Open Thread

A bit of foreign influence in our elections which the Democrats, MSMers and Never Trumpers won’t talk about – because it was Iran and it harmed the GOP.

Alabama tells a donor to take his money and shove it over the donor’s opposition to Alabama’s pro-life legislation.

AOC flashes the White Power sign – for you and me its and “ok” sign, of course…but, hey, the Left says it means White Power…so, why is AOC flashing it?

Former Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has been subpoenaed by the Feds. Seems like it has to do with some charity groups he worked for. My bet: he was running a con via non-profits…something I bet a very large number of non-profits so. My view is that a very large portion – perhaps of majority – of non-profits are actually just grifts designed to enrich the bosses of the non-profits.

Our Democrat governor in Nevada vetoed the Popular Vote bill passed by the State legislature. My view: Nevada is rapidly being Californicated, but there are still enough sane people here that the governor can’t go full screwball…and this was an easy way to appear moderate.

Never care what people say, always watch what they do. Rachel Maddow has been a premier Russia collusion booster…and her ratings are in the tank. People aren’t tuning in to listen to it any longer. Democrats would be making a huge mistake to impeach. OTOH, they might just want to keep it percolating deep into 2020.

Rumor is that Trump may punish Mexico with tariffs unless they get serious about securing the border. Thing is, I’m not sure Mexico can do that – the cartels profit heavily from the illegal crossings, and as they tend to horribly murder anyone who tries to stop them, who in Mexico would actually try to control the border?

47 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. JeremiahTMM May 30, 2019 / 9:25 pm

    The President tweeted a while ago, “On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied,..”

    • Amazona May 30, 2019 / 9:55 pm

      It’s a good enough article, but it still focuses more on the economic aspect of socialism than on the political aspect, which is oppressive tyranny, the enforcement of absolute obedience to the State. It will be hard to convince people who either have very little or who have a lot because of generous parents but don’t want to face having to provide for themselves in the future that the economic aspects of socialism will be ugly, negative and toxic. To them it’s all about “stuff”. Some people have “too much stuff” and others don’t have “enough stuff” and socialism just evens it all out. All the examples in the world of how it has affected other people won’t affect their small-world view, which can be boiled down to “I want stuff and socialism will give it to me”.

      Even the canary in the coal mine warning of the government spying on its own citizens to try to find ways to destroy them, then using the power of the State to do just that, and of starting with a target and then looking for a crime to accuse him of committing instead of starting with a crime and then looking for who did it is all pretty abstract to them. I think it will sink in for some of them, if we can only find a way to make all of this public and coherent, but the fact is, the weakest of us will gravitate toward the perceived safety of the State.

      I thought it was funny, and informative, when a teacher recently said to his socialism-supporting students that he thought he should distribute the GPAs so everyone had the same. All of a sudden this was simply not acceptable. “But I worked really hard for that grade average—why should I give part of it to someone who didn’t do the work?” THAT hit home. But it still focuses on stuff, on redistribution, and not on the grinding hopelessness of living under tyranny.

      I can’t get the movie The Lives Of Others out of my mind. It’s about happy, intelligent, attractive, successful people living pretty good lives. They have nice apartments, nice clothes, good jobs they love, and it all looks pretty good—till you slowly start to see the ominous shadow of The State hovering over them, till you see the abuses of power and the fear of being targeted by the State.

      Yes, the economic aspects of collectivism do erode the soul, but the reality of day to day life under totalitarian rule is even worse.

      • JeremiahTMM May 30, 2019 / 10:24 pm

        That’s right.

        People are given an option to join the collective, or reject it under a socialist regime, if they reject it then their goods are ransacked , their homes burned to the ground, and they are left like wild animals to fend for themselves. All one has to do is watch a good documentary about past dictators to understand the situation that the people of those times found themselves in. The pictures say a lot, and the harrowing stories of people digging up the dead in order to have something to eat, or mothers starving themselves to death so their children would have enough to eat.

        I think it’s much worse if a majority of a nation’s people want to vote for socialism, it’s much worse for that nation’s inhabitants than it would be for those of the half who don’t want socialism to take drastic measures to stop them.

        In America we are fortunate enough to be blessed with a 2nd amendment that guarantees our our right to be free.

        It wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that we may be putting our arms to use in the near future, if the Democrats don’t break and surrender their treacherous ideology.

        It’s good when people can agree, but there is no agreement in America…we are split down the middle, Good vs. Evil. Good cannot compromise with evil, because if it does, it adds more weight to evil.

        So, we have the perfect storm. One goes down, and the other will rise.

      • Ryan Murphy May 31, 2019 / 8:01 am

        I’m not sure you can separate the economic and political aspects of socialism. It’s all part and parcel of that same entity. Everything is a servant of the state. You, your livelihood, your relationships, your inability to make meaningful choices for yourself. All of it. The economic aspects are PART of the political aspects.

      • Amazona May 31, 2019 / 9:14 am

        Ryan, you know this and I know this but I am talking about the perceptions of the masses, who are only fed the narrative that socialism is just about “stuff”, is just a tweaking of the system to establish “equality” and BTW make it unnecessary to work to get that stuff. They are never told that the “stuff” is not free at all, but comes at the price of liberty.

  2. Amazona May 30, 2019 / 9:34 pm

    If he wants to hurt Mexico he should focus on the billions of American dollars sent to Mexico every year by Mexicans working here. Perhaps require proof of legal residence in the US to be able to send money. Perhaps put a sizable fee on money sent. That is money that props up the Mexican economy while being removed from our own.

    • JeremiahTMM May 30, 2019 / 9:57 pm

      I agree. No money should leave the United States to Mexico. I did some business with a man, and his wife has horses, and she hires and houses someone to take care of he horses. The first one was Mexican, and we got to talking, and was telling me how he had to get to some kind of a place to send money back to his family. But, anyway, he eventually wound up leaving, because it was too cold here for him.

      I said to myself it’s hard to tell how many people from Latin America are taking the money they make and sending it back to Mexico. And that runs into a lot of money.

      • Amazona May 31, 2019 / 9:35 am

        Jermiah, a brother was standing in a line at the customer service desk of a small supermarket one Friday afternoon and he said that within half an hour he saw more than $30,000 go out of the country to Mexico as the laborers in front of him sent money back home through money orders. Estimates of the amount of money sent to Mexico every single year are of several billion dollars—-so much that this accounts for a sizable percentage of the Mexican economy. I once read that one-sixth of the economy of Mexico is the money sent into the country from the US.

        Threaten THAT and Mexico will pay attention.

  3. Retired Spook May 30, 2019 / 11:40 pm

    I’ve gotten to the point where I seldom read magazine or newspaper (print or on-line) articles about climate change because they’ve crossed over into the absurd. This op-ed appeared in our local paper today, but was originally printed in the Washington Post a couple days ago. I had to read it a couple times to make sure it wasn’t satire. My first thought was that The Onion put one over on the WAPO. One portion in particular had me laughing out loud.

    And, in what could be Mr. Trump’s most consequential action yet, his administration will seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests.

    The goal appears to be to keep the government from ever confirming that climate change exists and, failing that, to do everything it can to make it look less serious than it is. (emphasis – mine)

    Now correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t we been told that, not only does climate change exist, it’s an existential threat to the very existence of the planet. We were told the debate was over back in the 90’s or maybe even in the late 80’s.

    • Cluster May 31, 2019 / 8:23 am

      Climate change is no different than racism, white nationalism, gender pay gap, Russia collusion, etc. – they are all manufactured political issues designed to scare and divide people, and a frightened populace is more easily controlled.

      In 2000, Al Gore said we have no more than 10 years left. 19 years later, AOC is saying that we have only 12 years. Shouldn’t they be held to account? Why is no one on the left ever held to account for their false proclamations?

      I think conservatives would serve themselves well simply by holding Democrats accountable for the municipalities they govern, ie: San Francisco, Chicago, etc. There are numerous cities across the country in deep disrepair and all of them are dominated by Democrats. How can the American people expect them to govern the country well when they can’t even take care of a City?

      • Amazona May 31, 2019 / 9:29 am

        It’s fine to blame the Dems for their mistakes, shortcomings, incompetence and the inevitable results of Leftist governance.

        But don’t forget to blame the Right for its inability to put these things together into a coherent narrative and then deliver it, powerfully and repeatedly.

    • Amazona May 31, 2019 / 9:16 am

      How do you “undermine science”?

      And BTW my perception is that climate change policy rests on no science at all, but on hysterical appeal to hysterical masses to expand the power of the State and enrich a few elites.

  4. Cluster May 31, 2019 / 8:36 am

    We’re going to have to put the dogs down. You know how when an older dog is at the end of his life and starts losing control of his senses and is barking at everything that moves? That’s the current state of Democrats. Rob Reiner was just on MSNBC declaring that “there are piles of evidence of collusion and crimes in the Mueller report that 1000’s of prosecutors have said should be sufficient to indict”. Odd that the most venerated prosecutor in the country, Bob Mueller, didn’t reach the same conclusion but I guess that doesn’t matter.

    They are not going to let this go. Case in point, Malcolm Nance with MSNBC:

    “it’s a combination narcissism and disinformation” because “Donald Trump is a master of manipulating news and causing distractions” to “create a meta narrative that he wants, which is no collusion, no obstruction.”

    “All of it is a lie and the worst part is, this is all straight from the KGB playbook. This is old school stuff, but he’s good at it,”

    They are incapable of admitting that they may have been wrong. Let’s put them down. It’s the humane thing to do. In other words that they will understand – ABORT

    • Amazona May 31, 2019 / 9:21 am

      “there are piles of evidence of collusion and crimes in the Mueller report that 1000’s of prosecutors have said should be sufficient to indict”.

      And this brings us back to the questions no one has asked. At least I have not heard of any of these squealing hysterics being asked any of them.

      1. Define “collusion”
      2. Cite the statute and statute number of the crime of collusion
      3. Name the crime that had to exist before there could be obstruction to its investigation
      4. Cite the actual acts taken to interfere with this investigation

      Are these people asked these questions when they appear on TV shows or run off at the mouth for a handful of “journalists”?

    • Amazona May 31, 2019 / 9:27 am

      What is REALLY “straight from the KGB playbook” is Beria’s show me the man and I will find you the crime. What is REALLY “straight from the KGB playbook” is using the power of the State to spy on citizens, in search of something—anything—with which to attack them.

      Rob’s subconscious is right, in linking this whole mess to the inspiration by the KGB—-it’s just that his dim mind and constantly running mouth have gotten it all backwards. It was our federal government acting like the KGB, and Trump and his administration trying to turn the nation away from that kind of tyranny and expanses of power of the State.

      • Cluster May 31, 2019 / 11:42 am

        I really hope the majority of Americans are starting to take notice of the intolerant authoritarian streak that has become mainstreamed within the Democrat party.

        I read an article from a former progressive the other day. He is a gay man who has grown weary of the chaos so he did an experiment. He went on a conservative social media site and mentioned that he was a gay progressive but wanted to reach out and hear other opinions. He said he was shocked that out of over 1000 comments from conservatives, there was not one disparaging remark, and most of the comments were welcoming, positive and wanting to help inform. Needless to say, he says he is now more conservative than progressive.

      • Retired Spook May 31, 2019 / 11:47 am

        One of the main differences between Liberals and Conservatives aside from basic ideology, is that Conservative are, for the most part, nice, accommodating, tolerant people. Liberals are, for the most part, the opposite.

  5. Retired Spook May 31, 2019 / 1:32 pm

    Quote of the Day: (seems especially appropriate given the the current state of the Democrat Party)

    ”Life’s tough…’s even tougher if you’re stupid.” — John Wayne

    • Cluster May 31, 2019 / 2:05 pm

      Love that quote

  6. Cluster June 1, 2019 / 9:13 am

    Did everyone hear the interview with Barr the other day? The “progressive” interviewer asked Barr if he was “worried about his reputation” – this question is quite revealing. The interviewer wanted to know if Barr was “worried about what people like her would think of him”, or “what the DC establishment” would think of him. His reply was priceless ….. “not particularly”

    We need more people in politics who don’t care what others “think of them”. And this is the very reason why people like Bush, Romney, and McCain were so ineffective. All of them were very concerned what liberals thought of them.

    • Retired Spook June 1, 2019 / 11:47 am

      Some of the most important parts of the Barr interview, IMO: (I’ve bolded some parts that I think are exceptionally noteworthy)

      JAN CRAWFORD: Well, I mean, he seemed to suggest yesterday that there was another venue for this and that was Congress.

      WILLIAM BARR: Well, I am not sure what he was suggesting but, you know, the Department of Justice doesn’t use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to Congress. Congress is a separate branch of government and they can, you know, they have processes, we have our processes. Ours are related to the criminal justice process we are not an extension of Congress’s investigative powers.

      — snip —

      JAN CRAWFORD: What is the fundamental difference? Why…I mean, he said he couldn’t exonerate the president. That he had looked at the evil there – these 11 instances of possible obstruction. He couldn’t exonerate the president, if he could he would’ve stated so. You looked at that evidence and you did. I mean, what is the fundamental difference between your view and his?

      WILLIAM BARR: Well, I think Bob said that he was not going to engage in the analysis. He was, he was not going to make a determination one way or the other. And he also said that he could not say that the president was clearly did not violate the law, which of course is not the standard we use at the department. We have to determine whether there is clear violation of the law and so we applied the standards we would normally apply. We analyzed the law and the facts and a group of us spent a lot of time doing that and determined that both as a matter of law, many of the instances would not amount to obstruction.

      JAN CRAWFORD: As a matter of law?

      WILLIAM BARR: As a matter of law. In other words, we didn’t agree with the legal analysis- a lot of the legal analysis in the report. It did not reflect the views of the department. It was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers and so we applied what we thought was the right law but then we didn’t rely on that. We also looked at all the facts, tried to determine whether the government could establish all the elements and as to each of those episodes we felt that the evidence was deficient.

      — snip —

      JAN CRAWFORD: When you see some of the criticism and you’ve gotten quite a bit of it that you’re protecting the president that you’re enabling the president, what’s your response to that?

      WILLIAM BARR: Well, we live in a hyper-partisan age where people no longer really pay attention to the substance of what’s said but as to who says it and what side they’re on and what it’s political ramifications are. The Department of Justice is all about the law, and the facts and the substance and I’m going to make the decisions based on the law and the facts and I realize that’s intention with the political climate we live in because people are more interested in getting their way politically. so I think it just goes with the territory of being the attorney general in a hyper-partisan period of time.

      JAN CRAWFORD: The four page summary that you wrote, did you ask in that March 5th meeting for the special counsel to kind of redact all the grand jury material?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yes, not redact it but highlight it so we could redact it, we would, so, you know, the report was over 400 pages, I knew that it was voluminous and coming our way in a few weeks. My intent was to get out as much as I could as quickly as I could. To do that I would have to, as a matter of law, make sure that grand jury material was redacted because regardless of the political posturing that’s going on it’s not lawful for me to just make that public.

      JAN CRAWFORD: Not even to Congress?

      WILLIAM BARR: Not even–

      JAN CRAWFORD: So you could even give Congress, which of course is demanding that and threatening to hold you in contempt because you’re not giving them the full report

      WILLIAM BARR: That’s right, and so–

      JAN CRAWFORD: But by law you can’t?

      WILLIAM BARR: Right, and so because we were not involved in the investigation we would have no way looking at the report of determining what was grand jury material and what wasn’t, so we had for a period of weeks been asking the special counsel’s office to highlight the stuff so we could quickly process it for release and I guess–

      JAN CRAWFORD: For a period of weeks you had asked for this material?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yeah even before the March 5 meeting we had asked or raised the subject–

      JAN CRAWFORD: And what was the response?

      WILLIAM BARR: And then at the March 5 meeting I made it explicit and then after the March 5th meeting we asked..

      JAN CRAWFORD: And what was the response?

      WILLIAM BARR: We thought it was being– we thought it was being done and I do believe they were putting in more footnotes in that would be necessary ultimately in identifying the material but whether the wires were crossed or whatever it didn’t come in a form that identified the 6E material.

      JAN CRAWFORD: And that was a surprise to you when you got the report?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yes.

      JAN CRAWFORD: It was.

      WILLIAM BARR: And it immediately meant that you know it was going to be a period of weeks before we could get the report out if I had my druthers I would have liked to get the report out as quickly as possible.

      JAN CRAWFORD: So instead, you turned this four page summary?

      WILLIAM BARR: Right, because I didn’t think the body politic would allow us to go on radio silence for four weeks. I mean, people were camped outside my house and the department and every- there was all kinds of wild speculation going on. Former senior intelligence officials who were purporting to have it- or intimating that they had inside information were suggesting that the president and his family were going to be indicted and so forth–

      JAN CRAWFORD: And saying that publicly?

      WILLIAM BARR: Saying that publicly. There was all kind of wild and–

      JAN CRAWFORD: And you knew that to be false?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yes, and it was wild and irresponsible speculation going on which the very–

      JAN CRAWFORD: Wild and irresponsible. The former intelligence officials’ speculation–

      WILLIAM BARR: Right, and talking heads and things like that, and these things affect the United States’ ability to function in the world. We have an economy. It could affect the economy. It can affect – it can affect our foreign relations during very delicate period of time with, you know, serious adversaries in the world. So I felt- that in order to buy time, in order to get the report out, I had to state the bottom line just like you’re announcing a verdict in a case. My purpose there was not to summarize every jot and tittle of the report and every, you know, angle that – that Mueller looked into. But, just state the bottom line which I did in the four page memo.

      — snip —

      JAN CRAWFORD: He wrote the letter taking issue, saying there caused- you had caused confusion. Did that catch you off guard?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yeah, sure. I was surprised he just didn’t pick up the phone and call me given our 30 year relationship, but–

      JAN CRAWFORD: Why didn’t he?

      WILLIAM BARR: I don’t, I don’t know, but, as I said it in the hearing, I thought it was- the letter was a little snitty and staff-driven–

      JAN CRAWFORD: Staff-driven?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yeah. I personally felt, but we had a good conversation–

      JAN CRAWFORD: Because otherwise you would have picked up the phone?

      WILLIAM BARR: Right, well, which I did, and we had a good conversation. And I think, I think the matter is now been fully vetted, and I think he was concerned that there should be more context and texture to his work given, and that in the absence of that, the vacuum had been filled with media reports that were then causing confusion, and he wanted it clarified by putting more of an explanation of his reasoning out. And I said that I didn’t want to put out dribs and drabs, I wanted the whole report out. And then I wrote a letter again to Congress saying, look, I didn’t- this is not intended to be a full summary. Bob’s thinking is reflected in the report. Everyone’s going to have access to it. They should look at that to determine, you know, what Bob’s reasoning was. So that’s where we let it sit till the report was released.

      JAN CRAWFORD: You said that you had wanted to release the report in full, and you largely have with the grand jury material being, of course, the exception.

      WILLIAM BARR: Right. And in the second volume that’s one tenth of one percent of the report has been taken.

      JAN CRAWFORD: You, I just want to be clear on this. How long and how many, you expected the special counsel’s office to redact that material, so to point out what should be redacted —

      WILLIAM BARR: Right. Right.

      JAN CRAWFORD: So the four-page summary would have been unnecessary?

      WILLIAM BARR: Correct.

      — snip —

      JAN CRAWFORD: So the last thing that he said yesterday was to remind us that Russia tried to sway our election. He said there were multiple systematic efforts to interfere and that deserves the attention of every American. How’s the Justice Department working now to ensure this doesn’t happen again in 2020?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yes, we do have. I think an increasingly robust program that is focusing on foreign influence in our election process. The FBI obviously has the lead in that and I’ve been briefed on it on a regular basis and I think it’s a very impressive effort but, we are ramping up. I talked recently to the director of the FBI about putting together a special high-level group to make sure we’re totally prepared for the upcoming elections.

      JAN CRAWFORD: And the high level group would be? Who would that include?

      WILLIAM BARR: Well, it would include the FBI, the Department of Justice, DHS and intelligence agencies.

      JAN CRAWFORD: Do you think enough was done in 2016?

      WILLIAM BARR: Enough was done in 2016? Probably not. You know, I think Bob Mueller did some impressive work in his investigation, you know, identifying some of the Russian hackers and their influence campaign and you sort of wonder if that kind of work had been done starting in 2016, things could have been a lot different.

      JAN CRAWFORD: Right because it’s just hard to understand why it wasn’t taken more seriously.

      WILLIAM BARR: Right.

      JAN CRAWFORD: Why do you think it was not?

      WILLIAM BARR: I have no idea. That’s one of the things I’m interested in looking at you know–

      JAN CRAWFORD: –As part of the review?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yes. In other words, you know, there are statements being made that people were warned back in April–

      JAN CRAWFORD: –of 2016–

      WILLIAM BARR: Right and I don’t have any reason to doubt that, but I’m wondering what exactly was the response to it if they were alarmed. Surely the response should have been more than just, you know, dangling a confidential informant in front of a peripheral player in the Trump Campaign.

      — snip —

      JAN CRAWFORD: You’re saying that spying occurred. There’s not anything necessarily wrong with that.

      WILLIAM BARR: Right.

      JAN CRAWFORD: As long as there’s a reason for it.

      WILLIAM BARR: Whether it’s adequately predicated. And look, I think if we — we are worried about foreign influence in the campaign? We should be because the heart of our system is the peaceful transfer of power through elections and what gives the government legitimacy is that process. And if foreign elements can come in and affect it, that’s bad for the republic. But by the same token, it’s just as, it’s just as dangerous to the continuation of self-government and our republican system, republic that we not allow government power, law enforcement or intelligence power, to play a role in politics, to intrude into politics, and affect elections.

      JAN CRAWFORD: So it’s just as dangerous- So when we talk about foreign interference versus say a government abuse of power, which is more troubling?

      WILLIAM BARR: Well they’re both, they’re both troubling.

      JAN CRAWFORD: Equally?

      WILLIAM BARR: In my mind, they are, sure. I mean, republics have fallen because of Praetorian Guard mentality where government officials get very arrogant, they identify the national interest with their own political preferences and they feel that anyone who has a different opinion, you know, is somehow an enemy of the state. And you know, there is that tendency that they know better and that, you know, they’re there to protect as guardians of the people. That can easily translate into essentially supervening the will of the majority and getting your own way as a government official.

      — snip —

      JAN CRAWFORD: –this. So again, just to go, just so that I think so people can more fully understand this, I mean have you, and I know it’s early in the investigation, but when we are talking about the basis for this and why you think it is important and obviously any kind of government abuse of power, I mean, you were in the CIA in the ’70s. You can see how that can have….

      WILLIAM BARR: Right, when I, when I joined the CIA almost 50 years ago as an intern and this was during the Vietnam, civil rights era and there had been a lot…there were a lot of pending investigations of the CIA and there the issues were what was- when was it appropriate for intelligence agencies, the FBI too was under investigation. You know, the penetration of civil rights groups because at the time there was concerns about contacts with, you know, communist funded front groups and things like that and you know how deeply could you get into civil rights groups or anti-Vietnam war groups. A lot of these groups were in contact with foreign adversaries, they had some contact with front organizations and so forth and there were a lot of rules put in place and those rules are under the attorney general. The attorney general’s responsibility is to make sure that these powers are not used to tread upon first amendment activity and that certainly was a big part of my formative years of dealing with those issues. The fact that today people just seem to brush aside the idea that it is okay to you know, to engage in these activities against a political campaign is stunning to me especially when the media doesn’t seem to think that it’s worth looking into. They’re supposed to be the watchdogs of, you know, our civil liberties.

      JAN CRAWFORD: What have you seen? What evidence? What makes you think, I need to take a look at this? I mean, what have you seen in the summer of 2016?

      WILLIAM BARR: Well, I’ll say at this point is that it, you know, I- like many other people who are familiar with intelligence activities, I had a lot of questions about what was going on. I assumed I’d get answers when I went in and I have not gotten answers that are well satisfactory, and in fact probably have more questions, and that some of the facts that- that I’ve learned don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened.

      JAN CRAWFORD: What do you mean by that?

      WILLIAM BARR: That’s all I really will say. Things are just not jiving, and I’m not saying at this stage that–

      — snip —

      JAN CRAWFORD: But it seems like you have a concern that there may have been a bias by top officials in the FBI as they looked at whether to launch and conduct this investigation?

      WILLIAM BARR: Well it’s hard to read some of the texts with and not feel that there was gross bias at work and they’re appalling. And if the shoe were on the other–

      JAN CRAWFORD: Appalling.

      WILLIAM BARR: Those were appalling. And on their face they were very damning and I think if the shoe was on the other foot we could be hearing a lot about it. If those kinds of discussions were held you know when Obama first ran for office, people talking about Obama in those tones and suggesting that “Oh that he might be a Manchurian candidate for Islam or something like that.” You know some wild accusations like that and you had that kind of discussion back and forth, you don’t think we would be hearing a lot more about it?

      JAN CRAWFORD: You- I guess when you said that there were things done that were not the typical run of business, ad hoc, small group, it’s not how these counterintelligence operations normally work. I think that maybe Comey and others might say well this was such an extraordinary thing we had to keep it so closely held. So we had to do it differently what’s your response to that? Is that legit?

      WILLIAM BARR: Well it might be legit under certain circumstances but a lot of that has to do with how good the evidence was at that point. And you know Mueller has spent two and half years and the fact is there is no evidence of a conspiracy. So it was bogus, this whole idea that the Trump was in cahoots with the Russians is bogus

      JAN CRAWFORD: So did you ask the president for authority to declassify?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yes.

      JAN CRAWFORD: You asked the president?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yes and also you know, the direction of the intelligence agencies to support our efforts.

      JAN CRAWFORD: So did you discuss this with the DNI and head of the CIA?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yes.

      JAN CRAWFORD: And what’s their response?

      WILLIAM BARR: That they’re going to be supportive.

      JAN CRAWFORD: And so you won’t will you declassify things without reviewing it with them it seems like you have the authority to do that?

      WILLIAM BARR: Well in an exceptional circumstance I have that authority but obviously I intend to consult with them. I’m amused by these people who make a living by disclosing classified information, including the names of intelligence operatives, wringing their hands about whether I’m going to be responsible in protecting intelligence sources and methods. I’ve been in the business as I’ve said for over 50 years long before they were born and I know how to handle classified information and I believe strongly in protecting intelligence sources and methods. But at the same time if there is information that can be shared with the American people without jeopardizing intelligence sources and methods that decision should be made and because I will be involved in finding out what the story was I think I’m in the best decision to make that decision

      — snip —

      JAN CRAWFORD: You are only the second Attorney General in history who’s served twice. I think the first one was back in 1850.

      WILLIAM BARR: Right.

      JAN CRAWFORD: But you are working for a man who is- I mean you are an establishment figure in a way. You’ve had a long career in Washington but you are working for a man who is not establishment. And some of his tweets about officials and the rule of law, how do you react when you see those? Are you on Twitter? Do you read his tweets?

      WILLIAM BARR: No, I am not on Twitter and every once in a while a tweet is brought to my attention but my experience with the president is, we have- we have a good working, professional working relationship. We, you know, we talk to each other and if he has something to say to me I figure he’ll tell me directly. I don’t look to tweets for, you know, I don’t look at them as directives or as official communications with the department.

      JAN CRAWFORD: But when you came into this job, you were kind of, it’s like the US Attorney in Connecticut, I mean, you had a good reputation on the right and on the left. You were a man with a good reputation. You are not someone who is, you know, accused of protecting the president, enabling the president, lying to Congress. Did you expect that coming in? And what is your response to it? How do you? What’s your response to that?

      WILLIAM BARR: Well in a way I did expect it.

      JAN CRAWFORD: You did?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yeah, because I realize we live in a crazy hyper-partisan period of time and I knew that it would only be a matter of time if I was behaving responsibly and calling them as I see them, that I would be attacked because nowadays people don’t care about the merits and the substance. They only care about who it helps, who benefits, whether my side benefits or the other side benefits, everything is gauged by politics. And as I say, that’s antithetical to the way the department runs and any attorney general in this period is going to end up losing a lot of political capital and I realize that and that is one of the reasons that I ultimately was persuaded that I should take it on because I think at my stage in life it really doesn’t make any difference.

      JAN CRAWFORD: You are at the end of your career, or?

      WILLIAM BARR: I am at the end of my career. I’ve you know–

      JAN CRAWFORD: Does it, I mean, it’s the reputation that you have worked your whole life on though?

      WILLIAM BARR: Yeah, but everyone dies and I am not, you know, I don’t believe in the Homeric idea that you know, immortality comes by, you know, having odes sung about you over the centuries, you know?

      JAN CRAWFORD: So you don’t regret taking the job?


      • Amazona June 2, 2019 / 2:18 pm

        Spook, thanks for the transcript.

        Aside from your emphasis on certain aspects of the interview, the first thing that jumped out at me was this: …he said he couldn’t exonerate the president. That he had looked at the evil there …

        We know there is bias. But this bone-deep quasi-religious transformation of what would have been, even if it had occurred and been proven to be just another misdeed in a long list of far worse misdeeds into something so profoundly disturbing on such a deep and existential level that it must be called “evil”, that it tears at the very soul of the Liberal, is disturbing. There doesn’t seem to be a functioning filter on the Left. She is so deeply disturbed by the possibility that someone associated with Donald Trump might have communicated with someone from Russia about dirt on Hillary that the only word that comes to her mind is EVIL.

        She makes only a token effort to hide this, once it slipped out and she tried to get past it. But she challenged Barr, almost argued with him. There isn’t even much of a pretense of objectivity or true journalism these days.

      • Amazona June 2, 2019 / 10:41 pm

        Going through this again, I am struck by (1) the fact that Mueller just mixed in grand jury testimony with the rest of the report, though he had to know it had to be kept confidential, and then (2) that he took so long to highlight the sensitive areas so they could be redacted.

        Mueller may be crooked and corrupt, but he is not stupid, Even I know grand jury testimony is protected. So why did he mix in grand jury testimony with the rest of the report? And then why couldn’t he quickly go through and identify the protected testimony for Barr, so it could be redacted? Was the report so amateurishly put together that there were no footnotes, no cross referencing of testimony with witnesses, etc?

        I’m guessing Mueller was trying to stall as long as he could to drag this out as long as he could, knowing the Left would be furious at him for not finding a crime and the Right would make fun of him for taking so long to come up with nothing, and then Barr called his bluff by putting out his summary. Mueller evidently wanted to postpone the revelation of the report for as long as he possibly could, and was playing games to do so after Barr told him to quit messing around and get the report done.

        And Barr is just smarter than Mueller and saw through it.

  7. Cluster June 1, 2019 / 9:23 am

    Forty-eight percent of voters surveyed said they approve of the job Trump is doing as president, which is the highest approval rating captured by the Harvard poll since June 2017……..Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while a record 62 percent said they approve of his approach to employment.

    A stunning 71 percent of voters viewed the economy as “strong” or “very strong.”

    62% approve of the economy – good luck to the socialist Democrats trying to convince these Americans that they are wrong. And a 48% job approval ??? If the press were just slightly less hostile to Trump, his approvals would be in the 60% or 70% range.

    Trump 2020

  8. Retired Spook June 1, 2019 / 2:24 pm

    Quote of the day:

    A man who ceases to believe in God does not believe in nothing; he believes in anything.
    – G.K. Chesterton

    • JeremiahTMM June 2, 2019 / 12:20 am

      Yep, that’s because they have a weak conscience.

  9. JeremiahTMM June 2, 2019 / 12:24 am

    I’m kinda concerned about California. The state’s major cities are overrun with rats, diseases are popping up all.over, Typhoid, Bubonic plague, Tuberculosis. And there’s poop all over the streets, people are pooping and peeing in the streets.

    I just wonder if somehow California can be blocked off from the rest of the country, to keep the diseases from moving to other parts of the country?

  10. Cluster June 2, 2019 / 8:43 am

    Welcome to California:

    And after you browse through the article, you’ll notice the laughable statement from the Mayor:

    ‘Whether the issue is bad plumbing or something else, the mayor is working with the department to get to the bottom of this situation and will take every possible step to protect the health and safety of all our employees,’ Alex Comisar, a spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, said in a statement.

    It’s definitely the bad plumbing. Good call Mayor

    • Retired Spook June 2, 2019 / 9:43 am

      You really need to add that to the YCMTSU file. The bad news is that trends usually start in California……..

    • jdge1 June 2, 2019 / 10:30 pm

      All too often, California seems to be on the front end of the pendulum swing. This is what the people who vote consistently for leftist politicians, will get.

    • JeremiahTMM June 2, 2019 / 10:32 pm

      Yeah, something’s gotta be done about, California (Sodom & Gomorrah). That place is entirely unsafe for the rest of the country. It needs to be quarantined, and added to the list of national emergency. We can’t have another black plague. Hopefully the President see it as a priority.

    • Amazona June 3, 2019 / 9:33 am

      Believe me, if a state could block the influx of Californians Colorado would have been all over it. They have swarmed here to get away from high taxes and oppressive regulations, but brought their same toxic politics with them, and are destroying the state.

  11. Retired Spook June 2, 2019 / 9:46 am

    Quote of the day:

    In the end, what you are calling the bigotry of the so-called religious right is actually just an inability of Christians to conform their views to a narrow, bigoted reigning liberal orthodoxy.
    Mark Noonan – 2007

    • JeremiahTMM June 2, 2019 / 10:35 pm

      Right on Mark! 😊👍👍

  12. Amazona June 2, 2019 / 10:48 pm

    “Elizabeth Warren set to introduce the Wrecking American Prosperity Under Marxism, or WAMPUM Act, wherein she gives everything away for free,” well-known conservative Erick Erickson wrote Thursday in a since-deleted tweet.

    I thought that was kind of funny.

    Twitter, not so much.

  13. Cluster June 3, 2019 / 8:15 am

    Morning Joe is the prototypical progressive show in terms of work ethic. Mika and Joe show up maybe half the time and are again “off” today. They rarely put in a full week. Funny as hell.

    And this morning is a beauty. George Will is apologizing for “this brand” of conservatism. And George Will talking with David Ignatius is a great example of clueless elites thinking they are still relevant. It was hilarious too when the panel admitted that Trump has 87% support of Republicans and they just couldn’t figure that out.

    It’s a head scratcher.

  14. jdge1 June 3, 2019 / 8:26 am

    Amidst Global Warming Hysteria, NASA Expects Global Cooling. Who’d have thought?!?

    • Cluster June 3, 2019 / 8:42 am

      Yes, of course. Who would have ever thought that sun activity has more impact on our climate than SUV’s and cow farts? It’s another head scratcher.

  15. Cluster June 3, 2019 / 8:47 am

    The biggest problem we confront is that Democrats are bone deep stupid and they don’t know it. In fact they think they are smart, have very high opinions of themselves and love to flatter each other. Conservatives really need to start their self awareness awakening by pointing out at every opportunity how ridiculous they have become. Case in point – Democrats like to claim they are the “party of women” right? Well:

    Transgender woman who previously competed in the men’s division wins women’s national title in the 400-meter hurdles at NCAA championship

    And they have convinced themselves that this is ok.

  16. Amazona June 3, 2019 / 10:41 am

    Earlier I posted some questions I thought important to the arguments about Trump and his guilt of whatever sin or crime currently makes him “evil” in the perception of Liberals. I recently had a chance to try them out on my Lib brother, while my conservative brother watched and laughed.

    Me: If Donald Trump had called someone he had gotten to know when he was working on building a Trump Tower in Moscow and asked if the guy had any interesting information on Hillary, would that have been a crime?
    Him: Yes
    Me. What crime? For almost three years we have been told it would have been a crime, if it happened, but so far no one has actually identified the crime. Maybe you know. What is the crime?
    Him: Well, it’s against the law to do that
    Me: Against what law? To be a crime, an act has to be identified as a crime by a legislature, then given a name and a definition and a statute number. So far none of these have been linked to what Trump supposedly did. So what is the crime?
    Him: Well, he obstructed justice
    Me: How?
    Him: He interfered in the investigation.
    Me: Investigation into what?
    Him: Into the crime
    Me: What crime? No real crime has ever been identified.
    Him: That’s what the investigation was about, and he tried to interfere with it.
    Me: How?
    Him: By interfering with the evidence
    Me: Evidence of what?
    Him: Of the crime
    Me: But there has never been a crime identified. And Comey told Trump he was not under investigation by anything. So what was there to obstruct?
    Him: That’s just it. He tried to stop them from finding the evidence.
    Me: Evidence of what?
    Him: Of a crime.
    Me: Our rule of law says that first something is declared to be a crime, identified and defined and given a statute number for reference. Then when it is determined that that specific crime has taken place, an investigation begins to try to find out who did it. Under a tyrannical government, a person is identified and then the government starts an investigation to try to find evidence that he did something they can punish him for. You seem to be arguing in favor of the tyranny, and I am on the side of a free society governed by our rule of law.
    Him: Blinking

    Then I described the Stasi Prison and how it was built to house people not for what they did but for what they thought, and the surveillance of citizens by the secret police to try to find excuses to investigate and prosecute them, and how the actions of the United States government in the time leading up to the election sounded very much like that.


    That’s when the other brother brought up the efforts to set up Papadopoulos as an example of a government agency going after someone just because he was associated with Trump. And I brought up the history of Mueller and his role in keeping innocent men in prison for three decades to help the FBI cover up what they had been doing.

    He muttered something about the dossier, and I think he was surprised when I was able to tell him about sitting in a group where someone brought it up and listening to three espionage experts, from Canada, England and the United States, dissect the dossier point by point and explain how absolutely NO one with any intelligence background could have taken any of it seriously, while two former KGB officers listened and smiled at the comments. And BTW, they all know Christopher Steele, the first three had worked with him, and they said they were amazed at the stupidity and clumsiness and dishonesty of the dossier and were disappointed in him that he had sunk so low. I don’t think he had ever heard anything from that perspective. I have to admit, it was kind of surreal to me, sitting there listening to these people who had so much real life experience, working with spies, knowing all these players, being personally involved in covert operations, openly discuss things like this. No one asked the Russians what they thought. No one had to. Their expressions said it all.

    I prefer to ask questions rather than argue my point, and it seems to upset Libs, who are used to just parroting what they have been told without thinking about it. I also think it effective to shift from anything that can be interpreted as a defense of Trump to an indictment of the Secret Police tactics of our own government and how they fit in so well with those of oppressive governments which used the same tactics to control their people.

    • jdge1 June 3, 2019 / 12:40 pm

      Well played. Your observation could be one of the keys to talking to left leaning people who still possess some sense of a brain.

      • Amazona June 3, 2019 / 2:07 pm

        Thanks. As I have said, we tend to get sucked into the bickering that passes for political discourse on the Left, and that is not productive. So instead of responding to attacks on Trump with defenses of him, I prefer to toss questions back to the Trump haters—simple questions.

        My brother simply never asked himself the question “what crime”? He never bothered to look into the nature of said alleged crime. He was told there was a crime and from there easily accepted that anything Trump did was an effort to hide evidence of his complicity in the crime.

        But the Left’s concoction is like Jenga—find the right key to pull out and the whole thing topples. And I am more and more convinced that the right key is the simple question “what crime?” “Before we can go on, we need to establish what we are talking about. So let’s find the statute that was violated so we can talk about it.”

        Aside from that, I find the Left at a loss to counter a mild observation that I am increasingly nervous about seeing my nation change into a country where people can be indicted and prosecuted for what they think and not for what they do. That’s a tough one to argue against.

      • jdge1 June 3, 2019 / 3:02 pm

        Unfortunately, most every “discussion” or Q&A with leftist almost always requires definition of terms prior to any gainful movement in the discussion. That effort alone rarely gets out of first gear. In your approach, you setup simple questions to which most people will struggle to answer or they’ll want to veer into a different direction or topic. To retain control of the conversation you bring them back to the question, simple direct questions where you use their answers for follow-up questions. You retain control of the conversation and let them paint themselves into a corner. I like it. As you’ve already suggested, alternate methods of talking with a leftist often ends up being nothing more than an opportunity for them to start bloviating – useless (not that talking to most leftist has value). But at least with this method, some of them might start questioning their own position. Who knows.

      • Amazona June 3, 2019 / 3:06 pm

        I was wondering why no one on the Left was ever specific, at least in Congressional rants and TV punditry, about the exact nature of the laws Trump was allegedly violating in his alleged contacts with alleged Russian agents or representatives. So I asked Mr. Computer if it is illegal to get information from a foreigner about an election campaign.

        The most detailed response was from a site called moresoftmoneyhardlaw, and while it was well written and superficially persuasive it was also heavily dependent on a couple of assertions stated as fact and on a rather convoluted analysis of both the law and the events that have the Left so upset.

        How strongly does the First Amendment protect a presidential nominee’s mobilization of foreign government support for his candidacy–support achieved through illegal activities?
        A test of this constitutional defense is whether it relies somehow on the fact that Mr. Trump and his campaign were open and notorious in courting Russian assistance.

        The law prohibits foreign nationals from providing “anything of value… in connection with” an election. The hacking of the Podesta emails, which were then transmitted to Wikileaks for posting, clearly had value, and its connection to the election is not disputed. None other than the Republican nominee said so publicly, egging on the Russians to locate and publish Clinton emails to aid his campaign. He famously declared: “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

        Note how heavily this all depends on the crystal ball approach to the event in question. First, there is the blithe assertion that “a presidential nominee” actually DID “mobilize” anything, as well as the unsupported claim that what was “mobilized” was really a “foreign government support for his candidacy”. That was “achieved through illegal activities”. Nothing like setting the stage for the drama to come.

        This sets up the claim that it is a FACT that “.. Mr. Trump and his campaign were open and notorious in courting Russian assistance…” This speculation is based on the interpretation that Trump was “…egging on the Russians to locate and publish Clinton emails to aid his campaign..”

        Yes, it all seems to hinge on the joke Trump made when he was pointing out how porous and poorly secured Clinton’s server had been. And it depends on two essential interpretations of the comment: That he was “open and notorious in courting Russian assistance” which is in turn based on the claim that his comment included a challenge to the Russians to locate and publish Clinton emails to aid his campaign..”

        We all heard him make the joke. Did anyone hear him instruct “the Russians” to PUBLISH the emails if they were able to find them, much less to do so to AID HIS CAMPAIGN? Of course not. It never happened. But this is the core of the argument. It is an invention. It is a lie. But it feeds the beast.

        That and the crime of using publicly known information from an outside,unrelated, source in his campaign rhetoric. Evidently, according to the highly biased pundits, even though it had become public knowledge that Clinton had said or done certain things, Trump was prohibited from commenting on them because they MIGHT have been made public through the actions of a foreign nation or someone from a foreign nation.

        A link in the article takes us to another steaming pile of mental excrement, cloaked in a lot of verbiage leading up to the dramatic conclusion:

        Paul Wood, a reporter at the BBC who’s been ahead of the pack on the Russia-Trump investigation, had some eye-catching information in a story back in March. He wrote:

        “This is a three-headed operation,” said one former official, setting out the case, based on the intelligence: Firstly, hackers steal damaging emails from senior Democrats. Secondly, the stories based on this hacked information appear on Twitter and Facebook, posted by thousands of automated “bots”, then on Russia’s English-language outlets, RT and Sputnik, then right-wing US “news” sites such as Infowars and Breitbart, then Fox and the mainstream media. Thirdly, Russia downloads the online voter rolls.

        The voter rolls are said to fit into this because of “microtargeting”. Using email, Facebook and Twitter, political advertising can be tailored very precisely: individual messaging for individual voters.

        “You are stealing the stuff and pushing it back into the US body politic,” said the former official, “you know where to target that stuff when you’re pushing it back.”

        This would take co-operation with the Trump campaign, it is claimed.

        Lots and lots of “eye-catching” words and even more conclusions and assumptions. There seems to be a gap between the hacking and the social media bot campaign. My memory is that the information was leaked to several sources before being picked up on social media, and also that the information appeared on left-wing Complicit Agenda Media sites as well as RT and Sputnik and then Fox and THEN those dreaded “right-wing” (sneering) “NEWS SITES” like Infowars and Brietbart. This seems to be a basic manipulation of facts and timelines.

        Then voter rolls ARE SAID to fit into this sinister scenario of Boris and Natasha plotting against Hillary. ARE SAID——a pretty good clue that usually means it never happened. Gossip. Or simple the spur of the moment invention to carry a narrative.

        Using email, Facebook and Twitter, political advertising can be tailored very precisely: individual messaging for individual voters. Yes, they can. But it is only considered threatening and ominous when linked to the possibility raised by some anonymous voice that this is linked to voter rolls and to (key ominous music…) RUSSIA !!!

        But this is all to lead us up to the melodramatic conclusion:
        This would take co-operation with the Trump campaign, IT IS CLAIMED. Probably by the same voices that “said” other things in the head of the author.

        And here we have the argument that “collusion” with someone from Russia resulted in the acquisition of information harmful to Clinton and could not have been done, it is claimed, without the co-operation of the Trump campaign. And because this information had value, it is a crime to use it. (Never mind the fact that even if it happened, the “value” would constitute an illegal campaign contribution, the kind of thing Obama’s campaign was mildly chided for.)

        Not only done, but done so skillfully that two years, hundreds of witnesses and nearly $40 million could not find not only proof but even evidence that any of it happened. And the mobs are still howling.

      • Amazona June 3, 2019 / 7:20 pm

        When you read the overheated rhetoric quoted in my last post, it is clear that these authors are pretty bright and probably tuned in to international politics, at least as much as I, a retired rancher in the West, am. Yet I, the retired rancher out in flyover country, have learned enough about Vladimir Putin and his tendency to hold grudges against people he thinks have wronged him, and about his long conflicts with the Clintons, to understand that if Russia DID engage in some mischief related to our election it was far more likely to be spite against Hillary than support for Trump.

        From one article about this, from Time, hardly a supporter or apologist for Trump: ’…when Russia’s flawed parliamentary elections set off a season of street protests, Clinton spoke up in support of the demonstrations. “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted,” Clinton said. “And that means they deserve free, fair, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.”

        It was a fairly tame statement of support for the Russian opposition movement. But Putin took it as a personal affront against his leadership, as well as a sign that Clinton was intent on manipulating the Russian presidential elections that were then just a few months away.

        With a campaign based on Cold War rhetoric against the conniving West, Putin won that vote handily, and it is easy to see how he would relish the chance to manipulate the U.S. presidential elections in return.

        Add to this the fact that the Left desires and foments discord, internal conflicts and chaos and societal instability as a matter of course. The Left never succeeds in any county where the people are secure and confident. We can see the antics of the International Left hard at work in the United States as they create divisiveness, paranoia, even overt hatred among the splintered groups they have created. There is no way Russia was going to pass up the chance to add to the discord and fragmentation of American society by ignoring the opportunity to feed hysteria, rage, hatred and suspicion that could be related, in their minds, to the election.

        The American Left is, pretty much by definition, mentally and emotionally unbalanced. There is no other way to explain why people in a free and prosperous society strive so hard to make it less free and less prosperous. We see proofs of the instability of their emotions and thought processes every day. So it has been easy for the Left to get them even more stirred up and feed the flames of their fury and confusion and hatred by giving them the illusion of a target deserving of all this.

        So we have two clear, independent reasons for Russia to have become involved in the election and its aftermath, and not a single reason for believing that either of them has anything to do with Donald Trump.

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