Washington Post’s Rubin Misrepresents Emoluments Ruling In Latest Trump-Fueled Gaffe

jenrubinWashington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin is being ridiculed for a column in which she claims that the “walls are closing in” on President Donald Trump.  Critics have noted that in May 2017 Rubin declared the “walls are closing in” on Trump due to his firing of FBI Director James Comey. Then last October, she declared the “walls are closing in” due to impeachment.  Now the walls are back as if this is one long struggle of transferred claustrophobic anxiety.

The more important aspect however is not the fear of moving walls but the misrepresentation of the recent ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  We previously discussed how some have misrepresented the ruling, but Rubin, again, appears entirely untethered by any editorial (or ethical) requirements of accuracy. Rubin’s column is based on another misrepresentation of the underlying facts.

Rubin is marketed as the Post’s “conservative opinion writer” despite a long array of controversial statements about both conservatives and Republicans.  Most recently, Rubin declared Trump supporters to be as a group “primarily motivated by racism. This is why Trump does this.” It is not however Rubin’s ideological tendencies but her aversion to facts that that has repeatedly unleashed criticism across the political spectrum.

Rubin often appears to write on cases or testimony that she does not actually read.  This is a case in point, literally.  As I wrote earlier, the Fourth Circuit opinion was clear:

“The 9-6 opinion, below, however has been misrepresented or misunderstood by some.  It is not a ruling on the merits but rather the technical standard for what is called an interlocutory appeal.  It essentially blocks a Hail Mary play to shutdown the lawsuit.  Nevertheless, the dissenting judges denounced the lawsuit as based on a “wholly novel and nakedly political cause of action.”

The appeal to the Fourth Circuit turned on the question of when a litigant can take an interlocutory appeal, or an appeal taken before the resolution of issues or the merits has been reached by the district court.

…In reality, for those who are seeking an exciting decision on foreign influence, this opinion will be something of a disappointment.”

Rubin however was not “disappointed.”  She, again, simply said what she hoped the opinion said rather than what it actually said in the same breathless “Trump is a goner” language.  Such erroneous legal accounts seem to be eagerly embraced by the Post and other media outlets with no apparent fact checking.

In her latest Post column entitled “A sweeping setback for Trump’s foreign business dealings,” readers are told that the “The full 4th Circuit repudiates Trump’s receipt of foreign emoluments.” Literally everything is wrong with those statements.  The ruling was not a sweeping setback but a technical ruling on the availability of an interlocutory appeal. Indeed, even the majority noted that “Respondents press novel legal claims. But reasonable jurists can disagree in good faith on the merits of these claims.” Moreover the “full 4th Circuit” did not repudiate the Trump’s receipt of foreign emoluments.  It expressly declined to rule on the merits and even that decision was a 9-6 split.  Six judges excoriated the majority because they believed that the underlying theory was so unsupportable that it warranted immediate appellate review.

Rubin however goes on to say “a federal appeals court has held he cannot derive income from foreign governments that frequent his businesses.” The court not only never said that, it expressly stated that it would not state that. It confined its ruling on the narrow and technical question of when an interlocutory or mandamus action is permissible. Rubin actually cited the same counsel, former House impeachment counsel Norm Essen, who was involved in an earlier erroneous column. She quotes Essen as declaring “This case shows that the rule of law is fighting back against Trump’s pathological and illegal selfishness.” It was a ruling on when a party could seek appellate review and the technicalities of the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), and Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 21. It was manifestly not, as Rubin again quotes, part of that “essential story of the Trump presidency: a president who puts his personal and political interests above the national interest and the law.”

For full disclosure, I recently clashed with Rubin over her personally attacking me for a theory that I did not agree with in a column that I did not write. I also challenged her on an equally bizarre column where she wrote about my impeachment testimony with a clearly false account of a “concession” pulled out of me by counsel Norm Essen, the very same source that she uses for this latest column.  In both cases, it seemed likely that Rubin did not read the underling column or the testimony — a signature for her columns.

What is most interesting is how little of this actually matters. (Not the law. Not the facts.)  The media is increasing untethered to the factual record or legal authority. It simply does not matter.  Readers want to read of victories of the “the rule of law … fighting back against Trump’s pathological and illegal selfishness.”  When it comes to the actual ruling of the court, it is all immaterial.  As the Post’s Rubin has repeatedly shown, the old adage in the media remains that “there are just some facts too good to check.”

157 thoughts on “Washington Post’s Rubin Misrepresents Emoluments Ruling In Latest Trump-Fueled Gaffe”

  1. Mr. Turley, what’s the point of criticizing Trump for his criticism of the media, when you spend so much time “calling out” the media for lying? The same liars you spend your time calling out, claim that Trump is merely “attacking free speech” as some kind of fascist impulse arising from a disdain for American values. I’m sure his critics view your “corrections” of their defamatory propaganda as symptoms of the same fascistic trace. There’s something disingenuous about the way you endorse their mischaracterization of Trump’s criticisms, while defending yourself from the same mischaracterizations.

  2. Review of the history of rule 48 (a) governing “leave of the court” responsibility and limits to the judges actions in a situation like the Flynn case by a Harvard Law lecturer are at this link.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3599674

    In short, the Barr motion in the Flynn case argues that the of the 2 possible reasons for dropping a prosecution this late in the process – to benefit the defendant or to allow the DOJ to then submit new charges – the court’s ability to review the decision by the prosecutors is only available for the latter of the those 2 types. The author finds and cites the history of the commission which devised the rule back in the 1940s, along with SC contributions to the discussion, and finds that it centered entirely on the former type case – where it was for the benefit of the defendant. The reason was why many states automatically require judicial review then and now – to guard against a connected defendant receiving corrupt favoritism. There is no doubt that based on it’s history, that the rule should require judicial review of the motion. Surely, if he doesn’t know this already, Judeg Sullivan will learn of it.

    A link to the entire document (12 pages) is at the page I linked above.

    Abstract
    The conventional view of Rule 48(a) dismissals distinguishes between two types of motions to dismiss: (1) those where dismissal would benefit the defendant, and (2) those where dismissal might give the Government a tactical advantage against the defendant, perhaps because prosecutors seek to dismiss the case and then file new charges. In United States v. Flynn, the Department of Justice argues that Rule 48(a)’s “leave of court” requirement applies exclusively to the latter category of motions to dismiss; where the dismissal accrues to the benefit of the defendant, judicial meddling is unwarranted and improper. In support, the Government relies on forty-year-old dicta in the sole U.S. Supreme Court case interpreting Rule 48(a), Rinaldi v. United States. There, the Court stated that the “leave of court” language was added to Rule 48(a) “without explanation,” but “apparently” this verbiage had as its “principal object . . . to protect a defendant against prosecutorial harassment.”

    But the Government’s position—and the U.S. Supreme Court language upon which it is based—is simply wrong. In fact, the “principal object” of Rule 48(a)’s “leave of court” requirement was not to protect the interests of individual defendants, but rather to guard against dubious dismissals of criminal cases that would benefit powerful and well-connected defendants. In other words, it was drafted and enacted precisely to deal with the situation that has arisen in United States v. Flynn: its purpose was to empower the Judiciary to limit dismissal in cases where the district court suspects that some impropriety prompted the Executive’s decision to abandon a case.

    To be clear, there may be good reason for the district court to grant the Government’s motion to dismiss in United States v. Flynn. But the fiction that Rule 48(a) exists solely, or even chiefly, to protect defendants against prosecutorial mischief should be abandoned. This brief Essay recounts Rule 48’s forgotten history.

    1. That is absurd. Court denies motion to dismiss that is intended to benefit a defendant. And then what?

  3. I watched Jennifer on a news show some while back and I thought, “That woman is very loosely wrapped.”

    Now it seems her wrappings are getting much looser.

    Nothing of value there.

  4. “Hi 911, I’d like to report a murder”…

    Savage take down by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responding to snarky #ObamaGate questions

    1. yeah I’m really glad you asked because there hasn’t been
      a lot of journalistic curiosity on this front and I’m very glad that you
      asked this question. look there were a number of questions raised by the actions of the Obama administration the steel dossier was used to attain FISA warrants to listen in on conversations of people within the Trump campaign there was the unmasking the identity of Michael Flynn and we know that in a January fifth meeting in the Oval Office with President Obama Sally Yates from the Department of Justice learned about the unmasking not from the Department of Justice or the FBI she learned about it from President Obama and was stunned and can barely process what she was hearing at the time because she was stunned of his knowledge of that we know that there was a lot of wrongdoing in the case of Michael Flynn the FBI notes for instance that said should we get him to lie as they pontificated their strategy we know that the identity of this three decade general was leaked to the press a criminal leaked to the press of his identity and violation of his Fourth Amendment rights these are very serious questions they’ve been ignored by the media for far too long and I’m very glad that I think that is the second question that I have fielded on Lieutenant General Michael Flynn because justice does matter those questions they matter

      Brutal

      1. LOL that you think it was “brutal.” She was asked “What the president calls ‘Obamagate,’ what is it? What are the elements of that crime?,” and at no point in her response does she identify any crime committed by any person she named. In fact, the only crime she named in that excerpt was leaking a classified intercept. But she didn’t claim that Obama or Yates did this.

        FFS, if the DOJ has evidence that someone in the Obama Administration committed crime, why haven’t they already indicted the person?

        1. Do dirty cops break the law, and should they be investigated for allegedly doing so as well as abusing their authority to target innocent people? Is that seriously the Democrats’ question?

          There was significant wrongdoing in the investigation of Trump regarding the total fabrication of Russian collusion, as well as the use of intelligence agents to target his administration. That whole higher loyalty thing was a euphemism for trying to bring down a duly elected president.

          There needs to be a thorough investigation to determine the full extent of wrongdoing, and what may have crossed the line into criminal activity. As in dirty cops. In addition to possible criminal activity, there is unethical behavior that should result in dismissal. It is rather ironic that one after another official and even federal agent lied under oath, while Flynn was pursued and almost ruined for failing to mention a lawful phone call. However, he was already unmasked days before that call.

          So far, this is a small part of what has been alleged.

          1. An agent who was not present during the interview altered Flynn’s 302
          2. Original 302 is missing. Was it destroyed?
          3. Leaking classified information, like Flynn’s unmasking, to the public
          4. Lying to the FISA court by materially misrepresenting the dossier as vetted. Omitting that it was totally unvetted opposition research paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, and obtained from Russian propaganda, as well as the fact that a sub source had told them it was false.
          5. Lying under oath (multiples, including Clapper, Comey, et al)
          6. Destruction of evidence

          Is it criminal for the Democrat Party to pay Russia for false propaganda they planned to release against Trump as an October Surprise, and then for federal agents to lie about the source, veracity, who paid for it, and that its sub source said it was false, and then use that as the basis to get a FISA warrant?

          I don’t know. What happens to cops who present fabricated evidence they knew was spurious to a court in order to get a warrant, and then to leak that information to the press in order to ruin a target innocent of the crime?

          Remember Watergate? It boiled down to Nixon spying on his political adversaries, breaking into their campaign office, etc. Seems rather tame, compared with using the FBI to target key figures in Trump’s campaign and administration, based upon Democrat opposition research. The head of the FBI is quoted as saying he wanted Flynn fired.

          1. “Is that seriously the Democrats’ question?”

            No, which is why you’re not quoting Democrats and are instead relying on a straw man, which is a common logical fallacy (iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#StrawMan)

            Again: if the DOJ has evidence that someone in the Obama Administration committed crime, why haven’t they already indicted the person?

            As for your many claims (e.g., 1-6, or the impliction that “the Democrat Party … [paid] Russia for false propaganda”), you haven’t provided any evidence. Your claims, your burden of proof.

          2. Karen, I scanned and will respond to a few glaring mistakes.

            In the FISA application the Dossier was represented as being paid for by “Candidate 1”. If the Judges were too dense to know who that was, they are allowed to ask questions. The practice is to conceal identities in the actual application and procedure was followed.

            It is not illegal to pay a foreign entity for campaign aids. See American flags made in China. The Hillary campaign paid Fusion One who paid Steele who paid whoever he might have paid in Russia. He never represented the document as anything but “raw intelligence” meaning he did not vouch for every element of it.

            I remind you that the IG report released in November found no spying, politicized motivation, false premises for the investigation. If it was a plot, at a minimum Comey could have told voters that there was an investigation into Trump’s campaign at the same time as he announced the reopening of Hillary’s email investigation and Trump might be in jail with Cohen right now and Hillary in the WH.

            1. Anon – that is total bs. The admission is in a footnote deep in the application. We know from Judicial Watch FOIA requests that there was no Q&A for any of the Carter Page FISA. The judge just rubber stamped the damn thing. I would be surprised if the judge read more than the title.

    1. Kurtz, thanks for posting this! It’s the first article I’ve seen that really explores Reade’s background. And sure enough, it confirms what I suspected: she’s financially poor and flaky.

    2. “Manipulative deceitful user” describes about half of my female friends, and a larger percentage of most women I know. Heck, it even describes Joe Biden, certainly Hillary Clinton, and most of the elected Democrats! So that figures in very little in my estimation of whether or not she is telling the truth. Does she want to make money and get attention off this whole thing? Of course.

      But I look at what facts we know, She worked for Biden. She told many people at the time that he molested her in some way, probably feeling her up roughly. Her mother called the Larry King Show. Biden has a history of creepy fondling and sniffing. She was demoted and fired from his staff.

      So yeah, I believe something happened. Nonetheless, if I was on Biden’s criminal jury, I would not vote to convict him on the facts we know now. There is reasonable doubt in my mind. She may juts be a disgruntled employee, or an attention whore. If I was on Biden’s civil jury, with a lower standard, the question would be up in the air, and would depend a lot on how credible they were on the stand.

      BUT, the point here is NOT whether Biden did it, but whether or not the Democrats are playing fast and loose with standards. Christine Crazy-Ford was an obvious liar, and one of the least credible people I have ever seen giving testimony, and her story was patently ridiculous. C’mon two front doors, and a fear of flying? Both were debunked. Plus, she had no backup from any friends. Nonetheless the Democrats and the Press swarmed to her defense and most fair-minded people are choking on the way the Dems have rallied around Biden.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

    3. It is certainly material evidence.

      If she had accused a Republican, the hue and cry would be that investigating her background was victim bashing, and that all women should be believed based on the magical truthfulness of having a double X chromosome.

      Every allegation should be investigated and evaluated on its merits, not the gender of the accuser.

      This is one of the reasons why I hate identity politics as inherently bigoted.

    4. I have no idea if Reade is telling the truth or not. If it comes down to her word, then a history of deceit does not help her case.

      However, what else stuck out at me was how it’s not always straightforward how to view someone on financial difficulties. The main trend on the Democrat side is to treat the poor as if they must never, ever be criticized in any way or asked to do anything. There is consistent pushback against work requirements, or at the very idea that anyone could game the system. And yet, that is exactly the allegations against Reade. Not only was she in financial difficulty, but she had a history of leaving people feeling manipulated and taken advantage of. She allegedly appealed to people’s charitable nature to get what she wanted.

      Does this perhaps make clear that there are some people who would game a generous system, which is why there must be safeguards? Being poor does not guarantee that you are a good person who suffered the vagaries of fate through no fault of their own, any more than being a woman guarantees you are honest and must be believed.

      Yet another flaw in identity politics.

      I will say that horses who are owned by people in financial difficulty are in a very vulnerable, risky situation. They have no home stability. Many of these horses suffer neglect or end up on the truck to slaughter. I have no idea about Tara Reade’s story, but I am concerned for her horses. I know of people who were in financial trouble, who worked hard literally foraging food for their horses. They pulled their shoes, got a free rasp, and would keep their hooves neat. And I know of a lot of people who couldn’t afford them, but would get one or two more. They let their hooves turn into elf shoes because they never get trimmed and never even get walked so their hooves don’t wear. Wouldn’t clean their water buckets. Wouldn’t show up to feed them, or when they did they’d throw their hay in the manure they hadn’t cleaned in 2 weeks and take off. And the really worst I’ve seen is people who have some funds, but spend it on themselves on drugs, booze, or just wasted it instead of putting the animals in their care first. They won’t sell the horses until they are absolutely nailed to the wall, and then it’s that email “come get this unbroken old horse now because it’s going to the kill pen tomorrow.”

      So, one of the questions I have for Tara Reide’s character is, no matter her financial situation, what is the state of her horses? If they are thin, she’d better have not eaten, herself.

      1. Karen S – Body Language Ghost did the Tara Reade – Megan Kelly interview and found Tara to be truthful in her body language.

        1. It is possible she is telling the truth. I don’t know. As Squeaky pointed out, there is evidence that she told people it happened at the time.

          Her pattern of deceit does undermine her word. The only evidence that I am aware of is that she told people about it. That doesn’t mean that it happened, but it does prove that this is not a story she recently made up. Perhaps what happened was he grabbed her, went behind her, massaged her shoulders while burying his nose in her hair. Perhaps he frightened her and made her feel trapped, and she exaggerated what happened when telling friends. Perhaps it happened exactly as she said. Or maybe she was never in the same room with him, and she made it up at the time to explain why she was fired. I don’t now.

          I don’t think it’s possible to prove either way. If Biden would do such a thing to her, I don’t see it as a one time thing. He would have a reputation for that kind of assault, over and above the pawing that he does on live TV.

          I have always thought that his behavior seems compulsive. What sort of person sniffs women and underage girls’ hair on live television? It also bothers me that he can see some of the women and girls recoil, but he keeps pawing them. It seems like he can’t control himself. I wonder if any parents of the little girls he’s pawed ever made a complaint.

          Assault is a big step further, however. I don’t see how the case can be proven. Not unless someone else saw it. It will always be there as a reason to look squinty eyed at Biden and wonder, but allegations need to be proven.

          I have not looked into the current status of his papers at the university, or if they anyone found any record of an official complaint.

    1. Steve, today’s Republican party has no real connection to the Reagan era GOP. Trump could have never nominated by Reagan’s GOP. Republican voters of the 80’s would have regarded Trump as the lunatic he is.

        1. George W. Bush: Biggest Spender Since LBJ

          Someone at CATO has trouble calculating ratios.

      1. Steve, today’s Republican party has no real connection to the Reagan era GOP. Trump could have never nominated by Reagan’s GOP. Republican voters of the 80’s would have regarded Trump as the lunatic he is.

        Peter, there isn’t one major policy difference between Trump and Reagan, just a different set of circumstances generating different emphases.

        1. Absurd, Reagan wasnt promoting crazy conspiracies, threatening to jail opponents, refusing to show his tax returns, undermining his own administration, alienating our allies, scapegoating Hispanics, appointing family members as Senior Advisers, opening hotels near the White House or dismissing security threats as ‘fake news’.

          What’s more, Reagan had real experience for the presidency having been a 2 term governor of that nation’s largest state.

          No, Absurd, no similarities at all. And your insistence that there is show how little credibility you have.

          1. Actually, one of the issues in the 1976 Republican primary campaign was Gerald Ford’s rather petty insistence that Reagan publish his tax returns. That you keep harping on this is indicative of how shallow is your whole perspective.

            You have a serious problem with understanding personal agency, which is really unattractive in someone of your age. Trump isn’t promoting anything peculiar (other than trolling Ted Cruz several years ago). The problem is that people like you are unable, intellectually and emotionally, to process his statements and speculations.

            The notion he is ‘undermining his own administration’ is bizarre. Actually, career government employees have been assiduously attempting to undermine him. This isn’t arguable and it isn’t obscure.

            He never scapegoated hispanics at all. The problem here is that you propagate mendacious talking points and you can’t remember what’s true or what’s false anymore (or properly understand and evaluate what he did say).

            The ‘security threats’ John Brennan and James Clapper were flogging were fake news, and, now that the transcripts of their sworn testimony have been made public, we know they knew that it was hooey in real time.

            Of course he has Jared and Ivanka as unsalaried advisers. They are capable people and he’s in shark-infested waters as is. Guess what, Peter? Hellary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter and Nancy Reagan advised their husbands. So did Eleanor Roosevelt. This complaint is just stupid and it’s amazing you even offer it.

            Of course, Trump for 40 years ran a business which has had in recent years 22,000 employees and $9.5 billion in annual revenue.

            What are you trying to do with these posts, persuade everyone you’re a complete dolt?

          2. I’d point out as well, Peter, that nothing you listed is a difference over policy.

            1. Absurd, Reagan allowed hikes in paycheck deductions to stabilize Social Security. Reagan also extended amnesty to several million undocumented immigrants. Reagan believed in strong alliances with our NATO allies. He had a very good relationship with Margaret Thatcher. Reagan knew the U.S. needed strong alliances to function as a super power.

              As usual Absurd your comments are totally disengenous. You would have me believe that a calm and pleasant man like Reagan was on the same level as the irrational Trump.

              I dont remember Reagan making his personal grievances Priority # 1. Reagan was even reasonably pleasant to ABC Correspondent Sam Donaldson whom he may not have really liked. But that was Reagan, a generally sweet guy.

              1. Absurd, Reagan allowed hikes in paycheck deductions to stabilize Social Security. Reagan also extended amnesty to several million undocumented immigrants. Reagan believed in strong alliances with our NATO allies. He had a very good relationship with Margaret Thatcher. Reagan knew the U.S. needed strong alliances to function as a super power.

                Peter, Reagan didn’t rule by decree. Measures in regard to Social Security and immigration law had to pass Congress. That with regard to Social Security required the appointment of a blue ribbon commission which allowed Tip O’Neill and other members of the Democratic congressional caucus to back down from their Social Security demagogy (which was their principal line of attack in the 1982 midterms). Nothing like that could occur today because the Democratic caucus is simply too refractory.

                As for the immigration legislation, that was an initiative of Alan Simpson and Romano Mazzoli, two members of Congress from states with few immigrants, and the policy dispute ran accross party lines, not between them. The deal was border control for amnesty. After the bill was passed, leftoid lawfare organizations prevented the border controls from being implemented by massive litigation activity. Do you think people don’t learn from being cheated and shafted, Peter?

                As for NATO, it was formed to contain Soviet Russia, a power that does not exist anymore. There is no point to maintaining this relict organization and the configuration of forces in the world at large has changed completely. Of course we have contentious relations with European countries. The stances most of them take in international affairs are such that they’re the neurotic girlfriend we cannot shuck off. Partisan Democrats have been for three years promoting a nonsense discourse about Russia (a country which is an irritant, not a threat) when the real challenge is China.

                Do try to say something that isn’t completely valueless. This is getting tiresome.

                1. Absurd, if you’re telling me that NATO’s time has passed, then again you have no credibility. Putin’s dream is restoration of the Soviet Union. Every analyst understands that. And again your comments here are all disengenous. It’s like you’re the smart but overly cynical guy who typically fools himself.

                  No one in mainstream America thinks that Reagan and Trump are on the same level. Only those deep within the rightwing bubble would be inclined to buy such nonsense.

                  1. Absurd, if you’re telling me that NATO’s time has passed, then again you have no credibility. Putin’s dream is restoration of the Soviet Union. Every analyst understands that.

                    Every analyst who pays no attention to revealed preferences understands that. Peter, he is 67 years old and has occupied his current position for over 20 years. Old men do not grow wise. They do, however, grow careful. That should have occurred to you. Evidently it has not.

                    To date, Russia has grabbed the Crimea and has proxies in charge of some borderlands in the eastern Ukraine. The majority in the Crimea is great Russian and great Russians constitute a large minority in those particular borderlands, with Russian-speaking Ukrainians making up the rest. He hasn’t made any attempt thus far to pick-off the Russian-majority localities in the Kazakhstan borderlands or to seize the city of Narva in Estonia, even though Russia has passable irridentist claims to these territories. NB, the Crimea was transferred to the Ukraine only in 1954.

                    The Russian government is not harassing Latvia or Estonia, even though they have large Russian minorities with an unresolved civic status.

                    Note what public opinion is in Russia:

                    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/04/02/half-of-russians-oppose-full-fledged-union-with-belarus-poll-says-a65051

                    There isn’t even a consensus in Russia in favor of re-incorporating White Russia, in spite of the widespread sentiment in White Russia in favor of re-incorporation, sentiment which has no analogue in any other post-soviet state.

                    Vladimir Zhirinovsky babbles about restoring 1985 boundaries, but he’s always been a clown and his constituency is limited to about 7-8% of the Russian public. You talk to irridentist Russian nationalists in fora like this, and they want White Russia, eastern Ukraine, and some border localities. They don’t want the rest.

                    1. Yes, and some of the counties along our southern border are majority Mexican heritage. I’m sure absurd sees this a justification for our returning that territory to Mexico.

                      NATO is an alliance with other western democracies of mutual benefit to members. “Going it alone” is a nationalistic fantasy at odds with reality and the future and our last 3 years trying to live it has left the field open to the Chinese and Russia in the global competition we cannot avoid – no matter how much absurd dreams about it. In fact, losing that competition can eventually lead to war as balance tilts to the despots and away from democracies.

                    2. Absurd, again you’re disengenous! Russia has been harassing the Baltics and Scandinavia for many years at this point, in addition to meddling in elections all over Europe. And here you give me this stupid line that Putin is too old at 67 to have big ambitions..? Who do you think you’re fooling???

                      See, that’s the trap of living in small towns. You’re not meeting enough intellectually challenging people. So you presume you’re always talking down to less savvy consumers of news.

                      Putin, for the record is a physical fitness fanatic who looks 15 years younger than his age. He could possibly be in power another decade. This idea that Putin’s ready for the rocking chair is preposterous!

                    3. Yes, and some of the counties along our southern border are majority Mexican heritage. I’m sure absurd sees this a justification for our returning that territory to Mexico.

                      There is no discernible sentiment in Laredo or McAllen for altering the route of the border and Mexico hasn’t the firepower to take them by force, so I’m not sure why you fancy the situation is analogous. (I’m not too concerned, myself. If Laredo or McAllen were a thorn in the foot, I’d say unload them; ditto Puerto Rico).

                    4. Absurd, again you’re disengenous! Russia has been harassing the Baltics and Scandinavia for many years at this point

                      In your imagination, only.

        2. “there isn’t one major policy difference between Trump and Reagan” is false. As a simple example, consider Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech (so-called because of the line “I urge you to beware the temptation … to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire”):

          In this speech, Reagan said: “While they [the Soviets] preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.” And there were plenty of policy directives from Reagan associated with his view of the Soviet Union as evil, such as his funding of anti-communist “freedom fighters.” His 1983 NSC National Security Decision Directive #75 stated that our policy would be “to contain and over time reverse Soviet expansionism.” Trump is doing the reverse, trying to get Russia into the G8 again, despite Russia’s continued annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.

          I dare you to quote anything from Trump suggesting that he sees Russia as an “evil empire” and “the focus of evil in the modern world.” Quite the contrary, he cozies up to Putin all the time. With respect to Russia, Trump has done things that would horrify Reagan.

          1. Committment to Bulls!t hasn’t noticed that (1) the Soviet Union no longer exists, (2) the Warsaw Pact no longer exists, (3) COMECON no longer exists, (4) the Communist Party of Russia is a minority taste therein, commanding the support of about 15% of the electorate, (5) Russia in the last 30 years has evinced only circumscribed ambitions in regard to affairs of state.

            Of course Trump does not talk that way. The phenomena to which Reagan was referring are no longer present. You’d be hard put to find a Republican politician who would utter those words today. (By the way, vociferous liberals had a neuralgic reaction to Reagan’s words at the time; if you don’t know that, you should).

            1. “….As late as 2003, Trump was in such desperate financial trouble that at a meeting with his siblings following his father’s death he pressed them to hurriedly sell his father’s estate off, against the late Fred Trump’s wishes, the New York Times reported in an investigation of Trump family finances in October. And his businesses kept failing: In 2004, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts filed for bankruptcy with $1.8 billion dollars of debt.

              But Trump eventually made a comeback, and according to several sources with knowledge of Trump’s business, foreign money played a large role in reviving his fortunes, in particular investment by wealthy people from Russia and the former Soviet republics. …….It is a conclusion that even Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., has appeared to confirm, saying in 2008—after the Trump Organization was prospering again—that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” …”

              https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/21/how-russian-money-helped-save-trumps-business/

              1. And what is the citation for this statement? Foreign Policy was founded in 1970 as a quasi-academic journal for those dissatisfied with the fare provided by Foreign Affairs. Who there places a fly on the wall at Trump family meetings?

                You’re all complaining you haven’t seen his tax returns and others bitc! that the assessments of Forbes and PrivCo cannot be trusted, then you pull this out of your a##. You people are shameless.

                1. I pulled my info from the well respected Foreign Policy mag, while Absurd once again and forever pulls his from ……. Let’s not go there.

                  The FP article has links Absurd could follow if he wasn’t avoiding the truth. He might also be interested in some more excellent investigative reporting here:

                  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/07/us/politics/donald-trump-taxes.html

                  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-tax-schemes-fred-trump.html

                  1. And I’m pointing out to you that you’re using anonymous sources at least once removed, probably twice.

            2. @This is absurd:

              Each time I read personal insults here, I interpret them as revealing more about the people who posted them than about the people they’re directed towards. I try not to insult anyone commenting here, as I believe it’s counterproductive to discussion, and I consider such insults — whether from me or someone else — to be a sign of weakness on the part of the person posting the insult about another commenter. (In my comments, however, I will sometimes insult politicians who I think are doing great harm, as they’re not personally involved in the discussion here, and they have much more power than any of us and their actions impact us.) Turley also has a Civility Rule where he asks people not to insult other commenters, though of course many people ignore it.

              I suggest that you not assume facts not in evidence. I’m well aware of points 1-3. I also know that Russia has developed new economic and/or military treaties to benefit them, such as the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation.

              It’s striking that you are silent about my claim: “[Reagan’s policy was] ‘to contain and over time reverse Soviet expansionism.’ Trump is doing the reverse, trying to get Russia into the G8 again, despite Russia’s continued annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.” Unless, of course, you intended your 5th point to address it, in which case I’d say that your response is a deflection.

              I provided evidence for some of my claims: quotes. I’m quite willing to provide evidence for anything I’m presenting as fact rather than opinion, or to honestly admit that I cannot. Just quote what I wrote as fact and ask for evidence (e.g., evidence that Russia annexed Crimea), as long as you’re willing to do the same. I also have no problem admitting my mistakes: I mistakenly said “G8” above, when it’s currently the G7 and Trump is advocating that it become the G8 again with Russia being readmitted.

              I hope you have the same stance, and I ask you to provide evidence for your claim that “Russia in the last 30 years has evinced only circumscribed ambitions in regard to affairs of state.” Or did you only mean that as your opinion and not as a fact?

              I also ask you to admit that your claim “there isn’t one major policy difference between Trump and Reagan” is false, since Reagan’s policy was “to contain and over time reverse Soviet expansionism” and Trump does not have a policy “to contain and over time reverse [Russian] expansionism.” If your argument is simply that Russia and the Soviet Union aren’t identical, of course they’re not identical, but they’re clearly related, and if you limit the discussion to policies and circumstances that would be identical now and decades ago, you’re excluding too much from discussion.

        3. “Peter, there isn’t one major policy difference between Trump and Reagan, just a different set of circumstances generating different emphases.”

          Correct.

      2. “John Elder”:

        I had a great uncle who used to complain fiercely about unfair “free trade” during the Reagan years and he said the only one who really got it was Pat Buchanan. That was when Reagan ws still president, I remember, in our last conversation.

        Last one that is, until Trump.

        And my uncle knew a thing or two about trade, he was an executive who managed electronics manufacturing assets in Asia and the US at the highest level. from him I also learned about how currency manipulation worked in the contest between trade rivals. this was back when Japan and the ROC were the trade rivals also gaming their lack of union participation, lack of environmental regulations, and their governmental favoritism, against American industry. just like PRC now.

        he is long gone but when Trump took up the trade issue against China, it was as if his voice was speaking from the grave.

        1. Kurtz, there’s no one-size-fits-all regarding trade. A trade policy that was fine one year may not fit a decade later.

          Nevertheless, Reagan was totally sane and adult. He got his facts screwed up on occasion but he didn’t double-down on false statements and encourage his base to harass ‘un-loyal’ appointees; or anyone else for that matter.

          1. Nevertheless, Reagan was totally sane and adult

            Peter, you’re forgetting that most of us are of an age to have read the op-ed pages of the era. We’re laughing out loud.

            1. Absurd, Reagan won election by landslide proportions. And with the exception of Iran-Contra, Reagan generally enjoyed high approval ratings.

              Whereas Trump’s Electoral College-only victory was a far cry from Reagan’s landslide.

              1. That’s perfectly irrelevant to the discussion, Peter. I’m beginning to think you cut-and-paste the talking points they e-mail you complete with typos.

                1. Absurd, Reagan’s numbers are highly relevant. They indicate MAINSTREAM acceptance; something Donald Trump has never had.

                  1. If Trump doesn’t have it, no president who has occupied the office in the last 30 years has it. Arithmetic, it’s great stuff.

                    1. LOL. Trump had one of the smallest Electoral College wins in all of U.S. history (46th out of 58), lost the popular vote, and unlike every other president during the last 30 years, his job approval ratings have been under water for all but a few days of his presidency, plus his highest approval is lower than the highest approval of all other presidents in the last 30 years:
                      https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/statistics/data/presidential-job-approval

                      Agreed that arithmetic is good stuff, but you’ve got to use it honestly.

              1. Squeaky, in other words, you have no idea what you’re talking about. You”re just part of the the Trump cult and you reflexively echo the cult line.

                1. Me??? Hardly. I used to be a Democrat, and worked for Hillary in 2008. I was even for her as late as 2016ish or whenever the email server stupidity came out. And Trump entered the race.

                  Sooo, cram your “echo cult line” stuff up your rear end, you shill!

                  Squeeky Fromm
                  Girl Reporter

                  1. Sadie Mae Glutz’s stated history is in conflict with her claims about principles which she implies are important to her and other non-Democrats.

                    It is not possible to square support for Hillary as late as 2016 and then supporting Trump with a belief in any principles. Those 2 candidates shared none, or at least not since Trump was a Clinton donor back before he caught the birther train.

                    1. Nope. I was going to vote for Hillary knowing full well she was a liar and a cheat. Because the Republicans were going to put up some smarmy creep like Romney or McCain. Both of whom I supported over Obama.

                      I don’t expect Jesus to run for office. I want somebody smart who takes care of America first. And don’t forget, Hillary was a Goldwater girl once. But when Trump came out, then Hillary was done for sure. Because Trump is smart and decent. And he cares about America.

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                    2. Squeeky – McStain was a Goldwater guy until Goldwater died and then he became a ‘maverick.’

  5. #NeverTrumper Bill Kristol Finally Admits He’s a Democrat and The Responses Are Pure Gold!
    Good riddance to globalist rubbish

    1. It doesn’t matter how many idiots in the employ of Wick Allison use nonsense terms, it’s still a nonsense term.

  6. How long do you think it will take Rubin to figure out that the president is the Road Runner and she’s Wiley Coyote?

  7. WALLS AROUND TRUMP SHOULD BE PADDED

    Medical experts argue that it’s necessary to dramatically ramp up testing, but Trump has no national plan to do so, and said on Thursday that testing might be “frankly overrated.” “When you test you find something is wrong with people,” he declared. “If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.” The mind reels. This is akin to FDR saying that if no one reported the attack on Pearl Harbor, it wouldn’t have happened.

    Rather than turn into “Dr. Defeat the Virus,” Trump has become Dr. Demento trying to distract the public by replaying golden oldies. Have you heard the one about Joe Scarborough killing an aide (who actually collapsed because of a heart problem)? Play it again, Sam.

    And rewind “Obamagate” while we’re at it. “This is the greatest political scam, hoax in the history of our country. … People should be going to jail for this stuff,” Trump thundered on Thursday, even though a few days earlier he was unable to explain what law President Barack Obama supposedly violated. “You know what the crime is,” he told a Post reporter. “The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours.”

    Actually no one knows what the crime is, because there isn’t one. As the Bulwark’s Tim Miller explains, Trump’s theory seems to be that a high-level cabal framed him for colluding with Russia but neglected to make the information public before the election when it could have helped Hillary Clinton. When stated so concisely it sounds preposterous — so Trump prefers not to spell it out. Instead he darkly suggests that routine occurrences — such as Obama officials “unmasking” surveillance transcripts that revealed future national security adviser Michael Flynn speaking with the Russian ambassador — are worse than Watergate.

    The scandal is not that Flynn was unmasked or prosecuted. It is that Attorney General William P. Barr is now trying to drop charges to which Flynn already pleaded guilty and acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell is releasing information about the unmasking requests. They are politicizing the Justice Department and the intelligence community to save Trump from his own misconduct — which included (lest we forget) welcoming Russian interference in the U.S. election.

    It remains to be seen whether the “very stable genius” will succeed in distracting the public. He has definitely distracted himself. The Post reports: “Trump has been distracted recently from managing the pandemic by fixating on Flynn and related matters, ranting in private about the Russia investigation, complaining about Comey and others in the FBI and making clear he wanted to talk in the run-up to the election about law enforcement targeting him, according to one adviser who spoke with the president last week.”

    If FDR had taken Trump’s approach, this column would be in German.

    1. Nick Barkley – we attacked the Germans and we sank a Jap min sub to start WWII for us. BTW, the destroyer that sank the mini sub was never believed because the commander was a reserve officer. The sub has since been found.

    2. Is it a crime to leak classified information? Was Flynn’s name leaked as the masked US person? Does that make the list of people who requested his name be unmasked of interest? Do you think the Durham investigation is interested in government officials who leaked classified information? Do you think leaking classified information (using the intelligence apparatus of the US Govt) against a political opponent is a crime? (I bet you did when you thought Trump was using the DOJ again Biden…). One last thing: what was the actual “lie” Flynn told the FBI?

      1. “Does that make the list of people who requested his name be unmasked of interest?”

        Only for people who asked that it be unmasked in the Kislyak call. Most of the unmasking requests that were recently released precede that call and so are clearly unrelated to the leak. Moreover, the DOJ has had over 3 years to investigate the leak. None of the recently declassified info should be new to the DOJ. It’s only new to the public. If they had evidence re: who leaked the info, they should have long since indicted the person.

        “what was the actual “lie” Flynn told the FBI?”

        The answer to that is in the plea agreement (see elements 3 and 4):
        https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5747693-Michael-Flynn-s-plea-statement-of-offense.html
        Flynn stated multiple times under penalty of perjury that he lied to the FBI about those things.

    3. It’s OK with Obama if Flynn was maliciously prosecuted; the only thing that matters is that a coerced “confession,” which serves Obama’s corrupt and illegal political strategy, is on record .

      Opening America is the only mode that complies with the rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities provided by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and is not dissimilar to bone marrow transplant procedures employed by oncologists wherein they annihilate the cancer, the marrow and the patient, then endeavor mightily to bring the patient back to life.

    4. Clearly you are very impressed with yourself and can’t stay on topic. Political brain syndrome.

    5. Re: “The scandal is not that Flynn was unmasked or prosecuted. It is that Attorney General William P. Barr is now trying to drop charges to which Flynn already pleaded guilty”

      So, do I understand you correctly that you think because someone pleads guilty, lock the door and throw away the key even if proof of his innocence and misconduct by law enforcement surfaces?

      “Innocent people are pleading guilty to crimes they did not commit. It happens to countless people each year, and there’s no telling how many are behind bars as a result.”

      https://www.guiltypleaproblem.org/#share_your_story

      Unless you are and always have been committed to locking the door and throwing away the key on all that plead guilty, then you should not accuse others of “politicizing”.

      Btw your rant displays you have long been inflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome, just like Rubin. Note you really have not been able to touch Turley’s takedown of Rubin. Your lot actually bought the Smollet BS and thought Avenatti was presidential material, bet you still believe Chris Cuomo was really quarantined in his basement ? and yet you think Trump needs a padded room…

    6. actually the analogy to FDR is that he was hot to contain the Japanese (abcd encirclement) even if it meant war and it did come to that.

      and who pray tell seems to be the expansionist, authoritarian power in Asia and the Pacific today?

      Hint: initials are P R C

      and Trump is standing up to them, representing America’s geopolitical and economic interests, just as FDR did.

    7. Medical experts argue that it’s necessary to dramatically ramp up testing,

      You mean someone you cherry-picked out of the 600,000 practicing physicians in this country. We’re at capacity as far as processing tests is concerned and no one shooting this line has a clue about what they hope to accomplish with testing.

      What we really need to do is isolate vulnerable populations.

  8. Has anybody noticed how Turley gets his panties in a bunch when a writer or reporter says anything that Turley feels is not right, but never writes about what “FOX NEWS” does everyday 24-7 on facts and truth? Of course, if he did that he would lose 75% of his readers.

    1. FishWings, this writer has noticed that every time Trump mounts an audacious distraction, Turley rushes to assist.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
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