Tuesday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Welcome to Tuesday, hope it’s a good one wherever you are.

In history today:

Notable birthdays:

  • 1873 – Dorothea Bleek, South African-German anthropologist and philologist (d. 1948)
  • 1875 – Syngman Rhee, South Korean journalist and politician, 1st President of South Korea (d. 1965)
  • 1881 – Guccio Gucci, Italian fashion designer, founded Gucci (d. 1953)
  • 1905 – Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist (d. 1997)
  • 1930 – Sandra Day O’Connor, American lawyer and jurist
  • 1931 – Leonard Nimoy, American actor (d. 2015)
  • 1940 – Nancy Pelosi, American lawyer and politician, 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

From Poland we have a moment of complete and utter hubris.

Hili: The background is only an addition to highlight the beauty of the photographed object.
A: What are you talking about?
Hili: About me.

In Polish:

Hili: Tło jest tylko dodatkiem dla podkreślenia piękna fotografowanego obiektu.
Ja: O czym mówisz?
Hili: O mnie.

From Twitter for your delectation (or detestation):

Some articles worth reading, the first about the media’s abysmal dive down the rabbit-hole, written just before any details from the Mueller investigation were published.

The second refers to this breaking news about Avenatti.

Contender for stupidest dog on the planet, Ra bless its cotton socks.

On Brexit – for those who don’t know DAG is a EU-skeptic and an English lawyer and writer. Even he thinks Remain is the saner option.

Big Brother is watching you.

More pleasant stuff:

Less pleasant stuff:

The newest Disney princess, and probably the best one ever.

No Comment (you’ll have to click through on this one)

And just to redeem your faith in dogs after seeing the eejit above. Well, one of them, anyway.  #NotAllDogs



  1. Posted March 26, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Good morrow all…
    two articles I would have sent to PCC[E] if he were not on hols…

    Bat wing evolution https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0857?platform=hootsuite&

    Sexual selection, body mass and molecular evolution interact to predict diversification in birds

    Both open access…

  2. Roger
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    That poor shadow doggy needs to read “The Allegory of the Cave”. Only so that he could explain to me what the hell Socrates and Glaucon were on about.

  3. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    That contrail video – it’s incorrect to state that the visible vapour correlates with CO2. Most of the vapour is visibly coming off the wings, due to aerodynamic w1pressure reduction in a saturated atmospheric layer causing the formation of water droplets; it is not coming off the engines.

    There are some nice shots of wing-produced ‘clouds’ here:

    (I do agree that CO2 emitted by aircraft is a major concern)


    • Roger
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Sounds like he was trying a little too hard to be “CO2 woke”.

    • Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      I was going to make the same comment (more or less) but the engine exhaust does seem to strongly dominate the contrail in the vid.

      That said, when there is conditions for strong contrails, the lower pressure over the wing upper surface will induce clouds as well.

    • Dominic
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink


    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      The same tweet (or a re-tweet thereof) prompted requests for a (compulsory) fuel additive that made exhaust plumes persistently visible. I don’t think the requester realised what a tall ask that is, particularly on the non-toxic front. After all, that is what we used to do with tetra-ethyl lead – though that wasn’t easily visible and wasn’t added to diesel.
      you could try to produce plumes of nice, unreactive silica – and face the law suits for white-lung (silicosis).

    • Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      I do agree that CO2 emitted by aircraft is a major concern

      I agree it is a concern, but I don’t think it is a major one at this time. Apparently, it contributes 4.9% to human climate change globally, so even if you stopped all air travel tomorrow, it’s not going to be enough.

      The concerns arise because air travel is still growing and we don’t have any realistic alternative to using fossil fuels in aircraft. I’m not saying we should ignore the problem, but I think there are other larger sources of carbon dioxide to go after that are less intractable to fix first.

      • Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        I think the outrage is that 4.9% of the world’s CO2 output is produced by ferrying around a much smaller percentage of world population. Agree with everything else you said.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        I said that lest anyone think that, by querying the equation of ‘contrails = CO2’, I was dismissing the problem.

        Aircraft are going to be fairly intractable. Trains/trams/buses can be electrified and road transport battery-powered (though there’s no point at all in that if the grid power comes from coal or oil). But aircraft can’t.


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Correction. I was WRONG. 8-(

      The ‘clouds’ are coming off the engines, this is obvious in the Youtube video Michael Fisher linked to below, (but not in the crappy-quality Tw*tter copy. I hate Tw*tter.)

      Sorry for misleading everybody.

      But I still maintain that the clouds don’t correlate with CO2 output; as darwinwins pointed out, that would mean that in clear air there’s no CO2.


  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Gerrymandering gets a lot of play today simply because it is easy to see and remember as another tool of corrupt politicians to protect their interest. However, if you want to learn many others just ask Donald Trump and get updated.

    The corruption is sometimes due to leaving out instructions in the constitution and sometimes it is built in. Remember that big state, small state fight and the vote that allowed it by one vote (5-4-1)and we had two Senators per state. That has resulted in 586,000 in Wyoming with equal representation to 39 million in California. Or think about apportionment that was not corrected for about 180 years. The court finally stepped in around 1962 and made it a judicial issue to fix this problem in unequal representation. Why did this go on so long? Because it could and the states, with their powerful equality with the federal simply ignored the laws and made sure their interests were protected.

    • W.Benson
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Not to mention that capitalists (investors and businesses) have much more cash to propagandize for their candidates and lobby for their projects than do socialists, and anyone else for that matter.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Yes. I was referring to the inequalities of our republic and so-called democracy before the addition of money is added to the problem and taken into consideration. That only makes a bad situation much worse and actually prevents fixing many of the inherit inequalities.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Although I’m convinced gerrymandering is a YUGE problem in the US, it is not the only one. Counting fraud, voter disenfranchisements and Russian troll farms changed the results of the last elections.
      Note, if I may expand a bit.
      Now that the Mueller report is in, and does not implicate Mr Trump directly in criminal conspiracy with the Russians (To my surprise, and yes, I still think he’s in Putin’d pocket, but that is basically a different question. It only reinforces the idea that his candidacy was more or less forced on him by his Russian handlers).
      Ms Pelosi was right, just imagine the Dems had started impeachment and the Mueller report had come out early 2020? Imagine the backlash! The Senate will never convict him unless overwhelming evidence of conspiracy. Which is not there.
      There is still time now for the Dems, concentrate on the things they are good at, health care, environment etc etc. policies in other words. That is what wins them elections.
      Scandals, poop-slinging and dirty tricks won’t do it, the Reps will beat them there anytime.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Funny how you say the Mueller report is out. Particularly since no one has seen it.

        • Harrison
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          I’m also pretty sick of people stating confidently that the Barr Summary is the same thing as the Mueller Report.

          If you think other people have egg on their faces wouldn’t you want to be careful to not get any on your own? Apparently not, thinks the likes of Ken White.

        • Mark R.
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          The media should start calling it the Barr report. Baffles

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

          For the Mueller report to be useful in an effective impeachment, the evidence must be overwhelming. The Senate will never condemn if not so.
          Mr Barr, biased as we suspect him to be, could not have exonerated Mr Trump if that type of evidence were there

          • Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:21 am | Permalink

            I agree. However, Mueller’s own words may tell us where his dial falls on the continuum between “I can’t prove Trump committed this crime” and “I’ve proven Trump didn’t commit this crime”. That won’t make a bit of difference to impeachment prospects but it should count in the 2020 election.

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    To put it more succinctly it is complete wank bollocks! 🙂

    Anyway here below is the original video by YouTuber LouB747, July 2017, of the featured Boeing 787 Dreamliner 1,000 feet below. It was recorded from a 747 at 33,000 feet on a flight from Tokyo to Alaska.

    The contrails are billowing from the engines of the Dreamliner & they’re obviously combustion contrails [see 0:32 onwards in the video to confirm the contrails commence at the rear of the two engines] – the ambient air is supersaturated, or very nearly so, which will not in itself result in water/ice crystals [that we see as contrails], each droplet/crystal in the contrail requires a nucleation site which can be dust in the air or soot from the two engines. Most of the water/ice isn’t from the engines [some is], but is forming straight from the air around emitted engine soot particles.

    The folding in of the contrail wake is an interesting feature – the way I fold my shirts 🙂

    • Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      So I guess when a jetliner passes through dry air and leaves no contrail we should conclude it leaves no CO2.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Well put! Much better answer than mine.

    • Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      The in-folding effect is nice flow-vis. of the tip-vortex on the wings.

      The tip vortex is driven by the different pressure above and below the wing. it is responsible for nearly all (if not all) of the drag due to lift: Dragging that big vortex through the air.

      Think of it this way: Higher pressure below the wing (lift is driven by the air pressure being greater below the wing than above it) and is “trying” to get over the wing to equalize the pressures. Therefore, the vortex folds up and inward over the upper wing surface (or it “tries” to, the wing moves forward too fast for that).

      Winglets that are seen on many airliners now are placed to take advantage of this vortex (angled at the right angel of attack relative to the vortex flow) such that they receive a small forward force from that flow over them.

      I have to admit, I was skeptical of this; but it’s quite true and can make a difference in fuel economy even into the high single digits on percentage. (That’s a HUGE cost difference in this business.)

      • Steve Bracker
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        Zounds! First we have to contend with TSA groping. Then flight control software that often works. Now attacking angels? What next? At least we have countermeasures.

        • Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

          🙂 Yeah, keep your eyes open for those!

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      “that was complete wank bollocks!”

      That was a little unkind. I wasn’t sure if you were referring to the original Tw*tter or my comment. 🙂

      However, having seen the excellently clear Youtube video you linked to, I have to agree that you’re right. The clouds are obviously coming off the engines, not the wings. (This wasn’t at all apparent in the crappy quality copy in the tweet. Yet another reason to hate Tw*tter.) My ‘explanation’ was wrong.

      I also agree (as darwinwins underlined) that the cloud size is determined by surrounding atmospheric conditions and does not correlate much with CO2.


      • Michael Fisher
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        Nah. Not referring to you or I’d have threaded my ‘assessment’ as a reply to you.

  6. Michael Fisher
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    That particular Doggo post is gone, but the thread r/AnimalsBeingDerps lives on HERE

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      DERP sounds a bit mean, but let us say that puggy is clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
      I can’t imagine a corvid or parrot doing that.

  7. Jenny Haniver
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Matt Taibbi was mentioned above. I heard Taibbi interviewed on the radio last night about his Rolling Stone article, which I haven’t yet read, but what he said on the radio was trenchant and on the mark, even if it saddens me to agree with him. However, in today’s climate, is it even possible for the press to be more judicious; like it or not, this is the Society of the Spectacle, and everything is Spectacular(ly) good or bad.

  8. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    That Taibbi article is, I hate to say, hysterical bullshit.

    I understand these last few days have been manna from heaven for everyone who has a hard-on for hating the ‘MSM’, and who considers them degenerate scum whose only purpose is to divide us, but I ask myself how exactly the press was meant to react to Trump’s behaviour over the last two and a half years; the relentless changing of stories, the lie after lie after lie, the private conversations with Putin, the osculation of Putin and Russia, the siding with Russia over the American intelligence forces every single time the issue came up, the apologetics on Russia’s behalf whenever it decided to murder some luckless dissident;
    all of which was on top of the entirely credible dossier put forward by a highly-respected intelligence operative at a time when Russia was openly meddling in the American election, trying to get Trump elected.
    And _then_ ladle on the most blatant obstruction of justice I’ve ever seen by a politician in my entire life, a big chunk of which was done on camera or in the form of Tweets…

    In my opinion the way the mainstream press behaved towards Trump was generally pretty damn fair, and the idea that this is ‘worse than non-existent WMDs’ is the kind of giddily extreme reaction that I’ve been hearing a lot of over the last couple of days from exultant Trump supporters who seem to think that this very specific report somehow wipes the slate clean and makes all previous suspicions about Trump’s character and dodginess verboten.

    Balls to that – they don’t get to whitewash this lunatic president through the force of their fake outrage.

    • Achrachno
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Thank you!

      And we currently have little to go on except Barr’s obviously biased summary of whatever Mueller said, yet many news organizations have worded reports as though Trump is cleared by the Mueller report. The press if anything seems to be going out of their way to protect Trump. We’ve seen a lot from Trump in general, but the obvious spin from Barr now is treated as more important? Even though Barr played the same covering role in Iran-Contra?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Very good thoughts. The short memory of the far right allows them to ignore last week or even yesterday and certainly the 19 page audition letter William Barr brought to advance his case for attorney general should be very apparent by now. He had no more business being attorney general than the idiot Wittaker he replaced. So Trump again succeeds in taking it to the democrats and the country for now. So the question is, what now, if they do not release the Mueller report in full? Number one, they must bring Mueller to congress for a lot of questions and then Barr to determine in the open just what kind of crook he is.

      Barr is exactly what he appeared to be so why all the surprise within the media, I have no idea.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      I haven’t yet read and reflected on the article, so I can’t comment on your evaluation, but I am quite willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, though will reserve judgment until I’ve read it, then refer back to your comment here. I do, though, and have for quite some time,thought that in general re the Muller investigation, the media misread a lot of signs, was hubristically overconfident(like Hili in today’s photo) and cocksure of the outcome, which was not at all what most expected.

      • Achrachno
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        We don’t know the outcome, except that the Republicans are spinning like crazy. We need to see the whole report and to evaluate in carefully. I predict that release will be obstructed at every turn by the rightist authoritarians in the Trump admin.

      • darrelle
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        My first question is, if the Mueller report exonerates Trump so thoroughly then why hasn’t Barr released it to everyone, let alone anyone else? My guess is that the report confirms that Trump is a nasty piece of work but that regarding collusion with Russia specifically there was not enough evidence to warrant an indictment.

        I’ve always been skeptical that evidence of collusion would ever reach a level high enough to warrant an indictment. However, I’ve never doubted that the Mueller investigation, with its mandate to pursue any possible wrong doing that might be found while in pursuit of its primary goals, and the other investigations related to it, would produce plenty of quality evidence of assorted scumbaggery and criminal activity. I’ve seen nothing yet to dissuade me of any of that. Certainly not Barr’s letter. Quite the contrary.

        I certainly wouldn’t trust Barr’s letter or anything he has to say about the Mueller report. I can understand the Republican Party and its supporters spinning Barr’s letter with everything they’ve got, but I don’t understand why the press in general seems to be so accepting of it. I think the press is falling down on the job again. Every article I’ve read has been talking about how Trump has been vindicated. For one, that’s assuming Barr’s letter is accurate, sufficient and thorough. For two, that’s swallowing the “NO COLLUSION” propaganda tactic hook line and sinker. Collusion was not the only reason for the Mueller investigation, not by far, and it is far from the only crime Trump is being investigated for. Even if the Mueller Report does in fact indisputably clear Trump of collusion, as opposed for example to merely not having enough evidence to meet the standards necessary to indict, Trump is vindicated only on that one possible charge, out of many.

        At the moment I don’t see how Trump gets out of this situation without some serious repercussions. Even if the Mueller report doesn’t result in any indictments the state of New York, and perhaps Virginia, are going to leave a mark on Trump. Leaving the White House is likely to be very unpleasant for Donnie.

    • BJ
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      “…the entirely credible dossier put forward by a highly-respected intelligence operative…”

      Did you read the entire Taibbi article? Because, if you did, I have no idea how you could possibly say this dossier was “entirely credible,” or anything close to it.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        Yes, I think I know which way you lean on this.

    • Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      I agree. IMHO, the Dems are not being very smart in how they counter Trump’s attacks now that he has been cleared. Clearly there was plenty of evidence to justify the investigation. The Trumper’s argument that this means the Dems made it all up is just ridiculous. However, the Dems do not have a simple reply to this trope. They need to get together with a good writer and come up with a one-liner they can all use and expand on. It needs to be an analogy with something that will resonate with plain folks. Something like, “Not having enough evidence to go to trial does not mean the suspect hasn’t committed a crime.”

      • Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Clearly the investigation was justified. It has led to the indictment of many Russians and some of Trump’s closest advisors, but that isn’t the problem.

        The problem is that the media and a lot of anti-Trump people overhyped it and by doing so, they handed a huge victory to Trump on a plate.

      • Historian
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Trump has not been cleared of the obstruction of justice charge. We need to see the full Mueller report to make a determination on this.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          Thank you. I was not ready to throw in the towel just yet. It is remarkable how people can be lead around by the nose, even so called democrats out here in the net.

          No one has seen one sentence of Mueller’s report, only the 4 page public relations spin by one corrupt attorney general.

        • Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          True but going after Trump for obstruction will not be politically smart. Although one can obstruct the investigation of a crime for which one is not charged, most people will give him a pass, calling it just Trump aggressively defending himself from a false charge. We will hear over and over again how he punches back and how we may not like his style but … It all makes me sick.

          While Trump is now calling his enemies traitors and un-American, the GOP is calling for apologies. I hope no one gives him any. The MSM seems to be playing into this narrative willingly in order to be seen as fair. It’s as if they want to atone for going along with the Dems on accusing Trump. They say to Dems, “Some in the GOP are calling for an apology. Do you want to apologize?” This seems to signal to the audience that they should apologize. I hope they don’t as they can’t deliver Trump’s “witch hunt” theme on a silver platter.

        • Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

          And, in my opinion, it doesn’t “exonerate” him. It says that they didn’t have evidence to prosecute and gain a conviction. “Exonerate” is something very different.

          Funny how the GOP is still scrambling to prevent publication of Mueller’s report. Wonder why????

    • Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      The report has found no evidence of collusion by Trump with the Russians. So what were all the newspaper reports based on?

      I was always quite sure that the report wouldn’t find anything on Trump himself. Everybody kept banging on about how he colluded with Russia, but the evidence was never actually produced. It was always a bit of wishful thinking. Trump isn not fit to be president but, in my opinion, he really knows how to avoid being implicated in illegal activities. That’s the only explanation for why he has never done any prison time.

      I’m sorry, but all this episode has done is give Trump and his supporters a massive boost.

      • Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Trump has just done what any good crime boss knows instinctively, avoids leaving a trail. That said, we might now see some people come out of the woodwork and make claims against Trump. Some who were eyewitness to some of their crimes but didn’t want to get involved. They assumed that Mueller would get others to flip on Trump. Since this didn’t happen to a degree that sufficiently incriminated Trump, they may come forward because they don’t want to see Trump slip off the hook.

      • Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        “I’m sorry, but all this episode has done is give Trump and his supporters a massive boost.”

        Wait until the report is published. If it ever is. If Drumpf or the rest of the GOP block it, that pretty much tells the tale anyway.

        Insufficient evidence to prosecute is not exoneration. Trump and GOP supporters have lied about everything under the sun. And this is important: Of course they are lying about it.

        He won’t be impeached over it (I think). Actually, nothing will get him impeached if the GOP controls either house of congress. He’s a cunning crime boss. He hasn’t left a strong trail and his minions have fallen on their swords.

        That said, the media and the Dems over played their hands. I agree on that.

        If any independent voter votes for Drumpf in 2020, I’ll be amazed. he hasn’t done anything for the economy. He’s riding Obama’s coattails.

        • Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          Since Trump’s Attorney General is the one in charge of publishing the report, it’s not going to happen unless there is nothing in it that would destroy Trump. Don’t get your hopes up.

          I don’t think Barr was lying when he said Mueller found no evidence of collusion (note “no” rather than “insufficient”) and I think saying things like “of course they are lying” is clutching at straws at this point.

          As for the obstruction of justice charge, Barr says the evidence isn’t enough to indict Trump, but neither does it exonerate him. So you could say there is something, but the damage from that is already baked into Trump’s numbers. Nobody is going to change their mind about whether he obstructed justice or not based on what is in Barr’s letter.

          • Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

            Well, I more or less agree with your analysis except that: If Barr is Trump’s man (and he is, and he thinks POTUS ~cannot obstruct justice), then why should I believe his analysis?

            And, as you noted: “[Mueller’s full report is] not going to [be published] unless there is nothing in it that would destroy Trump. Don’t get your hopes up.” But this doesn’t track with: “clutching at straws”.

            Being prevented from seeing the evidence is not the same as clutching at straws. The prevention indicates grounds.

            With luck, no independent voters will be fooled.

            As for the Trumpers? As Trump himself said, he could shoot someone in 5th avenue and his supporters would stick with him. I agree this is true (and has been demonstrated with much that has been somewhat short of murder); and it tells me all I need to know about Trump supporters.

            • Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

              But this doesn’t track with: “clutching at straws”.

              Yes it does. You are clutching at straws because you think that publishing the Mueller report will make a difference. It’s not gonna.

              Firstly, I don’t think any parts that would destroy Trump, if they exist, will ever be published.

              Secondly, the report almost certainly does exonerate Trump on collusion. It certainly does, if Barr is not lying.

              Thirdly, Barr’s letter admits that Mueller sat on the fence with respect to obstruction of justice(which is reason to believe Barr is not lying), but Barr has decided not to indict because, in his opinion, the evidence does not meet the standard required for a conviction. You can argue that that was a partizan decision, but it isn’t going to change anything in terms of kicking Trump out of office.

              • rickflick
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

                “I don’t think any parts that would destroy Trump, if they exist, will ever be published.”

                Everything in the report will come out eventually. Barr says the report will be released in “weeks, not months”. The primary reason for delayed publication is to redact for security reasons, etc. If Barr redacts information harmful to Trump for any other reason, it is bound to come out in the testimony given to congressional committees. I think Mueller is already scheduled to testify.

              • Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

                And my prediction is that there will be nothing in it that seriously embarrassed Trump.

              • Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

                I hope a Dem gets to see the entire Mueller report soon. If there’s real meat in it, then it is something that needs to be made public and loose ends pursued. On the other hand, if it tells us nothing more than what Barr’s letter does, then Dems should drop it like a hot potato. While impeachment over Russia collusion is no longer an option, Dems still need to prove that it wasn’t all a witch hunt and to deflate the Trump team’s jubilation. They need to find out soonest whether the report will help with that.

              • rickflick
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

                Embarrass DT? That will be easy to verify by watching over the next few months.

                (In a sense, nothing can embarrass DT. He’s immune to that emotion. So whatever is in the report he will simply spin for his loyal fans. But, I know what you mean.)

                There is so much in the public domain already that would completely humiliate a normal person that I don’t think any additional blame will be very politically damaging. We already know he’s an incompetent and dangerous president who does not deserve to lead an Easter egg hunt let alone a country. But, I suspect, the real legacy of Mueller will be the multiple state-level cases started against him. These will probably last past his term in office.

              • Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

                The report most certainly does not exonerate Trump from collusion with Russia, at least not in the court of public and congressional opinion. Since both impeachment and elections are political events, this is really what matters. Although we don’t know exactly what’s in Mueller’s report, I think we can be confident that he didn’t offer an innocent explanation for why Trump’s campaign met with Russians and lied about it so often. I doubt Mueller bought their “adoption” story.

              • Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

                Yes it does. Mueller says he found no evidence of collusion. Trump couldn’t have hoped for anything better on the collusion accusations. Impeachment is now very unlikely to happen.

                It’s over. Move on.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      The thing is, and I have to trust Mr Mueller on that, that Mr Trump apparently did not actively, criminally conspire with the Russians.
      However, it has been well established the Russians conspired and interfered to get him elected. The probability of Mr Trump being a Russian agent has not really changed. He is, with a probability verging on certainty, in Mr Putin’s pocket. But my or your opinion is not of import there.
      That being said, I think the Dems should not continue there, but change tactics. Forget about impeachment and concentrate on policies (health care, environment, economy, etc), an area where they are much better than the Trumpists. It might even give them a win in 2020.

      • Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        “The thing is, and I have to trust Mr Mueller on that, that Mr Trump apparently did not actively, criminally conspire with the Russians.”

        All we can really conclude is that Mueller failed to find sufficient evidence. He knows that he can’t go farther than that in his report as it is unethical to come straight out and tell us that Trump committed the crime but he just isn’t able to prove it. However, if we had the full report, we may find that he says as much if we read between the lines.

        • Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

          Well according to Barr, Mueller found no evidence on the collusion charge, not insufficient evidence.

          • Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

            Well, Barr is trump’s spin doctor. Wait for the report.

            • Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

              But on the other charge of obstruction of justice, Barr says “neither does it exonerate him”. If he was spinning this, he would have left that bit out.

              At the moment, I see no reason to disbelieve Barr when he says Mueller says there is no evidence of collusion.

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

                Neither do I. He’d be inviting lifelong, even historical, opprobrium if he actively left out huge chunks of evidence that proved Trump was guilty of something. I don’t see much reason to believe he would do that.

                I’d imagine there is plenty of shitty behaviour in the report, and plenty of stuff that would cripple any other president, but as for what a lot of people have been hoping to find…nah.

                I posted about this a week or so ago, just before the report came out, saying that it seemed more and more likely to me that Trump’s behaviour towards Putin wasn’t that suspicious, since over time we’ve seen him behave the same way with plenty of other dictators. He might just have a hard-on for fellow scumbags, that has been my operating theory for a while now.

          • Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

            I think that’s just because the official bottom line has to be a decision to prosecute or nothing. It is very likely that Barr’s letter focuses only on that decision, conveniently leaving out whatever else Mueller might have said about the issue. That said, Mueller would not want to come off saying something like “Trump came close to the line but not quite over it”. People are either charged with a crime or they aren’t. As I said before, that is not a proof of innocence.

            • Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink


              Mueller found no evidence of collusion, wrote that in his report and Barr accurately reported his words.

              You’re just constructing scenarios out of wishful thinking. The Mueller report is not going to be the means by which Trump is taken down, and my opinion from the start was that it was unlikely to be.

      • rustybrown
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        “The probability of Mr Trump being a Russian agent has not really changed. He is, with a probability verging on certainty, in Mr Putin’s pocket.”

        Good grief. The massive, two year, 25 million dollar investigation into the matter saying otherwise doesn’t give you pause?

        • BJ
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

          It doesn’t matter what the report says. If it clears him of the collusion charge entirely, the many people who have been saying on a regular basis with complete certainty that Trump is a “Russian stooge,” “Putin is pulling his strings,” etc. will not give up on it. Mueller could hold a press conference saying that not only were they not able to find evidence of collusion, but that Trump definitely didn’t collude with Russia, and there would still be tons of people (many of them here) who would call BS.

          I hate Trump and I hate having to defend him, but truth is more important to me. And, perhaps if it was more important to the media and to many Democrats and other Trump opponents, they would have more credibility when they speak out against him.

          • rustybrown
            Posted March 26, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            Good for you BJ, I respect your opinion. For the life of me, I can’t understand this irrational hatred of Trump. Very much like a religious conviction in my opinion. It’s like a sacred totem that must not be released.

            • BJ
              Posted March 26, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

              My hatred for Trump is entirely rational: I believe he is doing significant damage to our relationships with other governments, depleting America’s political capital on the world stage, and making a mockery of the Presidency, among other things. But I will not disregard factual information just because I think the man is a terrible President and want him to lose in the next election. Again, I place truth and credibility above politics, and anyone who doesn’t has no right to call themselves better than Donald Trump in this regard.

              • rustybrown
                Posted March 26, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

                Yep. I get that. And all the objections to Trump you list I think are worthy of debate. There are certainly many legitimate stylistic and policy disagreements to be made against Trump.

              • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

                Yes, worthy of debate. But you don’t really debate the issues, Rusty. You simply try to explain away all the nasty things Trump does, his disregard for institutions and the rule of law, and all his bad policies, with platitudes like “You may have issues with Trump’s style” (paraphrasing). You attempt to normalize Trump while never really dealing with the substance of any issue. In short, every complaint about Trump is just TDS to you. So far, it is you that is not worth debating.

              • rustybrown
                Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

                Paul: “You attempt to normalize Trump while never really dealing with the substance of any issue.”

                You’re kidding, right? I’m the one who’s been asking for single, coherent, substantial arguments against Trump (and getting criticized for it). On the few occasions I’ve gotten them, I’ve debunked the claims being made; “very fine people”, “grab ‘em by the pussy” come to mind.

                In short, I’m the one who’s always asking to drill down on specifics and am usually met with diffusion and laundry lists of complaints. Lol. You’re gaslighting.

              • Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

                No. Not kidding one bit.

                “asking for single, coherent, substantial arguments against Trump”

                This is not you engaging in substantive discussion. This is you demanding others talk when you want them to talk. There are many times when substantive arguments are made involving Trump or his administration. You are nowhere to be found.

              • BJ
                Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

                Paul, you and I probably agree far more on politics than Rusty and I do, but you haven’t exactly dealt well with the issues either. Rather than admitting that Taibbi’s article demonstrates extreme media malfeasance and that much of the evidence for collusion was concocted by the media, you have said in another comment that Trump is somehow a brilliant crime boss who covered his tracks so well that he managed to completely cover up collusion with a foreign government involving multiple people both on his side and the other. And I’m sure you think that, other than this brilliance of covering up one of the greatest conspiracies in history, he’s also really stupid (I happen to think he is pretty stupid or, at the least, very average to slightly above average in intelligence).

              • Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:06 am | Permalink

                If I said “brilliant” crime boss, I take it back. He’s smart enough to know to put some distance between himself and actual criminal activity. You can get that just from watching movies.

                As to “extreme media malfeasance”, I didn’t see any. Perhaps you and Taibbi have a different definition of this. I don’t think the press can be guilty of malfeasance unless they knowingly perpetrate lies. Commenting on what might be the outcome of Mueller investigation is not lying. Everyone is free to speculate and it was always made clear it was speculation and it was far from baseless. There were Trump campaign meetings with Russians and actual prosecutions. I say nuts to your “extreme media malfeasance”.

              • rickflick
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

                Brown – From Wikipedia: In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

              • rustybrown
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

                “There are many times when substantive arguments are made involving Trump or his administration. You are nowhere to be found.”

                That’s undoubtedly because I don’t find your arguments nearly as substantive (or interesting) as you do…

              • Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

                So find another argument that you consider substantive and let’s hear what you have to say. Otherwise it is so much flapping of gums or rattling of keys.

              • rustybrown
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

                You should be more attentive; I’ve done that a number of times. Some on this very thread.

            • BJ
              Posted March 26, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

              And I called all of this from the beginning. I never bought into the collusion narrative. It was clear (if one wished to see) that the media was running wild, completely abandoning their journalistic obligations to pump out these stories. I think almost nobody here actually read beyond the first few paragraphs of Taibbi’s article, as it lays out at least 30 different cases of the media straight up lying about many of the most important pieces of “evidence” of collusion, supported by links to retractions, contradicting statements from sources, etc.

              • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

                Taibbi’s article is ridiculous, IMHO. It pretends that the result of Mueller’s investigation retroactively invalidates the need to have an investigation in the first place. There was plenty of evidence triggering the investigation. Just because Mueller is unable to connect all the dots does not mean that Trump was exonerated. It is not at all like an alleged murderer is let off the hook because the real murderer came forward to confess to the crime. Trump had years of experience skirting the law. It is not surprising Mueller was not able to connect enough of the dots. It doesn’t mean he’s not guilty of the crime.

                I do believe in the rule of law so if we don’t have the evidence then Trump is officially not guilty of the crime. But none of this exonerates Trump to the level that investigators should cease looking. That’s Trump and his followers’ message but it’s pure BS. The world doesn’t work that way and nor should it.

                Do we fire police investigators when they fail to find evidence linking a crime to their (or our) favorite suspect? Of course not. It is true that Mueller used “exonerate” but could he really find evidence that Trump didn’t collude? It is much more likely that he didn’t find enough evidence that Trump colluded with Russia. Perhaps Mueller secretly taped Trump telling his team explicitly not to collude with Russia, not to take that meeting. I find that hard to believe.

                I am sure there were people in the MSM, both reporters and guests, that zealously pursued Trump on this issue and were hoping that Mueller would find him guilty. There’s nothing wrong with that. You wouldn’t find Republicans or Fox News apologizing for that. However, I always heard those on CNN end their sentences with “depending on what the Mueller investigation discovers” or the equivalent.

                Mueller’s verdict, as translated by Barr, doesn’t make everything go away for Trump. Nor should it.

              • BJ
                Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

                “Taibbi’s article is ridiculous, IMHO. It pretends that the result of Mueller’s investigation retroactively invalidates the need to have an investigation in the first place.”

                Where in the article did you find this? The article’s focus is very clearly on the extreme, heretofore unseen level of media malfeasance regarding this affair.

                I think there should have been an investigation. There was sufficient evidence for it to be investigated, but there was not sufficient evidence for many of the claims made and stories spouted by the media, politicians, activists, and everyday folks (who aren’t really at fault, since they were misled by those they trust to tell them the truth and do due diligence). Taibbi’s article shows this very clearly, it shows that many of the claims that have been made about the supposed collusion are based off of concocted stories, retracted statements, false sources, etc.

                There should have been an investigation, and the media should have let that investigation play out. And Taibbi’s article and its tone is spot on. Taibbi is angry because the media is a critical institution that’s supposed to deliver the truth and keep powerful people and governmental institutions in check, and it has destroyed its own credibility (again, but perhaps even more and irrevocably this time).

              • Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

                I really didn’t see anything like what you are talking about, not on CNN or in Taibbi’s piece. He lost me right at the start:

                “The Times story today tried to preserve Santa Mueller’s reputation”

                Barr admits that Mueller did a good job and the DOJ never had to correct his trajectory, yet Taibbi starts right in with the snark.

                He later seems to think that it is out of bounds for commentators to be disappointed if Mueller isn’t able to find something worth prosecuting Trump for. I don’t have a problem with that but Taibbi thinks it is some kind of crime. Trump is a terrible President. If he is found to be guilty of a crime, I certainly won’t shed a tear.

                Basically, Taibbi seems to be taking on the opinions of editorial pieces and TV commentators who are purposely speculating about what might have happened in Trump’s campaign and in his administration. Considering the lack of transparency in this administration and the constant lying by our POTUS, it would be crazy not to express such an opinion.

                Basically it’s just an empty hit piece that seems to think that Mueller’s failure to find enough evidence implies that everyone’s anti-Trump opinion is just wrong. As I’ve said in my other comments, no way is Trump exonerated as he and his pals claim. Mueller just didn’t find enough evidence. Taibbi fails to see that.

              • BJ
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

                If you read the whole article and saw all the links to legitimate news stories that were as I and Taibbi described them, then I honestly have no idea how you can come to the conclusions you just posted. The vast majority were not editorials.

                “An empty hit piece”? This is literally the opposite of a hit piece: a long, incredibly thoroughly researched article with myriad examples of malfeasance.

    • rustybrown
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Saul, Seems like you drank the Kool-aid but like the taste too much to give it up, as do many here. The anti-Trump narratives mentioned here are mostly the result of the media malfeasance Taibbi is talking about. Ginned-up nonsense to make people think things are worse than they actually are.

      Man, the cognitive dissonance I’m reading here in the comments is really amazing; people are going to be analyzing this TDS phenomenon for decades to come.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        You would probably clear up your mental health issues if you went to a Trump site so you won’t get upset.

        • rustybrown
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          It’s not my mental health issues I’m talking about. Who’s upset? I’m ecstatic! My worldview is being confirmed, just as it largely has been for the last three years.

        • rustybrown
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          We all have tenuous, subjective grasps on reality. But one way you can get a clue you’re dealing in the realms of objectivity and fact is when your predictions bear out. Glad to report I’ve been with the fact based community with this one. And so have the conservative news outlets liberals love to denigrate.

          • Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

            And Donald Trump is telling the truth? Tell me another one!

          • Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

            It will be interesting to see what happens when (when) Putin plays his cards that he has on Trump. Remember that tete-a-tete in Helsinki? Putin was reminding Trump of his grip.

            The Russians hold all Trump’s paper. This in itself are reason to dig into his financials. This is a serious problem. Imagine the cry from the GOP if the shoe were on the other foot! They thought lying about a blowjob, for F’s sake, was worthy of impeachment!

            Trump has uttered one true statement (even a broken clock is right twice a day): If he shot someone in 5th Avenue in NYC, his supporters would stick with him.

            And that, my friend, tells me everything I need to know about Trump supporters.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        I don’t think anything I could say would make the slightest difference to your blindspot regarding this man.

        And with the exception of the kind of dippy lefties who have ‘scream at the sky’ gatherings after every event they find upsetting, the genuine derangement I’ve seen over the last two and a half years has emanated mostly from an American right that has, very simply, lost its mind.

    • BJ
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      So, I ask again, did you actually read Taibbi’s article and, if so, how can you claim that Steele’s memo was credible? I mean, I want to call out many other things in your post, but I think your answer to this would be indicative of whether those other statements are being made by an objective reader or someone who’s seeing what they already believe.

      “In January of 2017, Steele’s pile of allegations became public, read by millions. ‘It is not just unconfirmed,’ Buzzfeed admitted. ‘It includes some clear errors.'”

      “By June and July of 2016, bits of the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, which had been funded by the Democratic National Committee through the law firm Perkins Coie (which in turn hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS), were already in the ether.

      The Steele report occupies the same role in #Russiagate the tales spun by Ahmed Chalabi occupied in the WMD screwup. Once again, a narrative became turbo-charged when Officials With Motives pulled the press corps by its nose to a swamp of unconfirmable private assertions.

      Some early stories, like a July 4, 2016 piece by Franklin Foer in Slate called “Putin’s Puppet,” outlined future Steele themes in “circumstantial” form. But the actual dossier, while it influenced a number of pre-election Trump-Russia news stories (notably one by Michael Isiskoff of Yahoo! that would be used in a FISA warrant application), didn’t make it into print for a while.

      Though it was shopped to at least nine news organizations during the summer and fall of 2016, no one bit, for the good reason that news organizations couldn’t verify its “revelations.””

      Did you read any of this section? It’s only the second one. It’s takes about a minute of reading to get to it.

      • Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Putin takes the long view. (He’s only 67.)

        This is why he had the oligarchs finance Trump’s “empire” and why he interfered in the 2016 election. Trump’s “empire” is a house of cards built on Russian loans. And nothing is more important to Trump’s ego than his pose as a wealthy empire builder. Putin has him by the ‘nads.

        Helsinki was Putin holding Trump’s lapels and pulling him close and whispering little nothings into his ear. (Imagine Marlon Brando’s voice in The Godfather.)

        And Trump’s apologetics for Putin! (Not to mention Duterte, Kim, MBS, any other authoritarian “big man” in the world). The GOP would impeach a Dem POTUS if any had ever said things like that.

        Putin would like to bring down the EU (Brexit, Crimea, etc., he views the EU like Hitler viewed the UK and France in 1938-39 — and he may be right). He’s been interfering in EU and US politics for a long time. And he would like to go down in history as the big man who restored Peter’s empire.

        And, now, Putin has a puppet in Trump. Watch Trump’s insulting behavior towards NATO, the EU, our traditional allies, international agreements, etc. etc.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        I said that the dossier was entirely credible when it was put forward. It played a significant role in opening up the investigation and there was no reason to doubt that it was legitimately worth considering. Tell me, when that happened, what were the huge, devastating flaws in it that made it unreliable? In what sense were the press remiss in reporting on it? In what sense were the FBI remiss in taking it seriously? And moreover, isn’t the point of a two year investigation that we _find out whether things like the Steele dossier are actually credible?_

        That was the point of my comment: there was no reason whatsoever not to consider the investigation of Trump’s ties to the Russians completely necessary.
        This post-hoc rationalisation by Trump’s apologists that somehow there was no need for it at all, and it was just some jury-rigged nonsense that the FBI pulled out of nowhere(the FBI remember), and that the media were somehow guilty of ‘extreme malfeasance’ for covering it in the way they did, is not credible. It’s fantastically dishonest.

        As to the question of the dossier’s veracity _over time_ as we learned more about it, that was not my point. It could have turned out to be pulled from an old Le Carre novel and it wouldn’t taint the fact that this investigation was justified.

        The idea that the Mueller report is the equivalent of nonexistent WMDs is simply not an honest argument. It’s the American right desperately and voraciously scrabbling for some kind of moral grounding, after three years of appalling behaviour, craven apologetics and breathtaking cynicism.

        • BJ
          Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          “The idea that the Mueller report is the equivalent of nonexistent WMDs is simply not an honest argument.”

          That’s not the idea of the article in any way and the article never made such a claim. The idea of the article is that how the media reported on the entire affair (which includes reporting far beyond just the dossier) is equivalent (if not significantly worse than) their conduct in investigating the idea of WMDs in Iraq.

        • Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          Yes. Excellently put.

  9. Historian
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Let’s see where we now stand in regard to Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    1. The pubic and even Congress has only seen a four page summary of the Mueller Report, issued by Attorney General William Barr. Prior to being nominated for his position, Barr had written a long memo to Trump claiming that is virtually impossible for the president to engage in collusion (conspiracy) or to obstruct justice. Barr has a very expansive, and in my opinion very dangerous, conception of the powers of the president. Thus, Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report cannot be taken on face value, although Mueller very likely did say that Trump did not collude. Even Barr stated that Mueller did NOT exonerate Trump on the charge of obstruction of justice. All this means that we cannot definitely say what Mueller reported. We will not know until the full report is made public, including the supporting documentation. Mueller may need to testify before Congress.

    2. Although Trump may not have colluded with Russia, he did not nothing to denounce the interference, which was already known during the 2016 campaign. He was quite willing to accept Russian interference. Also, he may have actively obstructed in the investigation of the interference. It will be the role of Congress to investigate this, even if the totally biased Barr claims that Trump did not.

    3. Regardless of what Congress ultimately determines, the Barr memo is a great propaganda victory for Trump. The public will remember the memo, not what is later repudiated, if that should be the case.

    4. The chance of Trump being impeached by the House is very low. The chance of Trump being convicted by the Senate should there be an impeachment is zero. Only the election of 2020 will remove Trump from office. The Barr memo makes this more difficult.

    5. The Mueller investigation dealt only with the Russian interference in the election of 2016 and the relationship of the Trump campaign to it. It did not deal with Trump’s non-Russian crimes, including campaign finance violations (the Stormy Daniels affair). The U.S. Attorney’s office of the Southern District of New York as well as New York State authorities are investigating these. Trump is in quite possible danger of indictment from these groups, even though it may take place after he leaves office.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      6. Not actively conspiring does not mean Mr Trump is not a Russian agent. It reinforces the hypothesis that he was more or less reluctantly forced into his candidacy by his Russian debtors.

      I can fully agree with you.
      I think the most tactically smart thing to do for the Dems is to concentrate on policies. That is where they win elections, not with scandals and poop-slinging. [Yes, there is a lot of poop to be slung, but if your opponent is better at it you should wisely desist.]

      • rickflick
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Let’s step back a minute and think about the fact that we are having to discuss whether the president of the United States is, or is not, a Russian agent. When we lay out the long list of corrupt events Trump et al. has participated in, we sometimes lose sight of the tragedy of our basic predicament.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      I have to wonder as some others have if Mueller decided to investigate but not present findings one way or the other – he was expecting and maybe even said, this should be decided by congress. We do not know because we have seen nothing. However, we can look at history. The Watergate investigators also did not come to a conclusion on obstruction with Nixon. They sent the report to the congress and let them figure it out. So we have a history of this being done – Watergate. I guess history is not important today. Who looks at history.

      • Posted March 26, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Exactly! This might all be explained in the Mueller report but suppressed in the Barr letter. What Barr said is consistent with Mueller just punting the obstruction decision to Congress. Got to see the full report!

  10. Historian
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Although the investigation of Trump must continue, the Democrats would not be wise to hang their future electoral prospects on this issue. Rather, they need to focus on the bread-and-butter issues that affect people’s everyday lives. For example, Trump’s Justice Department is now in court arguing that the entire Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is unconstitutional. If the courts uphold this, millions of people will lose their health insurance. The Democrats need to hammer on how heartless this administration is. Who knows? Maybe a few Trump zealots will change their minds. For those who may lose their insurance and still support him, I say, don’t expect me to contribute to your next major medical expense.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      And I heard today that the democrats in the house are already putting forth a plan, a bill to fix problems and support the current health care act. I think they have the ability to walk and do gum at the same time. The republicans will continue to be their own worst enemy with this health care business.

      The house voted 420 to 0 to release the Mueller report. The Senate does not get to vote because Trump’s hump the great Senator from Kentucky will not allow. Gee….wonder why.

      By the way, Sen. Harris, one running for president put out a plan today to raise teacher pay by over $13,000 a year and get them up to a respectable standard. Pay for it with Taxes to the rich in inheritance taxes. In other words get something done besides saying this is a state issue. The states lost this issue years ago.

    • Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      At the same times, the Dems can’t suddenly shut up about the Russia investigation as that would support Trump’s claim that they made the whole thing up. They have to push back hard against Trump and GOP’s claim that the Mueller investigation was an illegitimate conspiracy.

  11. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Exactly, see my response to 9 above.

  12. rustybrown
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Glad this Trump/Russia nonsense has been put to bed; a shame that it’s been as damaging as it has to our country (thanks Democrats and media). Now it’s time to take a good look at the real scandal of our time; the deep state attempted coup of a duly elected President.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      You are a pathetic troll. You need to get off of here a go back to the rock you live under.

      • rustybrown
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        I don’t sense any kind of rational argument from you and I think you’re in violation of Da Roolz.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          I was not arguing with you brown rust. Only giving advice. You follow people around on this site and spit out your opinions. You impress no one and would do much better going away. Again…not an argument…advice. Were I standing in front of you, I would give the same advice.

          • rustybrown
            Posted March 26, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            I follow no one here and I “spit out” opinions the same as you do. Mine are often backed up with supportive links, if appropriate.

            Sorry you’re feeling so triggered, but you might try engaging rather than telling someone to go away. It wouldn’t occur to me to tell you to ‘go away’. Seriously, I don’t understand that mentality. I would either engage you or ignore you.

          • rustybrown
            Posted March 26, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

            Your first response is very revealing though. Sounds like the type of bigoted intolerance you would probably claim to abhor; in different circumstance, when convenient to you.

      • Malgorzata
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        This is one of very few places on the Internet where people can discuss in a polite and rational manner even when their opinions differ. What you wrote about rustybrown is neither polite nor rational. I know next to nothing about American politics and I’m interested in diversity of opinions which I get from this site. I can’t be alone among all the subscribers. It would be a sorry day when people whose opinion differs from yours would get such comments from you without anybody reacting (when the owner of the website is unable to react). I think you should be ashamed of what you wrote.

    • Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Ha! Good luck with that! How many convictions and guilty pleas have there been in Trump’s inner circle so far?

      And Putin hasn’t played his hole cards yet! Much more fun to come. Count on it.

  13. rustybrown
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Just a thought to those who slaver over the possibility of MORE digging, MORE investigations; is this really the way you want our Republic to work? Do you really think publicly funded, open-ended fishing expeditions into our top elected officials is desirable?

    If that’s the case, a top priority of Trump, when he leaves the White House in 2024, should be to set up as much deep state interference as possible to the incoming opposition party candidate. Fund a new opposition dossier (as the Dems did in 2016) and get the CIA and DOG to task to start the ball rolling into gridlocking investigations.

    Seems like a dysfunctional, banana republic type way of doing things to me.

    • rustybrown
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      er, DOJ

      • Posted March 26, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        You had it right the first time, for the Trump DOJ. 🙂

        • rustybrown
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      If your Republic is fucked, it started going that way at least as early as the Clinton years and all the shit about Whitewater and whether Clinton had it off with an intern (who cares?)

      And it just got worse with all the ‘birther’ crap.

      And the biggest, most egregious f***er of them all was and still is Trump.

      You can keep on trying to claim some sort of moral high ground when you’re standing in the cesspit but nobody’s going to believe you.


      • rustybrown
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        I totally agree with you that it started with Clinton and the Whitewater crap. I’ve been a solid Dem until 2016. I was against special prosecutors then and I’m against them now. I was also against the the WMD hype leading to the Iraq war in the Bush years (when I was a liberal Democrat) and I’m also against the fake Trump/Russia collusion hoax now.

        I guess you could say my judgement and intellectual integrity has been spot on since the Clinton administration, which is more than I can say for most. So yeah, I’ll claim a certain high ground.

        • rickflick
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          If you have such intellectual integrity and are so “spot on”, how come the first part of your comments are always accommodating and reasonable and the second half makes no logical sense?
          “Oh, I thoroughly agree with you there, but I also happen to think Trump is Christ incarnate. His shit has gold flakes in it.” I think I’ve detected a pattern. Trolling is your game. It has been entertaining to have you troll occasionally on this site, but it becomes extremely tedious.

          • rustybrown
            Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            What the hell are you talking about? If you disagree with something I’ve said, say so, be specific, explain why you disagree, and maybe I’ll respond.

            It’s really not that hard, rickflick. Although I guess just shouting “TROLL” is easier if you’re not up to the task.

            • rickflick
              Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

              Once identified, a troll is not to be fed.

              • rustybrown
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

                Thanks Rick, for providing the definition above. You’ve just outed yourself as a troll. Your posts that contain no other content but calling me a troll certainly are “inflammatory, extraneous, AND off-topic” with the obvious intent to “prove” me while being “disruptive”.

                You’ve checked every box genius.

              • rustybrown
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

                that’s “provoke” me…

              • rickflick
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

                Once identified, a troll is not to be fed.

  14. davelenny
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Apparently, Trump is guilty until proven innocent. Given the history of investigator bias and leaks, we can expect revelations damning Trump from the Mueller report in the press quite soon.

    Unless, of course, there was no collusion.

    • Posted March 26, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      A guy who lies with every breath invites ridicule and investigation. There’s a strong correlation between lying and criminality, not to mention all the crap he’s known to have done. Just because Mueller was unable to gather enough evidence to convict doesn’t mean there was no crime. And now he’s again trying to take health care from millions just because Obama was associated with the ACA. There’s no way in the world we can let up on Trump until he’s gone.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Here is the deal Paul. There are a few over here who make a living trolling the site and seeing if they can start something. They are small copies of Trump but Trump all the same. Best idea is to ignore them and they might go away. Attention is all they are after. IF you notice, when one appears, pretty soon here comes more like you see with cockroaches. Just turn the lights off and there they are.

        • Posted March 26, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Yes, but sometimes I just can’t resist. I’m not going to argue with them but I also don’t want anyone on here to think that this is over.

          • rickflick
            Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            Resistance is futile. You must obey!

        • BJ
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          People who disagree with you are not trolls or copies of Trump. They are just people who disagree with you and have every right to be here and have a conversation as you do.

        • rustybrown
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Cockroaches. And Paul redly agrees. Man, you guys are really losing your moral compass, if you ever had one.

          • rustybrown
            Posted March 26, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

            er, readily

          • Posted March 26, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            Cockroaches? I didn’t say anything about cockroaches.

        • rustybrown
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          In summery, I’m a minority opinion on this site. I’m a minority here. Randall Schenck gives a minority “advice” to “go back to the rock you live under” and then compares me and other minority opinions with cockroaches.

          Now, I don’t give a shit about this at all and am certainly not claiming any kind of victimhood. But I think Randall’s attitude is indicative of the kind of divisive demonization that the left is engaging in these days, and it ain’t pretty. Don’t become Randall, guys.

          • rickflick
            Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

            So, what’s your definition of a troll, Brown. Help us out here.

            • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

              A troll says whatever he can to disrupt a forum, whether he believes it or not. I think Rusty actually believes what he says. So those who disagree with him should pick apart his arguments and make him justify what he says with evidence. If he won’t do that, then he’s a troll. Ad hominem arguments one way or the other won’t help.

              • rustybrown
                Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

                I think that’s fair, if I understand you correctly. I say everything here with sincerity.

              • Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

                Trolls are always “sincere”. Don’t forget.

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

                I’ve never seen him respond with an honest reply when I’ve put forward the litany of insanity that Trump has been responsible for over the last three years. I think I’ve literally listed them out…

                Immediately the subject is either changed or RB disappears.

                A lot of people here are here because even the commenters they disagree with are good debaters, and intelligent and honest and try to behave in good faith. I don’t see that with mr Brown, ever. Which is why I don’t tend to respond to much of what he writes. Which doesn’t mean I think he should leave, or that he’s even a troll. I just don’t think he’s arguing honestly.

              • rustybrown
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

                “I’ve never seen him respond with an honest reply when I’ve put forward the litany of insanity that Trump has been responsible for over the last three years. I think I’ve literally listed them out…

                Immediately the subject is either changed or RB disappears.”

                Balderdash. When not generating a stand alone post I’m always responding directly to what’s being said. As I pointed out, I’ve previously debunked several TDS talking points when asked. Do I respond to every single point ever made? Of course not. No one does. And frankly, some of the “reasoning” in these comments is so feeble and hyperbolic that it’s unworthy of a response.

                I’ve also pointed out before that your and others method of laying out long laundry lists of grievances is a juvenile and unproductive way of arguing. So what should I do with list of 20 reasons Orange Man Bad? Retort with 21 why Orange Man Good? How boring and futile. More constructively, I’ve often asked the laundry lister to winnow it down to the strongest couple of points in order to have a more constructive conversation on some specifics. That’s a perfectly rational and respectful way to go about a debate, especially in this forum, but I can see why you and others rail against it; you’re forced to be specific in defending your ridiculous opinions.

              • Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

                I think it would be hard for you to come up with 21 reasons the Orange Man is good. It would show your true beliefs instead of all this BS about Trump’s style not being to everyone’s taste. Give it a shot. If you can’t come up with 21 then do what you can. Put up or shut up.

              • rustybrown
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

                Jesus Paul. Only you would respond to a post explaining the futility of lists by asking for a list. Sheesh.

              • Posted March 27, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

                Day 100 and still no substantive arguments from Rusty Brown.

              • rustybrown
                Posted March 27, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

                You should learn to read one of these days.

          • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            A Trumper takes the high ground? Your man Trump is the veritable king of “divisive demonization”. He divisively demonizes several people before lunch almost every day, literally. Come down off your ridiculously high horse, Rusty.

            • rustybrown
              Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

              You don’t seem capable of following conversations Paul. So I don’t really know how to respond to your pablum.

      • davelenny
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        I agree Trump invites ridicule. Whether he invites investigation depends on what is being claimed on the basis of which evidence; with regard to Russian collusion he looks innocent to me and the victim of a frame-up by people determined to nullify a constitutional election. I could be wrong.

        A conservative non-American, I tend not to comment on US politics, but responses to Trump have been quite extreme by the admirable standards of discussion on this web site.

        Look at Randall’s 4.21 pm response, for example. I’ve been reading and commenting as Kiwi Dave almost since WEIT began, don’t consider myself a cockroach, don’t ‘make a living trolling the site’ – whatever that means, admire the US as a nation of laws, and because of the last, think Trump is entitled to the presumption of innocence and investigation into any alleged wrong-doing by disinterested officials rather than political enemies.

        • Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

          Two things:

          1) A frame-up involves actively manufacturing evidence. I have not heard that happen. Following the evidence with zeal is not a crime, whereas a “frame-up” is.

          2) The presumption of innocence applies to the criminal justice system and, arguably, members of Congress. It doesn’t mean that people can’t have an opinion. After all, who would investigate someone for a crime without the motivation and evidence to support it? There was plenty of evidence. They had meetings with Russians and lied about it. That is evidence of a guilty conscience and plenty of justification for the investigation.

          • rickflick
            Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            But if you call the investigation “fake news” and a “witch hunt” several times a week for two years, you will begin to get drift of opinion towards “frame-up”. 😎

            • Posted March 27, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

              Yes, but that’s why the Dems need to push back hard on that false narrative.

        • Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

          Well, Dave:

          How may convictions and guilty pleas in the Trump inner circle do you need to understand that he is corrupt?

          Mueller may not have found sufficient evidence to prosecute Trump. That’s a far cry from: “he’s clean.” They may not be able to nail him (yet). Does anyone think Trump didn’t direct Cohen to pay off the porn stars in violation of election finance law? Only presidential immunity kept him from being indicted.

          Barr is Trump’s flack and has published an opinion that he thinks it’s more or less impossible for the POTUS to obstruct justice (kind of like the commend theory of morality).

          The GOP thought that lying about a blowjob was grounds for impeachment and even went to trial with it!

          And in case anyone thinks this was a long, drawn-out investigation: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-muellers-first-year-compares-to-watergate-iran-contra-and-whitewater/

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted March 27, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

            Some very good points there.

          • rustybrown
            Posted March 27, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            Paying off Stormy is at worst a campaign violation that will be satisfied with a fine, just as Obamas campaign violation was. Yawn.

            And that “lying about a blowjob” was done under oath which made it an impeachable offense.

  15. Harrison
    Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Trump wants to accelerate (actually completely derail) NASA’s plans to send a new manned mission to the Moon. He wants it done in five years rather than the previously planned 9-10 years, which coincidentally would be within the window of a second term should he win one. So it’s transparently another vanity project just like Wall.

    This is the child in charge of our country.

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