Excellent Reads: The Washington Post Takes Much-Deserved Victory Lap

Book critic Carlos Lozada:

The Mueller report is that rare Washington tell-all that surpasses its pre-publication hype.

Sure, it is a little longer than necessary. Too many footnotes and distracting redactions. The writing is often flat, and the first half of the book drags, covering plenty of terrain that has been described elsewhere. The story shifts abruptly between riveting insider tales and dense legalisms. Its protagonist doesn’t really come alive until halfway through, once Volume I (on Russian interference) gives way to Volume II (on obstruction of justice). The title — far too prosaic, really — feels like a missed opportunity. And it hardly helps that the book’s earliest reviewer, Attorney General William Barr, seems to have willfully misunderstood the point of it; he probably should not have been assigned to review it at all.

Yet as an authoritative account, the Mueller report is the best book by far on the workings of the Trump presidency. It was delivered to the attorney general but is also written for history. The book reveals the president in all his impulsiveness, insecurity and growing disregard for rules and norms; White House aides alternating between deference to the man and defiance of his “crazy s—” requests; and a campaign team too inept to realize, or too reckless to care, when they might have been bending the law. And special counsel Robert Mueller has it all under oath, on the record, along with interviews and contemporaneous notes backing it up. No need for a “Note on Use of Anonymous Sources” disclaimer. Mueller doesn’t just have receipts — he seems to know what almost everyone wanted to buy.

Befitting a best-selling work of political nonfiction — less than 24 hours after the report went online Thursday, paperback versions took the top two spots in Amazon’s new-release sales ranking — the Mueller report has its miniseries-ready signature moments. There is the obligatory expletive for the ages, when President Trump learns that Mueller has been appointed as special counsel. “This is the end of my presidency,” he moans. “I’m fucked.” There is the embarrassing contradiction from the president’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, who told reporters that countless FBI employees loved the firing of director James Comey but then admits to investigators that she’d made it up. (Though, in truth, it’s only embarrassing if Sanders maintains any residual capacity for said emotion.) There’s the contrast between the president’s public bluster, evident in his Twitter rants, and his private diffidence, embodied in Trump’s lawyerly written responses to Mueller’s queries, full of “I do not recall” and “I have no recollection.”…

.
Columnist Anne Applebaum, “Trump is not vindicated. But I am”:

But not only me: Everyone who began writing about the weird connections between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government in the spring and summer of 2016, is vindicated: Sarah Kendzior, Josh Rogin and Franklin Foer, for example. But, of course, there were many more. As it turns out, the Russian attempts to assist the Trump campaign were deep and broad, and those who described them, even if tentatively at first, were right to do so…

… Trump was working on business deals in Russia — which he lied about, repeatedly — through most of the 2016 campaign, as the Mueller report explains in great detail. Trump’s performance when standing next to the Russian president in Helsinki last July was bizarre: The sight of the American president cringing before the Russian president was shocking. (Watch it again if you’ve forgotten.) His repeated attempts to hold secret talks with Putin, with no U.S. officials present, might not be illegal. But neither are they normal, or acceptable, or comparable to the behavior of any previous American president…

Political columnist Paul Waldman, “The Mueller report puts it beyond dispute: Trump is profoundly corrupt”:

Now that we finally have the (redacted) report from Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into the Russia scandal, we have many questions to confront, such as whether President Trump should be impeached. But the report has also given us many answers, and it’s worthwhile to step back and take careful note of what it has clarified.

There are some things that were matters of dispute or insufficiently documented before, but are no longer in question. Let’s run through them:
– Vladimir Putin very much wanted Trump to become president of the United States, and undertook a comprehensive campaign to make sure it happened…
– Trump, his family and his campaign may not have set up a criminal conspiracy to cooperate with Russia, but they were eager to accept the help…
– The president’s attempts to obstruct justice were comprehensive and far-reaching…
– Nearly everything Trump called “fake news” turned out to be true…

Jennifer Daskal, “associate professor of law at American University Washington College of Law and a former counsel to the assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice”“Trump tried to obstruct justice. But he was too inept to do it”:

Reading the redacted report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Thursday felt like reading the story of a particularly clumsy mob boss. President Trump’s longtime former lawyer, Michael Cohen, is told: “The boss loves you.” “Everyone knows the boss has your back.” Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, gets the message: “Sit tight.” You will be “taken care of” as a result. Trump himself says of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort: Thank you for not flipping. You are so “very brave.”

Except that Trump doesn’t appear to have been anywhere near as effective as the fictional gangsters he resembles in Mueller’s work.

Perhaps one of the most striking takeaways from the report is the degree to which the president and those close to him tried their very best to coerce, coordinate and conspire — and ultimately break the law — but couldn’t quite succeed in doing so. Failure may be the key thing that has, at least for now, saved Trump and his immediate family members from indictment…

A central piece of the story is how little Trump is and was able to control. Despite his very best efforts, key members of his team refused or avoided what were clearly unlawful orders. In so doing, they took critically important, even if limited and self-protective, steps to protect the integrity of the investigation and thus the rule of law. It is the one bright side of what has emerged.

But there are too many dark sides to count. We now have, thanks to the Mueller report, a detailed accounting of an attempted president-dictator. We have a president who sought to cover up and get all those around him to cover up campaign contacts with Russians; to cajole and then ultimately threaten witnesses into lying; to interfere with ongoing law enforcement investigations; to run the executive branch like an arm of the mafia.

And we now have, in William P. Barr, an attorney general who is willing to spin the report with an advance news conference; to defend Trump’s obstructive actions and attempt on the grounds that he felt “frustrated and angry”; and to misrepresent Mueller’s reasons for not recommending an obstruction charge…






103 replies
  1. 1
    Amir Khalid says:

    Trump thinks he’s Michael Corleone, but he’s really just a nastier Fredo.
    ETA: First!

  2. 2
    japa21 says:

    Each and every day the report becomes more and more damning. Those people here and elsewhere who were excoriating Mueller as a boiler-plate Republican were just blame wrong.

  3. 3
    Raoul says:

    Sarah Sanders discovering the capacity to feel embarrassed? No chance. Still, the press now has it in sworn black and white: she makes damaging shit up about FBI professionals at her whim and pleasure.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    looking over twitter, I think I missed a barn-burner of an AM Joy show

    – Trump, his family and his campaign may not have set up a criminal conspiracy to cooperate with Russia, but they were eager to accept the help…

    also, Mitch McConnell. To the extent that any aspect of this has been under-covered, it’s the meeting where (IIRC?) the Gang of Eight was told what Russia was doing and McConnell said, effectively, this works for me, and if you say anything, I’ll spin it around on you via Chuck Todd and Chris Cillizza. Also in that meeting, IIANM, Ryan, Burr, Nunes, and I think I remember reading that McCain was included in those meetings because JOHN MCCAIN WAR HERO POW ETC, technically as head of Armed Services

  6. 6
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Raoul: She lies for Jesus. She has the blind zealotry of Torquemada or Septa Unella.

  7. 7
    Martin says:

    To see Congress’ case here, I think it’s important to step back from what the narrative has been in the media, because I think it’s a bit distracting. Mueller has two volumes: Russian interference (what he was tasked to investigate) and obstruction.

    Muller finds conclusive proof of Russian interference. There have been indictments. There is evidence. It is indisputable.

    Mueller also finds ample evidence that Trump tried to prevent that information from being known by firing Comey, firing (but failing) Mueller, lying, destroying evidence, an so on. That too is indisputable. We can see Trump on TV and on Twitter doing it and the people around him covering it up.

    It does not matter what happened in between. It does not matter if there was collusion. It does not matter why they are obstructing justice. Maybe they’re just embarrassed. Maybe they didn’t collude but now they are because Russia will give them 2020 if they bury this. Who knows. But it doesn’t matter why Trump broke the law, it’s unquestionable that he did. That’s why there’s no volume between those two, because there needn’t be. Everything that Congress needs to impeach and every reason why they should is in the report. The dots don’t ever need to be connected.

    And Congress should not take a cautious approach here because that’s how they’ve gotten this far in. I’ve done small investigations. When someone is trying to prevent you from finding the truth, time is their greatest asset. It gives them time to work, to coordinate stories, etc. Nadler needs to move faster than they can. There should be a hearing every day, and a contempt referral every time he is stonewalled, with an impeachment referral to follow for Barr or any other member of the administration, because the crimes that Mueller describes did not happen in 2016. They are happening today. Their goal should be to have the investigation done this summer. They don’t need to know the why – that will take ages to uncover. Skip that part. Just focus on the obstruction and leave the why an open question. It’s irrelevant. They know that. The media doesn’t though. Their job is the why and the administration is buying room to maneuver by confusing the why. We need to ignore it.

    (I’ll add, we should find out the why, but that’s a job for journalists and historians and yes, lawmakers to understand what guardrails need to be added, but it’s not needed for the remedy of removing a criminal from the white house).

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    What boggles me is the RW peanut gallery that’s now demanding apologies from liberals. For… thinking bad things about Trump, one supposes. But, honestly and truly, I have no idea what they’re talking about. A couple of RW columns with this claim have appeared in the WaPo.

  9. 9
    laura says:

    @Martin: I find nothing objectionable in your comment and offer you a golf clap.

  10. 10
  11. 11

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: NANCY SMASH tweeted about that last night. We may see more about it in the coming days.

  12. 12

  13. 13
    piratedan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: it also means what many of us have long suspected, Chris Cillizza and Chuck Todd are effectively GOP media operatives. No reason to believe or lend credence to any thing that they say.

  14. 14
    dww44 says:

    @Martin:Perhaps you’re an attorney and the Dems in the House could hire you so that you can jumpstart this as you’ve so ably outlined above? I do hope I’m right. I am so tired of Democrats being so timid and sane and rational. This absolutely gives Trump, Barr, et al., the time and space to block investigations. Maybe you’re also an effective public speaker? Able to articulate the nuts and bolts succinctly and clearly? We don’t seem to have enough of them.

    Pelosi, with all her other strengths, is not good speaking in front of the camera. Nadler is so nice. Schiff is better, but he’s not there yet. Maybe we should hire ex GOP Congressman, David Jolly. He’s now an independent and is very much anti-Trump and believes that Congressional Dems need an infusion of steel in their spines, lest we, by our all too careful and plodding ways, lose the very people who voted for us in 2018 because they saw us as the only viable alternative (as he articulated today on AMJOY)

  15. 15
    zhena gogolia says:

    @japa21:

    I admit it, in my despair I committed that sin.

  16. 16
    Kathleen says:

    @piratedan: Also interesting to speculate why a confirmed Rethug operative continues to slobber over Slanders.The common wisdom suggests Rethugs pimp Slanders because they know they can beat him. My contention is that they know Slanders’ purpose is to destroy Democrats, which is why they support him.

  17. 17
    patrick II says:

    If we don’t impeach, we seem to think this Trumpian/white nationalist attack on our democracy may end with the election of the Democratic nominee. It won’t. Trump will continue with his plan for when he thought he was going to lose the first election — the denigration of the American voting system. We will listen to him attack our democracy and voting system as corrupt, that he really would have won if it hadn’t been for those millions of illegals (and people from shitty countries whose votes should not count) voting illegally.
    He will have a tv show, make money, have sycophants there to help him make more money, followers indoctrinated by FOX and Rush and be loud, obnoxious and harmful to not just our country, but the world as long as he lives. Right wingers in other countries invoke his name and that will not stop on Jan 21, 2021.
    Impeachment proceedings are not just about whether he gets to stay on as president, but whether he gets to be a legitimate president. His legitimate presidency’s poison will linger stronger and more deadly if we don’t add the disinfectant of truth. Hearings are fine, but they do not contain the heft of impeachment hearings, nor the assertion of rule of law and truth over corruption of law and lies. Impeachment hearings will be to put the truth out there for high stakes, so people will pay attention and to assert the rule of law.
    If we don’t we lose either way — Trump triumphs in 2020 and our democracy is at risk from a man moving from a wanna be dictator to dictator, or Trump loses the election but remains legitimate, and takes his new throne as money making destroyer of democracy from his other throne as hero cheated out of his righteous throne by liberals and mud people.
    History does not belong to the timid.

  18. 18
    germy says:

    @piratedan: Jon Karl… quite a few.

  19. 19
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @piratedan: to be clear: I added the names, but they sure as shit would have been his most useful idiots in that counterfactual

    @japa21: Those people here and elsewhere who were excoriating Mueller as a boiler-plate Republican were just blame wrong.

    I think Mueller’s a rare bird and lives by an old-fashioned code, but as someone on TV said last night, that code will make him a less than dramatic witness. I think all his answers will be variants on, “That question is addressed in our written report, Congressperson”. He’s the anti-Comey, in a lot of ways. That said, I think it’s essential he be a public witness to say, “Yes, we meant that… yes, KT MacFarland/Don McGahn/Reince Priebus said that…”

  20. 20
    StringOnAStick says:

    I had a long comment on the dead thread 2 down, but basically we need to be supportive plus offer our pressure to get ALL these investigations going, just as Martin states at the top. Barr chose that date to drop the report as his best option for burial, right before a long holiday weekend and when Congress is not in session; it isn’t working and the drumbeat is getting louder. Give Nancy the time it takes to move public opinion to get this show on the road; Warren is helping by being the first to loudly say so (and from her pretty safe perch, so it’s all good. I sent her $50 in thanks).

    Thursday I was doing work in the basement and listening to NPR (my only option down there, sorry) right after the report dropped. After the initial endless parade of aggressively spinning R mouthpieces and a few cautious D’s, I turned it off in disgust. Every R was offering their sincere concern that if Democrats keep pursuing this report and topic, they will guarantee Trump another term; my, how nice of them to be so sincerely concerned about our electoral chances, don’t you think? An hour later I turned it back on and the change in tone was quite obvious now that more people had had a chance to read it!

    People, this takes time. Don’t bury our leaders and pull a Bbro act by demanding full conviction and retribution now, now, NOW while telling Nancy she sucks (I have read this in the progressosphere). Ducks in a row, properly prepared legal demands, all this takes time and Congress is not in session right now (dropping the report when Nancy was in Ireland must have felt like an extra helpful feature for Barr; it wasn’t). In the meantime the troops like SP Warren are acting as the tip of the spear while we soften up the battlefield with the media. And it is a battlefield. Putin will pull out all stops to get his slave elected again; if we have high enough heat on his elected co-enablers here in the US, that gets a lot tougher for him. I heard several stories right after the 2018 election that our IC was heavily involved in stopping attempted interference in the 2018 election; they might be dominantly R’s but they don’t like seeing the country they swore an oath to defend being manipulated by the country so many spent their early careers monitoring. Enough with the doom and gloom, and especially with the Nancy and Steny done shafted us. I trust her political judgement and I think things are moving along as needed.

  21. 21
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @dww44: spine and balls and TV presence won’t change the fact that most of these witnesses will have to be subpoenaed, those subpoenas will almost certainly be challenged, and those challenges will be heard by judges– many of them appointed by Republicans because some people won’t have their vote taken for granted and need to be inspired and $12 minimum wage is a neo-liberal sell-out– who will be looking for dotted i’s and crossed t’s in the process that led to the subpoena (according to the lawyers I see on TV).

  22. 22
    oldgold says:

    This week, I did a little work on what is the standard of proof for the House to impeach or for the Senate to convict.

    The Constitution does not address the standard of proof necessary for the House to impeach or for the Senate to convict. And, the standard of proof used in criminal matters that I had assumed to be the applicable standard, beyond a reasonable doubt, has been explicitly and recently rejected.

    In the Senate impeachment trial of Judge Harry Claiborne in 1986, his attorneys filed a motion to designate beyond a reasonable doubt as the applicable standard for the Senate in reaching its determination. Judge Claiborne’s motion was rejected by the Senate’s Presiding Officer, holding that the standard to apply was up to each Senator to decide individually. Senator Hatch then requested a vote on the Claiborne’s motion to establish beyond a reasonable doubt as the standard of proof. This resulted in Claiborne’s motion being defeated by a vote of 17 to 75.

    Despite the above, it seems, even though a sitting POTUS, pursuant to DOJ guidelines cannot be criminally indicted, that Mueller’s Report used the criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in framing the analysis of the evidence against Trump.

    I hope someone on the House Judiciary Committee asks Mueller this: if the applicable standard of proof was Clear and Convincing, would his opinion as to Trump’s culpability be different?

  23. 23
    debbie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Good. Passive treason. Not actively seeking, but more than happy to absorb it. They must have thought their charm was what attracted the Russians to them.

  24. 24
    piratedan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: while there are many people working in the media (say for example Shepard Smith) who can be objective and fair in their reporting, What bothers me the most is how the same “both sides”, “horserace narrative”, “Dems are doing it wrong”, “Dems aren’t getting their message about issues out” narratives are run ad nauseum by the media who then talk about how come no one can talk about change when Democratic candidates are doing just that and the media essentially doesn’t cover it. If you didn’t hear it Live, well then guess what, you sure as shit aren’t going to get the gist of what a candidate says courtesy of CNN or CBS, because you can be damn sure that it will end up on the floor and we’re all left wondering why in the hell can’t our candidates talk about the issues that matter to me… then they sell the narrative that the politicians are out of touch…. film at 11.

    I don’t know who these faceless spin doctors are, but while they continue to do what they do, the public will continue to be underserved. I don;t worry about this for me so much since I’m a political junkie and get info from multiple sources, but my kid who’s working two jobs? Single Mom of three? When do they have time to get the info and who is it from?

  25. 25
    Suzanne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think Mueller’s a rare bird and lives by an old-fashioned code

    Agree.

    Cosign Martin’s comment. I used to be pretty anti-impeachment. Not because I didn’t think he deserved it, but because I honestly didn’t think the Mueller report would contain as much evidence as it does. And I do worry that the country will split even more decisively along partisan lines, making it even less likely that we will ever advance our legislative goals.

    But, you know, fuck it (FUCKEM). Swing for the fences.

  26. 26
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    That was pretty (dry) funny. This caught my eye as a legitimate talking point:

    The US Department of Justice has a clear policy of ensuring that public documents comply with Section 508 regulations, and are therefore accessible to users with disabilities. The Mueller Report PDF does not conform with these regulations.

  27. 27
    joel hanes says:

    the president and those close to him tried their very best to coerce, coordinate and conspire — and ultimately break the law — but couldn’t quite succeed in doing so.

    This is wrong, and the press is consistently getting it wrong.

    Trying to obstruct justice IS obstructing justice. It does not have to succeed to be a crime.

  28. 28
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    A right-sized carbon tax would be fairly large. Just covering excess death at third world rates with a $125000 VSL (Value of a Statistical Life) it comes to around $500 per ton, with some uncertainty (i.e. could be higher or lower, to be clear). Probably several thousand dollars per ton when other costs are added in.
    This needs to be part of the conversation.

  29. 29
    Wag says:

    @Martin:
    An interesting perspective. I agree.

    A two pronged attack for 2020 is necessary. First, the Dems need a consistent agenda that will appeal to a broad range of Americans, one that will begin to undo the tilted American economy that so heavily favors the wealthy. Second, and just as important, is the need for through and in-depth investigations into the malfeasance underlying our present executive branch and by extension, the GOP in Congress. These investigations must include repercussions for those responsible for our current breakdown in civil governance.

    A plan going forward vs impeachment is not an either/or choice. It has to be both. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

  30. 30
    Suzanne says:

    @joel hanes: That was my logic, as well.

    POTUS orders his underlings to commit a crime on his behalf.
    They (at least some of them) decline.
    Ergo, POTUS is innocent?

    Fuck that.

  31. 31
    SFAW says:

    @joel hanes:

    Trying to obstruct justice IS obstructing justice. It does not have to succeed to be a crime.

    The analogy that comes to mind for me (not a lawyer, etc.) is: if someone wants to put out a “hit” on someone, and hires an undercover LEO, there’s still a crime, even though — I hope — the LEO does not kill the intended victim.

    Although, I have to say, I don’t know if the hiring party would be charged with attempted murder, or what. If attempted murder (as opposed to conspiracy, maybe?) would be a/the charge, then I think my analogy might be valid.

  32. 32
    raven says:

    Well, I made it almost a week on the Vets for Mayor Pete FB page. A dude came on there bitching about Pete’s stance on assault weapons and how, at best, he was going to give to Pete and the NRA. Then he told me I was rude and argumentative! Can you imagine??

  33. 33
    Martin says:

    @SFAW: I think the example used in law school is if a man jumps off the roof of a building and you shoot him on the way down, you aren’t innocent of murder simply because it was the impact of the fall that actually killed him rather than your bullet. Your intent is plain. That’s what establishes your guilt.

  34. 34
    germy says:

    Washington Post isn’t the only one taking a victory lap.

    Watching Maté, Tracey, and Greenwald wall themselves off into some sort of alternate universe has been wild https://t.co/OK0rfvPpeU— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) April 19, 2019

  35. 35
    Kathleen says:

    @piratedan: It’s orchestrated propaganda campaign. They actually have scripts I believe. Have you ever noticed how each channel and almost each pundit says the same damned thing? I realize they’re lazy hacks but there’s more to it than that.

  36. 36
    patrick II says:

    @Wag:

    A two pronged attack for 2020 is necessary. First, the Dems need a consistent agenda that will appeal to a broad range of Americans, one that will begin to undo the tilted American economy that so heavily favors the wealthy.

    Couldn’t agree more.

  37. 37
    japa21 says:

    @SFAW: It should also be noted that Mueller, in effect said, we don’t know if he was successful or not in obstructing justice by influencing the investigation. His intimidation tactics, for example may have been the cause of those witnesses lying, for example. We do know of very specific instances where his plans were foiled, but some might have succeeded. And yes, I know that even attempting is considered under the legal definition of obstruction, but most people don’t realize that.

  38. 38
    Betty Cracker says:

    Trump was tweeting angrily about the report that totally and completely exonerates him again this morning. Weird, huh?

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Martin: The reason the connecting piece, the connective tissue you if you will, is not in the report is that the connecting piece is the counterintelligence (CI) portion of the investigation. The CI task force has not been dissolved and its work has not been stopped – it is ongoing. And it will remain ongoing, at least, through the 2020 election if not beyond that. Largely because we now know that while the major threat in 2016 was the Russians, the counterintelligence threat targeting American society and politics through separate, though sometimes overlapping, influence operations are being directed at the US by the Russians, by the PRC, by the DPRK, by the Israelis (both directly and through a number of Israeli private intel and security companies that only operate with the Israeli government’s permission), by the Saudis, by the Emiratis, by the Qataris, by the Iranians, by a number of non-state actors, etc. The purpose of the counterintelligence investigation is to identify the threats, map them, delineate them, understand them, and, ultimately, to counter them.

    The important thing to understand and remember here is that the joint counterintelligence task force and CI investigation that Special Counsel Mueller inherited, belongs to two people: DNI Coates and FBI Director Wray. And on this, Wray reports to Coates. The joint counterintelligence task force does not report to the Attorney General, though he is notified it exists and may be read on to specific activities if there is a need to know. Similarly, the Director of Central Intelligence. Moreover, because we now know from the Mueller report, as well as their other activities reporting in the news media, that, at the very least, several of the Republican members of the Gang of Eight cannot be read on to anything the joint counterintelligence task force is doing or what it is finding. The Mueller report’s revelations about Senator Burr means/will mean that the joint counterintelligence task force’s work will be walled off from him. As a constitutional officer of the United States (an elected Federal official) he cannot have his clearance taken away as it isn’t awarded through the clearance process. He can, however, have access taken away as a bad security risk. We now know he’s a bad security risk from Mueller’s report. A similar dynamic exists for Congressman Nunes, though I haven’t gotten far enough into the report to know if he makes a similar appearance.

    A final point that is important to keep in mind: the Venona counterintelligence investigation began during WW II. It was a CI inquiry into Soviet penetration of FDR’s White House. That inquiry began in 1943 and ended in 1980. And while the bulk of the findings and results are now declassified and in the public domain, there are still some portions that will not be declassified and released for several more years.

  40. 40
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @zhena gogolia: I also began to have my doubts about Mueller, I’ll admit. I am so glad that I was wrong. As Mnemosyne has said a number of times, he laid out perfectly a blueprint for impeachment. Now it’s up to the Dems to decide what to do. I hope they make a moral and not just a political calculation. I donated to Elizabeth Warren yesterday after her tweet and also set up a monthly contribution. My husband did the same. I’m still giving to Kamala Harris and Julian Castro but Warren impresses the hell out of me every day.

  41. 41
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Martin:

    To see Congress’ case here, I think it’s important to step back from what the narrative has been in the media, because I think it’s a bit distracting. Mueller has two volumes: Russian interference (what he was tasked to investigate) and obstruction.

    Muller finds conclusive proof of Russian interference. There have been indictments. There is evidence. It is indisputable.

    Mueller also finds ample evidence that Trump tried to prevent that information from being known by firing Comey, firing (but failing) Mueller, lying, destroying evidence, an so on. That too is indisputable. We can see Trump on TV and on Twitter doing it and the people around him covering it up.

    It does not matter what happened in between. It does not matter if there was collusion. It does not matter why they are obstructing justice. Maybe they’re just embarrassed. Maybe they didn’t collude but now they are because Russia will give them 2020 if they bury this. Who knows. But it doesn’t matter why Trump broke the law, it’s unquestionable that he did. That’s why there’s no volume between those two, because there needn’t be. Everything that Congress needs to impeach and every reason why they should is in the report. The dots don’t ever need to be connected.

    And Congress should not take a cautious approach here because that’s how they’ve gotten this far in. I’ve done small investigations. When someone is trying to prevent you from finding the truth, time is their greatest asset. It gives them time to work, to coordinate stories, etc. Nadler needs to move faster than they can. There should be a hearing every day, and a contempt referral every time he is stonewalled, with an impeachment referral to follow for Barr or any other member of the administration, because the crimes that Mueller describes did not happen in 2016. They are happening today. Their goal should be to have the investigation done this summer. They don’t need to know the why – that will take ages to uncover. Skip that part. Just focus on the obstruction and leave the why an open question. It’s irrelevant. They know that. The media doesn’t though. Their job is the why and the administration is buying room to maneuver by confusing the why. We need to ignore it.

    (I’ll add, we should find out the why, but that’s a job for journalists and historians and yes, lawmakers to understand what guardrails need to be added, but it’s not needed for the remedy of removing a criminal from the white house).

    Best of the day. Thanks, Martin.

    Quoting the whole piece might’ve broken a BJ rule. If so, please let me know.

  42. 42
    Aleta says:

    The Mueller report is practically movie ready, script-wise. When the TV movies start to come out, we’ll be watching the report. The dialogue of course, and the cheaper scripting of characters and plot, etc. The scenes reported by aides that are enraging him–the disloyalty! — will be on his and Ivanka’s TV’s for a long time. A kind of society justice for Reality TV Man, his ugly truth acted out.

  43. 43
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    @Martin: Agree with you entirely. Wouldn’t statutes of limitation (5 years?) on presidential indictment toll while he’s officially in office?

  44. 44
    Sab says:

    @joel hanes: What irks me is this isn’t just the press getting it wrong. Jennifer Deskal is a law professor at a major law school and she gets it wrong.

    She undoubtedly knows better, but we certainly don’t after reading her.

  45. 45
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Excellent comment, thanks.

    by a number of non-state actors, etc.

    (Not directed at Adam)
    Do not underestimate the non-state and etc actors. Just saying.
    These sorts of operations can be very low-budget yet effective, and there is a lot of money interested in politics. Motivations are often(usually) deliberately opaque.

  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: Definitely a violation of Balloon Juice commentary code section 322. The specified punishment is that you now have to hand wash and wax my car.//

  47. 47
    cmorenc says:

    @piratedan:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: it also means what many of us have long suspected, Chris Cillizza and Chuck Todd are effectively GOP media operatives. No reason to believe or lend credence to any thing that they say.

    They’re useful idiots, not actual operatives. But a useful idiot in the media who’s not any sort of affiliated operative but transmits their memes is far more useful to the GOP than a partisan operative spewing talking points, precisely because they don’t have any nominal partisan affiliation and aren’t as obviously on-board with the GOP to many in the public viewership.

  48. 48
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @germy:

    Jon Karl… quite a few.

    JK was literally trained as a rightwing operative. He hides in plain sight.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    How can anyone be surprised at this?
    Dolt45 said that he had never met Rexie before he chose him. He ain’t smart.Rexie gets Russian medal. Rexie is attached to that Half TRILLION dollar Exxon deal.

    Of👏 course 👏Rexie 👏was👏 chosen 👏by👏 Moscow 👏

    https://twitter.com/chosen326/status/1119582159415779329

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold:I’ve spent a lot of time over the past three years working on these issues in my professional life. Specifically trying to conceptualize and delineate what the actual threat we’re facing is. What you see me write about here on the topic is just the tip of the iceberg. I spent almost 20 hours last week writing and revising on this and related topics, which is partly why I’ve not done a lot of posting and commenting. I both didn’t have the time and I was pooped!

    I intend to actually build a network analysis chart, almost only using the documented connections in this Twitter thread by historian Timothy Snyder (and a few additional ones I can document in other open source reporting) to just graphically display the scope of the network between the President, his immediate adult children (Jr, Eric, Ivanka, and Jared), his business/officials at his business, his campaign, and his campaign surrogates to Russian government officials, Russian oligarchs, and/or Russian organized crime figures – many of those people fit in two or all of those categories. And then post it here. I just need the time to do the work. I want to post it because when you see the data depicted this way, which is one of the ways that the counterintelligence folks are looking at the data, you get a sense of just how overwhelming the connections are. And this will all be from open sources that are documented and have now been verified. Imagine what the counterintelligence task force members have to work with.

  51. 51
    Wayne Marks says:

    @SFAW: IANAL also, but I think discussing it as an actual plan in a non-metaphorical sense (rather than passively saying, “I’d like to kill that guy,”) is conspiracy to commit murder. When money changes hands and/or a plan is agreed on, I think that’s attempted murder or murder for hire. If it actually succeeds, I believe it’s Murder One.

  52. 52
    No One You Know says:

    @Kathleen: It’s Marketing 101. Recency and frequency is how you brainwash the consumer into accepting ideas as assumptions without the critical- thinking-and-fact-checking bit.

    On any given consumer decision, it’s your mind vs. teams with PhDs in cognitive science and psychology when it comes to deciding whether to buy something.

    And we wonder why people so often buy what’s bad for them, vote against their own interests, and justify both.

  53. 53
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I can do the liquid stuff, but the arthritis prevents me from using paste wax. Hope that’ll serve, sir! ;)

  54. 54
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Martin: Excellent analysis.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    𝓢𝓶𝓪𝓵𝓵1𝓛𝓭𝔂 #𝓑𝓮𝓮𝓷 𝓪𝔀𝓪𝓴𝓮 𝔂𝓮𝓪𝓻𝓼 (@small1ldy1) Tweeted:
    🔥🔥I was a staunch “do not impeach” supporter yesterday. Then I watched @maddow who taught me that the statute of limitations runs out in 2022 on these crimes. If he is able to get re-elected in 2020, he literally walks away from the charges in 2024 when he leaves office. https://t.co/rZmogQ64qE https://twitter.com/small1ldy1/status/1119558258946138112?s=17

  56. 56
    Aleta says:

    @Martin: I think your point about the why, which shouldn’t matter as to whether he broke the law, brings up why Rs are already offering excuses about his state of mind. As with juries when white guys with good lawyers do crimes, Rs want to give the public and Senators an emotional push to let it go.

    People with privilege take for granted that they can do this, at all levels. He was tired or drunk or angry when he did that to you. It was just the internet. “It was the heat of the moment. … I’m sorry that I wasn’t a robot like the Democrat (sic) Party.”

  57. 57
    zhena gogolia says:

    Shades of John Cole: a robin is building a nest right outside our living room window, in a huge rhododendron bush. You can see her come flying with pieces of grass and then smoothing it out with her body. So cute.

  58. 58
    zhena gogolia says:

    @raven:

    I can imagine!

  59. 59
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That inquiry [Venona] began in 1943 and ended in 1980. And while the bulk of the findings and results are now declassified and in the public domain, there are still some portions that will not be declassified and released for several more years.

    I guess there are reasons, but how are voters supposed to make informed decisions about electing a “government of the people, by the people, for the people” when the really juicy stuff is hidden for 40 odd years?

  60. 60
    trollhattan says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    You’re lucky! It will be fun to watch the hopefully successful parents.

    Robins build lovely nests.

  61. 61
    tobie says:

    @StringOnAStick: Speaking for myself, I’d like to see high profile hearings day-in, day-out based on both the Mueller report and independent inquiries (Butina investigation, Deutsche Bank, Gulf states and Israeli secret influence, Jared’s security clearance and so on).

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: It’s a problem. And it goes well beyond this sort of thing. We over classify far too much stuff. And it is often done for reasons that cannot be justified, and are actually specifically and expressly forbidden as reasons for classification. But there is another problem, which is the news media, especially the political news media, and our elected officials basically have decided that Americans are too delicate to handle the actual truth of events. That if we’re actually properly informed of all the crap that is going on – from how badly elections are administered to how badly we run our wars and everything in between – we’ll somehow all melt.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    This is hysterical. Nothing like union workers in New York:

  64. 64
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That if we’re actually properly informed of all the crap that is going on – from how badly elections are administered to how badly we run our wars and everything in between – we’ll somehow all melt.

    Nah. They and we know the reason. They couldn’t care less about our delicate sensibilities. The real reason is that most of them know they do a shit job, that their incompetence would get them tossed out the very next election if it became known what a piss-poor job most of them do. Hell, look at Burr, one of the subjects of this discussion. He’s actually considered one of the BEST of what the GOP has on offer. Total shithead. We’re only marginally better when you think about Hoyer in the House or Schumer in the Senate. Those two are way past their expiries.

  65. 65
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Dear lord, that man belongs in front of all the cameras!

    But he probably prefers a real job, so god bless.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    James E Powell says:

    @MattF:

    What boggles me is the RW peanut gallery that’s now demanding apologies from liberals. For… thinking bad things about Trump, one supposes. But, honestly and truly, I have no idea what they’re talking about. A couple of RW columns with this claim have appeared in the WaPo.

    Those columns were written before the Heavily Redacted Mueller Report was released. They may have been written before the HRMR was completed. In any case, they are propaganda. They are not intended to persuade. They are merely tell their followers what they are supposed to say.

  68. 68
    JPL says:

    So trump team was concerned about a tape showing trump or an impostor in compromising situations. Cohen received a text from a Russian saying it was taken care of
    Let me tell you this would of made Kraft’s tape seem like a pg movie.

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MattF: @James E Powell: I think it can simply broken down to: Brett Stephens and Bari Weiss are neither very smart, despite their affected eruditism and their educational credentials, nor are they commenting/arguing in good faith. They are also publicity whores, which is why Bari Weiss decided to go home to Pittsburgh, where she hadn’t lived for years, in order to self promote herself as the expert on Pittsburgh’s Jewish community and the Tree of Life Synagogue immediately after the shooting. Because having someone actually from that community, who still lives in it and is a member of that synagogue represent it to the media wouldn’t have gotten Weiss’s face on TV for several hours so she could monetize the tragedy.

  70. 70
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: @Martin: @Adam L Silverman: Chief, I jumped down your throat a few threads down for seemingly showing up out of nowhere to flame a long-time jackal. If (as it seems) you intend to stick around & be a (mostly) thoughtful contributor to the site, welcome.

    Pro tip: When you click “reply” to a post, a direct link back to it is created (cf. those to yours, to Martin’s original post, & to Adam’s snarkilicious response to you at the top of this post). Readers can access the post you’re replying to with a single click, & return to yours with the backarrow. So there was really no need to c&p Martin’s entire post, excellent as it was.

    Now if there was something in that post that you particularly wanted people to note, for whatever reason, you would have been perfectly justified in copying the relevant sections & adding italics or bolding.

    It’s just kind of bad form to c&p the entire post if all you want to say is “good job”. Among other things it wastes electrons (& we all know how scarce they’re getting…//

    Carry on.

  71. 71
    Jiminy's Cricket says:

    A billion words written about this, but the most important one almost never gets asked:

    WHY?

    It’s like EVERYONE is ignoring the big, fat elephant in the room. What did this huge Russian Intel Operation really hope to gain, and what do they have on Trump? The media is being completely and deliberately obtuse. Are they compromised as well?

  72. 72
    James E Powell says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    Now it’s up to the Dems to decide what to do.

    No disrespect, but it’s up to US to tell the Democrats what they must do. They are clearly not of one mind on this (the way the Republicans always are, at least in public). They are reluctant to do anything that might upset the Beltway Courtiers. They need to be bossed right now. They need to be pushed. A deluge of calls & letters sometimes works. Encourage the brave, castigate & shame the cowards.

  73. 73
    Baud says:

    @Chief Oshkosh:

    We’re only marginally better when you think about Hoyer in the House or Schumer in the Senate. 

    If you think Schumer or Hoyer or we are only marginally better than Burr, then you are part of the problem.

  74. 74
    James E Powell says:

    @Baud:

    If you think Schumer or Hoyer or we are only marginally better than Burr, then you are part of the problem.

    We are all part of the same problem, @Baud, but never think that it applies to our beloved pets!

  75. 75
    Baud says:

    So Karl Rove decides to troll Dems by saying Bernie can beat Trump and Vox decides to treat is as a serious pro-Bernie story.

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  76. 76
    ola azul says:

    @japa21:

    Agreed, up to a point. After Mueller turned over his report and saw what Barr was attempting to do with it (misrepresent, diminish, whitewash), will confess I was purty upset about the Mueller team’s silence on the matter. Am plenty glad there’s been concerted and dedicated pushback, but allowing Barr to spurt squid ink ever’wheres blunted the impact and oft directs the convo into a bullshit “debate” about the discrepencies betwixt Barr’s (total bullshit) version of the Mueller Report and what the report actually sez.

    In essence, as so often in our “managed” media terrarium, we find ourselves arguing a point that shouldn’t be debatable. Which is sorta the point, from Team Evil’s perspective.

    Also don’t think it was a given (far from it, actually) that the pushback was certain to develop, so the silence post-report submission is even more exasperating.

    And last, for me, Mueller is a Boy Scout to the end who decided, quite consciously, to adhere (acquiesce) to the ridiculous OLC diktat re: a sitting prez cannot be indicted. My question: Sez fucking who? Another buncha overwhelmed peeps in the midst of yet a-fucking-NOTHER! Republican exercise in criminality and treachery, posited as an ad hoc solution to remove Spiro Agnew from office while another unindicted criminal held sway in the top office? Had a Democrat been prez and been charged with even fucking one of the things Trump is guilty of, is there any question in ANY-fucking-one’s mind that that OLC memo woulda been challenged? (And probably found wanting, but just once!, sorta like the 5-4 Bush v. Gore decision that absolutely in now way should EVAH! be taken for precedent sez our 5 Republican sages of the Supreme Farce — cuz it was so dishonest and insupportable, but necessary to install an unelected dumbshit, who proceeded to fuck up not just the country but large parts of the world. You know, like that.)

    On balance, Mueller done some useful work inna professional way amid great, great adversity. Props to him and his team. But there’s no way to a known we’da got pushback like this, so if/when he testifies, am hopeful someone will ask the question I been wondering: wtf was he thinking during the coupla weeks where Bagman Barr was taking a public shit all over his team’s work?

  77. 77
    ola azul says:

    Silly example about why the ridiculous “sitting-prez-can’t-be-indicted” OLC memo should be challenged:

    Am reasonably sure if I show up with my finger in my jacket pocket, pretending it’sa weapon, and try’n rob the bank, but when somebody asks me what time it is, I pull my finger-gun outta my pocket to look at the wrist where no watch is worn, ain’t nobody gonna gimme a mulligan on that just cuz they point and laugh at how fucking inept and stupid I am.

    To say that Trump and his team are not accountable for their commission failures (“we tried! we’re just too absurdly stupid to pull it off!”) is an infuriating testament to people’s reflexive need to bow and scrape in deference to higher office, as tho’ Trump were somehow ennobled by the office of the presidency instead of being the exact-fucking-same hustling grifter he’s always been and *using* it in the furtherance of his in-bred criminality.

    Ain’t no one should be above the law. And not *even* but *especialy* the fucking preznit.

  78. 78
    dimmsdale says:

    @Adam L Silverman: FAN-tastic! I would love that; there’s so much more that needs to be investigated than just what the Mueller report did. So many threads of spaghetti: a network analysis would be great. I don’t know if our pals the Mercers show up in such an analysis or not; the world that they operate in is so shadowy (or that’s my impression, anyhow) that any information on how they, Erik Prince, and the ex-Cambridge Analytica hotshots fit together would be a pearl beyond price, so to speak. So glad you’re back in the comments.

  79. 79
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Hi Uncle Cosmo – Been here a long time — started in pre-reconstructed-Cole era. Nyms change with site crashes/rebuilds. And laziness. Been posting as Chief Oshkosh for several months.

    Repeating Martin’s full post (still best of the day, IMO) had the desired effect. After all, we’re still discussing it. I originally was editing-to-quote and it was all just too good to leave any out. That, and laziness. I detect a pattern.

    Chief, I jumped down your throat a few threads down for seemingly showing up out of nowhere to flame a long-time jackal.

    Hm. Don’t recall intentionally flaming a long-time jackal (or even a short-time pup). Sorry if I did.

  80. 80

    @joel hanes: @Suzanne: @SFAW: “Huh! ‘Attempted obstruction of justice’ – now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?” -Sideshow Don

    (obviously I agree with all three of you)

  81. 81
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Baud:

    If you think Schumer or Hoyer or we are only marginally better than Burr, then you are part of the problem.

    Baud, Baud, Baud. I thought you were more astutely cynical and cynically astute. Schumer and Hoyer are the flip side of the same coin that Burr is on.

    I’m going to have to think about my support for your 2020 candidacy…

  82. 82
    Ghost of Joe Lieblings Dog says:

    @Martin:

    This (and Major^4’s link a few comments later) really should be front-paged.

  83. 83

    @(((CassandraLeo))): …and of course Twitter got there first. Some other good Simpsons quotes within:

    Your guilty consciences may force you to vote Democratic, but deep in your hearts you long for a cold, Republican leader who’ll cut taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king!

    And of course:

    “Mr. Trump, you’re coming with us.”

    “Oh right, all that stuff I did.”

  84. 84
    eemom says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Trump thinks he’s Michael Corleone, but he’s really just a nastier Fredo.

    Nah. Poor Fredo had true pathos, and he actually did mean well.

    I’d say Dump thinks he’s Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, when he’s really just that hair implant character.

  85. 85
    moops says:

    I’m still waiting to hear the Cohen tapes. Yes, we have tapes.

  86. 86
    Kathleen says:

    Deleted

  87. 87
    Kathleen says:

    This is in reply to #52 No One You Know (tried to post 3 times with “Reply” and was rebuffed by FWP.)

    Here’s link to article in academic journal called “The Conversation” which discussed how Goebbels appropriated Bernays’ work:
    http://theconversation.com/the.....ions-44393

  88. 88
    Kathleen says:

    @Aleta: Having faithfully watched reruns of the L&O reruns I can attest to that! I’m amazed and outraged at excuses well represented rich people use.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:
    OTOH, sometimes, some comments are well worth repeating.
    @Martin’s: is one of those.
    Spot on, not a word wasted, worth repeating on the front page.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    @Jiminy’s Cricket:
    There are probably several legitimate answers.
    This is my guess.
    Vlad has a long history inside the USSR intel and political system and probably thinks he should be ruler of the world and Russia should be the world power and there is one very large roadblock to that in his eyes, the USA. It’s not the only roadblock, most of the rest are history and/or self inflicted.

  91. 91
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    O-M-G-d that’s so funny… That’s a gift, you can’t go to school to learn that…

  92. 92
    James E Powell says:

    @moops:

    I’m still waiting to hear the Cohen tapes. Yes, we have tapes.

    It would be interesting, no doubt. I also think it’s a good time for the press/media to review Cohen’s testimony before congress. At the time, it was turned into a 48 hour story. It should be reconsidered along with what is included in the Highly Redacted Mueller Report,

  93. 93
    Ruckus says:

    @James E Powell:
    We have to never forget that the entire system is supposed to work for us, the citizens. Everyone in every branch of all the governments, local, county, state, national work for us as a whole.
    That it often doesn’t is that we let it slide as long as it isn’t too bad in our lives. We have a representative government because it is otherwise too unwieldy. But we owe it to ourselves to pay attention and when necessary demand reasonable governance. This is one of those times to demand better for everyone.

  94. 94
    rikyrah says:

    @Martin:
    👏👏👏👏👏👏🎉🎉🎉

  95. 95
    trnc says:

    @Bill Arnold: Perhaps a House member could ask Mueller if he delivered the report in a searchable pdf format. If yes, follow up with Barr on why DOJ published the low quality, image based pdf.

  96. 96
    TPO says:

    Don’t forget Alexanda Petri’s Book Report:

    One theme of “The Mueller Report” was that it contains 448 pages. That is a lot of pages, and it is very impressive to read a book that long, as, of course, I did. But many of the words are covered up in thick black bars, which makes the reading go fast because of pacing. I would argue that the bars are even a character. In the writings of Kurt Vonnegut, a large asterisk drawn in thick black ink stands for a part of the human body. I am not sure what part it would be in this book.

    The colors red, green, blue and white also recur repeatedly throughout this book. Green symbolizes spring, renewal, money and envy. It can also symbolize Personal Privacy. Yellow symbolizes cowardice. It also refers to portions of the book that deal with Investigative Techniques, but I think it can mean both things at the same time. Red is usually blood or anger but here alludes to the Grand Jury, whose presence was felt throughout this book.

    This whole book is an example of synecdoche, in which a part stands for the whole. For instance, you say “wheels” when you mean “a car,” or “the unredacted portions of ‘The Mueller Report’” when you mean “The Mueller Report.” Synecdoche is a useful rhetorical device and I like it a lot, even if it is not one of the ones Winston Churchill mostly used.

  97. 97
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Ruckus: Oh, no argument on the quality. If you had to repeat one post in its entirety, that’d be the one.

    @Ruckus: IMO it’s more productive to ask (& answer) the question, Why did our native plutocrats sit back & allow (if not actively encourage) their pet pols to crawl into bed with Putin via Needy Amin?

    My guess is, Because their ultimate goal is a global oligarchy, & as far as they’re concerned Vlad is just one of them & he’s doing the Lords’ work: destabilizing representative government in the only feasible focuses of resistance (US & EU) & turning their economies into smash&grab kleptocracies, sucking whatever wealth the commoners have managed to hang onto through the last 75 years back into their moneybins.

    The global-oligarch-wannabes are rich but they aren’t all that smart. Putin may seem to act like one of them, but they aren’t gonna enjoy a club member with nuclear weapons & assassination squads who’s not averse to killing off the opposition. Once the last state-based resistance is crushed, Vlad (or his Mafiya successors) will turn those capabilities against the only enemy left – other oligarchs. Cowering in a cocoon of poison tasters & heavily-armed bodyguards is no way to enjoy life.

  98. 98
    Ruckus says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    Cowering in a cocoon of poison tasters & heavily-armed bodyguards is no way to enjoy life.

    Not sure they enjoy life now. They act like they do but they all seem to be worried that someone will come along and steal what they have already stolen. And Vlad is the perfect example of this. He’s wealthy beyond any and all needs and most of it was stolen from the country and it’s citizens that he worked for. And it will never be enough. That is a defining part of the breed, more than enough is never enough.
    That is the breed, and there are a lot of them around and a lot who want to belong to the club. The More Than Enough is Never Enough Club. Trump is a member. A massively stupid member, who thinks he’s about 10,000 times smarter than he really is. The proof is his life story.

  99. 99
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Jiminy’s Cricket:

    What did this huge Russian Intel Operation really hope to gain, and what do they have on Trump?

    What they hoped to gain is obvious: having the leader of a rival foreign power in Russia’s pocket. What do have on Trump? A lot; all roads here seem to lead to Moscow.

  100. 100
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @James E Powell: I’ve let Elizabeth Warren know I like her call for impeachment and backed it with a monthly donation. I’ll bet others have too. The other 2020 candidates aren’t stupid and with mounting public pressure they’ll decide what to do.

  101. 101
    texasdoc says:

    @Ruckus: The point isn’t to have all the money to live a more luxurious life than anyone else–it’s HOW THEY KEEP SCORE.

  102. 102
    Ruckus says:

    @texasdoc:
    I do understand this. I thought I was making the same point, possibly I didn’t do a very good job.

  103. 103
    Denali says:

    @Martin,

    What you said. 100 times.

Comments are closed.