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Open Thread

2017 May 12
by Ian Welsh

Please use this to talk among yourselves, should you choose. Trump fires Comey (he needed firing, but, ummm, not like this); and Sessions decides that the drug war should go back to the 90s.

Ick.

54 Responses
  1. May 12, 2017

    Sessions has announced that he is starting the New New Jim Crow. Just like the old New Jim Crow.

  2. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 12, 2017

    Soon enough, the Official DOJ Seal will be changed from this to this.

  3. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    May 12, 2017

    Is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III enforcing the law, or persecuting the Democrat voter base? Tough to tell – the two mysteriously seem to share an ontological identity.

  4. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 12, 2017

    B of Oz demonstrates once again why I consider coming here to be the Internet version of “slumming” nowadays. 😛

  5. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 12, 2017

    Is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III enforcing the law, or persecuting the Democrat voter base? Tough to tell – the two mysteriously seem to share an ontological identity.

    To misquote Dean Wormer:

    R@cist, misogynist, and stupid is no way to go through life, son. 😈

  6. ProNewerDeal permalink
    May 12, 2017

    ^Mor0n, please. Ian is an intellectual with a unique perspective, with a track record of correct predictions in both US & Canadian politics.

    In contrast, your Dear Leader’s Dead Ender #ImWithHer Cultist blog, dedicated to the Dear Leader^2 Hillary, who in turn worships her DearLeader oligarchy owners (Wall $treet, MIC, etc).

    It is obvious which of the 2 blogs are the “slums”.

    BTW, Hillary 2016: “MedicareForAll will never, ever happen!” IBW cosigning this, claiming that MedicareForAll supporters are equivalent to right-wing fascists because “Horsehoe Theory”, & that IBW (Stats 101) is as anti-science as Trump (climatology) retorting to the fact that 60% of USians support MedicareForAll with “I don’t believe in polls”.

    2017-May, a majority of House Ds now cosponsor the HR676 MedicareForAll bill.

    Hillary & IBW in 1963: “equal Civil Rights & Voting Rights for all Americans will never, ever happen!”

    Hillary & IBW in 1919: “womens’ Voting Rights will never, ever happen!”

    etc

  7. May 12, 2017

    ProNewerDeal,

    ???

    Bill was clearly criticizing the commenter above him, not Ian.

  8. May 12, 2017

    This is all super-unsurprising. BOO reveals what it’s about: the appearance of targeting blacks, even if the sword is likely to start cutting both ways.

  9. TacJack permalink
    May 12, 2017

    America. the ugly, has risen!

  10. May 12, 2017

    It used to be that if someone asked “What does a leader do and how are the effective?” I could respond with something like “A leader doesn’t have to know everything but they do have to surround themselves with effective people who really know their information because the leader needs to consolidate that information into a cohesive plan.”

    But I can’t give that response anymore (or anything similar to it) because it is no longer descriptive. The modern leader I encounter would rather pass the entire leadership process (forming plans from quality information in order to take action) down the chain of command to the lowest level possible. These modern leaders prefer “strategic ignorance” (plausible deniability) to receiving information. And lastly, these modern leaders rarely plans because they have little to no skin in the game.

    I no longer know how to best describe the modern leaders I encounter because they seem to sabotage and spread chaos. I really don’t know how things have gotten so bad but quality leadership seems to be fading away.

  11. Peter permalink
    May 12, 2017

    Holder’s “Smart on crime’ directive was issued in 20l3 not the ’90s and all it did was save the government some money leaving criminals on the street so we see more violence in some cities today.

    So long as we have ghettos and segregation we’ll have the permanent circle of crime and violence. Long harsh sentences do reduce the criminal acts that lead to the violence and they relieve some of the terror on the streets but it can’t solve the problem.

  12. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 12, 2017

    ProNewerDeal,

    ???

    Bill was clearly criticizing the commenter above him, not Ian.

    NR: PND is a good soul, but his passion gets the better of his reason quite often.

    IW is what PND says he is, but, for reasons which escape me, he has allowed his blog to become a haven for fascists, at ever-mounting expense to his reputation. This is why I have come to think of visiting here as “slumming”.

  13. Willy permalink
    May 12, 2017

    Fascists would be more entertaining targets if they had the good sense to know when they’ve been soundly mole-wacked. But they just seem to pop right back up. I think it’s part of the charm of this place.

    Meth is the current worst drug of choice. The incidences in this map don’t look concentrated around urban areas. But then, these are lab locations:
    http://drugabuse.com/featured/10-years-of-meth-lab-explosions/assets/images/800x546x10,P20years,P20of,P20meth,P20lab,P20explosions-02.jpg.pagespeed.ic._kz_M_OZ3S.jpg

    If it is indeed mostly rust belt whites…

  14. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    May 12, 2017

    Comey obviously needed to be fired, and Trump should be impeached for firing him. Can anyone square this circle? What’s more, it’s doubtful that would even crack the top 10 craziest things you’re now required to believe.

  15. Ian Welsh permalink*
    May 12, 2017

    A haven for fascists? There are maybe two regular commenters who qualify, and I think it’s quite useful to have them here. It saves a lot of time to have the various varieties of Hasbra give us the party line.

    Perhaps I should moderate comments a bit more aggressively, but it’s a dangerous and time consuming hole to fall into.

    (Honestly, I feel the only way to do it properly would be to turn on comment pre-approval and rigidly enforce no personal attacks. But when I suggested that a couple years ago the regulars hated the idea, not unreasonably, since it would stifle conversation.

  16. Hugh permalink
    May 12, 2017

    What we are seeing is factional infighting within the ruling classes. Or to put it more simply there are a lot of black hats going at it at the moment but this does not imply any good will come out of it for the rest of us.

    I agree with Ian about Comey. He was a bad choice when Obama chose him to head the FBI four years ago. Comey is an authoritarian who has continued and expanded the FBI’s use of warrantless searches. There is this argument that restrictions on law enforcement should be loosened so that they can go out and catch the bad guys. This is a fallacy. What it, in fact, does is create a culture of impunity and ends up in sloppy police work. It is precisely keeping a tight leash on law enforcement and forcing them to behave according to the highest standards that result in professional, responsible, and effective policing.

    After 9/11, the focus of the FBI changed from crime to terrorism. It was reasonably competent at combatting crime, but it has been mostly a waste on terrorism. While Comey did not begin this trend, he certainly has perpetuated it.

    None of this excuses the total botch of Trump’s firing of him. Watching the Trump Administration, if you can qualify anything so disorganized as an Administration, is a lot like watching an endless series of Rashomons. First, you get the news release and/or twitter version of the story. Then you get the Trump minions and Press Secretary version of it. Then you get the outside press view of it that comes out in bits and pieces. Then you get the Donald’s second version, followed by a more detailed and cohesive timeline provided by the press.

    The press is another black hat in this. In criticism of Trump, it actually does a reasonable job, but as soon as Trump adheres to or capitulates to the Washington Consensus, it goes all braindead again, praising him as finally responsible and adult, etc.

    Meanwhile Trump seems bent on laying the groundwork for his own impeachment and doing it in record time. As I keep saying, it’s not the crime but the coverup. So after firing Comey, and having his own version of events contradicted, he tried to intimidate Comey into silence. This is all going south fast. And as usual, it is all self-inflicted. Trump is completely incapable of STFU, letting anything go, minimizing his losses, and moving on. I mean the guy is still trying to contest that he lost the popular vote.

    Anyway for those interested, here is the applicable bit of 18 U.S. Code § 1512 – Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant:

    (b) Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—

    (1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person
    in an official proceeding;
    (2) cause or induce any person to—
    (A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding;
    (B) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding;
    (C ) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or
    (D) be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process; or
    (3) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation [1] supervised release,,[1] parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
    (c ) Whoever corruptly—
    (1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or
    (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so,

    Sorry, this would be clearer but I can’t format or indent it. Basically, b is the main heading, 1 is the subheading, and A is the sub subheading.
    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
    (d) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from—
    (1) attending or testifying in an official proceeding;
    (2) reporting to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation 1 supervised release,,1 parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
    (3) arresting or seeking the arrest of another person in connection with a Federal offense; or
    (4) causing a criminal prosecution, or a parole or probation revocation proceeding, to be sought or instituted, or assisting in such prosecution or proceeding;
    or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.
    (e) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, it is an affirmative defense, as to which the defendant has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct consisted solely of lawful conduct and that the defendant’s sole intention was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to testify truthfully.
    (f) For the purposes of this section—
    (1) an official proceeding need not be pending or about to be instituted at the time of the offense; and
    (2) the testimony, or the record, document, or other object need not be admissible in evidence or free of a claim of privilege.

  17. Hugh permalink
    May 12, 2017

    This should have appeared at the bottom of the quote and not in the middle of it:

    Sorry, this would be clearer but I can’t format or indent it. Basically, b is the main heading, 1 is the subheading, and A is the sub subheading.

  18. Peter permalink
    May 12, 2017

    It’s good to see Ian resisting the forces of censorship especially seeing who has appointed himself gatekeeper. The real ugly and racist rants are rare here and are quickly condemned and the word fascist has about as much meaning as progressive does today.

    When the so called progressives are more than supporting a witch-hunt, backed a coup and continue to undermine a president and the so called fascists are defending the nation’s democratic institutions, we live in strange days.

  19. Tom permalink
    May 12, 2017

    The Solution to all these problems is quite clear. More direct democracy in the vein of the constitution the Turks recently adopted.

    The bicameral Congress needs to go and be replaced by a Unicameral Senate elected by proportional votes by Party in order to start breaking the Rs and Ds. Presidents and Senators need to serve the same term lengths and be elected at the same time.

    Majority rule must be firmly established to avoid parliamentary gridlock which serves no one and Impeachment possible for any Public Official including the president for any violation of the Penal Codes.

    Also to override a veto, the Senate need only re-adopt the bill and pass it again by majority vote.

  20. Some Guy permalink
    May 13, 2017

    One of the reasons I come here (aside from the wisdom if our host, obviously) is that it is a rare place where you find people expressing opinions all over the map. If IBW needs a safe space, there’s an entire internet of echo chambers out there to choose from.

    Closer to home, it is interesting to see the changes in the recent B.C. election. What was once a geographically interspersed mix of left and right leaning ridings seems to be converging partly towards an urban/coastal vs rural/interior split, as we have seen in many other places around the world.

    On the left (N.D.P.) side, the coalition of blue collar union workers and urban minorities/progressives is losing seats in rural areas to the right wing while making gains in urban areas, much as the Democrats have been doing in the U.S.. On the right, the ‘Liberal’ (actually right wing) alliance of anti-government rural types, wealthy city folks and Chinese immigrants held for another election, but it seems that a lot of the city ridings are starting to peel away. I wonder how stable this coalition is long term. At some point when the rural ridings start doing things like electing Trump as leader or voting for Brexit, they cease being useful to the rich or acceptable to the Chinese (speculating), but remain useful to nationalist types such as Theresa May.

    The Liberals in B.C. have long worked hard and mostly successfully to suppress the emergence of a right wing ‘wild rose’ type party to split the right wing vote, but I wonder if that will keep working if and when they are defeated in an election.

    Going back to the urban/rural split, I think about the town I grew up in and compare my parent’s generation who settled there and their children (my generation) who seem to have been through ‘the great sort’ with strivier types all gone away and more traditionally minded people all remaining behind. Combined with high immigration to the big urban areas and little or none to small towns and it really starts to create a big divide in the composition of the different areas.

  21. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 13, 2017

    Majority rule must be firmly established to avoid parliamentary gridlock which serves no one and Impeachment possible for any Public Official including the president for any violation of the Penal Codes.

    Also to override a veto, the Senate need only re-adopt the bill and pass it again by majority vote.

    What happens if the majority proves to consist of depraved nincompoops? “Gridlock” serves to protect the human rights of minorities against the tyranny of an immoral majority.

  22. Uncle Ume permalink
    May 13, 2017

    Donald J. Trump, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, H.R. Clinton, Michael Pence, et al. prove that you can judge a book by its cover!
    I am frightened by what truly lurks under their ‘covers’ because what they are showing us, and have been for years, is dangerous to solving problems in a well thought out, rational, and just way that is for the good of all. The blatant disregard that they have for the U.S. Constitution, while paying ‘lip service’, is despicable. Their agendas are not good public policy; those are nothing more than masquerade for their delusional, selfish, and warped ideologies.

    Although a concept of visual diagnosis to see a person’s mental and physical health based on Oriental (now p.c. ‘Asian’ by some I suppose) Diagnosis presented by Mr. Kushi in 1979 is readily dismissed by most Western thought on the subject; the visual and behavioral messages of those people mentioned above have sent me to revisit this version of diagnosis for insight into the troubles that these sick human beings are heaping upon this country and the world.

  23. Hugh permalink
    May 13, 2017

    Uncle Ume, it is dead easy to diagnose visually the people you mention. If their lips are moving, they are lying.

    What is interesting about the sainted US Constitution is that it was written to divvy up power among the rich. That the rich and powerful pay less and less attention to it is because they don’t need to to maintain their wealth and power.

  24. Hugh permalink
    May 13, 2017

    I thought I would clean up and reboot the law: 18 U.S. Code § 1512 – Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant, I cited above to make it more readable. Hope this helps.

    (b) Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding; cause or induce any person to withhold testimony, or hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

    (c ) Whoever corruptly obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

    (d) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from attending or testifying in an official proceeding; reporting to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense; or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.

    (e) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, it is an affirmative defense, as to which the defendant has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct consisted solely of lawful conduct and that the defendant’s sole intention was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to testify truthfully.

    (f) For the purposes of this section an official proceeding need not be pending or about to be instituted at the time of the offense; and the testimony, or the record, document, or other object need not be admissible in evidence or free of a claim of privilege.

  25. realitychecker permalink
    May 13, 2017

    Rotten players dominating a rotten system. Perhaps the system needs to be changed? Perhaps some of the perpetual bad actors need to be removed from the system? Yeah, crazy, I know.

    Re censorship: Dog forbid that it should ever pollute this rarefied space!

    I would note, and hope that others take note, that all political correctness is an attempt at censorship. At some point, the costs outweigh the benefits, the only difficulty is determining exactly where that point is. I have no difficulty determining that we are already way past that point. Way past.

    Openly confronting and discussing hard truths and obvious untruths is the only rational way forward, IMO.

    More of the same will only get us more of the same. Ditto for the continued sloppy misuse of political labels.

    The recent election was a Hail Mary pass to try and re-direct our country’s path. If it fails to achieve that, we will be left with only revolution as a way to reclaim the country, and the planet, for regular folks.

    A happy ending is not guaranteed.

  26. StewartM permalink
    May 13, 2017

    @Peter

    When the so called progressives are more than supporting a witch-hunt, backed a coup and continue to undermine a president and the so called fascists are defending the nation’s democratic institutions

    Exactly what democratic institutions are the ‘so-called fascists’ defending? Is appointing Kris Kobach to suppress voters being able to cast a ballot “democracy”? Or is it changing the First Amendment to make it easier for a Prez to sue journalists who write stories that make him (or her) sad an integral part of democracy? Or is it a Prez being able to shut down any investigation of himself that makes him sad or look bad “democracy”?

    Trump has revealed himself to be just another rich business dude who thinks just because he’s rich in a capitalist system that almost never allows the rich to fail, no matter how incompetent they are, that he’s something special. Many years ago, as a college student, one of the jobs I had involved serving our local ‘notables’, and I found them to be among the stupidest, most unimaginative, and boorish people I had ever met. Te more I see of Trump, the more I am reminded of them.

    Like many other business dictators “leaders” who are used to barking orders and abusing groveling underlings, he is out of his depth in a system where he has to bring along people who are truly independent. The reason why his followers think he’s competent is due to the slanted reporting of our news media, which routinely finds misconduct and inefficiency and screwups in public, open, institutions while even worse misconduct, inefficiency, and outright fuckups almost never exposed in the corporate or business world (or in the US military or security state). That’s why many Americans wrongly think “business = efficient” and/or “military = efficient” while “domestic government = inefficient”. The simple truth is the reverse is much more nearly true, as the best way to correct inefficiency and misconduct is to expose it. People in the 1930s likewise thought “fascism makes the trains run on time” while “democracy is hopelessly inefficient” until fascism was defeated and after 1945 we were able to go through their records and see how insanely inefficient and screwed up their war economies were. I have worked at many business, large and small, throughout my life and trust me, the screwups and stupidity I have witnessed is at least as great if not more than what I have ever read about any domestic governmental misconduct.

    There’s another bias at work why people support rich assholes like Trump–maybe uniquely American, or uniquely Western. My mom used to have a sign that said “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?”—inferring that there is an equivalence between wealth and smarts. Any comparison of truly acknowledged smart people, living and dead, versus their rich contemporariness shows that’s not true. Rich people may be rich because they have a talent for accumulating wealth and a vision for a business, but more often they either started life rich (like Trump! Some have calculated that Trump would have been even wealthier than now if he had just kept his inherited wealth in the markets and played golf all the time) or are heartless crooks. Just look at this blog–Ian’s a heckuva lot smarter and more perceptive than the vast majority of pols, pundits, and our Prez., but he’s living hand-to-mouth. Yet a coworker of mine (a Trump supporter) when I point out something to her that Ian writes that she disagrees with she uses Ian’s lack of wealth to “rebut” his argument.

  27. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    May 13, 2017

    Hugh’s version of the party line:

    None of this excuses the total botch of Trump’s firing of him. Watching the Trump Administration, if you can qualify anything so disorganized as an Administration, is a lot like watching an endless series of Rashomons. First, you get the news release and/or twitter version of the story. Then you get the Trump minions and Press Secretary version of it..

    Comey needed to be fired, but Trump should be impeached for firing him, because you don’t like his media relations tactics. Honestly, Trump could eat a ham sandwich and you would call for his impeachment because he ate it anti-semitically or something.

    Meanwhile Trump seems bent on laying the groundwork for his own impeachment and doing it in record time. As I keep saying, it’s not the crime but the coverup.

    For there to be a coverup, doesn’t there ordinarily first need to be a crime? We need to keep pointing out that the ongoing concerted screaming by the left is not actually evidence of anything.

  28. Peter permalink
    May 13, 2017

    @Hugh

    If you’re going to carry water for these feeble Trump attackers you need a bucket with fewer holes. I don’t think the former holder of J Edgar Hoover’s position can be described as a witness, victim or an informant. All Trump did was warn Comey to not spread rumors or lie about these issues which was good advice.

  29. Willy permalink
    May 13, 2017

    The bickering at the natural urban/rural split (what farmer worries about traffic?) will remain
    a continuously unresolved sideshow as long as the well-lobbied powerful own almost all actual government results. https://act.represent.us/sign/the-problem

    That tribal bickering even has a built in enhancement mechanism, where citizens will redirect all their growing sense of powerlessness about corrupt government towards “the other side”, because they ignorantly believe that’s the only possible enemy.

  30. Willy permalink
    May 13, 2017

    RC, if it’s revolution, organizations like Represent.Us, presents many potential allies and enablers (I personally watch South Dakota).

    I think your repeating revolt talk around here is limiting yourself. You claim to have knowledge of human psychology. You would then be aware of this:

    https://www.careerplanner.com/MB2/TypeInPopulation.cfm
    (I’m sure there are more credible stats, but this is a handy chart)

    You will have noticed that those types forming over 50% of the general population are notorious for being traditional thinkers (lemmings). The people that frequent here (mostly, skeptical free thinkers), would test nearest the bottom, forming a far smaller percentage of the general population. (supported by many political blog posts and comments related to this subject).

  31. StewartM permalink
    May 13, 2017

    IBW:

    What happens if the majority proves to consist of depraved nincompoops?

    Actually, the majority isn’t. We are being governed by a minority in all three branches (the Repubs lost the popular votes for Prez, House, and Senate). And that’s just of those who cast votes; given our system of overt and covert voter suppression, both by design, both political parties only win with small minorities, even in “landslides”.

    Some of us consider that a big part of the problem.

  32. Peter permalink
    May 13, 2017

    @Stew

    How low can you go beyond defending the lying Clintonite media from being held liable for the damage their lies cause. Witch-hunting, spreading rumors and lies is not defending the first amendment, it’s using it for an anti-democratic agenda.

    I was referring to what people are doing outside of the government at blogs where the division is clear with one group set on a mindless destructive agenda while others warn that this is dangerous self-centered behavior.

    It will be interesting in a few years to compare the records of Tillerson and Sessions with those of Clinton and Holder, the good the bad and the ugly.

  33. Willy permalink
    May 13, 2017

    StewartM,
    …‘notables’, and I found them to be among the stupidest, most unimaginative, and boorish people I had ever met

    As an intern I was awestruck by the muckamucks at my global corporation, always so confidently well dressed and poised. I remember one gracing my lowly group of minions with his prescience. He barely spoke, instead having people from his entourage doing that for him.

    After a few years employed there I was quickly jaded by all the incompetent bullshit. Then I actually had separate sit downs with three of them in different settings (one out of necessity, two coincidental). Up close and personal, I got to “feel them”. One was nothing more than an oily salesman. Another was almost entirely clueless about what we even did there. The third was very nervous around me, and managed an escape from our meeting never to be seen or heard from again. None of them demonstrated even the slightest interest in what was actually happening down in the trenches, let alone how they could improve things for those below them to try and increase profits in their own divisions. They were actors, politicians and stuffed shirt assholes.

    Today that company is notorious for being so dependent on lobby influences, that if a truly competitive capitalistic world did ever arise it would quickly collapse. Changing the entire culture to eliminate all the systemic rot is the only answer, but the creeps at the top would be exposing themselves as the incompetents they truly are.

  34. nihil obstet permalink
    May 13, 2017

    At some point, probably when founders no longer ran their own companies, professional managers took over. Then the business schools were established. “Management” ceased to be a function and became a status. As Charles I of England said shortly before his beheading, “a subject and a sovereign are clean different things.” Your managers believe that workers and managers are clean different things, and they have no interest in or responsibility for doing anything to make the organization effective. Their sole interest is their position within the hierarchy.

    Same with “leaders”.

  35. Hugh permalink
    May 13, 2017

    I agree with StewartM. What democratic institutions? The House is gerrymandered. In the Senate, half the population is represented by 18 Senators while the other slightly less than half is represented by 82. The Presidency is determined by a similarly rigged electoral college. The two main parties are hopelessly corrupt and have installed major obstacles to any third party challenges of their duopoly. And the Supreme Court has been a reactionary haven of the haves against the have-nots, the few against the many, for all but about 20 years of its 227 year history.

    Blizzard of Oz, I have no party affiliation. And no you do not need an underlying crime for their to be a coverup which violates the law.

    To rephrase Peter, “All the Mafia boss did was warn his accountant to not spread rumors or lie about his business which was good advice.” Who could have problems with such sensible advice? So nothing to see here. Move along.

    As I have said before, it is going to take a lot of Trump supporters years and maybe never to tire of his constant, pointless, and deeply self-destructive lies and his failure to actually deliver on any but the most atmospheric of his campaign promises.

  36. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 13, 2017

    If IBW needs a safe space, there’s an entire internet of echo chambers out there to choose from.

    SG, it’s not my blog, so it’s not my reputation at risk.

  37. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 13, 2017

    StewartM speaks much truth, so let me rephrase myself:

    What happens if the majority of my ethnic group, which is artificially advantaged in our corrupt system, proves to consist of depraved nincompoops?

  38. StewartM permalink
    May 13, 2017

    Peter

    How low can you go beyond defending the lying Clintonite media from being held liable for the damage their lies cause. Witch-hunting, spreading rumors and lies is not defending the first amendment, it’s using it for an anti-democratic agenda.

    I’m not here to defend the Clintons, or Obama for that matter, but as Trump himself and all his supporters plus the right-wing noise machine routinely tell lies (I mean, Obama was not born in the US, for starters). Witch-hunting? Vince Foster? Pizzagate? Whitewater? (Shall we bring up Kenneth Starr’s barbaric treatment of the McDougals, which includes denying medical treatment to Jim McDougal while he was suffering prostate cancer in prison?). Obama covertly a member of the Muslim brotherhood? That Obama took 34 warships with him to India on a personal vacation to stay at the Taj Mahal for $200 a day?? Me, I’m wonder how I missed the Obama’s America dystopia predicted by D’Souza in 2012.

    Since I see no evidence the Right wants to stop lying, the only reason why they would then ponder tweaking the First Amendment to allow suits is just another way to muzzle critics while allowing *their* lying continues unabated. They are obviously anticipating a change in the law so that only will be used against others, not themselves.

    I was referring to what people are doing outside of the government at blogs where the division is clear with one group set on a mindless destructive agenda while others warn that this is dangerous self-centered behavior.

    No, no no. What people say in blogs outside of government IS part of democracy, pure and simple, be it truth or lies. The First Amendment has been interpreted to make it very hard to prosecute someone for libel in the political arena, almost impossible unless one can prove that the lie was deliberate and done with malicious intent. It’s the very reason I am not ‘het up about “Russia!” because, when it comes down to it, whatever “fake news” the Russians were posting in favor of Trump by paid trolls was no different than the fake news the Clinton camp spread about Sanders.

    Now it’s Trump’s turn. If he can’t take the heat, as Truman says, he should get out of the kitchen.

  39. Peter permalink
    May 14, 2017

    @Stew

    The Birther meme was hilarious entertainment that almost no one believed and it was started by a Clintonite. It burned brightly on the fringe but had no MSM support or support from any other of the chattering classes.

    The witch-hunt aimed at Trump and his team has almost all of the news and opinion mediums pumping out this rot and pernicious lies in concert. This is unprecedented mob like behavior being led and fed by the so-called respectable Clintonites. These liars reach and influence millions of people every day and are using old black propaganda tactics of special secret knowledge and repetition to move their agenda.

  40. realitychecker permalink
    May 14, 2017

    @ Willy

    You seem to have confused yourself into thinking my goal is to have the most un-smart people agree with me.

    Totally wrong, and a good indication that you don’t read my stuff very carefully.

  41. Fred permalink
    May 14, 2017

    “Capitalism is terrible. Oh it’s ruined the world. By the way please subscribe to my website.Food isnt free.” Haha what an idiot.

  42. StewartM permalink
    May 14, 2017

    @Peter

    The Birther meme was hilarious entertainment that almost no one believed and it was started by a Clintonite. It burned brightly on the fringe but had no MSM support or support from any other of the chattering classes.

    The Birther Movement “nobody believes”? 41 % of Republicans believe it!!

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/new-poll-shows-that-41-of-republicans-still-dont-think-obama-was-born-in-the-u-s/

    And among Trump supporters, 61 % believe he was born in another country, and 66 % believed he was a Muslim. Trump himself made his name pedaling this crap.

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2015/08/trump-supporters-think-obama-is-a-muslim-born-in-another-country.html

    The witch-hunt aimed at Trump and his team has almost all of the news and opinion mediums pumping out this rot and pernicious lies in concert.

    No one forced Trump to support a stinking piece of crap for of a health care bill that will kill or bankrupt his core supporters. He could have well sat back, watched the Ryancare bill crash and burn, and started anew. No one forced him to betray his campaign promises not to gut Medicaid. No one forced him to appoint alligators from the swamp to his cabinet who advise him to betray all his core promises to his supporters and govern pretty much like the people they *didn’t choose*, Cruz and/or Jeb! No one is forcing him to act exactly like he’s guilty by firing investigators (not just Comey) who dare get close to looking into his holdings. No one is forcing him not to release his taxes as if he’s got something to hide.

    You seem to think the “Clintonite” media has some magical unicorn power to bring Trump down, although despite the power you think it has it couldn’t get ‘the Red Queen’ elected. No, no no, all of Trump’s problem start in his mirror. If he had actually tried to pass a good health care plan like he promised, something closer to single payer (which he used to support) or at least the public option, if Prez Trump actually governed like candidate Trump pre-Pence, then he could have been quite popular despite anything the Clinton camp said. The fact his popularity is declining is all due to unnecessary, self-inflicted wounds by betraying his constituency and governing like any ordinary rightwing Republican.

  43. StewartM permalink
    May 14, 2017

    @Fred

    “Capitalism is terrible. Oh it’s ruined the world. By the way please subscribe to my website.Food isnt free.” Haha what an idiot.

    Heh, someone else who apparently doesn’t understand what “capitalism” is. (Hint: what Ian is asking for isn’t capitalism).

  44. Willy permalink
    May 14, 2017

    RC, good luck with your ivory tower revolution.

  45. realitychecker permalink
    May 15, 2017

    @ Willy

    Good luck with playing the teacher when you aren’t even a decent student.

    You and TSMB are the most prolific commenters here these days, but you offer nothing of value. Just empty cynicism and cheap mockery

    I guess you both get to save money compared to paying for actual group therapy, though. 🙂

  46. realitychecker permalink
    May 15, 2017

    @ Fred

    Congratulations, you are the Asshole of the Day. 🙂

  47. realitychecker permalink
    May 15, 2017

    @ StewratM

    You know, I really enjoy your writings, because you are obviously a smart guy, but I am flummoxed by the way you deal with the lying by the Dems as opposed to the lying by the Trumpers.

    The only rational way to deal with liars is to reject them. (Maybe to kill them, I’m still cogitating on that one lol.)

    Anyone who lies to you is trying to fuck you. They deserve zero mercy, zero empathy, zero understanding, zero excuses.

    They are the ones causing all the misery in the world.

  48. Peter permalink
    May 15, 2017

    @Stew

    The minority of people who believed in the Birther story saw something odd about Obama and this was their only way to express their feelings. There was something strange, alien and phony about this unknown messiah. It took very little time for Obama to show everyone he was what these people feared.

    Trump’s campaign promise was to dismantle Obama’s health insurance plan and that’s what is happening. Trying to produce something ‘better’ may be impossible because republicans aren’t inclined to tax, penalize and spend other peoples money on these kind of programs.

    The MSM may be losing viewers and they aren’t trusted but they still reach millions of people nightly. What they and the snowflakes are doing isn’t magic. The Russian hacking fiasco is much like other witch-hunts used by the Nazis and here during the HUAC fiasco. With their control of the media, polls and pundits they try to create the appearance of Trump voters turning on him and use that false narrative to feed their delusion of bringing republican congress critters into their madness.

    Trump only has a few tools to keep the snowflakes turning themselves inside out and he’s using them to best advantage. His tax returns are a dependable frustration that keeps gnawing at the snowflakes so why throw it away. The whining pleas for a special prosecutor and its refusal is another thorn in the losers side even though there is nothing to prosecute.

  49. Willy permalink
    May 15, 2017

    In the magical world of RC, the 1% who get him will suddenly burst forth from the ivory towers with their laser pointers, realitychecker sarcasmm and knuckle-rap rulers to show reality who’s boss.

    No wait. It’ll be their students. The teachers are refusing to participate.

  50. Willy permalink
    May 15, 2017

    “you offer nothing of value”

    You may want to fix your reading glasses. What do you have against a good and decent organization full of potential allies, for your own cause?

  51. realitychecker permalink
    May 15, 2017

    It’s a shame that half-trained children get to run wild here without parental supervision.

  52. Willy permalink
    May 15, 2017

    Should those suffering from dementia be allowed to supervise? A debate for another time.

  53. realitychecker permalink
    May 16, 2017

    Willy is the perfect name for such an obnoxious dick. Your mom must have known something.

  54. Willy permalink
    May 16, 2017

    Sigh. Once again, you prove why somebody would vote for “a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar”. Not the best start for earning revolutionary street cred.

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