.” -Barack Obama tweet Feb 17, 2020

              Shut up Obama. You need to answer questions about Spygate and the role you played in the blatant corruption in your administration from CIA, to FBI, to DOJ, to NSC and all the rest that the complicit media refuses to ask about how YOU interfered in the 2016 election. You have never been called to answer for anything. And you should be.

          2. Paint Chips, Yes, early in the recovery growth rates are high but were relatively low during the Obama administration. That is why Obama’s numbers looked a lot better than they were but in reality they were terrible.

            That is precisely what I was saying and you are now confirming it. Obama was a failure and now he is home playing with his magic wand.

              1. Go ahead Paint Chips look up the data and you will find it confirms what Trump has been saying. You are a proven liar again.

  8. OT Small business supplies jobs to Americans.

    “President Trump’s Approval Rating Among Small Business Owners Hits All-Time High

    “Sixty-four percent of small business owners approve of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president, the highest approval rating for Trump among entrepreneurs since CNBC and SurveyMonkey began conducting a quarterly survey in 2017,” Riley de Leon reports for CNBC.

    “This is a high watermark for President Trump’s job approval, both among small business owners in our survey and among the general public,” said SurveyMonkey senior research scientist Laura Wronski.”

  9. I like B. Barr I hope he stays on the job long enough to get rid of all the haters and liars that C. Wray don’t seem to mind working with like Bruce Orr.

Leave a Reply to Mr Kurtz Cancel reply