The winners and losers of the Mueller revelations

As the information trickles out that the Mueller report probably will not end the Trump administration, it is worth thinking about how the broader landscape has changed, and who might be the winners and losers.

Politically, the biggest loser is probably Joe Biden.  The belief that he can run as the “safest,” most vetted Democrat against an ailing, politically destroyed Trump all of a sudden seems less relevant.  It now seems more important that Biden has run for president several times before, and never done extremely well, in part because he has not been an entirely convincing campaigner.  He’s never come close to winning the nomination.  He is a candidate of the past, for better or worse, but the dominant mood may not be one of restoration.  The Mueller report makes it clear that we really are in a post-Obama era, and that even Trump critics need to be thinking about what comes next rather than looking to the past.

Which candidates then are helped the most?  Most likely that would be the dynamic or potentially dynamic, relatively centrist Democrats, and that includes Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg (dynamic in a Mister Rogers sort of way), and Kamala Harris.  I don’t see the candidates further to the left getting a boost from this development.  Many Democrats might have been tempted to think: “Trump is so sure to lose, this is our chance to get a real radical in.”  That now seems like a less convincing chain of reasoning.

There is another reason why Beto and Buttigieg might benefit, and that has to do with the risks from not so securely vetted candidates.  It now seems they can survive in office, even if they partially screw up, as long as they don’t commit too many obviously treasonous crimes.

On the Congressional side, Nancy Pelosi looks wise for having talked down impeachment fervor in advance.  Her political capital ought to go up and it probably will.

Many Democratic Congresspeople are better off too.  Had the report levied stronger charges against Trump, they would have faced pressures from their base to impeach, even though impeachment might not have played well with independent and centrist voters.  It is now likely those charges have been defused.  Policy wonks may come back into fashion again, at least relative to where things stood a month or two ago.

Within the Republican Party, the Never Trumpers lost further ground, and in any case the momentum has been turning against them.  Mike Pence has kept whatever political future he had, and he will not seem unacceptable as a president, due to moral taint, if say Trump later has to step down because of illness.

The media comes up as one of the biggest losers.  While Matt Taibbi’s recent critical account is exaggerated, the mainstream media did talk up the Russia collusion story for two years plus, and now it seems overdone.  After the media botched the “Hillary’s emails” story, there was plenty of talk of “never again.”  It now seems that all along a new false set of stories was being created, albeit in a different direction.  That will be perceived as a significant loss of media credibility, even if you think there is a more finely grained exculpatory story involving accountability some highly suspicious circumstances.

The bigger negative effect may be on media profitability.  Trump- and Russia-related stories often have done very well for getting clicks, and indeed the dramatic stakes with those issues have been very, very high.  But now it is easy to see the American public losing a lot of its interest in this line of inquiry.  The line of “Trump is still corrupt and New York state now will get at him,” while quite possibly correct, isn’t nearly as big of a draw.

Among intellectuals, Glenn Greenwald has been insisting throughout that the Russia collusion story was phony.  Whether or not his extreme skepticism was entirely correct, he is due to rise in status.  Ross Douthat of The New York Times also had been suggesting that the Russia collusion angle may not pan out and some of his columns now seem pretty wise.  John Brennan loses big time.

Oh, and another beneficiary is Steve Moore, Trump’s most recent nominee to the Federal Reserve Board.  He has come in for a great deal of critical commentary, but at this point Republican Senators are less likely to cross a jubilant, resurgent Trump on the matter of a single nomination, and not one very much in the public eye.

The biggest winner of course is the United States of America.  It seems, after all, that we did not have a president, or even presidential staff, who colluded with the Russians.  Maybe you wanted Trump to go down on this one, but that is most of all big reason to celebrate.


I found the Barr letter interesting, and my own mild reaction to it. Narrowly, it says Trump did not engage in criminal conspiracy in the election. It leaves open the question of whether his often strange reactions to that first question might be obstruction. Whether his strange reactions were foolish, or useful to a foreign power.

Recall for instance the curious choice to say, a few times, that he believed Putin that he didn't meddle, and not our intelligence services.

And that was what actually made me believe this favored Biden, as a fairly simple inverse Trump. More principled, more reasoned, calm, and representative of a very recent better age.

The other candidates, even the moderate ones, bring some nonstandard dimensions that make them more complex than not-Trump.

Yes, please double down on this. You know it's bound to work eventually.

You got the zingers, I got the receipts.

I mean, you can take the position that you don't care that your candidate lied about things like that, but I don't think that is a strong position.

Democrats have about 1000 such things to build into 30 second commercials.

The election of 2020 is over for your own health just accept that. Keep in mind Ken Starr produced about 4 times as much dirt and it didn’t hurt clinton at all. Trump won re-election on Friday. It really is that simple. But by all means please keep it up the house will likely return to Republicans anyways but I’d love a red wave.

How many indictments?

Slick Willy got disbarred over perjury.

They did not go criminal though and just for impeachment. The report: "Starr claimed Clinton performed actions that were "inconsistent with the president's constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws" and outlined a case for impeaching him on 11 possible grounds, including perjury, obstruction of justice, witness tampering and abuse of power.[7]"

So, 11 more than they found against Trump.

The winners; The American public. The losers; The anti-American left.

I think what you posted made a ton of sense.
But, what about this? suppose you were to write a awesome
headline? I ain't saying your content is not solid., but what if you added a headline that grabbed a person's attention? I mean The winners and losers of
the Mueller revelations - Marginal REVOLUTION is a little boring.
You might glance at Yahoo's front page and see how they write article titles to grab
viewers to open the links. You might try adding a video or a related pic or two to grab
people excited about everything've written. In my opinion, it
would bring your posts a little bit more interesting.

That's fine, but that's not 35 people caught in the net.

No, but it is the target of the investigation, a sitting President, being caught committing felonies. Unlike Mueller's investigation.

You really don't keep up.

This was not considered part of the Russian conspiracy investigation and was farmed out. It still hangs.

OK, deep reader, that was Dec 18. Better than I expected out of you for 'keeping up' though. What came of it? NADA.

The mouse is in denial. His world view has been shredded so he's rejecting current facts.

All they needed to do was not act crazy. And, they couldn't.

Call 1-800-273-8255!

Does President Donald J. Trump need to file FEC reports identifying the free, in-kind campaign contributions by the fake media, dem congresscrazies, the deep state coup cabal, et al worth billions $$$ in publicity for his Trump2020 Campaign?

You're deluded. Trump is widely loathed and there is no reason to believe not being charged will change that. The Dems just need to nominate a sane person and they take the WH and probably the senate.

They are not taking the Senate no way. Might pick up a seat or two.

If the economy stays solid Trump probably wins again. I'm getting a 'Reps in 2012' vibe from the Dems these days. The Reps were absolutely, completely convinced Obama was toast, had no chance. He was Hitler after all. Karl Rove literally did not believe the returns from Ohio when they came in.

This year if/when Trump gets re-elected, the Dems are REALLY gonna lose it. Our own anonymous/polar bear will need to be on suicide watch. Trump is widely loathed by only the Dem side. 42% of people approve of him already.

There is still the official misconduct by Obama administration officials who broke all the rules (ignored obstruction of justice, perjury, destruction of evidence, gave sweetheart immunity) to keep Hillary from being indicted and then conspired with the Clinton campaign and foreign operatives (including Russians, diplomats, and covert agents) to compile and disseminate the Russian sourced, Clinton campaign financed Steele dossier to engage in strong arm official misconduct against the Trump associates. Mueller was FBI Director when Hillary committed national security violations and "pay to play" diplomacy. Was he on Hillary's call, email list? Was he kept up to date by his former Obama administration colleagues during Hillary's national security violations investigation. He clearly had a multitude of conflicts of interest.
Robert (E. Lee) Mueller's end if his investigation reminds me if the Confederates retiring after the Battle of Gettysburg. The Democratic party's Confederate rebellion still needed to be crushed and their leaders removed from positions of power to preserve our Republic.
Schiff and Swalwell have demonstrated a oattern of lying and support for official misconduct. Their careers as prosecutors should be reexamined to determine if they engaged in official misconduct and lies previously.

How many indictments?

Exactly. This is not over, only the first act is over. The "collusion" narrative is dead, long live the "deep state coup" narrative. And while the former was obviously false from the beginning, the latter is obviously true. The real open question is how quickly can the media switch from "the president is a traitor" to "nobody cares, let's move on." I would like to think that democrats can't get elected unless, at a minimum, they pinky-swear that they are never going to use the NSA, CIA, FBI and DoJ for partisan political purposes anymore. But it is hard to make predictions, especially about the future behavior of the American electorate.

And although it is difficult, regardless of the circumstances, to argue that Joe Biden is not a political loser, I don't think the Mueller report changes things much for Joe Biden. I don't really think Mueller changes anything with respect to the democratic nomination in 2020. If there are changes at all, the important ones will have to do with the way the democrats and their media allies talk about Trump. It seems to me that could go either way.

A year and a half are many, many lifetimes in politics.

Come on man, this is easy.

Every time Trump said he disbelieved US intelligence services, and believed Putin's word that he did not hack US elections, that was foolish collusion in plain sight.

Nothing complex.

You just have decide whether you want a gullible old fool who takes the word of Putin (or Un) over his own government.

Brevity is the soul of wit, "Trump made me cry!"

There is no cure for derangement or stupidity.

Thank you! Your crazy stupidity is expressed in fewer words than most of your fellow-sufferers.

I think a president should be good "at presidenting" as GWB used to say.

Taking murderous dictators at their word is not good job performance.

Trump's praise of "murderous dictators" in conjunction with summits and international meetings is not the same thing as "taking them at their word." Trump doles out personal praise to foreign leaders as a negotiating tactic. Obama was rhetorically tough but gave "murderous dictators" everything they wanted during negotiations. (See, e.g., Iran). Trump does the opposite because he cares more about the actual deal than the way the deal looks to people who aren't really paying attention.

If you want to figure out what good job performance really means, you need to start paying attention.

Anyway, its nice that we are talking about Trump's job performance rather than the "collusion" nonsense but, in the long run, your not going to win that argument either.

You're so lost in QAnon delusional world, you actually drank the cool-aid that the trumpster is a genius rather than the lousy business failure those from his hometown know about him (someday his tax returns will make it all clear) Amazing you think the Trumpster is doing "good job performance", say, with Kim Jong-Un -- who has revealed Trumps to be the clown in that "deal". Those from his home town who know Mr. Fart of the Deal also arent surprised by how China is smoothly pretending to bow to the Trumpster (who falls for that trick since his adolescence)
while Chine actually ignores him while landing more allies around the world which Mr. T barely understands (but his supporters like you dont either, so you''ll keep thinking he is a genius, like you. China hopes he'll get reelected since he has people like you all around him, whom China will waltz circles around, and China will now use playbook from Putin to further create stooges in US supportive of Trumpster, no matter how loony he gets. They will keep hypnotizing ignorant people like you, (successfully it seems) since Trump is uniquely attracted to ignorance and autocrats - his most outstanding quality. He has been a godsend to the Beijing gang in ralliying their own support and increasing number of other allies who have realized the US lost it when Trump could deceive his way to the Iron throne, even though he lost vote by several million. (Even Kananaugh just admitted the gerrymandering that ignoramuses like Trump to win is dangerous for US. Meanwhile, deluded ones supporting the Trumpster have lapsed so far into conspiracy fantasy land, they (you) dont know reality anymore. Only the ignorant forget what happens to all Iron Throne winners: their demise is pathetic. Thinking Trump did "great job" with Putin would be amazingly funny if it weren't so ignorant.
When Trump looses in 2020, you guys needn't worry. You can simply retreat into another loony conspiracy theory... because its all you really have. Carry on boys!

I think somebody needs a hug.

Look, obviously this Mueller thing has hit you pretty hard. I understand it must be tough but please seek professional help as soon as possible.

No. And obviously no.

Among other things, during the relevant time period, the NSA, CIA, FBI and DoJ were operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party and the Hilary campaign. It was not foolish of Trump to disbelieve them. Indeed, lets take a very brief look at the factual basis for the "Russian interference" narrative. Are there any plausible grounds for "Russia interfered" without reliance on the good faith and professionalism of the NSA, CIA, FBI and DoJ?

"the NSA, CIA, FBI and DoJ were operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party and the Hilary campaign"

I understand that Trump had paranoia to this level, but partisans should not follow him there.

Well, we do know that the Obama Administration weaponized the IRS against the Tea Party. So, I would not call Trump paranoid about this. The track record is there - the federal civil service has been corrupted.

In my judgment, it's not paranoia. From the beginning, the "collusion" disinformation narrative was first paid for by the DNC and Hilary for President campaign, then by the "intelligence community" and DoJ. It was also preposterous on its face.

As a brief reminder, the underlying theory is that a retired British spy (acting as a paid operative of the DNC and Hilary Campaign) was able to uncover detailed information showing a "Russian interference" conspiracy against the United States. He did this, in a few months of work and from the comfort of his home, by contacting people he knew in the Russian foreign ministry, intelligence community and "ethnic Russians" in other places and asking them. Anyway, he just called them up and these Russian guys told him about the greatest coup ever achieved by any intelligence community anywhere (Kim Philby, Aldrich Ames and Robert Hansen combined would have been nothing by comparison) and, although every checkable detail in his dossier proved to be wrong, the FBI supplemented his DNC/Hilary payments to get more anti-Trump and/or confirm what he had already found (which he was unable to do). No one at the FBI, CIA, NSA or DoJ bothered to ask who paid for the information originally. Not satisfied with the FBI only paying the Brit, the CIA directly paid an American professor living in the UK to, among other things, infiltrate and report on the Trump campaign. Subsequently, the same professor attempted to entrap various individuals associated with Trump by suggesting, among other things, that he was aware of damaging material which the Russians could provide on Hilary and asking if they also knew this. Meanwhile, senior management at the FBI and DoJ used the unverified dossier and news stories planted by the democrat's "opposition research" firm to obtain multiple FISA warrants against a "foreign policy adviser" associated with the Trump campaign. While all this was ongoing, transcripts and actual recordings of conversations between members of the Trump administration obtained by the CIA and NSA, including the President, were leaked to the press. During the transition period, Obama holdover members of the DoJ launched an investigation into whether the incoming National Security Advisor or other members of the incoming administration had violated the Lanham Act. Although the Lanham Act is probably unconstitutional and although no one has ever been prosecuted for violation of the Lanham Act in its 200 year history and although the purposes of the Lanham Act obviously wouldn't apply to members of an incoming administration during the transition period, the National Security Advisor was forced to resign when the existence of the investigation and a transcript of a telephone conversation was leaked by the CIA and/or DoJ. At the same time, there was evidently a huge but unexplained increase in the "unmasking" of Americans recorded on CIA communications intercepts.

There is more, actually much more, but let's pause here and see if anonymous is able to provide an explanation which supports his claim that this is all nothing but paranoia.

Logan, not Lanham. Lanham is something else.

President Trump had to listen to Brennan, Comey, Clapper, McCabe and Congressional leaders of the Intelligence committees claim that Trump colluded with the Russians. President Trump knew it was false and that these leaders of the intelligence community were lying. Plus Trump has often mentioned the failure of the American intelligence community on Iraq. What would you think of these people?

As a careful reader I know they never told him that. They told him they were investigating.

In an alternate world a rational president might have cooperated with Comey and been done in half the time.

A rational president would not have raised red flags by denying Russian involvement.

Trump is a loudmouth jackass who lives in a bubble of his own vanity. A lot of his “irrationality “ can be explained by this. But it wasn’t his rationality that was under investigation. Your side assured us — admittedly by screeching— that the POTUS was
not only Hitler but a traitor to boot. It also appears that your side lied and broke laws in order to support outlandish contentions about Trump.

Did you start 2016 with "Trump is a loudmouth jackass who lives in a bubble of his own vanity?"

I think not, and *that* is the difference between 2020 and 2016.

A harder sell. No more of this "genius business man to drain the swamp" stuff.

Well, he sure has exposed a lot of them, and McCabe, Comey, and Brennan are gone, so....

You are just making shit up now. Brennan and Clapper did not accuse Trump of collusion. Comey did not force a special counsel to investigate collusion using false unverified sources. McCabe did not do the same in addition to trying the 25th amendment.

Even for you, this is a denial of reality.

A bunch of stuff I never said?

I wrote
President Trump had to listen to Brennan, Comey, Clapper, McCabe and Congressional leaders of the Intelligence committees claim that Trump colluded with the Russians. President Trump knew it was false and that these leaders of the intelligence community were lying.

You wrote.
As a careful reader I know they never told him that. They told him they were investigating.

What the hell are you talking about?

Trump was right. No evidence he or his campaign colluded. No evidence that Russian efforts had any impact on the election. Despite Hillary Clinton efforts to spread such falsehoods to the highest levels of the Obama intelligence and justice departments. The ability of the Clinton campaign to plant false stories and have intelligence agencies act against a presidential candidate and later president is the scandal here.

Most Americans supported the FBI and DOJ investigations into Trump to safeguard their government from foreign influence. As Tyler said, it is good that Trump is not shown to be a Manchurian candidate but it is still a bad sign that so many of his associates are now convicted felons in their corrupt dealings with foreign governments. It also means that Trump is not off the hook as many of his legal battles are still ongoing.

The convictions have almost nothing to do with Trump.

Trump be pursued for legal business deals in Russia, false campaign violation allegations, as the justice system is turned upside down. Just keep investigating until you find system. Not the way it is meant to work.

His strange reactions were "useful" to a foreign power? A lot of things Presidents do are "useful" to foreign powers. When Trump goes to meet Kim Jong-un for a summit that is "useful" to Kim Jong-un. When Obama met Putin and said he would have more flexibility after the next election that was "useful" to Putin. When Richard Nixon went to China, as only he could, that was "useful" to Mao. So what?

Kim Jong Un is a good example of what makes this president bad.

Perhaps you don't follow the news closely, but the serious men in the State Department just worked up some sanctions related to NK's nuclear missiles, and Trump reversed them, because he "likes" this communist dictator.

Not because it makes US citizens safer, not because it improves human rights in NK, because he "likes" the guy who kills his family and claws his way to power. Who killed Otto Warmbier.

Heck of a candidate you're got there.

Expect a Democrat leaning PAC to make a 30 second spot about young Otto and Trump "in love" with Kim Jong Un.

So much material.

Stalin, Mao, etc killed millions while American Presidents tried to work deals with them. Sanctions against NK are often most brutal on the people of NK. Still, sanctions are a tool to use to achieve a goal, it is not a goal in and of itself. All sanctions all the time will do little but cause mass starvation in NK. If Trump instead wants to convince Kim Jong that the US is not intent on destroying NK but is trying to get it to rejoin the rest of the world, what is wrong with that. If Trump was claiming that he would bury the NK then you would claim that a fearful NK will never give up their missiles.

Trump saying that he will work with NK even as some in the US government want to impose greater sanctions is a classic good cop, bad cop negotiation. Mr. Warmbier is a tragedy but using that as an excuse to prevent NK from peacefully rejoining the world community is short-sighted and destructive. Did you scream against American efforts to denuclearize Libya, even after they shot down an airliner?

I don't think you are entirely wrong here Dan, it is just a weak argument because in those other "good deals with bad guys" we got more out of it, as a nation.

What has Putin done for me? Deployed hypersonic missiles and tidal wave super weapons?

What has Trump given Putin? Other than some polite cocktail party talk?

So Trump didn't turn his meetings with Putin into an episode of the Jerry Springer show. So what.

I don't know, maybe some of you are such devout partisans that you are fine with Trump loving Un. It redeems Un. Because Trump is your guy, and you are ready to follow his love.

Just like you learned to love Putin, killer that he is. You follow.

I don’t care for Donald Trump, but I recognize the need to have Russia pissing out of the tent, rather than pissing into to the tent, as a Democrat once said apropos of something else. I think Trump naively tried to achieve a reset with Putin in the way that Bush and Obama did. Russia and China are both odious regimes but only one of them is a true geopolitical rival.


His 'strange reactions' were of course not useful to a foreign power, that's idiotic. The fake investigation almost was though. Kim Jong Un thought he could get a quick win with Trump so Trump could look good before the report came out. Good opportunity for NK to take advantage of the situation. He expected Trump to react like Obama , desperate for a foreign policy win before leaving office, did. Just give away the house. Trump walked away, strengthening his position.

It seems that "obstruction" is going to be the no-hopers' new talisman, now that "collusion" has been killed off. No facts, no law to cite -- just the magic word repeated over and over. Notice that anonymous can't even sustain the "obstruction" idea for a single response, though, immediately pivoting instead to the shocking news that Trump once pursued a hotel deal in Moscow.

I think I have lots of material to work with. Stay tuned :-)

Oh, great. Where's the block user button?

You can go limit yourself to Fox News. There will be plenty you don't know, but you might rest easier.

So much material.

Trump is not exonerated. Almost 2/3's of Americans think he committed a crime. Politicians will be all over this as long as he stays in office:

But that makes it even worse for Democrats. That means even more people are going to look at this report update their priors and realize they were lied to.

You must be living in a different world than me if you think people are going to look at the report to update their priors.

I agree its hard to describe the process as "updating priors" etc. (that's not really how it works) but the collapse of the "collusion" narrative makes it more difficult, for those inclined to do so, to defend the conduct of the FBI, DoJ, CIA, and others associated with development of that narrative in the first place. Although "collusion" didn't happen, the FISA warrant directed against Carter Page, the Halper campaign spying, and much else did. The next stage in the process must be to examine whether the "collusion" investigation can be justified as a legitimate exercise of the police power or was an attempt to use the awesome power of the US government for partisan political ends.

'to defend the conduct of the FBI'

You mean the FBI should ignore the Australians when connecting the dots between a figure associated with Trump's campaign having awareness talking about DNC e-mail releases significantly before it happened? See below for details.

'the "collusion" investigation can be justified as a legitimate exercise of the police power or was an attempt to use the awesome power of the US government for partisan political ends'

Hasn't Trump and his associates been investigated enough already? You are undoubtedly aware that the entire Mueller investigation was handled by the Trump Administration, with a Republican controlled Congress overlooking the process.

A very (dem) partisan team spent $50 million and two years looking into everything possible, sometimes harassing innocent people to get something on Trump. And failed. Give it up. The FBI has a lot to answer for this. The FISA court application that was faked is a good place to start.

'A very (dem) partisan team'

Headed by a Republican appointed by a Republican, in a Republican administration. Those sneaky (dems).

'The FISA court application that was faked is a good place to start.'

Going to need a link on that. Assuming you are talking about Page, nothing was faked - you can read the FISA application here

Assuming you trust a media source, this is a shorter version - 'Bates, who was placed on the FISA court by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and was its presiding judge from 2009 to 2013, said he has seen no evidence lending credibility to Republican concerns that officials misled the court in obtaining a 2016 FISA warrant and three renewals.

"I will note and note with some force that I have seen nothing that indicates that the court was misled, that the Department of Justice or the intelligence community made misrepresentations to the court," Bates told Lawfare podcast co-hosts David Kris and Nates Jones, the founders of the Culper Partners consulting firm. "And not only have I seen nothing that would indicate that, I have heard nothing that persuasively makes that case."'

Speaking of updating priors, the Downer/Papadopolus cover story that Fusion GPS sold to the NYT has been debunked. Ohr testified under oath that he provided the Steele dossier to McCabe the day before "Crossfire Hurricane" was started up. It never had anything to do with Downer and Papadopolus.

Anyway, the whole Papadopolus thread went no where. Carter Page was subjected to multiple FISA warrants because his name was used in the Steele dossier. Cohen and Manafort were subjected to investigations because their names were used in the Steele dossier. Flynn was forced to resign because of the fake Logan Act investigation and the illegal disclosure an NSA/CIA wiretap. All of these events had to do with the DoJ, FBI, CIA, and NSA colluding with Fusion GPS to create a narrative which is now acknowledged by all honest observers to be false. No American colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. It just didn't happen.

That is a really bad reading.

Russian hacking, and the path from Russia to WikiLeaks to the Trump campaign was real.

It was just, apparently, a one-way flow, without direction by the campaign.

Republicans are going to try really hard to sell "see nothing happened."

But sorry there is too much in the public record for that to work.

Russia to Wikileaks to the world. There is zero evidence that Trump or his campaign had any connection to Wikileaks. Roger Stone gave the Trump people information on Wikileaks that was already in the public domain.

Hillary was running around with a dirty tricks campaign while the Trump campaign was dealing with the shock of winning the nomination and trying to build a national campaign almost from scratch. In contrast to the machine that was the Clinton campaign

What evidence do we have that the e-mails were originally obtained by Russia and then provided to Wikileaks? As far as I know, we only have the testimony of Clapper and Brennan in support of that conclusion. In the past, people relying on their testimony have been disappointed.

"It leaves open the question of whether his often strange reactions to that first question might be obstruction. Whether his strange reactions were foolish, or useful to a foreign power."

A third possibility is that he acts in a way that is regular and effective for him, but is foreign and incomprehensible to you.

Putin, however, seems to understand Trump surprisingly well. And now that the investigation is complete, Trump will undoubtedly be providing the notes (or the translator involved when no notes were taken) of his various meetings with Putin, as the excuse of an ongoing investigation is no longer valid.

America is great again!! MAGA!! All you libs can suck it! #Trump2020

Lol! Nice troll!

Troll? Uh, no soyboy libtard. Trump's in the clear now. #MAGA2020

I found stamina in this case fortifying. Given a period of strife as though an enormous pond for ravenous birds, there remains such eloquence and splendor. The rib in the proceeding is the mass of substance; he does not look at the eerie.

“Light treason”

Is their anything more impotent that quoting a little watched show that went off the air a decade ago. It’s funny you are probably what 55 and you don’t even realize how the world left you behind.

Screw you, I laughed.

Right and you are 65.

Why did the media hang on to the collusion story? They could not admit that Hillary actually lost the election all by herself.

That is a misreading. All of the indictments of Russians are because they interfered. What Mueller is saying is that they did it at a distance from Trump. That is, we don't have any evidence that they asked him first.

The former National Security Advisor and Trump campaign chair are felons who explored quid pro quo arrangements with Russia involving polling data, sanctions, and illegally obtained Clinton campaign communications. Unofficial campaign advisor Roger Stone is a felon for being part of the same scheme. Trump Jr. knowingly met with a Russian liaison, who is effectively counsel to the Attorney General for the Russian Federation, about timed Clinton dirt in the summer of 2016. Trump himself asked Russia to hack emails from a podium, and that day the GRU did so. Trump helped concoct a false story about the nature of his son’s meeting while flying in AF1, surrounded by civil servants. This false story alluded to allegedly innocent discussions of the Magnitsky Act, which is in fact a key sanction from the Obama years that Putin would like to see done away with. The administration has consistently fought any application of sanctions to Russia for interference in the election. And of course during the campaign a pro-Russia ”peace plan” plank was pushed by team Trump on the party platform committee, which would have favored Ukrainian annexation.

Oh, and three months ago the Secretary of Defense resigned out of protest over Trump’s solicitious attitude toward Russia, which he views as undermining North Atlantic strategic goals.

"Oh, and three months ago the Secretary of Defense resigned out of protest over Trump’s solicitious attitude toward Russia, which he views as undermining North Atlantic strategic goals."

Pretty sure he resigned over the administration pushing hard on ballistic missile defense and the Syria draw-down. Those were always his real beefs with Trump and those were the material changes in policy surrounding his departure. Mattis has many positive attributes, but he's a conservative soldier. He wanted boots on the ground in the middle east and more money for the joint strike fighter. Easy goals and a big budget - none of this "be ready to win a war with China" business.

Too bad Mueller disagrees.

No connection between Trump and Wikileaks.

Trivial connections between Russians and members of the Trump campaign. The Obama campaign also had meetings and talks with Russians during their campaign. Not unusual.

What was Stone convicted of? Stone repeated stories that were already public. Self-promotion is now criminal?

I made the same joke about the Russians probably have a better idea of what is on the Clinton servers than the FBI. Two days before Trump's joke I heard others make the same joke. A joke is now evidence of collusion? I know a lot of people who were unwittingly Russian agents because they share a sense of humor.

Evidence exists that the Trump Jr meeting was a setup that the Trumps brushed off without any action. President Trump didn't understand or was confused about the meeting. So it appears were many there.

And now policy differences on Russia are criminal acts. All Presidents are now criminals.

You read the report?

Moo Cow,

No. In fact, Flynn and Manafort did not "explore" quid pro quo arrangements with Russia "involving polling data, sanctions, and illegally obtained Clinton campaign communications." In separate conversations taking place months apart, Flynn discussed lifting sanctions with the Russian Ambassador and Manafort allegedly provided polling data to a particular Ukrainian (but this is disputed and is not improper or a crime). No one (except perhaps yourself) has alleged that either conversation involved "illegally obtained Clinton campaign communications" or any quid pro quo. There is no evidence that Flynn or Manafort even knew about the other's conversation (it would literally be impossible in the case of Manafort and wildly implausible in the case of Flynn). Manafort was long gone from the Trump circle before Flynn talked to Kislyak. And Stone is not (yet) a felon and is not even accused of anything having to do with Manafort or Flynn or any scheme involving them or involving "collusion". As usual with the left, your factual understanding is a pastiche of inaccurately remembered allegations and speculation. This has all been investigated. Thoroughly. Nothing was found which supports the "collusion" narrative.

And Trump did not ask the Russians to hack e-mails at any time. During the campaign, Trump speculated that the Russians had already hacked the e-mails missing from Clinton's "homebrew" server and asked them to find and presumably release them. Do you see how none of this actually fits the narrative?

The Trump Tower meeting is a very interesting case and was pretty clearly a set-up by Fusion GPS. Glenn Simpson met with the Russian lawyer who led the meeting before and after it took place. Although the meeting was obtained based on promises that the Russians would provide damaging information regarding Hillary (the same kind of information which, according to Simpson, Russians actually provided as to Trump), that did not occur. Which should raise at least two questions in the minds of intelligent observers: (1) If the Russian government had such information and actually wanted Trump to win, why didn't they provide it? and (2) If they did not have damaging information on Hillary, why would they seek a meeting premised on the notion that they would provide such information? Only Hillary and the DNC (Simpson's clients) would benefit from a Trump Tower meeting obtained on false pretenses.

Pull your head out. Start actually thinking about these things instead of going with an impression of something you sorta kinda remember from Maddow.

For the Russian services to try and do things using the internet and information, this is plausible.

But no one of any decent mental muscle believes this was either decisive, even clearly hashed out to Trumps advantage or was any more than they must have done in previous eras for other relatively friendly candidates, like for Obama against mote Russia hawkish Repubs (public opinion is fickle and complex and the Russian services are notoriously incompetent). Hence "Hillary actually lost the election all by herself."

That's why collusion was important. It doesnt matter if it didnt matter electorally, if it were still collusion. But now it seems no collusion.

'For the Russian services to try and do things using the internet and information, this is plausible.'

It goes far beyond plausible, as demonstrated recently by the French (who made complete fools of those running Russian attempts to influence the recent French presidential election) or the Estonians, over years -

'even clearly hashed out to Trumps advantage'

Which certainly explains why not only the DNC e-mails were leaked, but the RNC's too, right? The point being that the Russians had a clear plan, and it did not involve attacking the Republicans the way the Democrats were. The broad American counter-intelligence consensus is that Putin wanted Clinton to lose, and didn't care who won as long as it wasn't Clinton. That Trump made this effort all about himself is unsurprising, of course.

'Hence "Hillary actually lost the election all by herself."'

Well, you left Comey out of this, and his announcement of potential further investigation of Clinton in October. But sure, she was an epically horrible candidate (to the surprise of nobody, one would have thought), who just happened to face a number of challenges in terms of a foreign government and an FBI director apparently unable to not further meddle in American electoral politics. Another candidate clearly would not have faced these challenges, so it is not unfair to blame her for the results of her decisions - such as publicly opposing Putin in the past.

You'd prefer "Really plausible" then?

When I say "even clearly hashed out to Trumps advantage" I'm not talking about such things as whether the Russians attempted to put a thumb on the scales behind one candidate or another. I think it's more likely they did than the other theory, that "The Russians release information in multiple directions because their true goal is to cause chaos and damage legitimacy". More about whether their information releases ending up galvanising more support for Clinton than against her; they're not particularly competent and reaction to information in a live environment is unpredictable.

Instead of plausible, hope about proven in a way that will never be publicly released? I find a lot of the talk about the 'deep state' silly, but anyone who is not aware to the extent that essentially all electronic communications are collected and stored has simply not been paying attention for the last generation. This is also why it is so hilarious to see people involved in an investigation delete things like their facebook/twitter/google accounts, format their hard drive, etc. That NSA data is not legally collected has no effect on a counter intelligence investigation, for example. And that people remain so ignorant is essentially something that those collecting such data want everyone to believe. Which does not explain why the former Obama appointed head of an American intelligence agency was so utterly stupid as to deny talking with the Russian ambassador when asked by the FBI, however.

'than the other theory, that "The Russians release information in multiple directions because their true goal is to cause chaos and damage legitimacy"'

Well, it is both, as seen in numerous proven examples, such as supporting both attending and protesting an event like this one - 'Last year, two Russian Facebook pages organized dueling rallies in front of the Islamic Da’wah Center of Houston, according to information released by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican.

Heart of Texas, a Russian-controlled Facebook group that promoted Texas secession, leaned into an image of the state as a land of guns and barbecue and amassed hundreds of thousands of followers. One of their ads on Facebook announced a noon rally on May 21, 2016 to “Stop Islamification of Texas.”

A separate Russian-sponsored group, United Muslims of America, advertised a “Save Islamic Knowledge” rally for the same place and time. '

The Russians seem opportunistic, which makes sense when using such low cost methods in an attempt to cause problems for an adversary.

'ending up galvanising more support for Clinton than against her'

Nope - the Sanders voters continued to feel vindicated that the game was rigged, and most certainly did not provide more support for Clinton - basically, many of them continued to attack her (unsurprisingly, considering that they actually had facts to support their belief about how things were rigged in her favor). It is unlikely that their constant pointing to that fact galvanized more support for Clinton either.

'and reaction to information in a live environment is unpredictable'

Absolutely - but if your goal is weaken an adversary, then you just follow up on what seems promising. Do you honestly think anyone in Russia cares about the Islamic Da’wah Center of Houston? And if they don't don't generate emotional images and reporting, so what? Better luck next time is likely the attitude.

Notice that there is a simple rule here, M.

Anyone who claims Russian actions were not decisive may not discuss the stolen Democratic party emails in the same section.

When you get your own blog you can make whatever rules you want. But this is not your blog. So, sod off.

Is that you, Tyler?

No, it's someone sane asking you to please, for the love of christ, stfu.

Sanders vs Trump in 2020. #populism4ever

Let the national healing begin.

Trumpers, don't gloat. Your guy is still kinda greasy.

Anti-Trumpers, apologize for pushing a conspiracy theory like it was established fact for 2+ years and calling anyone who doubted you a racist hick. Speaking of which, read the Charlottesville transcript and see if you still believe the media take on it.

Media, apologize to anti-Trumpers for playing to their confirmation biases to make money. You took advantage of the very people who refused to accept that you were the enemy of the people. Also, apologize for being the enemy of the people, using generated controversy to divide us is an evil business model.

Trump, apologize to the media for playing them with the old "don't throw me in the briar patch" trick. Also, don't gloat. You're still kinda greasy.

Let's hit reset on our national dialog.



Wouldn’t it be lovely to think so. Now, if he’s temperamentally capable of it, which is highly doubtful, would be an ideal time for a Trump pivot to being more ‘presidential’. If he can pull it off and the economy doesn’t tank (note the 10 year bond yield today) then he’s likely to win re-election easily

+1, that's a rational and reasonable response

No, we are still in a civil war between the heinous left and the defenders of our constitutional republic. Though not a very civil civil war at least it's not a shooting war, even though a Bernie bro fired the first shots at the Republican Senators. Fortunately, the Trump hating socialist wingnut was a bad shot, the security guards defeated his black rifle with modest revolvers, and Republicans demonstrated serenity and self-restraint by not retaliating in kind. There are not too many Democrats at the range, so any retaliation would have been a turkey shoot.

Of course the Demoncats won't back off, like a political Captain Ahab they are going to use their House majority status to harass the great white whale - POTUS - to the bitter end, and the end will be bitter.

I can taste it.

'to harass the great white whale'

What a fitting name for Trump. Why not use it everywhere you post, it is certainly funnier than you advocating violence. Like this - ''#5 Greenies deserve black eyes.' and 'All politicians should live in fear of their constituents.'

You have a point. I don't advocate lethal violence, though I still find the idea of global warming alarmists getting punched in the face attractive, which contradicts my strong support for the rule of law. I can't have it both ways. Shoot! I mean darn! Shoot is not the right word here.

How about egging politicians and global warming alarmists? It's not up to Antifa's level, but it gets the message across.

You might like this:

Btw, you never answered my question: Have you ever been punched in the face?

If Greenwald wins a Pulitzer, does the average person care? Most people don't care about media anointed winners and losers. Better paying jobs and healthcare costs are what workaday Americans care about more.

I thought Trump called out the voters with the dog whistle. The dog whistle plays the healthcare song? I thought he was playing some other tune.

Where are the Stormy videos.

Her lawyer has them, but he's busy right now, lol. Man, Trump's having a good week.

So are we finally free to prosecute Hillary for the emails? Interesting testimony in the past few weeks about how the FBI did want to prosecute but the DOJ would not let them.

Do you know about Jared and Ivanka communication practices? Maybe you want to keep that closed.

Unlike Hills, no indication of classified material. Once again your links torpedo whatever you intended it to do.

You are not a deep reader. Jared used a commercial encrypted app, owned by Facebook, to communicate with Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

Who would "classify" those messages? They were secret between the two, and unknown to the government, unless Jared chose to screenshot some, and email to himself.

Who knows how many Facebook employees had access.

Hey mouse!

Did you hear the one about the two conspiracy theorists that walked into a bar?

No way that's a coincidence!

Doesn't require 'deep reading'. Actually read on the the links you post for once. " Lowell said he was not aware if Kushner had communicated classified information on WhatsApp".

Also your idea of what's classified is really off.

I think it means the FBI is now free to prosecute Ivanka and Jared's misuse of email.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Let that be a lesson to ya!

I think the idea that we all win because the permanent government was susceptible to running this joke investigation abetted by the media is a bit rich.

And it's a sunny day because evetually they had to stop and show a zero hand? Not really.

"Over the course of his nearly two-year-long probe, special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors have now indicted 34 individuals and three Russian businesses on charges ranging from computer hacking to conspiracy and financial crimes."

What Mueller is saying, by way of Barr, is that this happened, but it could not be tied back to Trump.

Without Mueller those 34+3 could have ghosted away and we'd never of known their roles in, among other crimes, meddling in the Presidential Election of 2016.

That's hysterical. You can look up the top media influencers for the election by the way.

Interesting link. I am surprised to see Trump at the top, though clearly he was effective. He played the entire media like a fiddle, saying outrageous things that kept him on the front page. That his message resonated, and it resonated with me even though I thought then and still think he's a narcissistic, egotistical jerk.

People have sorted and segregated themselves into media silos, getting brainwashed by their own opinions, convinced that reinforcement of their own opinions is proof of their veracity.

This not going to end well.

The idea that that we once had an unbiased media before the internet is an illusion. But maybe illusions are not so bad - they hold people together, but only within their tribe. Outsiders are still treated harshly. Tribalism seems to be baked into the human cake. At one time,in the distant past, it served a useful purpose, but now it may destroy us.

There is nothing that says humans won't go extinct.

Journalism - reporting - used to be a respectable outlet for bookish children of proletarian or petit bourgeois parents. Then it started fancying itself a profession and taking itself seriously. So now journalists don't report; they Narrate.

What Mueller is saying, by way of Barr, is that this happened, but it could not be tied back to Trump.

Yeah. Go with that. It'll help you feel better.

Everyone here is well aware that those indictments consist of a handful of process comes unrelated to the election and a bunch of Russians who will never set foot in the US. We further know that those Russians were interfering on both sides; you may have gone to one of those Putin-organized anti-Trump rallies yourself. Finally, we all know that the difference between the two sides in the 2016 election is that the one you voted for actively and knowingly solicited and distributed disinformation from Russian government operatives.

Wasn't there something about hacked emails? It seemed important at the time. If only we could remember..

Yeah, the traitorous Chelsea Manning hacked a bunch of state secrets, including emails, and released them for foreign powers to read. Then Obama commuted her sentence, calling her a mere "whistleblower". That was quite important, but nobody seems to remember.

Oh, sure, there was also the case where a moronic political hack fell for a transparent phishing scam, gave away his password, and saw the data he had access to show up on Wikileaks. But that can't be what you're talking about, since nothing important was revealed, only the true opinions of some idiots that a totally incompetent political candidate was dumb enough to hire.

No, I am talking about the email stolen by official Russian Security Services and handed to Wikileaks, much to the delight of the Trump campaign.

I am old-fashioned enough to think that it's not a good look, to delight in a foreign attack on US elections.

If only Seth Rich hadn't leaked the e-mails which showed the entire, expensive Democratic primary system was rigged for Hillary to win no matter what!

Ah, so the emails you're upset about are the ones released in June 2016 that revealed that the DNC deliberately undermined Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton, not the ones released in October 2016 that revealed that Clinton was warned in advance about town hall debate questions.

Who needs friends when you have the progressive crowd as your enemies. Dumb, dumber, dumbest. The Dumbocrats invested 2 years of political capital in a brainless conspiracy theory. And what about the so called intellectual elites?? What does Harvard teach these morons? It was elementary from the start Watson — Trump never cared about getting to the White House. He was as surprised he won as crooked Hillary was she lost. It had to be Putin! It’s going to be Trump 2020 all the way through now. Bet they’ll suspect Mueller next..

When I worked in a white collar job, the rule of thumb was "bad news travels by phone, nothing in writing". It's entirely possible Trump's team colluded with the Russians, but did not write it down. Didn't one of his Greek surnamed guys--Googling it, Papadopoulos-- go to jail over some campaign violation? And Manafort gets over 7 years!? What did they do if Trump is 100% innocent? Why would they lie and take a sword if Trump was Snow White? No sir, I was not born yesterday. But I'll say this: I could care less. I didn't think Watergate was such a big deal either. Seriously, who cares? During campaigns all kinds of dirt, real and imagined, gets slung, it's part of politics, going back to the days of Andrew Jackson.

Process crimes and things going back 10 years, nothing to do with Trump.

Media credibility is gone. It’s been made clear that the vast majority of the media is not just bad at their jobs, they are partisan and agenda driven propagandists. One must now assume systematic bad faith.

The FBI has also lost a lot of credibility. They can no longer be assumed to be politically impartial. I think it’s an open question as to how deep the rot goes there. I suspect that loss of automatic credibility for the FBI will have some cost in future non-political criminal trials.

You mean all that "deep state" stuff wasn't just Faux News hype?

The deep state is real?

In the Boston Bombing case, the FBI murdered a witness to the life of the accused brothers. Anyone who trusted the FBI after that was a mug.

OK, it was only one man, and a Chechen at that. But at Waco Federal agents murdered Americans, including many women and children. At Ruby Ridge, ....

When Trump was running my thoughts were that he would force Washington to be serious; the legislature would need to actually legislate, etc. But what happened was they all seemingly lost their minds.

I think what the media has done will be written on their tombstone. Taibbi describes a media who does full court press on some rumour then three days later it is forgotten as they move on to something else. That has been my strategy for about a year; I'll read about a news event in a week. By then it has either disappeared or what actually happened has been fleshed out. I don't trust anything anyone says about anything at all.

It is a pretty bad place when your value added is trust and you methodically and systematically destroy it.

And I don't mean readers and subscribers not trusting. I mean people who make decisions who used to trust the broad media production as reflecting reality to a certain extent. I mean an important conduit of information about the world now is not anywhere near that. Even worse than that, if you get your information from those sources you will be seriously uninformed.

I don't like this situation because it means lots of people making decisions that affect large numbers of people are now flying blind. This is extremely dangerous.

I suppose this is what you would expect in a 'meritocracy' where a few tens of thousands of dollars gets you a seat in the best signalling operation imaginable. Stupid people doing stupid things.

"I suppose this is what you would expect in a 'meritocracy' where a few tens of thousands of dollars gets you a seat in the best signalling operation imaginable. "

Are you referring to the college bribary scandal where blue-blooded old Yankee dimwits get accepted into no-fail ivy league schools and then run the country (into the ground) by virtue of their money and connections!

I never could figure out what Turchin meant by 'over-production of elites' but now I can.

Turchin predicted the next cycle to hit in 2020, and with the Democrats likely nominating the decrepit Joe Biden or divisive Kamala Harris, it's quite possible Trump gets a second term, leading to the 5th straight year of psychic breakdown on the Left. That might be the last national election of the US as presently constituted, and when CA and NY start peeling off, there goes the full faith and credit. Interesting times indeed.

in part because he has not been an entirely convincing campaigner.

A polite way of saying a clownish and superlatively mediocre man who managed to remain in Congress because, in Delaware politics, 80% of life is showing up.

He missed his true vocation in real estate sales (where he wouldn't have been clownish or mediocre).

Did I mention he inflicted Hunter on the world?

Biden illustrates that white liberal privilege is the most robust privilege in existence. He’s a light weight version of Dan Quayle. I mean was 100 percent about driving deviency down via pop culture. What’s one insightful thing Biden has ever done. He’s grappled with more humiliated women’s tits in public than he has grappled with ideas.

Here in DE all politics is personal. I see legislators and even governors on the street frequently. Biden is still riding on sympathy for the loss of his wife and more recent loss of the better son. Not that I blame him, he has suffered plenty, but suffering and sympathy are weak justification to put him in the WH.

Loss of his wife? As in Dr. Jill Biden?

Joe Biden married Neilia Hunter in 1966, and they had two sons and a daughter (Naomi Christina). In December 1972, while Joe Biden was Senator-elect, Neilia and Naomi were killed in a traffic accident which injured the two sons, who recovered from their injuries.[5][6] Joe Biden married his second wife, Jill, in 1977, and together they had a daughter, Ashley.[6] In May 2015, Beau died of brain cancer.[7]

Ah, here is an unanticipated result. Now that the report is in, and Trump's big defense of his friend Putin is over(?), The Republicans(!) can get serious about Russian interference.

Most likely that would be the dynamic or potentially dynamic, relatively centrist Democrats, and that includes Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg (

Yeah, Beta or Butt-gig. Sounds like a plan. (Note how at Mercatus, tearing down the existing border barriers is 'relatively centrist').

Maybe Beta and Buttigig will run on the same ticket.

Suddenly, a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi troubles my sight. Somewhere, in sands of Laguna Beach, a Prius with a bumper sticker "Vote Beta Butti" is moving slowly in the fast lane, while all about it reel shadows of the indignant MAGA drivers!

The darkness drops again, but I know now that 670 days of stoners sleeping were vexed to nightmare by a rocky scandal.

And what rough orange beast, his hour come round at last, slouches toward 2020, waiting to be elected again?

MAGA 2020

It seems, after all, that we did not have a president, or even presidential staff, who colluded with the Russians.

Yeah, I was worried about that one. Senior Executive branch officials colluding with the Hillary campaign to use a false dossier to obtain FISA warrants to try and generate dirt on Trump and influence the outcome of the election--I sleep.

Iraq "babies bayoneted in incubators" and "WMDs," a ridiculously astro-turfed "Arab Spring," "chlorine barrel bombs" in Syria. Quite a track record these journalists are building up.

These stories have consequences. The Arab Spring permanently altered Europe and resulted in active slave markets in Libya. The second Iraq war killed thousands of people on a pretext, and continues to reverberate. We nearly got in a theater-wide conflict over Syria. There's also the grievance-mongering that continues to poison the social climate: Jussie Smollett, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown/Ferguson.

Journalists really do seem to be propagandists and fabulists at this point. The good news is if you've got a smartphone, an inquisitive sense, and an Internet connection you have practically everything the professional "journalists" have, so those walls are going to come down.

No doubt useful idiot is better than traitor but I'm still going to want to see more than Barr's summary of the report.

I'd guess that if Barr's synopsis was omitting anything negative that material would be getting leaked all over Swamp World

Why do you say that Matt Tabibi’s recent article is overblown? Seems totally spot on...

Journalists' mistakes with WMD's contributed to a war that cost the US $2.4 Trillion and around 20,000 lives. Journalist's speculating on what Mueller would find and hoping for the worst, which by the way is an investigation that even Republicans supported, led to what exactly? Democratic voters acting in more partisan ways, maybe? But to not have done an investigation would be have been even more problematic for partisanship as Democrats would have gone on accusing Trump of collusion. And even Trump's allies often questioned why he was behaving the way he did if he hadn't committed a crime. The guy brought this on himself, and yes, journalists love a good potential scandal. And the sky is blue. And the sun rises in the east. So, yes, Tabibi's article is overblown.

Somehow we are past the time where facts change opinions.

Yet what is bizarre is that only facts matter in the end, not opinions.

No, only votes matter. The demoncats know this and live by this, which is why they will chase the great white whale around the world until they destroy themselves. I just hope they don't destroy the nation first. Right now, they are destroying the nation.

They should be egged in the face, or should have egg on their face, or something ...

+1, the facts are what matter, not the speculation and not the what ifs

On losers, one group that lose out of this are the "Fake nationalism" brigade.

So to explain: There was a narrative, after the Trump presidential win, and after the Leave victory in the UK EU ref, that these victories did not represent honest campaigns for a rollback of globalized governance and a resurgence of the nation state.

Instead, these victories were portrayed as by candidates who were secretly from a collusive, Russian dominated oligarchical elite, not actually for their nations, neither for a good status quo "rules based" egalitarian system of international governance. The "New Nationalism" then as merely a sham for a cabal of shadowy international elites with political and financial ties to Russia ("dark money" the favored phrase), and voters who believed they were voting for a more assertive national resurgence as just dupes of this alternative yet still globalist system, idiots who believe in romantic ideas of nations and peoples that "the educated" know to be false.

This was an idea popular among the moderate left, "Social Democrats" / "Democratic Socialists", but not exclusively so. Also popular among the socially liberal, economically conservative types - business conservatives, libertarians.

The biggest part of its appeal is in not having to deal with the questions of the nation state, as there's no real nationalist choice or path forward, or "There Is No Alternative"; it's only the question of a corrupt, lawless internationalist system vs a rules based, meritocratic internationalist system, and that's an easy choice to make.

But if collusion didn't happen, then the nationalist resurgence against norms of shared international governance is probably real, then that's almost a death knell for this worldview.

One alternative to this is to strive brightly on with their worldview, with the new narrative that Mueller is simply part of a cover up. "There's still a collusive internationalist elite pushing fake nationalism!" But since Mueller's so firmly part of The Establishment that's hard to square with their convictions that they are allied with a status quo worth defending...

That is a bad reading. Even without criminal conspiracy there is a lot of aligned interest, and reasonable men should not appreciate that a lot of different.

Why does the president United States love murdering strong men around the world?

Why do so many conservatives on this page stand ready to deflect Russian interference in American elections?

It certainly ain't Country over Party.

Nobody denying Russian meddling in the election. It's just Trump's involvement, when there's more evidence of Hillary collusion. This whole attack by the Democrats has been a distraction from Hillary's collusion and Russia's meddling. Are they just useful idiots, as they've been called before, or covering up Hillary's involvement? Maybe now we can get some answers to some of the actual election problems out there.

Lol do you seriously not know the word murderous?

Why do so many liberals stand ready to praise and justify Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's interference in American elections?

anonymous: Why does the president (of the) United States love murder(ous) strong men around the world?

You guys just started working with murderous strong men? Didn't previously work with Saddam and Pinochet? Lists like this weren't viable in 2014 before Trump -

On the obverse: Trump works with murdering strongmen like Duterte and Maduro?

The US has never been hands clean about working with authoritarian right wing dictatorships, and it likely never will be. It's hard for me to see Trump as much more than a continuation of this tradition against the excesses of the Neo-Cons and other liberal interventionists* in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, when they came to believe they had almost unrestricted free reign to impose a liberal capitalist rules based system without much blowback or constraint. And even much of that excess was more there in the rhetoric than the substance (it's not as if the murderous Saudi dictatorship was ever much than an ally through BushBama).

*and I bracket these together because they are basically of an ilk - Obama's foreign policy ("liberal interventionist") is pretty much a continuation of Bush's foreign policy ("neo-con"), which was consonant with the ideas of British junior partner Tony Blair ("liberal interventionist").

"reasonable men should not appreciate that aligned interest."

The president loves Putin, Un, Duterte, MBS (murderers all) and now Bolsonaro (not a great guy).

Is that what I want from a US president?


But Trump wasn’t under investigation for failing to give a neurotic fact-denying left coast hiking afficiando what he “wants from a president.” We have elections for that.

The hiking could actually be the key.

"Whites are pretty neatly sorted liberal/conservative on high/low "openness to experience" which predicts low/high ethnocentrism, which predicts (for whites) pro-/anti-immigration attitudes. Whites taken all together look like the rest, because the traits are normally distributed."

As the old bumper sticker used to say, No Fear.

Yes, precisely. Much like some VIP Brit said the other day, "democracy means being able to change your mind" (paraphrasing - he meant, we don't actually have to Brexit). And Ed Realist on twitter, and probably others, pointed out - uh, what was Brexit but democracy changing its mind?

Must it always be unidirectional?

The elites keep getting themselves stuck in these messes because they refuse to allow voting to change the government. Fragile system which ends badly.

"Must it always be unidirectional?"

For the authoritarians, Yes. They want a vote, and if it doesn't go their way, they want a court, or executive or process that changes the vote.

This is of course not specific to one side, but an attribute of members of every group.

I am starting to see it as no one's fault, there are no sides, only the whole: it's just a consequence of mature liberalism, following Patrick Deneen (winner?). Which is hard. Mother is so patriotic, so proud of her DAR membership, which she did not inherit but worked toward for years; loves: flying the flag, that Sunday comic of Snoopy crossing the Delaware with George, John Philips Sousa, and Fanfare for the Common Man; reading every doorstop book about American figures major and minor, plus their sisters or wives; her service as a "docent" of the early American decorative arts; what can only be described as a crush on Ben Franklin (did you know he had unusually broad shoulders?!), etc. It was the secular religion of my childhood. What do I do with this stuff? Honor it as a sort of tribal memory?

If you think there should be an American nation-state with its distinctive history, heroes and mythos then yes, you should honor it. Otherwise, come up with something to replace it.

In either case, I'm a little baffled about what her mother's voluntary patriotism has to do with authoritarianism.

Sorry if unclear. I fear the authoritarianism was baked in to our admittedly stirring history from the start, and is nothing to do with "party." If you have, unluckily, arrived this suspicion, it naturally tinges one's patriotism with a bit of melancholy.

I like to think that among the winners there are the radical libertarians. You do not need to involve fancy cospirations to show that the mob, empowered by electoral democracy, can give an inordinate amount of power on the life (sometimes even on the death) of each of us to an absolute moron.

The radical libertarians are history's losers. They couldn't even keep a frontier open somewhere in the temperate zone.

Those frontiers are not property of one or more of us. Wherever we happen to physically be now, we are squatters in collectivistic nightmares, prisoners in lands built in many cases by people that thought like we think (the US, for example).

But, a few months from now, the first private cities will become reality. Those frontiers will remain open to whom we want, and close to whom do not.

They won't be frontiers. There will be a substantial buy-in, and lots of rules.

Not that there's anything wrong with authoritarian city-states but lots of people tend to chafe under that model.

Such is life in Trump's America.

A long post and it misses the biggest winner : President Donald J Trump. Let the counterattack begin on the Obama administration officials who created this hoax. The house cleaning at the DOJ, FBI and State Department should be thorough and the convictions should be plentiful.

'on the Obama administration officials who created this hoax'

Seems like they might need to start with the Australians first - 'The FBI reportedly launched its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election after George Papadopoulos, then a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump, told an Australian diplomat that Moscow had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

According to a report published by the New York Times on Saturday, Papadopoulos made the revelation to Alexander Downer, the Australian high commissioner to the UK, “during a night of heavy drinking” at the Kensington Wine Rooms in London in May 2016.

Papadopoulos reportedly told Downer that Russian officials possessed thousands of emails that could harm Clinton’s candidacy.

Australia is part of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, with the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. When WikiLeaks began publishing hacked emails from Democratic officials two months later, Australian officials passed the information to their US counterparts, the Times report stated. The FBI then began its investigation.'

Now go a little bit further and look into who gave Papadopoulos that info and who they were being paid by...

Who am I kidding, clockwork is immune to facts.


Instead, the Times article left the very strong impression that the man who supposedly tipped off Papadopoulos about the emails, the Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud, was working for the Russians – even though his ties to Western intelligence were well-known. Cryptically, the Times suggested that Downer might have been “fishing” for information from Papadopoulos, without asking why, or for whom. It also did not report that Downer had long ties to the Clinton Foundation.

I didn't follow this very closely. Can somebody explain what was alleged? I gather it has to do with "the Russians" hacking or fishing those uninteresting a little remembered Podesta emails and sending them to wikileaks to post on the internet and also "the Russians" buying some facebook ads or something. Is there more to it, because none of that is very interesting.

Of course, the charge of collusion was nonsense from the start. I've commented many times that American voters are sufficiently ignorant on their own to choose an unqualified candidate without any help from Russians. That doesn't explain why the Russians chose to help elect Trump, something that is beyond doubt. Indeed, Trump didn't need to collude with the Russians since the Russians chose to help elect Trump on their own. Did they do it because they thought Trump would be a superior world leader? Because Trump would be more friendly toward Russia? Because Trump would weaken America and thereby strengthen Russia? As for Trump, the investigation did prove one thing: the man is demented. His Twitter behavior alone should be sufficient to have him committed. But his followers were unshaken by the spectacle of a man gone bonkers. Now that the investigation is over, will his delusions subside so he can get on with being a great president? Cowen apparently thinks so: "The biggest winner of course is the United States of America." All of us experience delusions from time to time, especially self-delusions.

"American voters are sufficiently ignorant on their own to choose an unqualified candidate without any help from Russians."

We have years of experience!

The russians did help Trump when he was a long shot. We was seen as the weakest horse against Hillary. When he was nominated they started to fund rallies against him. This we all know. He has been harsher to Russia than any recent President until you get to Reagan. Charitable view is they do it to cause chaos (and have been meddling ever since WWII), or the less charitable might be that they already paid for Clinton, so they wanted to make sure she got elected.

They already payed for Clinton,$150,000,000 and got 25% of US uranium reserves and future consideration.

Total crock of shit. And you don't even have your conspiracy data right, the now-debunked figure that Hannity made up was 20%. In the future you might want to up it to 40% to make it even more scaaaaaary.

Not debunked. Now that the coup is over we can start working on crooked Hillary and her criminal gang.

Good luck with that LOL

And yes totally debunked.

"It seems, after all, that we did not have a president, or even presidential staff, who colluded with the Russians." But you did have a treasonous Secretary of State and Democrat candidate for President, who got within a hair's breadth of victory. How very lucky you were.

It's quite a thought that the election of a narcissistic, sleazy oaf with limited powers of concentration and intellectual agility, and a rather spineless attitude to fulfilling his promises, was a narrow escape from someone much, much worse.

On the other hand: Macron. Merkel, May, .....

By the way Mr Trump should be careful. My assumption all along has been that they only reason "they" have not had him shot is that they expected their slow-motion coup to work. If it really has failed they might return to Plan A.

If the idea that bogus Facebook posts by Russian operatives can be a genuine threat to American "democracy" has some validity, then the country is much too fragile to survive in its imagined form. On the other hand, if career civil servants can wield out-sized influence in department decision-making and conduct endless investigations into their elected bosses' histories national survival might not be a good thing.

You left out publishing one American party's internal e-mails.

Not sure where that works out on the threat scale, though one assumes that Fancy Bear likely has more than one set of e-mails, and it will be fascinating to hear what you say after other non-public information is released in an attempt to further Russian goals.

(Is Trump reliant on Russian good will for re-election? - stay tuned, same Putin channel, same Putin time.)

They sponsored rallies against him after he won the nomination. Not sure their 'good will' would be welcomed.

They phished both Parties, not just one.

It just happened that only one person was dumb enough to send them his [email protected] (and hire lousy IT staff to manage their email).

Which candidates then are helped the most? Most likely that would be the dynamic or potentially dynamic, relatively centrist Democrats

That's either wishful thinking, or TC is just trying to elevate the "status" of his favorite political direction.

When all is said and done, why shouldn't Russia interfere again in 2020...on Trump's behalf? And what is the legal downside for Trump from again encouraging such interference, having done it so publicly ("Russia, if you're listening...") in 2016? Can we have a purely domestic election again? Must every Presidential indicate now have to develop a strategy to secure foreign partnerships?

Why should we particularly care if foreign countries do the very same thing that the news media regularly does -- obtain embarrassing information about candidates and their campaign organizations and release it to the public?

When all is said and done, why shouldn't Russia interfere again in 2020...on Trump's behalf? And what is the legal downside for Trump from again encouraging such interference, having done it so publicly ("Russia, if you're listening...") in 2016? Can we have a purely domestic election again? Must every Presidential candidate now have to develop a strategy to secure foreign partnerships?

Beto is as much a "centrist" as Vladmir Lenin. I dont know by what measure you are regarding people as centrist, but your gauge is broken. The best measure of where a politician lies on a political continuum is the character of the people who support him. Beto had hordes of radical leftists fly into Texas from all over the nation to support his campaign. These were people from the Sanders wing of the party. You're confused because Beto, running for election in Texas, was constrained by what he could publicly say he believed. He is as far left as AOC and not much brighter.

By the same argument, Harris is no centrist.

America lost. Yes, it is a relief to find out that there was no there there, but anyone paying attention knew that from Day 1, no investigation necessary. Trump was offered dirt on an opponent, and like every other candidate would he listened to it. Foreigners tried to gain influence, like every foreign government does. And Trump tried, like every other candidate, to burnish his foreign policy cred. These contacts never got past a single meeting.

The US paid 30 million to support a likely excuse by Hillary Clinton for losing an election she and her supporters thought was in the bag. It is the same, tired "irregularity" argument Democrats roll out every time they lose. They are the equivalent of the soccer player who throws himself on the ground after incidental contact, feigning grievous injury, hoping to draw a red card against his opponent.

This bogus story occupied the news all day, every day for two years to the exclusion of everything else, demonstrating that the mass media is a propaganda arm of the DNC.

The fervor to impeach Trump hasn't waned even slightly, and if anything it has intensified. The Sunday talk shows were filled with claims that the investigation was flawed and only Congress can fix the shortcomings.

The investigation should have been rebuked from the beginning.

I don't think this is helpful. Beto and Kamala are not 'socialists' anymore than Obama was.

Bernie is a socialist. AOC is a socialist. We know this because they call themselves socialists. About 10% of Democrats are socialists. They hate Beto and Kamala more than you do.

I don't think they really are socialists either, but comparing them to a guy who tried to take over 1/6 of the economy doesn't help your point.

"The world is more prosperous than ever before and yet our societies are marked by uncertainty and is important to remember that capitalism has been the greatest driver of prosperity and opportunity the world has ever seen."

Barack Obama, 10/6/2016

This is not how socialists talk. The real socialists have already rejected Obama.

I really need to bookmark that quote. It's too good not to use as frequently as possible.

Revealed preference is a thing.

Your attitude is identical to that of lefties that casually throw around the word 'fascist' to describe anyone on the right.

It's not helpful. There is a significant rift within the Democratic Party here. Maybe it's all the same to you, but it isn't in reality.

I don't think he's a real socialist, wanting to take over all forms of production. He does lean that way too far for my comfort though. You are correct that there are worse actors on the scene at the moment, but using him as a reasonable Dem didn't help your argument. He's still to the left of the majority of Dems.

"He's still to the left of the majority of Dems."

In 2019? Completely, totally false.

+1, Obama is not to the Left of the current crop of Democratic candidates. As to what the majority of Democrats want, that's a little harder to say. They voted for Hillary last time, but a substantial portion wanted Bernie.

"The biggest winner of course is the United States of America. It seems, after all, that we did not have a president, or even presidential staff, who colluded with the Russians. "

+1, that was a good comment Tyler.

Astounding variety of realities commenters live in, including the author.

Personally I put little stock in Barr's summary aligning with a factual and disinterested read of the record. He is a fixer, hired to do a job, and he has done that job, facts aside.

But it's a long war. Give it a month, the actual report will find its way out, and then there will be a new opportunity to count winners and losers.

The full report -- or at least any "bombshell" "smoking gun" "beginnings of the end for Trump" -- would be leaking like crazy if there was any there there.

Were any there there. I know, I know ..

At any rate, the media will be a loser because they have been shamed and they will never forgive or forget that. It'll be "Full Report!! Full Report! Full Report" to buy time until they can fashion some new "Smoking Gun!"

I don't know how much more credibility the media, meaning serious journalists and news institutions, can really loose. If anything, if we don't see some replacements and a refocus on facts rather than analysis and interpretation the finding suggests they face no accountability.

That seems like a win for those (and there are too many) using the media as a propaganda too.

"The Mueller report makes it clear that we really are in a post-Obama era"

I don't get this statement at all. The report from Mueller (PBUH) has nothing to do with Obama. If we lived in a post-Obama era Obamacare would probably be repealed and government smaller. Instead we have a fiscal regime possibly left of Obama's. Trump and Obama successfully tag-teamed to move the American political center to the left in a step-wise permanent manner. The US is now California.

Anyway. Bored now. But I think the lesson from the right is that "Trump may be an a-hole, but he's our a-hole" will be their whole message and campaign.

Good luck with that.

As a footnote is Will Wilkinson better or worse than me?

Whether he is or isn't, it's still somehow all about you LOL.

I was responding to some assertions above that it might *just* be me, as seen from the MR bubble.

Speaking seriously, there seem fairly bright and informed people who are *less* willing than I to accept the "no evidence of criminal conspiracy" part of this determination.

I think that might be a mistake. We'll see. But it shows a certain inflexibility. And it's not like the lack of criminal conspiracy in this matter makes Trump an all around mensch. There are other moving parts.

How did the media "botch" the Hillary e-mail story?

Either by paying too much or not enough attention to the fact that her particular job had security obligations that she totally ignored, that she lied repeatedly about things ranging from whether she took the required security course or whether she had just one portable communications device (she had about a dozen), that she set up a private, misconfigured and thus vulnerable, webserver in her house with emails that included SCIF info, that her staff curated her emails before sending them for examination, that some of that staff suddenly declared themselves to be her legal representation to avoid subpoenas, and that some of her staff blatantly lied on material matters to the FBI yet the FBI didn't treat those lies as prosecutable (unlike, say, Michael Flynn), and probably some other things that I don't have off the top of my head.

And for those who will raise the issue of Jared Kushner and WeChat: the President's personal factotum/emissary is not the same position as the head of an institution like the State Department.

Good call on Glenn Greenwald. To understand the extent of the lunacy, a fair number of people have swept Glenn in with the "Putin puppet" crowd.

Russia, Russia, Russia. Completely unhinged.

GG should instead be swept up with the 'disingenuous a-hole' category. Glenn is a liar and he doesn't have a clue what good reporting is. He is the last person who should be talking about this.

I suppose there are left-wingers who argue that the allegations must be true because so many people have fervently believed in them. Do they realise that this is also an argument for the truth of Christianity?

mebbe just confused
about the origin of the real fake/dossier?
possibly john daretodangle mcains role has been
# anotherfactyouwontfindoutfromnpr

the ides of march

Two points nobody here has noted, including one I have yet to see anybody anywhere note. That one first.

Everybody, including even the usually careful Tyler, has been piling on with the Trump/Hannity line that "there was no collusion" and that the still not public Mueller Report proves that. But look carefully at the carefully written Barr letter. The word "collusion" does not appear in it. What Barr reports the Mueller report failing to find sufficient evidence to prosecute on is "conspiracy," which is a crime, although it is stated that there is a lack of evidence for "coordination" by Trump or "the Trump campaign." I have from time to time seen a commentator note that despite the constant "no collusion" refrain from Trump and Hannity and gang, there was never going to be a judgment on that as it is not a crime. Conspiracy is the crime, and that is what was not found, although coordination may be close to collusion.

As I see it, lots of collusion was found, see lots of those indictments for campaign workers, some very high up, clearly cooperating with, or trying to, with various Russian agents. Heck, what triggered the Special Counsel investigation was not the Steele dossier as Taibibi incorrectly asserts (as well as Hannity et al repeatedly), but Trump firing Comey after Comey would not let Michael Flynn off the hook for talking to Russians and then lying about it, a bit more than a "process crime" as Trump fans like to describe all those indictments. It is such blatant actions, even bragged about to Russian diplomats by Trump, that are why he was not exonerated by the Mueller Report on obstruction of justice charges.

Why all this blatant collusion apparently does not amount to either conspiracy or even maybe "coordination" is that there was apparently no central organizing aspect to it, or main meeting with the erstwhile conspirators, the Russians. As Juan Cole notes, Trump was/is simply too dumb and disorganized to pull such an organizing plot off. So, instead, there was this haphazard collusion by a bunch of his campaign people, which he and they felt needed covering up. But its lack of any central direction or coordination or specific deal with the Russians means that it is not conspiracy (or the also not illegal "coordination"), even though collusion is blatantly there all over the place.

The other point is that a bunch of commentators here have blithely labeled Obama's deal with Iran an awful thing, as if this is an accepted fact. It was in fact a great achievement by Obama and a success that Trump has very stupidly undone to the massive disapproval of all but a handful of nations in the world. The most important of those, of course, has been Israel, where Netanyahu's entire career has been premised on pushing hysteria about Iran, but at the time of the Iran deal there senior retired Israeli military-intel people who said the deal was good for Israel. Those denouncing the deal are just partisan hacks who know very little about what is going on in the world.

How the hell would there be collusion without coordination? The reason no one mentions it - it's an idiotic point. a twelve year old knows better.

Sorry, TMC, "coordination" implies planning and organization. That is what was not found. "Collusion" is working togwther for the same ends, which a whole bunch of Trump campaign people did and then lied about it and are facing court proceedings, with some of them having pled guilty for doing so. This was all a bunch of uncoordinated collusion. I suspect you learn English, TMC.

Collusion implies coordination Barkley, without coordination, there is no collusion. Barr may have just expected a little bit of logic applied to interpreting his statement. More than you can muster.

And where does it do that, TMC? In Hannity fantasyland? One can assist somebody else who also assists you with it being spontaneous and unplanned actions. Coordination implies planning. There is little evidence of that, but plenty of mutual assistance. BTW, Dana Milbank agrees with me: plenty of collusion but Trump too stupid to conspire or coordinate. It was just all over the place.

Oh hun, you’re sundowning so early today.

Someone get grandpa’s smart phone away from him. You know he gets when the dementia hits and he’s watching Maddow....

You undermine your entire credibility with praise for the Iran non-deal. The Iran deal was and is lunacy. There is no reason to trust Iran.

Sorry, Cy, all international observvers agree that Iran kept and is still keeping the deal, even though the US has pulled out of it for no sensible reason at all, an incredibly stupid and incompetent thing to do.

You are a foolish and ignorant idiot.

The Russia gravy train isn't over for the media yet. They will have to release the full report and there will be plenty to cover that we don't know yet.

Is Harris considered a centrist? I don't see her that way, but if anyone wants to enlighten me, I'm listening.

It may be more a case of whether her superficial intersectional leftist female person-of-color credentials are fully in order. There's some trope about her being "tough on crime" at some point in the dim past. And her husband is a privileged white guy.

She sure went full lefty on Kavanaugh

Now let's do an investigation into collusion and foreign influence in the US from Israel or Ukraine selectively leaking info.

Beto is the personification of milquetoast.

So was two-time president Barack Obama, especially at the beginning.

Except Robert is white and married to a billionaire and is a spineless wind-vain - A Gen-Xer running for president as a form of actualization

So basically a male version of Melania?

I kid, I kid.

Obama was treated like a total lightweight, especially at first, too. The race thing is interesting. People said with some truth that if Obama had been white with the same resume he doesn't get so far. We're about to find out with Beto.

And he won't have to beat a war hero to win the presidency.

It’s posts like this why I don’t stop by much anymore.

The Clinton campaign and Obama government FABRICATED an excuse to spy on and ultimately ruin a political opponent.

The media are to blame only in that they happily went along with it.

That Tyler thinks the ultimate failure of this soft coup is good for the USA is quite troubling. If Clinton had won, no one would have known how corrupt the government has become.

Comments for this post are closed