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Monday, February 12, 2018

OTP 12 February 2018: Jeff Samardzija explains why politics and baseball rarely mix

However, there were several curveballs that forced Giants’ players to think outside the box, including one from a fan who asked a trio that included catcher Buster Posey, reliever Cory Gearrin and starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija whether they think baseball players should have a role in voicing their political opinions like football and basketball players have in recent years.

The question temporarily stumped Gearrin and Posey, so as his teammates waited, Samardzija decided to jump in and share his perspective.

“I don’t think so, not necessarily because we’re here to entertain you guys. Every time we step on the field, it’s important,” Samardzija said, before pausing temporarily while a loud round of applause petered out.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:41 AM | 2005 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, politics, san francisco giants, spring training

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   1901. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5626865)
Whether or not the Feds should have retried Menendez says nothing about my comment and even less about Bibi's increasing legal hot water.
"In Jersey anything's legal as long as you don't get caught."

Take up your angst with the Democrats in Jersey but, before doing so, remember he's a left-wing Democrat on every single domestic issue.
   1902. BDC Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5626867)
I'd stay out of Plattsburgh. And nearly everywhere else, too. (Potsdam, yeesh.)

My son's gf attends Brockport, and he has moved nearby. He refers to it as "really ####ing cold."
   1903. dejarouehg Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5626870)
and he has moved nearby
then that, sir, is true love.
   1904. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5626872)
Take up your angst with the Democrats in Jersey but, before doing so, remember he's a left-wing Democrat on every single domestic issue.


You remember all the way back to this morning when you brought up Menendez, right?

I didn't bring him up and I think he should go away. However, if he gets reelected, well the voters get to choose who they want to represent them, and that is on all the voters not just Democrats. I would rather someone else, but I ain't a voter in New Jersey, so I don't get much say.

I am not Israeli either, and have even less influence there. So I get to watch events there unfold as an observer. It appears I will have plenty to observe as well.
   1905. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5626874)
Indeed I do. Or rather, I am not sure exactly how that fits that graph you linked to, but it discusses various examples of dwindling state higher-ed funding, going back to the '80s (as DavidFoss mentions).
To be sure, DC keeps showering higher education with boosts in federal spending and IRS tax code changes.
   1906. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5626875)
You remember all the way back to this morning when you brought up Menendez, right?
Except you shifted the Bibi comment to focus on Menendez, Obtusity. If you would rather Bob go away, again, pen a note to your pals in Jersey and implore them to do something. As for me, If a Dem is going to hold that seat, I'm fine that it's him.
   1907. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5626876)
To be sure, DC keeps showering higher education with boosts in federal spending and IRS tax code changes.


Whatever we do let's not examine the societal return on investment for having the government fund education! That would be CRAZY!
   1908. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5626877)
I went to SUNY Albany where the sun went into hiding the 3rd week of September and came back out during finals. But there was often a nice layer of slush on the ground to match the gray skies and cement.

The weather in Albany is like an unattainable heaven to SUNY students from Syracuse to Buffalo. Coke to the AC addict.


My son's gf attends Brockport, and he has moved nearby.

Good god. Rochester, I'd hope. They have actual things there.
   1909. BrianBrianson Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5626878)
Yeah, the decrease in state funding hasn't helped, but fundamentally, people have decided that they want to attend the most prestigious university they can scrape together the money to get into, and the market has responded accordingly.

And prestige is determined largely by the US NEWS rankings and similar things, which put a heavy premium on the university spending money on new facilities & such, and the market has responded accordingly.

A cheaper option has become almost by definition a shittier option. And then ... market forces.
   1910. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5626879)
Except you shifted the Bibi comment to focus on Menendez, Obtusity.


Wait, what? You brought up Menendez and I responded. It is not my fault if you don't enjoy the comparison between Bibi and Menendez as much as you though you would.

If you would rather Bob go away, again, pen a note to your pals in Jersey and implore them to do something. As for me, If a Dem is going to hold that seat, I'm fine that it's him.


You realize I already responded to this*, right? Has your auto-responding bot failed again? You should have that looked at. I do admit I like that you are conceding the race to the Democrats already though, that is the spirit that wins.

* In the very post you quoted, but didn't read I guess.
   1911. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5626880)
Whatever we do let's not examine the societal return on investment for having the government fund education! That would be CRAZY!


Since Juan requires a safe space to protect his snowflake pipe dreams, someone might want to let him know that his original complaint (socialism is making college too expensive!) isn't reflected in attendance expenses in far more socialized nations, as evidenced in my link from 1873.

I think Juan simply dislikes higher education because that's the position of the Republican Party and their Creationist base. Also because he couldn't get into Yeshiva University ($40,000 annual tuition?
Thanks Obama!) and his rejection letter came stamped with "SCHMENDRICK".
   1912. BDC Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5626885)
Rochester, I'd hope. They have actual things there

He lives out in some place called Hamlin, near Lake Ontario; but yes, he's working in Rochester.
   1913. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5626889)
Cost of tuition and room, Duke University, 2018, in 2018 dollars: $62,248

not especially generous on the financial aid side, while maintaining an impressive level of arrogance.


Hey, don't blame me. I've always rooted for Carolina from the days of Frank McGuire's Underground Railroad.
   1914. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5626892)
"In Jersey anything's legal as long as you don't get caught."


Jersey must be getting its talking points from Ray and Clapper.
   1915. BDC Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5626893)
Cost of tuition and room, Duke University, 1962, in 2018 dollars: $17,122

Cost of tuition and room, Duke University, 2018, in 2018 dollars: $62,248


Yes, but when you consider that a box seat at Yankee Stadium cost a nickel in 1962 and $4,750 today, Duke has actually been holding the line pretty well :)

   1916. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5626894)
He lives out in some place called Hamlin, near Lake Ontario

Sure. My aunt's dairy farm is in Albion, about 10/15 miles from there.
   1917. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5626895)
Cost of tuition and room, Duke University, 1962, in 2018 dollars: $17,122

Cost of tuition and room, Duke University, 2018, in 2018 dollars: $62,248


Yes, but when you consider that a box seat at Yankee Stadium cost a nickel in 1962 and $4,750 today, Duke has actually been holding the line pretty well :)


Yes, but that's only been true since the government bought the Yankees.
   1918. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5626896)
Do you honestly believe this
Which part of "trolling" do you not grasp? Of course he doesn't believe it.

(The word "honestly" doesn't belong in the same zip code as him.)
   1919. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5626897)
Overall, Bob Menendez has an excellent record WRT US foreign policy.* I won't go so far as to say that Obama definitely targeted him because he was a vocal and knowledgeable opponent of the comically awful Iran nuke deal but having him step down as the SFRC Ranking Member while tied up in court certainly boosted the administration's lobbying efforts.

* US-Turkey and US-Azerbaijan relations, not so much.
   1920. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5626902)
the comically awful Iran nuke deal

From the Post's op-ed page, Jackson Diehl:

The nuclear agreement is ‘the worst deal ever’ — for Iran

Some of the most inspiring images of the new year — and therefore, in this age of Trump, some of the least noticed — have come from Iran. In sometimes grainy photos and videos posted on the Internet, Iranian women are seen standing atop utility boxes on busy streets, silent and alone, having taken off their mandatory head coverings and holding them up on sticks. At least 29 women have been arrested for these astounding displays of courage and defiance, which risk a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

The women’s demonstrations began during a week of mass protests across Iran beginning in late December, driven not by the country’s educated elite but its working class. The discontent started with rising prices for eggs, but by the time the demonstrations ended, the slogans included “death to the dictator” and “leave Syria,” where the Revolutionary Guard Corps is squandering money and lives.

No, it’s not likely that Iran is on the brink of a revolution that will overthrow a regime that has been the source of so many U.S. strategic problems. But this new season of unrest in the Persian heartland ought to change some calculations in Washington about how best to push back against Tehran’s aggressions across the Middle East — and what to think about the nuclear deal that President Trump is threatening to tear up.

What the ferment makes obvious is that the lifted sanctions and unfrozen assets that Iran obtained two years ago in exchange for curtailing its nuclear activities have not proved to be the boon to Tehran predicted by Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In fact, Iran’s senior leaders have grounds to conclude that they, and not Trump, are stuck with “the worst deal ever.”

The hope of the regime was that the lifting of limits on its oil exports and the return of foreign investment would rescue an economy plagued by stagflation and dangerously high unemployment. They haven’t, in part because foreign investors continue to shy away from a country where corruption is rampant and Western passport holders are liable to be jailed on trumped-up charges.

There are economic statistics to back this up, but the best numbers come from a poll sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies, taken just after the street protests subsided. In August 2015, after the nuclear deal was signed, 57 percent of Iranians said economic conditions in the country were getting better, which probably reflected the hopes for change. Now 58 percent say the situation is getting worse, and 69 percent say conditions are “somewhat bad” or “very bad.” Sixty-three percent blame the regime for this, almost double the number who say “foreign sanctions and pressures” are responsible....

Only a tiny number of Iranians — 8 percent, according to the new poll — get information from foreign radio broadcasts, but more than 60 percent depend on the Internet or apps such as Telegram. The United States could do a lot more to help people get around the regime’s attempts to block these channels. Shamefully, funding for one popular firewall-circumvention service, UltraSurf, was terminated last year by the State Department and Broadcasting Board of Governors. It then crashed during the protests after getting more than 1.2 million hits from Iran in one minute.

Rather than pursue such strategies, Trump seems intent on voiding the nuclear deal by May, basically on the grounds that it was negotiated by President Barack Obama. The pact is far from perfect, as I have argued before. For now, though, it has helped to open a rift between the regime and its public and created a potent new source of pressure on Tehran’s foreign adventures. If Trump kills it, expect some quiet celebrations in Tehran.
   1921. tshipman Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5626903)
Overall, Bob Menendez has an excellent record WRT US foreign policy.* I won't go so far as to say that Obama definitely targeted him because he was a vocal and knowledgeable opponent of the comically awful Iran nuke deal but having him step down as the SFRC Ranking Member while tied up in court certainly boosted the administration's lobbying efforts.


You can just say that you like his record on Israel.

You don't have to pretend that there's anything else to it. It's okay to be a single-issue voter. You don't have to be defensive.
   1922. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5626908)
He lives out in some place called Hamlin, near Lake Ontario; but yes, he's working in Rochester.


I have no great love for update NY. Spent a few months there working campaigns. One particularly crap special election for state assembly near Watertown in the dead of winter. E-Day saw 6 inches of snow and a major part of GOTV (I #### you not) was organizing private snow plowing so our buses could pick up seniors and take them to the polls.

Besides the lousy lake effect snow and general long winters (hey, I'm from N. MI I know all about that) I found the people quite racist and bitter and ready to blame NYC for just about anything and everything. We won the race but the D candidate was a Democrat in name only. He was basically John Kasich with slightly more liberal social views. His opponent ran robo calls tying him to gay newspapers in NYC, who were "paying for his campaign". As I said, this guy was not a liberal by any stretch but the politics up there is something else. "god and guns" sums it up pretty well.
   1923. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5626911)
I won't go so far as to say that Obama definitely targeted him because he was a vocal and knowledgeable opponent of the comically awful Iran nuke deal but having him step down as the SFRC Ranking Member while tied up in court certainly boosted the administration's lobbying efforts.


If you "did go so far" you would sound like a lunatic, raving and barking at the moon, so I think we are all glad you won't go quite that far.
   1924. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5626912)
You can just say that you like his record on Israel.
How was I hiding this?
You don't have to pretend that there's anything else to it. It's okay to be a single-issue voter. You don't have to be defensive
If that had been the case, I would have voted for Trump.
   1925. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5626913)
If you "did go so far" you would sound like a lunatic, raving and barking at the moon, so I think we are all glad you won't go quite that far.
Because no administration has ever punished its opponents, unless it's a Republican one?

Wow, you never disappoint.
   1926. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5626915)
As I have said before when talking about Obama and even W, but it is way too soon to be making these judgements ... How Trump Stacks Up Against Other Presidents

Still it is not a huge surprise ...

The New York Times surveyed 170 political scientists and found that President Trump is currently ranked as the worst U.S. president in history.


Obama was #8, W was #30 (an improvement of 5 places, he must be so proud), and Clinton was #13 (losing 5 places).
   1927. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5626916)
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, yesterday:
"While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system."


Donald Trump, one week ago:
President Donald Trump’s newly unveiled budget would cut millions of dollars from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which gun dealers use to verify if someone is banned from buying a gun before selling it to them.

...[In] his fiscal year 2019 budget, released Monday, the president calls for cuts to the National Criminal Records History Improvement Program and the NICS Act Record Improvement Program. Both provide federal grants to states to help them improve their reporting of criminal records and protection orders to the national database for background checks, including domestic violence records.
   1928. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5626917)

What the ferment makes obvious is that the lifted sanctions and unfrozen assets that Iran obtained two years ago in exchange for curtailing its nuclear activities have not proved to be the boon to Tehran predicted by Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In fact, Iran’s senior leaders have grounds to conclude that they, and not Trump, are stuck with “the worst deal ever.”
Um, this couldn't be more wrong if it were written by Ben Rhodes. Critics of the Iran deal warned that giving Iran $100,000,000,000 would be dangerous. Supporters of the Iran deal assured everyone that we need not worry because Iran had economic needs and would spend the money to improve its economy. (Guess what Iran didn't spend the money to do.)
   1929. BDC Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5626918)
Gonfalon, can't you see that continuing to fund the background-check system is just socialism? If the background-check system ran itself like a business, we would all be safer at a fraction of the cost.
   1930. tshipman Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5626919)
Obama was #8, W was #30 (an improvement of 5 places, he must be so proud), and Clinton was #13 (losing 5 places).


I don't think it's justifiable to put Trump below W.

The case for Trump being the worst ever is the potential negative outcomes: the slide into authoritarianism, the reckless use of nuclear weapons, the destruction of governing norms.

W has actual destruction in his wake that Trump has not seen yet.
   1931. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5626920)
Because no administration has ever punished its opponents, unless it's a Republican one?


Not what I said. But I admit I do really like the switch between "punished its opponents" and the insinuation Obama might have personally had a Senator in his OWN PARTY targeted by the DOJ. But sure I am totally convinced that Obama might have been so ENRAGED! by Menendez's criticism over a policy of Obama's (which despite your weird obsession is not the one and only thing Obama did, unlike Trump and his Tax Bill for example), that President Obama set the Justice Machinary against a member of his own party.

Yeah, not so much. I reiterate it is a good thing you are totally NOT suggesting Democratic President Obama had Democratic Senator Menendez targeted, because that would sound even nuttier than normal.
   1932. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5626921)
One particularly crap special election for state assembly near Watertown in the dead of winter

Welcome to my father's hometown, and where we visited my grandmother multiple times a year, if you were heading 20 miles farther into northwest serial-killer nowhere from there.


I found the people quite racist and bitter and ready to blame NYC for just about anything and everything.

Oh yeah. My dad, a Reagan grump and on the "THEY SHOULD JUST GO SOMEWHERE ELSE IF THEY DON'T LIKE IT" side of the divestment issue in the 80s nevertheless ended up a Hillary dude even before Obama's election. Driven completely away from the GOP.
   1933. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5626922)
I don't think it's justifiable to put Trump below W.


Since he became a candidate there has been plenty of hysterics about GOP President being worse than the worst imaginable! and such things. I mean I agree with you, and more to the point how can we possibly evaluate Trump's administration before it is over? I am just saying it is not a surprise some are overreacting and giving the (admittedly completely incompetent) Trump the rating they did.
   1934. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5626924)
There are economic statistics to back this up, but the best numbers come from a poll sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies, taken just after the street protests subsided. In August 2015, after the nuclear deal was signed, 57 percent of Iranians said economic conditions in the country were getting better, which probably reflected the hopes for change. Now 58 percent say the situation is getting worse, and 69 percent say conditions are “somewhat bad” or “very bad.” Sixty-three percent blame the regime for this, almost double the number who say “foreign sanctions and pressures” are responsible....
So Diehl (and you, of course) are falling for the correlation proves causation claim? Here's what he should have glanced at before penning that silly paragraph:

Trump keeps scaring investors away from Iran.
   1935. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5626925)
A former NSA analyst writes:
Back in early 2014, the National Security Agency’s global signals intelligence apparatus picked up conversations about a coming Trump presidential run with Kremlin backing. These were what the SIGINT world calls “reflections”—that is, Russians talking to other Russians, without Americans (much less Team Trump members) involved. These intercepted conversations included discussions of Trump’s coming White House run and how Moscow planned to boost him; the SIGINT involved, while not detailed, left the indelible impression that this secret effort had approval from “the top” in the Kremlin. Some of NSA’s foreign spy partners intercepted similar conversations in 2014.

Of greatest interest, NSA and its partners noted a spike in Kremlin conversations about Trump and the presidency in mid-November 2013, which was when Donald Trump was in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant. While that visit has been the source of considerable salacious gossip—both in the notorious Steele dossier and in subsequent Kremlin efforts to fool American intelligence—for its alleged sexual shenanigans, its real purpose may have been more serious and sinister, according to several U.S. and Allied intelligence officials I’ve discussed the matter with.

Based on SIGINT reflections back in November 2013, it appeared likely that Trump had discussions with Kremlin officials when he was visiting Moscow, in preparation for his coming run for the White House. “It’s one hell of a coincidence,” an NSA official told me, “that high-ranking Russians suddenly start talking about getting Trump in the White House right after he’s in Moscow.” It’s unclear what intelligence, if any, was shared with the Obama White House about these SIGINT reflections, since its conclusions were tentative; there was no top-secret “smoking gun.” We can hope that Bob Mueller and his prosecutors will now get to the bottom of this murky intelligence puzzle.
   1936. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5626926)
Supporters of the Iran deal assured everyone that we need not worry because Iran had economic needs and would spend the money to improve its economy.


I am sure in the wide world someone somewhere made this argument. I most certainly did not and I don't remember anyone else here making it either, but sure someone did so you at least have plausible deniability when you try to smear everyone else with such an argument.
   1937. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5626927)
Not what I said. But I admit I do really like the switch between "punished its opponents" and the insinuation Obama might have personally had a Senator in his OWN PARTY targeted by the DOJ.
So what? John Bolton and Rand Paul are in the same party. Andy and Bernie Sanders are in the same party. Donald Trump and David Frum (and Jeb!) are in the same party.
But sure I am totally convinced that Obama might have been so ENRAGED! by Menendez's criticism over a policy of Obama's (which despite your weird obsession is not the one and only thing Obama did, unlike Trump and his Tax Bill for example), that President Obama set the Justice Machinary against a member of his own party.
All you have to do is read the Obama folks' own words and you'll see the Iran nuke deal was the second-term legacy item.
   1938. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5626929)
The case for Trump being the worst ever is the potential negative outcomes: the slide into authoritarianism, the reckless use of nuclear weapons, the destruction of governing norms.


"Idiocracy" was set, what, 400 years from now? Trump is getting us there much sooner, and that's why he deserves to be hanged by his balls until dead. And then I'd leave him hanging for few more days to thrill/upset the masses.
   1939. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5626930)
More to the point how can we possibly evaluate Trump's administration before it is over?


If his game of Kim Jong Un chicken takes a worse turn, it will have been best to do Trump's ranking now, while there's still time.
   1940. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5626931)
This legal theory seems suspect as do the factual premises it rests on but FWIW:

Does Mueller Indictment Mean Clinton Campaign Can Be Indicted for Chris Steele?
by Robert Barnes | 8:02 am, February 17th, 2018

Robert Barnes is a California-based trial attorney whose practice focuses on Constitutional, criminal and civil rights law. You can follow him at @Barnes_Law.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted foreign citizens for trying to influence the American public about an election because those citizens did not register as a foreign agent nor record their financial expenditures to the Federal Elections Commission. By that theory, when will Mueller indict Christopher Steele, FusionGPS, PerkinsCoie, the DNC and the Clinton Campaign? Mueller’s indictment against 13 Russian trolls claimed their social media political activity was criminal because: they were foreign citizens; they tried to influence an election; and they neither registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act nor reported their funding to the Federal Elections Commission.

First, if Mueller’s theory is correct, three things make Steele a criminal: first, he is a foreign citizen; second, he tried to influence an election, which he received payments to do (including from the FBI itself); and third, he neither registered as a foreign agent nor listed his receipts and expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. Also, according to the FBI, along the way, Steele lied…a lot, while the dossier he disseminated contained its own lies based on bought-and-paid for smears from foreign sources reliant on rumors and innuendo.

...
[Snipping his legal theory w/r/t Fusion, Perkins Cole, the DNC, and the Clinton campaign which is essentially the same legal theory only adding the criminal conspiracy element.]
...

Don’t expect such an indictment. Mueller chose his targets because he knows they will never appear in court, never contest the charges, and cannot be arrested or extradited as Russian citizens. Mueller’s unprecedented prosecution raises three novel arguments: first, that speaking out about American politics requires a foreign citizen to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act; second, that speaking out about American politics requires a foreign citizen list their source and expenditure of funding to the Federal Election Commission; and third, that mistakes on visa applications constitute “fraud” on the State Department. All appear to borrow from the now-discredited “honest services” theories Mueller’s team previously used in corporate and bribery cases, cases the Supreme Court overturned for their unconstitutional vagueness. The indictment raises serious issues under the free speech clause of the First Amendment and due process rights under the Fifth Amendment.


EDIT: Sorry, here's the link.
   1941. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5626932)
So what? John Bolton and Rand Paul are in the same party. Andy and Bernie Sanders are in the same party. Donald Trump and David Frum (and Jeb!) are in the same party.


All you have to do is read the Obama folks' own words and you'll see the Iran nuke deal was the second-term legacy item.


So to be clear, are you now arguing that Obama did specifically target Senator Menendez because of his criticism regarding the multiparty Iran deal? And a followup question, was the plan from the Lizards, the Greys, or did it spring forth from Kenya? Asking for a friend.
   1942. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5626934)
A former NSA analyst writes:

Isn't that a bit out of date, Gonfalon? Don't you mean a guy fired for sending dick pix?
   1943. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5626938)
So to be clear, are you now arguing that Obama did specifically target Senator Menendez because of his criticism regarding the multiparty Iran deal?
No, I argued it's very possible that, in determining whether to go after Menendez, Obama took his outspoken nuke deal opposition into account. Sucks for you that such a move is impossible for an obtuse mind to comprehend.
   1944. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5626939)
Isn't that a bit out of date, Gonfalon? Don't you mean


Did they promise you a resort bungalow on the Black Sea and your very own Melania look-alike whore?
   1945. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5626940)
This legal theory seems suspect as do the factual premises it rests on but FWIW:


"...I'll throw it out there anyway because I am an idiot Omega Dancing Monkey pajama wearing hot cocoa drinking cartoon watching child."

Someone please tell Imbecile Ray that the investigation is ALL ABOUT TRUMP. 100%.
   1946. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5626945)
No, I argued it's very possible that, in determining whether to go after Menendez, Obama took his outspoken nuke deal opposition into account. Sucks for you that such a move is impossible for an obtuse mind to comprehend.


So, wait a minute, now your theory is that Obama totally didn't specifically target Menendez, BUT he likely though about the opposition to one of his policies before personally deciding to green light the investigation. But still even though he totally took the political disagreement into account and the investigation went forward, Obama completely didn't target Menendez.

So, you know all this fanciful speculation is true based on the entrails of the chicken you then cooked and ate?

Seriously dude, where are you going with this? What is the point? That any President in Obama's position would totally have had his DOJ go after Menendez, but Obama had an extra special heaping of RAGE! and so the investigation was super extra exacting or what?

   1947. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5626946)
#1942:
A former NSA analyst writes:

Isn't that a bit out of date, Gonfalon? Don't you mean a guy fired for sending dick pix?

First of all, that text was merely locker room bravado.

Second of all, he wasn't fired. Like Andrew McCabe, he stepped down voluntarily ahead of schedule.

Third of all, the dick pic was never verified and is therefore debunked salacious gossip.

Fourth, if the dick pic were his, he would have no problems in that department, believe me.

Fifth, what his critics fail to understand is that he was just joking.

Lastly, no one has ever claimed that pee-pee was coming out of the dick, which proves that Russia is a hoax.
   1948. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5626950)
So apparently, our pal Judge Sullivan issued a revised order on Friday, which included the following footnote goody:
1 ... (“By holding in Ruiz that the government committed no due process violation by requiring a defendant to waive her right to impeachment evidence before indictment in order to accept a fast-track plea, the Supreme Court did not imply that the government may avoid the consequence of a Brady violation if the defendant accepts an eleventh-hour plea agreement while ignorant of withheld exculpatory evidence in the government's possession.”); ... United States v. Nelson, 979 F. Supp. 2d 123, 135-36 (D.D.C. 2013)(“Because the prosecution suppressed exculpatory evidence before Nelson pled guilty, Nelson’s due process rights were violated to his prejudice and his guilty plea was not voluntary and knowing.”);"
Emphasis mine.

Are we still über-düber-confident the revised order is a nothingburger or now acknowledge it might be a somthingburger?

Again, my apologies and a tasty beverage if someone else posted this nugget over the weekend.
   1949. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5626953)
So, wait a minute, now your theory is that Obama totally didn't specifically target Menendez, BUT he likely though about the opposition to one of his policies before personally deciding to green light the investigation. But still even though he totally took the political disagreement into account and the investigation went forward, Obama completely didn't target Menendez.
Wow, you are a one-man exhaustion machine. My view didn't change. Where do you get this ####?
   1950. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5626954)
The article excerpted in #1940 kind of makes a hash out of it, but the Mueller indictment is somewhat unusual. Although the indictment notes that it is illegal for foreign nationals to spend money on U.S. elections or to try to influence elections without registering as foreign agents, that's NOT what the Russians were indicted on. Instead, Mueller went after them for violating 18 U.S.C. §371 (conspiracy to defraud the United States), §§ 1343 and 1344 (wire fraud and bank fraud), and §1082(A) (identity theft), and chose not indict them for violating 52 U.S.C. §30121 (contributions and donations by foreign nationals). Seems a little strange, and one theory is that Mueller wanted to avoid using any charge that might also apply to Steele's efforts to influence the election. Another possibility is that he worried that the electioneering statutes may be attacked for being overly broad. Can we really arrest our Canadian friends for telling us how to vote if they haven't registered as a foreign agent?
   1951. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5626955)
Second of all, he wasn't fired. Like Andrew McCabe, he stepped down voluntarily ahead of schedule.
Oh my, here's Gonfalon still guzzling the Shredded-flavored Kool-Aid on McCabe's abrupt departure.
   1952. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:08 PM (#5626959)
JE-- I would suggest that, purely as a textual experiment, you re-read #1947 while wondering whether or not the author was entirely serious.
   1953. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5626960)
The situation in JE's #1948 is worth following up, and keeping an eye on. Even if, at the current time, the Federalist is stuck with this reaction: "This whole thing could bring further abuse to light. No one knows yet what the evidence will show. However, there are enough shady characters involved to believe there will be something of significance. Then what?"

Lawyers: I assume that a plea withdrawal would just move Flynn over to the Manafort category, yes? And that this information pass-along could possibly be the cause of the previously-announced sentencing postponement in the Flynn case?
   1954. BrianBrianson Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5626961)
Seems pretty partisan desperate to think that it's feasible to make it illegal for non-Americans to express an opinion about any American election - if every foreigner who said "Christ, how awful it'll be for America & the World if they elect Cheeto Benito" was a criminal - well, keeping two million people in jail is pushing America's capacity for incarceration, I can't imagine how to make seven billion feasible. D
   1955. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:19 PM (#5626963)

I am sure in the wide world someone somewhere made this argument.
And by "someone somewhere" you mean "the primary rebuttal to the 'Giving them $100B is unsafe' argument."
   1956. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5626965)
JE-- I would suggest that, purely as a textual experiment, you re-read #1947 while wondering whether or not the author was entirely serious.
Understood. :)
   1957. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5626969)
You say "[T]he Federalist," Gonfalon, but to be clear, it's not an editorial but this person:
Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School as well as a former full-time faculty member and current adjunct professor for the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. ...
   1958. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5626970)
This legal theory seems suspect as do the factual premises it rests on but FWIW:

Does Mueller Indictment Mean Clinton Campaign Can Be Indicted for Chris Steele?
by Robert Barnes
You can stop there; I know it's suspect. I've run into Barnes running rhetorical interference for Trump at least twice before with awful legal analysis.

In 2016 he claimed that the NYT had broken the law by publishing the Trump tax return they had received. The argument was terrible in numerous respects, but what was most egregious was that while citing a handful of inapposite cases, it failed to cite the single most relevant precedent, even to try to distinguish it.

Last year Barnes jumped on the Trumpista Red Herring Faux Scandal Du Jour (Mueller may have obtained Trump transition team emails without a warrant. Remember that one? It pretty much disappeared from the face of the earth because, you know, it was a faux scandal, used only to try to win a particular news cycle rather than to convince an actual court of anything) and managed to make all sorts of rookie mistake arguments confusing the Fourth Amendment with issues of privilege.
   1959. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5626973)
Are we still über-düber-confident the revised order is a nothingburger or now acknowledge it might be a somthingburger?
Yes, I am. Did you read the page you linked to? From the docket with respect to that revised order:
For many years, the Court has entered a standing order in every criminal case requiring the government to produce any evidence in its possession that is favorable to the defendant and material to either the defendant's guilt or punishment pursuant to Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) and its progeny. The order is entered regardless of the posture of the case when it is assigned to the Court. After this case was randomly assigned to the Court on December 7, 2017, such an order was entered on December 12, 2017. Unfortunately, the prior version of the order was inadvertently entered rather than the Court's current version. Consequently, the Court enters the current version at this time.


(Most importantly, the cases in that footnote raise an issue that turns on the distinction between impeachment evidence and exculpatory evidence. The government is not required to turn over the former if there's a plea, but may be -- and per Sullivan is -- still required to turn over the latter. The purported issues related to the FISA warrant application would be impeachment evidence, not exculpatory evidence.)
   1960. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5626974)
A likely story.
   1961. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5626977)
Seems pretty partisan desperate to think that it's feasible to make it illegal for non-Americans to express an opinion about any American election - if every foreigner who said "Christ, how awful it'll be for America & the World if they elect Cheeto Benito" was a criminal - well, keeping two million people in jail is pushing America's capacity for incarceration, I can't imagine how to make seven billion feasible. D
You're being sarcastic, but the law in question even at its broadest interpretation would make it illegal to expend money to express an opinion, not merely to express an opinion. (Also, the opinion would have to be for the purpose of influencing the election. Finally, it's likely that it would only apply if the expenditure took place within the U.S. Buying Facebook ads, yes.)

Also, even YC is willing to note how terrible a legal analyst Barnes is, as he misunderstands the indictment.
   1962. BrianBrianson Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5626979)
Well, I'm paying for internet access, ain't I David? And I'm not sure I've directly tried to influence how any of you would vote, it could certainly be argued that I've done so indirectly or implicitly. And I'm living in America. You can see why I'd be concerned.

If you'll excuse me, I gotta go hug my [identifying number and gender of children removed]
   1963. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:05 PM (#5626981)
Did you read the page you linked to? From the docket with respect to that revised order:
Sure, but my point was that the footnote now shows that Flynn has the opportunity to withdraw the guilty plea.
The purported issues related to the FISA warrant application would be impeachment evidence, not exculpatory evidence.)
I must be missing something: How are we certain none of the potential issues pertaining to Flynn's guilty plea relate to exculpatory evidence? Why are you focusing on the FISA warrant application of Carter Page?
   1964. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5626982)
Sure, but my point was that the footnote now makes clear that Flynn may very well have the opportunity to withdraw the guilty plea.


Yeah, I'm sure he'd rather be tried and convicted. Monkey.
   1965. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5626983)
I'm not sure I've directly tried to influence how any of you would vote, it could certainly be argued that I've done so indirectly or implicitly. And I'm living in America. You can see why I'd be concerned.

If Mueller can't nail Trump, BrianBrianson is a likely face-saving consolation prize. Mueller has to be thinking of his place in history here. :>)
   1966. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5626984)
Wow, you are a one-man exhaustion machine. My view didn't change. Where do you get this ####?


I know, right? First I bring up Menendez (oops, that was you), then I object to talking about him (No, still you), all the while I keep hinting at weird and crazy theories, trying to distance myself from them with a wink and a nudge (well, you see the pattern).

The facts are that Menendez is a Democratic Senator, who at the time was under a Republican Gov. The only political motivation Obama might have had would be to keep the DOJ away from him in order to avoid losing the seat. Obama's DOJ did the opposite and you keep hinting at a bizarre "because Menendez said bad things, which ended up not mattering" as a reason for the DOJ's actions.

Honestly, exhausting is not the right term. Nutty, yeah, nutty is much closer to the right term. Well, if you had put forth that theory, which we all know you totally didn't.
   1967. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5626986)
I am sure in the wide world someone somewhere made this argument.

And by "someone somewhere" you mean "the primary rebuttal to the 'Giving them $100B is unsafe' argument."


I don't remember anyone here giving that argument (and I am pretty sure I didn't, certainly not as a primary argument). But again, sure, it was the absolutely primary argument somewhere.
   1968. tshipman Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5626987)
Well, if you had put forth that theory, which we all know you totally didn't.


That's the part that's the most annoying.

Ray posting the awful legal analysis above, or Jason's whole *wink**wink* routine.

If you don't agree with it, don't post it. Bad analysis and conspiracy mongering aren't "potentially interesting", they're just stupid.
   1969. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5626989)
The facts are that Menendez is a Democratic Senator, who at the time was under a Republican Gov. The only political motivation Obama might have had would be to keep the DOJ away from him in order to avoid losing the seat. Obama's DOJ did the opposite and you keep hinting at a bizarre "because Menendez said bad things, which ended up not mattering" as a reason for the DOJ's actions.
Do you remember when the case went to trial? Hint: 6 September 2017, more than EIGHT MONTHS AFTER Obama left office.

Do you know when the mistrial was declared? Hint: 16 November 2017, nearly TEN MONTHS AFTER Obama left office.

EDIT: Menendez was indicted on 1 April 2015, well over two years before his trial began.
   1970. BrianBrianson Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5626990)
If Mueller can't nail Trump, BrianBrianson is a likely face-saving consolation prize. Mueller has to be thinking of his place in history here. :>)


I am connected to Trump in that I saw Home Alone II: Lost in New York.
   1971. . Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5626991)
The Financial Times spends money to comment on American elections and attempt to influence them. The Times of India does likewise. Every non-American on this board who comments on OTP pretty much does the same. Illegal aliens spend money on American elections and try to influence them. Russians are free to set up Facebook pages and comment on American elections.(*)

Pretty easy to see where this is going.

Although the indictment notes that it is illegal for foreign nationals to spend money on U.S. elections or to try to influence elections without registering as foreign agents, that's NOT what the Russians were indicted on.


Of course they weren't; such a thing would be directly contrary to the First Amendment. Steele would fall under the very same provision -- which as you say is probably why it wasn't charged -- but any charges on the substance of the dossier would also be directly contrary to the First Amendment.

I've only skimmed the indictment; if any of the wire fraud charges involve "false" political speech, that violates the First Amendment as well. It seems like some legitimate mail and wire fraud, and identity theft, charges kind of haplessly supporting a broader narrative that is both unnecessary and unproven.

(*) Nor is it illegal for a foreign national to provide in-kind services -- even if worth a ton of money -- to an American political candidate. See, e.g., the FEC decision involving Sir Elton John and a big concert he gave for H Clinton.
   1972. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5626995)
Do you remember when the case went to trial?


So Obama only got involved at that late a stage? You are aware investigations of this sort take a long time, right? When did the investigation start?

I must admit I am enjoying how this totally-not-yours conspiracy theory evolves as needed. Care to fully explain the depths of it to us? How far does it go? All the way to the top!?!

Note: You want the whole thing to be Obama's fault, and also everything took place after Obama? That seems ... questionable, but very in genre so you have my appreciation.
   1973. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5626997)
EDIT: In other words, from indictment until the judge declared a mistrial, Menendez was indicted well over two years before his trial began.


Right. So either it is Obama's fault, and he did "the dirty" because Menendez was mean to him about the multilateral Iran deal (and Obama was doing so even while there was a Republican Gov in place, such that Obama would have lost a Senator from his own party), OR, all the important things happened once Obama was off the stage in which case ... what on Earth are you getting at?
   1974. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5626998)
Jason's whole *wink**wink* routine.


CNN just ran this, with pictures: Manafort...indicted -- Gates...indicted -- Flynn...guilty plea -- Papadopolous...guilty plea

John Dean just said the Mueller investigation resembled a government effort against the Mafia.

#### you, Juan.
   1975. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5626999)
So Obama only got involved at that late a stage? You are aware investigations of this sort take a long time, right? When did the investigation start?
Look up when the Geneva Interim Agreement was announced (hint: 24 November 2013), when the preliminary framework for the deal was announced (hint: 15 January 2015), and when the Senate failed to stop the agreement (hint: 10 September 2015). If you can't even imagine a potential connection, then that's on you and your obtusity.
   1976. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5627001)
Trump is gonna lose his 5-D chess game very soon. He's being cornered.
   1977. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5627002)
Right. So either it is Obama's fault, and he did "the dirty" because Menendez was mean to him about the multilateral Iran deal (and Obama was doing so even while there was a Republican Gov in place, such that Obama would have lost a Senator from his own party), OR, all the important things happened once Obama was off the stage in which case ... what on Earth are you getting at?
Oh, FFS, of course it's the latter. The trial wouldn't begin until after the deal went through, heck, well after Obama's term was up. Menendez would get sidelined but not gone from the Senate.

You're beyond impossible. And so I'm done.
   1978. . Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5627003)
You're going to be sadly disappointed, Joe. Sorry. Barring some massive surprise that would have almost certainly leaked long ago, that isn't remotely where this is headed. It just isn't. That's just the reality.
   1979. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5627004)
I am linking this article, because I think the headline is extremely awkward and they might wanted to have reworded it a bit.

Uber Eats Driver Allegedly Shoots And Kills Customer In Atlanta

I had to read it a couple times to get what they were talking about, I think the old joke about "Panda eats shoots and leaves" figured into my confusion.
   1980. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5627005)
I think Jason is suffering from split post syndrome.

Either we should "Connect the dots, SHEEPLE!"

Look up when the Geneva Interim Agreement was announced (hint: 24 November 2013), when the preliminary framework for the deal was announced (hint: 15 January 2015), and when the Senate failed to stop the agreement (hint: 10 September 2015). If you can't even imagine a potential connection, then that's on you and your obtusity.


Or maybe it was just an aside of no import and there is no way there is a connection.

Oh, FFS, of course it's the latter. The trial wouldn't begin until after the deal went through, heck, well after Obama's term was up. Menendez would get sidelined but not gone from the Senate.


The best part is the two posts were two minutes apart.
   1981. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5627009)
The best part is the two posts were two minutes apart.
You're batshit insane. There's no way this is the same person with whom I enjoyed a rain-soaked evening at Nats Park last spring. No ####### way.
   1982. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5627014)
You're batshit insane. There's no way this is the same person with whom I enjoyed a rain-soaked evening at Nats Park last spring.


Dude, you are the one hinting that Obama was punishing Senators from his own party by sending his DOJ after them. That is nutty.

   1983. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5627017)
Barring some massive surprise that would have almost certainly leaked long ago


Surprise to you, Dancing Monkey. No leaks. No leaks. You're the leak.

   1984. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5627018)
Bitter Mouse can't even be bothered to note that the new thread has been up for some time. Sad.
   1985. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5627019)
There's no way this is the same person with whom I enjoyed a rain-soaked evening at Nats Park last spring.


He ought to be embarrassed to be seen with you.
   1986. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5627021)
Dude, you are the one hinting that Obama was punishing Senators from his own party by sending his DOJ after them. That is nutty.
One key senator. ONE. Menendez openly and actively defied Obama on his Iran policy.
   1987. tshipman Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:58 PM (#5627025)
One key senator. ONE. Menendez openly and actively defied Obama on his Iran policy.


So did Obama send the DOJ after Menendez or not?

You keep wanting to have it both ways. Either you believe he sent the DOJ after him or you don't, and you contradict yourself every two minutes.
   1988. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:58 PM (#5627026)
One key senator. ONE. Menendez openly and actively defied Obama on his Iran policy.


See, this is where Obama gets deference from the Dittohead Right. Sure, he may be a Kenyan Muslim savage, but he just manipulates the levers of justice to target dissidents. Meanwhile Bill and Hillary are murdering naysayers hither and yon.
   1989. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:58 PM (#5627027)
[Deleted and moved to the exciting and sparkly new OTP thread.]
   1990. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5627031)
Bitter Mouse can't even be bothered to note that the new thread has been up for some time. Sad.


Too bad only liberals can be bothered to submit new threads, or link to them.

Sad indeed.
   1991. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5627049)
One candidate, and one candidate only, sought out Russian info on the opposing candidate and relentlessly peddled it to the government and media, for the purpose of influencing the election.

You really are living in another world. Many of us are old enough to remember 2016 with the daily wikileaks dumps flooding every news cycle. I didn't hear about the dossier until after the election despite watching left-leaning cable news and comedy shows daily (I was out of work at the time).


There's not a scintilla of evidence that Trump had anything to do with the wikileaks dumps.

But we know that the dossier was peddled to the government and the media in an orchestrated effort on behalf of the Clinton campaign, whether you "heard about it" or not. The Isikoff article which was sourced by Steele was printed in September 2016.

   1992. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5627054)
The Clinton campaign was focusing on character. The Access Hollywood tape and the follow-up accusers. The whole Alicia Machado thing. They were focused on temperament. Should this man have the nuclear codes? That type of thing. The idea that they needed some cryptic reference to a pee tape in a dossier is silly when we were hearing 'grab 'em by the p-word' in Trump's own voice in a loop all day in October.


The Isikoff article -- and the broad-based efforts from Steele on behalf of the Clinton campaign to destroy Trump in peddling the information to the government and the media -- came well before the election.

Per Isikoff Steele began sharing the dossier information with him in July 2016.

And you might think it was silly to think they "needed some cryptic reference to a pee tape in a dossier," but that's exactly what they peddled. So the argument falls flat.

But the Russians were colluding with Hillary, so that Trump might look bad after he won?


After the election, and before.
   1993. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5627057)
The purported issues related to the FISA warrant application would be impeachment evidence, not exculpatory evidence.)

I must be missing something: How are we certain none of the potential issues pertaining to Flynn's guilty plea relate to exculpatory evidence?
Flynn is charged with lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russians. The only relevant evidence is (a) what he said to the Russians, and (b) what he told the FBI about those conversations. Flynn knew what he said to the Russians, and knew what he said to the FBI about what he said to the Russians. Knowing those things, he chose to plead guilty. What exculpatory evidence could they possibly have failed to disclose to him?
Why are you focusing on the FISA warrant application of Carter Page?
Because that's what the theory was for why Flynn's prosecution was going to fall apart. Now you're positing something completely unknown and new, based on nothing more than a standing order from Judge Sullivan?
   1994. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5627064)
Although the indictment notes that it is illegal for foreign nationals to spend money on U.S. elections or to try to influence elections without registering as foreign agents, that's NOT what the Russians were indicted on.

Of course they weren't; such a thing would be directly contrary to the First Amendment.
No, it wouldn't. The Supreme Court has already ruled that foreign nationals who are not LPRs have no first amendment right to spend money on elections. Bluman v. FEC. That includes both campaign contributions and independent expenditures. And If they don't have any right to make such expenditures, then a fortiori, they don't have any right to do so without registering first.

EDIT: Whoops. I didn't look at whose post I was responding to; I thought it was someone who made an innocent mistake about the law.



(*) Nor is it illegal for a foreign national to provide in-kind services -- even if worth a ton of money -- to an American political candidate. See, e.g., the FEC decision involving Sir Elton John and a big concert he gave for H Clinton.
No, it's illegal. What's not illegal per the FEC is a foreigner providing volunteer services to a campaign, which is what Elton John did. So our Canadian contingent here is free to show up at campaign headquarters and man the phones. Or sing to entertain people. Doesn't mean that they can make in kind contributions, though.
   1995. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5627073)
No puppet! YOU'RE the puppet!

Yes, the real collusion is that someone working for Hillary's opposition research team found out information which allegedly links the Trump campaign to Russia and they 'shopped' it. She was giving several stump speeches a week for months. She could have mentioned it in one of those but she figured it would do Trump more harm to have it come out after the election.

Do you honestly believe this or is this just muddying the waters to make it look like 'both sides' do it and soften the blow in the event Mueller comes up with anything definitive? Or maybe you're hoping people overreact to your argument and then you can get them for going too far in their overreaction?

Who knows, maybe Trump is completely innocent but saying that Hillary is the real colluder is insane.


The Trump team is said to have committed collusion by taking the meeting with Natalia V. By that same usage of the term the Hillary team colluded by paying Steele to dig up dirt on Trump which Steele did by using Russian sources. So either Steele is lying and he just made everything up or he did in fact get dirt on Trump from Russian sources which is what Trump Jr tried to do.

The only difference then -- if Steele is telling the truth -- is that Steele actually succeeded where Trump Jr failed.

Well, that, plus Trump Jr was invited to take the meeting; Natalia V came to him. In contrast Steele was paid to go out and find dirt, and no one from the Clinton team directed Steele, "And don't get dirt from the Russians because that would be wrong."

   1996. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5627075)
Who knows, maybe Trump is completely innocent but saying that Hillary is the real colluder is insane.

Well, I never used the term "real colluder." What I have said -- which is 100% truthful -- is that she in fact did what everyone said, before what she did became clear, would constitute "collusion." It was done in secret, involved getting dirt on her opponent from Russian officials, and was done for the purpose of influencing the election.


Right. I don't care what word we use, "collusion" or something else, but by the definition set out before what Hillary's team did became clear, this qualifies -- and in spades. What her team did was far worse in the "collusion" department than what Trump Jr did which was take a meeting that fell into his lap (and indeed probably was a setup).

   1997. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5627077)
Who knows, maybe Trump is completely innocent but saying that Hillary is the real colluder is insane.

All the times he's proclaimed that he's innocent? How could he not be? He'd have to be the most serialized of serial liars!


Well, you've had Mueller hard at work for 9 months investigating it with the full weight of the state behind him. So far, nothing, but maybe the investigation will turn up something. Keep hope alive.
   1998. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:50 PM (#5627079)
Well, you've had Mueller hard at work for 9 months investigating it with the full weight of the state behind him. So far, nothing, but maybe the investigation will turn up something.


What percentage of his findings do you believe you're privy to?
   1999. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5627086)
Flynn is charged with lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russians. The only relevant evidence is (a) what he said to the Russians, and (b) what he told the FBI about those conversations. Flynn knew what he said to the Russians, and knew what he said to the FBI about what he said to the Russians. Knowing those things, he chose to plead guilty. What exculpatory evidence could they possibly have failed to disclose to him?
There are reports saying that Comey and Strzok both thought Flynn had told the truth in the interview. So how did that ultimately turn into a perjury charge?

EDIT:
The FBI interviewers believed Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers. Although Flynn didn't remember all of what he talked about, they don't believe he was intentionally misleading them, the officials say.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/politics/fbi-not-expected-to-pursue-charges-against-flynn/index.html
   2000. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5627091)
Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!

10:08 PM - Feb 17, 2018


The tweet was silly and beneath the dignity of the office but the observation that the obsession with Trump-Russia collusion is preposterous certainly is not.
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