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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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   201. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5623809)
And when the tables are turned they'll be shocked and uncomprehending. It'll be just as sad yet amusing as their reactions every other time their tactics are used against them.


See, I told you hippies to round them all up into FEMA camps when you had the chance, but your hero Hussein X went soft on you.
   202. Omineca Greg Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5623811)
Luckily the scientist calls up the ex-girlfriend he modeled the robot on and gets her to pose as a robot for the rich guy.

Oh, I'm glad you're getting something out of it. I saw the promo for I Am Not A Robot, made it look like Three's Company crossed with I Dream Of Jeannie, except with beautiful Asian people. So of course, I signed up! Just kidding, but it did look interesting.

Is it the ex-girlfriend of the billionaire, or of the scientist?
   203. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5623814)
Face, #197:
When the tables are turned they'll be shocked and uncomprehending. It'll be just as sad yet amusing as their reactions every other time their tactics are used against them.


As funny to you as what happened to the NRA's Steve Scalise, or just a different kind of amusing?
   204. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5623817)
Edit: I'd go so far as to suggest that DJT won *because* he insulted pretty much everyone, from the Mexican rapists to the bleeding out of her whatever journalists. I wish politics hadn't devolved to this level of juvenile behavior, but suggesting that the D's comments are the problem is simply historically ignorant.


I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm a lifelong wrestling fan and still frequent a few boards/groups where it's discussed. Trump is pretty widely loved by a lot of these people, and I can say with certainty that it's due in large part to the above. The guy basically ####-talks his way through daily life as if he's an old school pro wrestling heel and there's absolutely a segment of the population that laps that #### up.
   205. I Am Merely a Fake Lawyer Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:25 PM (#5623822)
On January 11, 2017, the NYT (and WSJ, IIRC) named Steele as that agent, identified Fusion GPS as his employer, and stated that Fusion was doing this work for "Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton."


This is yet another one of your lies. Here's what it actually says, under the headline "How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump":

But Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton were very interested, and Fusion GPS kept doing the same deep dives [that they had done with other financiers], but on behalf of new clients.


Nowhere does it remotely say that Fusion was doing the work on behalf of Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton. All it says is that such supporters were very interested in the work.
   206. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5623823)
I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm a lifelong wrestling fan and still frequent a few boards/groups where it's discussed. Trump is pretty widely loved by a lot of these people, and I can say with certainty that it's due in large part to the above. The guy basically ####-talks his way through daily life as if he's an old school pro wrestling heel and there's absolutely a segment of the population that laps that #### up.

FWIW it's been a good 35 years since I've heard any racist #### in any pool room, and about 15 years ago when a white champion started whining about how the Filipinos were beating us at "our" game, the entire pool community shot him down as quickly as if he'd been John Rocker ranting about the subway to Shea Stadium.
   207. I Am Merely a Fake Lawyer Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5623826)
There were plenty of leaks about Flynn's conversations with the Russian Ambassador,


Not to mention the comical hysteria of Sally Yates that Flynn had been "compromised" by the Russians.
   208. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:32 PM (#5623827)
I've reached agreement with Lassus: We need more arts funding.
   209. The Good Face Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:35 PM (#5623831)
Face, #197:
When the tables are turned they'll be shocked and uncomprehending. It'll be just as sad yet amusing as their reactions every other time their tactics are used against them.


As funny to you as what happened to the NRA's Steve Scalise, or just a different kind of amusing?


So you're saying you found the Scalise shooting amusing? Or just the reaction on the right to it? I suppose it could be both.
   210. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:36 PM (#5623832)
I've reached agreement with Lassus: We need more arts funding.

At least that "portrait" isn't as bad as a "folk art" bust of JFK I once saw. It had been shot through with a bullet.
   211. Stormy JE Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:39 PM (#5623834)
You folks were warned that Steele's mysterious ties to this Waldman dude would become a story to watch...

WAS CHRISTOPHER STEELE PAID BY RUSSIAN OLIGARCH AND PUTIN ALLY OLEG DERIPASKA?
A release last week of texts showed that Christopher Steele, the former British spy whose memos regarding the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia are referred to as the Steele dossier, reached out to Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, through a Russian-linked Washington, D.C. lobbyist named Adam Waldman. Among Waldman’s clients is Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a text dated Mar. 16, 2017, Waldman texted Warner, “Chris Steele asked me to call you.”

In 2009, Waldman filed papers with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) registering himself as an agent for Deripaska in order to provide “legal advice on issues involving his U.S. visa as well as commercial transactions” at a retainer of $40,000 a month. In 2010, Waldman additionally registered as an agent for Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, “gathering information and providing advice and analysis as it relates to the U.S. policy towards the visa status of Oleg Deripaska,” including meetings with U.S. policymakers. Based on the information in his FARA filings, Waldman has received at least $2.36 million for his work with Deripaska.

A letter dated Feb. 9, sent by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley to a London-based lawyer may shed light on why Steele used Waldman as an intermediary. (Waldman’s office did not reply to an email from Tablet requesting comment.) ...

If Steele was employed by Deripaska or by his lawyer to do work on his behalf, it is likely to cast the dossier he allegedly authored in a new light.
   212. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:39 PM (#5623835)
At least that "portrait" isn't as bad as


Which one? The Obama one looks like he's 75, and has a bizarre setting.

The Michelle one looks like Kerry Washington.

Apparently both Spielberg and Hanks showed up for the unveiling. Not that it matters except in an eye rolling sort of way, but it's just funny that they feel they must be involved.
   213. The Good Face Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5623836)
I've reached agreement with Lassus: We need more arts funding.


I dunno, I rather liked the Barack version. Clearly influenced by the famous masterpiece "Lucy In the Field With Flowers".
   214. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5623837)
Sessions

“The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement,” Sessions said. “We must never erode this historic office.”

Zonk perhaps should've fled to Quebec, where they don't practice common law. And where people might chalk up this deep level of ignorance to a language barrier.
   215. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:47 PM (#5623842)
You folks were warned that Steele's mysterious ties to this Waldman dude would become a story to watch...

WAS CHRISTOPHER STEELE PAID BY RUSSIAN OLIGARCH AND PUTIN ALLY OLEG DERIPASKA?


Of course, I think Deripaska is also one of the folks who sued Steele/Fusion for defamation, I believe... I might have that wrong, though - his since-dismissed defamation suit might have been in the Manafort case, I don't remember. Those Russian oligarchs all love to sue westerners for defamation whenever someone suggests they're Putin-allied oligarchs so they're hard to keep straight.

EDIT: Should have googled first, mea cupa - his defamation suit was against the AP in the Manafort case.
   216. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:57 PM (#5623847)
The Obama one looks like he's 75, and has a bizarre setting.

There may be a practice of allowing a former First Couple to essentially dictate what their official portraits look like, so I guess Obama is free to pay artistic homage to Andre Dawson Trapped In The Wrigley Field Ivy. Michelle Obama is sporting a rather different look than she did as First Lady, too. Might be a better fit for their home or Presidential Libarary, rather than their official portraits, but it seems they wanted to do something a bit different.
   217. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:03 PM (#5623851)
There may be a practice of allowing a former First Couple to essentially dictate what their official portraits look like, so I guess Obama is free to pay artistic homage to Andre Dawson Trapped In The Wrigley Field Ivy. Michelle Obama is sporting a rather different look than she did as First Lady, too. Might be a better fit for their home or Presidential Libarary, rather than their official portraits, but it seems they wanted to do something a bit different.


Maybe being a bit different has something to do with that.

   218. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:03 PM (#5623852)
Face, #209:
When the tables are turned they'll be shocked and uncomprehending. It'll be just as sad yet amusing as their reactions every other time their tactics are used against them.

As funny to you as what happened to the NRA's Steve Scalise, or just a different kind of amusing?

So you're saying you found the Scalise shooting amusing? Or just the reaction on the right to it?
Now who's uncomprehending?
   219. OCF Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:04 PM (#5623853)
A couple of years ago my wife and I were visiting Seattle and one day we went to the art museum in downtown. They had as a temporary or traveling exhibit a whole lot of Kehinde Wiley paintings. At first glance they were quite jarring, but they grew on me - especially at close range as extremely large canvases. There were classical subjects such as Judith with the head of Holofernes or Napoleon crossing the Alps. There were always those floral or foliage backdrops. I have a feeling that seeing his Obama painting as a small insert on a webpage doesn't really do it justice, although it is clear who the painter is.
   220. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:06 PM (#5623854)
Zonk perhaps should've fled to Quebec, where they don't practice common law. And where people might chalk up this deep level of ignorance to a language barrier.


Would that make one Sessions ignorant too?

Otherwise, I suspect my lack of legal training might have led to the same place.
   221. Morty Causa Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5623855)
"Dare to Understand"

Really good piece on Steven Pinker and his new book, Enlightenment Now. Here are excerpts from that piece:

[PINKER] lists some of the advancements made by modern societies: “Newborns who will live more than eight decades, markets overflowing with food, clean water that appears with a flick of a finger and waste that disappears with another, pills that erase a painful infection, sons who are not sent off to war, daughters who can walk the streets in safety, critics of the powerful who are not jailed or shot, the world’s knowledge and culture available in a shirt pocket.”

These were not inevitable developments, Pinker wants us to know, but the fruits of the methods and values that were first popularised in the 18th century.

WRITER/INTERVIEWER: So, I ask, why do the values of the Enlightenment require such staunch and detailed defence (the book is more than 550 pages long, filled with graphs, footnotes and an exhaustive wealth of references) at this particular juncture in time?

PINKER: “Among other things,” he replies, “they are under threat from authoritarian populism, religious fundamentalism and radicalism of the left and right. The great successes the world has enjoyed over the past decades and centuries are taken for granted, because many of the ideas responsible for them have become part of the establishment and no one is willing to defend them. So anything that is going right is not associated with any movement, any values, and that has left a vacuum that forces of extremism have rushed into.”

WRITER: Announce that the world has gone badly wrong, that there are too many people, the Earth has been despoiled, we’ve never been in greater danger of death and destruction, or more adrift in the spiritual void of materialism and you’ll have the nodding attention of the news media and the intellectual classes.

But painstakingly show that, actually, things are on the whole quite a bit better than they have ever been and you’ll meet a torrent of bafflement and denial. Pinker knows this because he’s already been through the process with his previous book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, which persuasively argued – again with graphs and a mountain of research – that humankind was becoming progressively less violent.

PINKER: “One of the surprises in presenting data on violence,” he says, “was the lengths to which people would go to deny it. When I presented graphs showing that rates of homicide had fallen by a factor of 50, that rates of death in war had fallen by a factor of more than 20, and rape and domestic violence and child abuse had all fallen, rather than rejoice, many audiences seemed to get increasingly upset. They racked their brains for ways in which things could not possibly be as good as the data suggested, including the entire category of questions that I regularly get: Isn’t X a form of violence? Isn’t advertising a form of violence? Isn’t plastic surgery a form of violence? Isn’t obesity a form of violence?”

As for postmodernism, Pinker is scathing.

“If scientific beliefs are just a particular culture’s mythology, how come we can cure smallpox and get to the moon, and traditional cultures can’t? And if truth is just socially constructed, would you say that climate change is a myth? It’s the same with moral values. If moral values are nothing but cultural customs, would you agree that our disapproval of slavery or racial discrimination or the oppression of women is just a western fancy?”

Underpinning the belief that humans are destroying the Earth is the assumption that progress is not sustainable. Pinker disagrees, or at least argues that such doomsday conclusions have a long and fallible history. A fundamental tenet of the Enlightenment was that all problems, if studied long and hard enough, could be understood, and therefore at some point solved. And environmental problems, writes Pinker, are no exception.

He argues that progress is not only sustainable, but essential for attaining the knowledge that will enable us to find the cleanest and most efficient use of energy. In other words, scientific progress is what will make economic progress work.

“Slavery used to be practised by every single civilisation,” he says. “Now it is illegal everywhere on Earth. The concept of equal rights for women wasn’t a concept until a couple of hundred years ago. Now it is part of the explicit belief of all world bodies and most countries. The rights of children not to be exploited for their labour, racial equality, religious tolerance, freedom of speech… it’s very difficult to find clear statements of these values before the Enlightenment.


   222. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:11 PM (#5623857)
Maybe being a bit different has something to do with that.
Yeah, I have a feeling the Obamas don't care what White America thinks.
   223. Greg K Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5623858)
“One of the surprises in presenting data on violence,” he says, “was the lengths to which people would go to deny it. When I presented graphs showing that rates of homicide had fallen by a factor of 50, that rates of death in war had fallen by a factor of more than 20, and rape and domestic violence and child abuse had all fallen, rather than rejoice, many audiences seemed to get increasingly upset. They racked their brains for ways in which things could not possibly be as good as the data suggested, including the entire category of questions that I regularly get: Isn’t X a form of violence? Isn’t advertising a form of violence? Isn’t plastic surgery a form of violence? Isn’t obesity a form of violence?”

I sometimes get this feeling talking to friends. There seems to be a sentiment that the world is hurtling towards a violent end with humanity getting more and more destructive. But I don't see that at all. In my mind the past looks like a brutal and violent place, and the present a pretty great one in comparison.
   224. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:22 PM (#5623861)
WRITER: Announce that the world has gone badly wrong, that there are too many people, the Earth has been despoiled, we’ve never been in greater danger of death and destruction, or more adrift in the spiritual void of materialism and you’ll have the nodding attention of the news media and the intellectual classes.

But painstakingly show that, actually, things are on the whole quite a bit better than they have ever been and you’ll meet a torrent of bafflement and denial.
And announce that the brown people are rising up in the streets and murdering and raping Americans in never-before seen carnage, and you can become President, even if the news media and the intellectual classes try to use statistics to prove you wrong.

Even better, put your opposition in the difficult spot of explaining that, although we've been saying all these doom and gloom things for the last XX years, it's not really that bad.

Underpinning the belief that humans are destroying the Earth is the assumption that progress is not sustainable. Pinker disagrees, or at least argues that such doomsday conclusions have a long and fallible history. A fundamental tenet of the Enlightenment was that all problems, if studied long and hard enough, could be understood, and therefore at some point solved. And environmental problems, writes Pinker, are no exception.
OTOH this pretty much sums up my position on climate change. When it gets important enough, we'll find a technological means to reverse it.
   225. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:32 PM (#5623862)
Really good piece on Steven Pinker and his new book, Enlightenment Now. Here are excerpts from that piece:


I sometimes get this feeling talking to friends. There seems to be a sentiment that the world is hurtling towards a violent end with humanity getting more and more destructive. But I don't see that at all. In my mind the past looks like a brutal and violent place, and the present a pretty great one in comparison.


Well - that's always been the beef with Pinker. That he blurs the lines between -- for lack of a better word -- the "arts" and "science" into what amounts to a grand unification theory of human endeavor.

Don't get me wrong - I think Pinker is a fascinating modern thinker and I have no doubt his coming book will be an interesting read... but ultimately, I land on the side of his critics who think he does a little too much merging.

Inevitably, there's a feedback loop between these two intellectual realms; one may certainly influence the other and vice versa. However, I just think it misses the idea that science is about the probabilities and art is about the possibilities.

No doubt, my feelings/thoughts are influenced in no small part by my love/enjoyment of science fiction, all while thinking it has no to little place in policy... but I just think that as we do move forward (I would say "lurch", Pinker would probably say "march") - I see appropriate places for both.

I.e., look no further than the Trumpkins have a barely concealed hissy fit over the Obama portraits. So they aren't models of realism or classical aesthetics. So what?

I think art/culture/etc is supposed to transcend reality. Science is supposed to be bound by it.

In any case, I do recommend Morty's link on Pinker... I find him very interesting. I just disagree with him.
   226. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:34 PM (#5623864)
Nowhere does it remotely say that Fusion was doing the work on behalf of Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton. All it says is that such supporters were very interested in the work.
No, SBB is lying. The actual paragraph has another sentence he didn't quote:

After Mr. Trump emerged as the presumptive nominee in the spring, the Republican interest in financing the effort ended.But Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton were very interested, and Fusion GPS kept doing the same deep dives, but on behalf of new clients.
For people who can read English, that says that Democratic supporters were interested in financing the work, not merely interested in the work. (And, of course, we know that this is exactly what happened: Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton financed the work.)
   227. Lassus Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5623866)
Yeah, I have a feeling the Obamas don't care what White America thinks.

I disagree with this, and I think it's troubling that you're echoing the conservatives' argument AGAINST the Obamas.
   228. Lassus Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:42 PM (#5623867)
edit: oh whatever
   229. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:44 PM (#5623869)
Too late; I already saw it :-)

   230. Joe Bivens will never admit, will make some excuse Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5623871)
1 Obama has more worth than an infinite number of Dancing Monkeys.

Remember that interview where Michelle Obama said they were treated like "the help"?

I get what TDF means.
   231. Morty Causa Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:50 PM (#5623873)
there's a feedback loop between these two intellectual realms; one may certainly influence the other and vice versa. However, I just think it misses the idea that science is about the probabilities and art is about the possibilities.

I don't think he'd object to this out of hand. In fact, in his reference to his debate with Leon Wieseltier he notes:

The idea for the book came out of a debate that Pinker had with the cultural critic Leon Wieseltier in the pages of the New Republic back in 2013. Wieseltier accused Pinker of invading the humanities with “scientism” – belief in the all-conquering value of science. Pinker replied that there was a false distinction between the humanities and science, that both were once the domain of educated thinkers, and that they were complementary in reaching a better understanding of the world and our place in it.

Pinker is quite literate and culturally aware, past and present, and that comes across in his clear and vigorous writing with its references and allusions to literature, music, cinema, and other forms of popular culture. (I don't know how he comes down on Hawaii Five-0.) He's fully the equal of Dawkins among science types in this regard.
   232. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:50 PM (#5623874)
WRITER: Announce that the world has gone badly wrong, that there are too many people, the Earth has been despoiled, we’ve never been in greater danger of death and destruction, or more adrift in the spiritual void of materialism and you’ll have the nodding attention of the news media and the intellectual classes.

But painstakingly show that, actually, things are on the whole quite a bit better than they have ever been and you’ll meet a torrent of bafflement and denial.


And announce that the brown people are rising up in the streets and murdering and raping Americans in never-before seen carnage, and you can become President, even if the news media and the intellectual classes try to use statistics to prove you wrong.


In fairness - while he's been on the "other side" of certain "SJW" flashpoints (I vaguely recall he was Sumner defender back in the 90s), I strongly bet he'd place Trumpism as not even worth the analytical effort... as in, analyzing it as anything other than sloppy, slapdash lowest common denominator bullshit is a waste of time.

If Noam Chomsky and Thomas Sowell had a tryst that produced offspring, it would probably be Steven Pinker.

Don't get me wrong - I disagree with him on most things (even while acknowledging that he's certainly a LOT smarter than I am), I'm just saying that in fairness - I do think he gets written off far too often as something he is not.
   233. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:51 PM (#5623875)
You folks were warned that Steele's mysterious ties to this Waldman dude would become a story to watch...

WAS CHRISTOPHER STEELE PAID BY RUSSIAN OLIGARCH AND PUTIN ALLY OLEG DERIPASKA?
Sen Warner was trying to get Deripraska to give testimony to the intelligence committee, so it's reasonable that he'd reach out to the guy who is registered as his agent in the US.

Buried at the very bottom of this Fox news article:
Warner began texting with Waldman in February 2017 about the possibility of helping to broker a deal with the Justice Department to get the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to potentially face criminal charges. That went nowhere, though a Warner aide told Fox News that the senator shared his previously undisclosed private conversations about WikiLeaks with the FBI.

Over the course of four months between February and May 2017, Warner and Waldman also exchanged dozens of texts about possible testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee from Deripaska, Waldman's primary Russian billionaire client.

...

In the dozens of text messages between February 2017 and May 2017, Waldman also talked to Warner about getting Deripraska to cooperate with the intelligence committee. There have been reports that Deripraksa, who has sued Manafort over a failed business deal, has information to share about the former Trump aide.

In May 2017, the Senate and House intelligence committees decided not to give Deripraska legal immunity in exchange for testimony to the panels. The text messages between Warner and Waldman appeared to stop that month.
If we wanted to go fully political on this, we'd wonder who in the intel committees made the decision not to hear from Mr Deripaska. Were the R's covering for Manafort? Were the D's covering for Podesta? Was it the pesky lizard people?

Release a memo or two about this, please.
   234. I Am Merely a Fake Lawyer Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5623878)
For people who can read English, that says that Democratic supporters were interested in financing the work, not merely interested in the work.


It says no such thing. You're inventing things again. It says they were very interested in the work and no more.

And it certainly doesn't say they were working on behalf of those supporters -- your original false claim.
   235. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:03 PM (#5623879)
there's a feedback loop between these two intellectual realms; one may certainly influence the other and vice versa. However, I just think it misses the idea that science is about the probabilities and art is about the possibilities.

I don't think he'd object to this out of hand. In fact, in his reference to his debate with Leon Wieseltier he notes:


The idea for the book came out of a debate that Pinker had with the cultural critic Leon Wieseltier in the pages of the New Republic back in 2013. Wieseltier accused Pinker of invading the humanities with “scientism” – belief in the all-conquering value of science. Pinker replied that there was a false distinction between the humanities and science, that both were once the domain of educated thinkers, and that they were complementary in reaching a better understanding of the world and our place in it


Yeah - OK... "misses" bridge-too-far rhetoric acknowledged. Let's say "blurs the line" more than I am comfortable.

Pinker is quite literate, and that comes across in his clear and vigorous writing with its references and allusions to literature, music, cinema, and other forms of popular culture. (I don't know how he comes down on Hawaii Five-0. He's fully the equal of Dawkins among science types in this regard.


Oh sure -

I guess I'd just say that I think he doesn't "miss the forest for the trees" -- rather, he sees the trees AND the forest... but forgets that they're plants, subject to certain boundaries and limitations we humans aren't :-)

   236. Joe Bivens will never admit, will make some excuse Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:03 PM (#5623880)
1 Obama has more worth than an infinite number of Dancing Monkeys.

Remember that interview where Michelle Obama said they were treated like "the help"?

I get what TDF means.
   237. I Am Merely a Fake Lawyer Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:04 PM (#5623881)
Yeah, I have a feeling the Obamas don't care what White America thinks.


How ... inclusive.
   238. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:07 PM (#5623883)
I was on the road for a week or so, so I may have missed it, but this is a great article from Michael Lewis at Bloomberg: Has Anyone Seen The President

The good stuff starts about two thousand words in; Lewis watched the State of the Union with Steve Bannon, and captured his in-the-moment commentary. Actually makes me feel somewhat sympathetic to (and kind of actually like) Bannon. Some gold nuggets in there.
Words are now coming out of Trump’s mouth but Bannon seems to be only half listening. He’s got a pair of phones out and is scrolling through the speech, the text of which someone has just sent him. As he reads his face flushes. “They have path to citizenship in here,” he says, matter-of- factly. “It’s terrible. It’s a betrayal.”

He leaves the room for several minutes, perhaps to compose himself. When he returns he takes real notice of the remarkable scene that is unfolding. At even the most anodyne applause lines the Democrats remain seated. Bannon seems to view the Democrats less as the opposition party than figures of fun. “The Democrats don’t matter,” he had said to me over our lunch. “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with ####.” But he stares at the seated Democrats with genuine wonder. “Look at this,” he says. “Even Reagan -- I’ve never seen a State of the Union like this.”

“Tell me when you think Trump really cares about what he is saying,” I say.

Bannon laughs, but not a happy laugh. “I will.”
   239. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:18 PM (#5623889)
The good stuff starts about two thousand words in; Lewis watched the State of the Union with Steve Bannon, and captured his in-the-moment commentary. Actually makes me feel somewhat sympathetic to (and kind of actually like) Bannon. Some gold nuggets in there.


Meh, you can get over that.

I had a similar feeling after reading Fire & Fury - being mainly a Bannon (proxy) product.

Insert Walter Sobchak "...at least it's an ethos" here.

Bannon looks increasingly better in hindsight because once you remove people like him from Trumpism - you're left with the opportunistic fellaters and ridiculous assortments of shitbags and clowns.

Once you think about it, though - when you get past a sort of grudging respect for believing something beyond Trump Uber Alles - you realize he's actually just a racist, a sexist, and probably an antisemite. Just so happens that he's not particularly genocidal about those things.
   240. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5623890)

It says no such thing. You're inventing things again. It says they were very interested in the work and no more.
I'm guessing this is more of your "performance." There are daycare holiday pageants that involve more competent ones, though.
   241. BDC Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:27 PM (#5623891)
The thing that bugs me a little about the Pinker interview excerpted in #221 is that he makes claims about "the world" to support the position that the West and the Enlightenment are the best thing about that world. There's a little hint of the guy with one foot on fire and one frostbit, who said he was comfortable on average, just a little more dynamic. The world is getting better, on average, by broad statistical measures; but at what local costs? depending on what new inequalities?

For instance, I can go to Kroger's and buy cheap foods out of season that my parents couldn't have dreamed of buying, fifty years ago, at any cost or in any season. Are the people who grew that food more or less immiserated than the people who produced our food 50 years ago? Are all the wonderful first-world things Pinker points to because we're so much more clever than Africans and Asians and Latin Americans, or is it because we've offshored the human costs of capitalism? Do our rights come at the cost of suppressing rights elsewhere?

These are somewhat open questions. They seem rhetorical, but I don't really know the "on average" of their answers, and I suspect Pinker doesn't really know either.

With "A fundamental tenet of the Enlightenment was that all problems, if studied long and hard enough, could be understood, and therefore at some point solved," I can't help but think of Adorno and Horkheimer's "Dialectic of Enlightenment" and its observations about highly rational, scientific fascist solutions. It all depends on how you define "problem."

But I agree strongly with Zonk that Pinker is no rightist. I've called him a "functionalist-libertarian." He is anti-prejudice and anti-discrimination, is clearly in favor of global human rights, and highly pro-science. I recently took Pinker's side against Caleb Everett in a review of Everett's Numbers and the Making of Us, which is obliquely anti-Pinker (following Caleb's father Daniel Everett, the most prominent anti-"language instinct" guy).

I should probably read the book rather than comment on a posted interview excerpt. But as that "550 pages" suggests, Pinker's getting more and more prolix as he drifts farther from linguistics, and I'm not sure I can take him at that length. I enjoyed (even "taught") The Blank Slate and read at least some of The Better Angels, but here's another doorstop to keep them company.
   242. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5623894)
Hahahaha

Vapid celebrity wedding stuff, but this will be fun because it's not even up for debate that the Orange will be livid about it... and nothing makes me happier than Trump feeling slighted.

Awesome.

Anyone want to lay odds we'll eventually get a tweet?
   243. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:36 PM (#5623896)
And, of course, we know that this is exactly what happened: Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton financed the work.

That's not correct, either. The Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee commissioned and financed the dossier. It was not any kind of independent effort by "supporters". Throughout the entire process, those promoting the dossier have tried to disguise and/or minimize its connection to the Democratic Party, even to this day. Had the dossier been accurately described as commissioned & financed by Hillary & the DNC, with input from the likes of Cody Shearer & Sidney Blumenthal, one would think it would have been viewed somewhat differently. Not too late now that we know [some of] the truth.
   244. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:41 PM (#5623900)
So based on the reaction from Clapper, Ray, and SBB to the Obama portraits - I had guessed the nether regions of the world were having an apeshit day.

And yeah.

They were.
   245. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:42 PM (#5623902)
I disagree with this, and I think it's troubling that you're echoing the conservatives' argument AGAINST the Obamas.
Joe Bivens really, really gets what I mean. In case you don't, here's a good description of why they chose these artists.
   246. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:46 PM (#5623906)
Clapper is slipping. He forgot the "odious" descriptor for Sindey Blumenthal.
   247. Count Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:49 PM (#5623908)
That's not correct, either. The Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee commissioned and financed the dossier. It was not any kind of independent effort by "supporters". Throughout the entire process, those promoting the dossier have tried to disguise and/or minimize its connection to the Democratic Party, even to this day. Had the dossier been accurately described as commissioned & financed by Hillary & the DNC, with input from the likes of Cody Shearer & Sidney Blumenthal, one would think it would have been viewed somewhat differently. Not too late now that we know [some of] the truth.


The "dossier" didn't have input from Shearer, right? According to the Guardian, Shearer produced a memo that was given to Steele through a third party, and Steele gave it to the FBI and said he couldn't vouch for its veracity. That suggests something separate from the dossier we all know and love.
   248. I Am Merely a Fake Lawyer Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:50 PM (#5623909)
I'm guessing this is more of your "performance."


Nope -- you lied again and got caught.
   249. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:51 PM (#5623910)
Joe Bivens really, really gets what I mean. In case you don't, here's a good description of why they chose these artists.


Trump should find a starving artist who happens to share his name with David Duke to do his portrait, and just send everyone into orbit, with plausible deniability.

He's trolling you on so much else. Might as well add this to the list.
   250. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:04 PM (#5623911)
So the god trump was working through his agents, the obamas?

   251. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:10 PM (#5623912)
   252. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:15 PM (#5623915)
The Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee commissioned and financed the dossier.
Both of which are (1) Democratic (2) supporters of Hillary Clinton. (If you don't believe me on the last point, ask Bernie Sanders fans; they'll give you an earful.)

Throughout the entire process, those promoting the dossier have tried to disguise and/or minimize its connection to the Democratic Party, even to this day. Had the dossier been accurately described as commissioned & financed by Hillary & the DNC, with input from the likes of Cody Shearer & Sidney Blumenthal, one would think it would have been viewed somewhat differently. Not too late now that we know [some of] the truth.
The notion that someone would say "Well, I thought this was objective and unbiased when I believed George Soros commissioned it, but now that I know it was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, that turns this whole thing around for me" is nutty. Obfuscating the fact that the campaign paid for it was not about giving it credibility; it was about giving the campaign the appearance of clean hands. All campaigns do that with oppo.

I do like how you try to slip in the completely unsupported claim that the dossier had "input from the likes of Cody Shearer & Sidney Blumenthal" as though that were established rather than a red herring.
   253. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:18 PM (#5623916)

Nope -- you lied again and got caught.
It must be really scary in your head.
   254. BDC Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:24 PM (#5623918)
Now that I know more about the artists … I don't like the Obama portraits any better.

I think that official portraits, like birthday and wedding poems by laureates, are generally losing causes. If you do something conventional it is way more boring than hell. If you do something unconventional it feels awkward and not much more interesting.
   255. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:25 PM (#5623919)
The Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee commissioned and financed the dossier.

Both of which are (1) Democratic (2) supporters of Hillary Clinton.


Lol.
   256. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:28 PM (#5623920)
This one commissioned by Stefano is probably the best portrait I've seen.
   257. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:30 PM (#5623921)
We may not know the exact image, but we definitely know which artist is going to create Donald Trump's official portrait.

Priceless. I think we've found SBB's favorite cartoonist....

THEY ALL DID IT!
   258. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:36 PM (#5623924)
Awkward!

Just months after Republican Kevin Nicholson announced his bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018, his own parents donated the legal maximum to her primary campaign.

* * *

However, the contributions are the first his parents have given to Baldwin since Nicholson announced his candidacy to try to oust the senator.

In a statement to CNN, Nicholson said, "My parents have a different worldview than I do, and it is not surprising that they would support a candidate like Tammy Baldwin who shares their perspective."
   259. Shredder Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:42 PM (#5623928)
The "dossier" didn't have input from Shearer, right? According to the Guardian, Shearer produced a memo that was given to Steele through a third party, and Steele gave it to the FBI and said he couldn't vouch for its veracity. That suggests something separate from the dossier we all know and love.
One of the current conservative fever dreams is that Shearer gave his memo to Steele who basically just rewrote it to create the dossier. But remember, if Clapper asked you and me about the weather, and we both told him it was raining, then that would be very suspicious, and in fact the real truth isn't that it was raining, but rather that you and I conspired to try to convince Clapper that it was raining. Two people investigating the same thing could not possibly have discovered the same facts through separate means and sources. That's how these people think. Note that in this case Clapper didn't come up with this himself, he synthesized it from nutter websites and commentary and swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.
   260. Joe Bivens will never admit, will make some excuse Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5623930)
249 is more evidence that Ray is a piece of ####.
   261. Joe Bivens will never admit, will make some excuse Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:48 PM (#5623932)
I don't think the portrait of Michelle looks like her in the slightest.
   262. BDC Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:48 PM (#5623933)
If I told Clapper it was raining, he would point out that it rained four days straight during the Carter Administration.
   263. Shredder Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:53 PM (#5623934)
If I told Clapper it was raining, he would point out that it rained four days straight during the Carter Administration.
That sounds more like Jason. Clapper would post a link to some dumb article about the Democrats' pro-rain polcies, and how they may come back to haunt them in the mid-terms since rain depresses Democratic turnout, or something stupid like that. Then, a week before the election, when the forecasts called for nothing but sunny skies, he'd disappear.
   264. I Am Merely a Fake Lawyer Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:57 PM (#5623937)
Two people investigating the same thing could not possibly have discovered the same facts through separate means and sources.


The same facts, maybe, sure.

The same fake facts -- no way.
   265. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:09 PM (#5623941)
Rob Porter's OTHER ex-wife has now penned an editorial...
   266. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:13 PM (#5623943)
Rob Porter's OTHER ex-wife has now penned an editorial...


Two people investigating the same thing could not possibly have discovered the same facts through separate means and sources.
   267. Joe Bivens will never admit, will make some excuse Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5623945)
Those were fake black eyes!
   268. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5623947)
Two people investigating the same thing could not possibly have discovered the same facts through separate means and sources.

Vouching for Cody Shearer & the Odious Sidney Blumenthal? LoL That their "findings" apparently overlap Steele's dossier, undermines the credibility of the dossier. Those guys are self-promoting smear artists, not investigators. Did you find Blumenthal's Birther efforts similarly credible?
   269. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:26 PM (#5623948)
Did you find Blumenthal's Birther efforts similarly credible?


As credible as you and Trump did.
   270. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:28 PM (#5623949)
Due process.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that she has no reason not to believe statements that Jennifer Willoughby and I have made about our ex-husband, former White House aide Rob Porter. I actually appreciated her saying that she at least did not not believe us.

But I was dismayed when Conway, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” went on to say that she does not fear for White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who has reportedly been dating Porter. “I’ve rarely met somebody so strong with such excellent instincts and loyalty and smarts.”

Borrowing Conway’s words, I have no reason not to believe her when she says that Hicks is a strong woman. But her statement implies that those who have been in abusive relationships are not strong.

I beg to differ.

Recognizing and surviving in an abusive relationship take strength. The abuse can be terrifying, life-threatening and almost constant. Or it can ebb and flow, with no violence for long periods. It’s often the subtler forms of abuse that inflict serious, persistent damage while making it hard for the victim to see the situation clearly.

For me, living in constant fear of Rob’s anger and being subjected to his degrading tirades for years chipped away at my independence and sense of self-worth. I walked away from that relationship a shell of the person I was when I went into it, but it took me a long time to realize the toll that his behavior was taking on me. (Rob has denied the abuse, but Willoughby and I know what happened.)
   271. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:59 PM (#5623955)
Must not like the boss, eh? Democratic Campaign Workers Unionize:
Several Democratic congressional campaigns have agreed to bargain collectively with the Campaign Workers Guild, a new union trying to organize election campaign staff in what may be a first for national politics.

The CWG announced Monday that it had secured a union contract with the campaign of Wisconsin activist Randy Bryce, the leading Democratic challenger to Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan in this year’s midterm elections.
. . .
Under the agreement with Bryce’s campaign, workers will get paid time off and earn at least $3,000 per month. The negotiated contract covers eight employees and includes a third-party reporting process for sexual harassment and monthly health insurance reimbursement of up to $500, the campaign said.

At least someone will make some money off this losing effort.
   272. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:03 PM (#5623956)
Uh-huh.

Well golly, I suppose maybe in the Trump world this all sounds totes reasonable.

Porter told senior staffers his first ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, received a black eye and facial bruises during an argument as the two struggled over a Venetian glass vase in their hotel room while on vacation in Venice in the early 2000s after they were married.

He said that “[Holderness] was ready to throw glass onto the floor to smash and they both lunged for the glass and there was a struggle,” according to two people with knowledge of the account.

Porter went on to say that she bruised her eye when she fell during their struggle and denied punching her. He also said that the was first time they had a physical altercation.

* * *

In the case of the restraining order that his second ex-wife Jennifer Willoughby filed against him for allegedly breaking into their house with his fist, Porter said that he was merely tapping the glass pane with his index finger, according to the two people with knowledge of what he shared with senior staff.

Porter said he and Willoughby were separated at the time. He returned to the house to collect his clothes, and while tapping the glass door pane with his index finger, his knuckle went through the glass. Porter said he went into the house to wrap up the wound but Willoughby told him to leave, and then she called the police.
   273. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:04 PM (#5623957)
Wisconsin activist Randy Bryce, the leading Democratic challenger to Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan in this year’s midterm elections... workers will get paid time off and earn at least $3,000 per month


Randy Bryce is really overpaying. Doesn't Bryce know that workers would be delighted to get an extra $1.50 per week?
   274. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:11 PM (#5623960)
He also said that the was first time they had a physical altercation.


I will be married 30 years this October. My wife and I have never had a physical altercation.
   275. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:17 PM (#5623961)
Apparently this Kehinde Wiley paints black women holding severed white heads.

Moving right along...
   276. Jay Z Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:18 PM (#5623963)
I will be married 30 years this October. My wife and I have never had a physical altercation.


Me either, and I have an ex wife.
   277. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:20 PM (#5623964)
Apparently this Kehinde Wiley paints black women holding severed white heads.


Just pretend he signed those paintings "David Duke" and it'll be hilarious.
   278. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:29 PM (#5623968)
Would that make one Sessions ignorant too?

No, just you, and a few other leftists trying make something out of nothing. There is an Anglo-American legal hisistory or tradition, and Sessions passing reference to it was unremarkable, despite the nuts trying to claim it's some sort of dog whistle. It's hilarious that the guy who fled to Canada - a proud member of the Commonwealth - thinks there is something amiss here.
   279. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:30 PM (#5623969)
Apparently this Kehinde Wiley paints black women holding severed white heads.

Moving right along...


Could have been worse, considering the typical depiction of Judith beheading Holofernes would make the head that of a white male, rather than a white female.

But you know, don't let your ignorance interfere with your broader point of militant ####### out to get whitey.
   280. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:33 PM (#5623970)
Ho Hum, yet another Republican flames out and gets the boot, this time for an anti-semitic comment, but what's much more interesting is the implicit acknowledgement by all concerned that the party needs the support of bigots in order to win elections:

Va. Republicans move to dump controversial leader over anti-Semitic online post

For several years, Fredy Burgos has been a controversial but tolerated figure within Virginia’s Republican Party — a verbal bomb thrower whose attacks against Muslims, immigrants and others have turned off moderates while reflecting a new brand of conservatism in the era of Donald Trump.

But in the wake of a wave of Democratic victories last fall that was fueled by anti-Trump sentiment in Northern Virginia, party leaders — worried about losing more voters — moved to force Burgos off of the state central committee this week after he posted a Facebook comment suggesting Jews should not run for political office.

“There’s only so many times that somebody can be given forgiveness for making offensive statements,” said John Whitbeck, chair of the state party, who, along with Rep. Barbara Comstock and a chorus of other Virginia Republicans, called on Sunday for Burgos to immediately resign.

“It makes it much harder for us to convince voters that we’re the party of tolerance and respect for all religions and religious freedom when our own people in our leadership are saying that,” said Whitbeck, who in 2013 faced his own controversy over an anti-Semitic joke.

Let that last sentence sink in for a minute.

.......................................

Okay, continuing....
Burgos, who also holds an elected position on the Fairfax County party committee, says his comments were misconstrued. He responded to a question for comment by sharing another Facebook post, where he wrote: “As an evangelical Christian, nobody loves the Jewish people and Israel more than I.”

The original post borrowed from Trump, using the headline “Make Fairfax Great Again.”

Below that, Burgos shared a 19th-century quote from John Jay, the country’s first chief justice of the Supreme Court, asserting that it is the privilege of a Christian nation “to select and prefer Christian rulers.”

The comment came as Burgos was campaigning for Tim Hannigan, who is running to become the next chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee. Hannigan’s rival in next month’s election is Mike Ginsberg, who is Jewish....

Hannigan, whose campaign website sells red “Make Fairfax Great Again” trucker hats, said he removed Burgos as a campaign adviser after learning about the post. But he cautioned against a rush to judgment that would lead to booting a fellow conservative out of the party.

Quentin Kidd, director of Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Public Policy, said Burgos’s post and the swift condemnation by Republican Party leaders reflects a challenge the party faces in Northern Virginia.

With the area’s changing demographics favoring Democrats in recent elections, Republican officials have had to adopt more moderate stances, particularly amid the flashes of white nationalism that appeared during last year’s gubernatorial race and during the violent riot triggered by a neo-Nazi rally in August in Charlottesville — events which have driven some people out of the party.

That would explain why Comstock — who has been distancing herself from Trump as she heads into a potentially tough reelection bid in November — would respond so quickly to a social media post by a relatively unknown figure like Burgos, Kidd said.

In a statement, Comstock said Burgos’s “bigoted, backwards views have no place in the Republican Party — the party of Lincoln and Reagan.”

Comstock and other Republicans are walking a fine line between guarding against perceptions that their party holds such views and alienating a conservative base that may agree with some of them, Kidd said.

“I’d imagine that, if they had their druthers, this would go away, but there is an element of the Republican base where these views are strongly held and firmly believed. And they’re going to have to deal with it because I don’t think this stuff is going away,” he said....

Hannigan, 68, said the Republican leadership must embrace its [EUPHEMISM ALERT] various factions.

“We need to be reaching out to all kinds of people who have an interest in Republicans and not pushing them away,” he said.

ONLY THE BEST PEOPLE!
   281. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:41 PM (#5623973)
“The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement,” Sessions said. “We must never erode this historic office.”

There is an Anglo-American legal hisistory or tradition, and Sessions passing reference to it was unremarkable, despite the nuts trying to claim it's some sort of dog whistle.

That'd be a more believable sentiment, if only his boss's idea of a Sheriff weren't characters like this and this.
   282. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:44 PM (#5623974)


Byron York: Comey told Congress FBI agents didn't think Michael Flynn lied

by Byron York | Feb 12, 2018, 6:51 PM

So in March, lawmakers wanted Comey to tell them what was up. And what they heard from the director did not match what they were hearing in the media.

According to two sources familiar with the meetings, Comey told lawmakers that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe that Flynn had lied to them, or that any inaccuracies in his answers were intentional. As a result, some of those in attendance came away with the impression that Flynn would not be charged with a crime pertaining to the Jan. 24 interview.

Nine months later, with Comey gone and special counsel Robert Mueller in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation, Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the FBI in that Jan. 24 questioning.

What happened? With Flynn awaiting sentencing — that was recently delayed until at least May — some lawmakers are trying to figure out what occurred between the time Comey told Congress the FBI did not believe Flynn lied and the time, several months later, when Flynn pleaded guilty to just that.

None of those congressional investigators has an answer; they're baffled by the turn of events. But they know they find the Flynn case troubling, from start to finish.

...

There was still the possibility Flynn could face legal trouble for something else, like failing to register his representation of Turkey. But as far as the question of a "1001 charge" — a charge of lying to investigators, known by its number in the federal code — some lawmakers took that as a sign that Flynn was out of the woods.

On the other hand, the FBI does not make prosecution decisions. (That was not true, of course, in the case of the Clinton email investigation, in which the attorney general effectively gave Comey the decision of whether or not to prosecute.) It could be that the FBI agents who did the questioning were overruled by Justice Department officials who came up with theories like Flynn's alleged violation of the Logan Act or his alleged vulnerability to blackmail.


Maybe Mueller had something worse on Flynn, or maybe the reports that Flynn cut a deal to save his son were accurate, or maybe both.
   283. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:45 PM (#5623975)
Va. Republicans move to dump controversial leader . . .

Where "leader" means someone nobody ever heard of before. The guy is a glorified volunteer. Even I, an almost 30-year County resident, never heard of him. Seems far less interesting than the collusion dinner between the Vice Chair of the DNC, 2 other Democratic Congressmen, Louis Farrakhan, and the President of Iran.
   284. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5623976)
There is an Anglo-American legal hisistory or tradition, and Sessions passing reference to it was unremarkable, despite the nuts trying to claim it's some sort of dog whistle.

That'd be a more believable sentiment, if only his boss's idea of a Sheriff weren't characters like this and this.

Your effort to politicize the non-political fares no better than Zonk's. That you object to the "Anglo-American" legal tradition says something about you, not Sessions. Perhaps you'll take on "Judeo-Christian ethic" next? Viva the Magna Carta!!
   285. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 12, 2018 at 11:18 PM (#5623982)
Va. Republicans move to dump controversial leader . . .

Where "leader" means someone nobody ever heard of before. The guy is a glorified volunteer. Even I, an almost 30-year County resident, never heard of him. Seems far less interesting than the collusion dinner between the Vice Chair of the DNC, 2 other Democratic Congressmen, Louis Farrakhan, and the President of Iran.


I notice you don't address the last few paragraphs of that article:

“I’d imagine that, if they had their druthers, this would go away, but there is an element of the Republican base where these views are strongly held and firmly believed. And they’re going to have to deal with it because I don’t think this stuff is going away,” he said....

Hannigan, 68, said the Republican leadership must embrace its [EUPHEMISM ALERT] various factions.

“We need to be reaching out to all kinds of people who have an interest in Republicans and not pushing them away,” he said.

I wonder why.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

There is an Anglo-American legal hisistory or tradition, and Sessions passing reference to it was unremarkable, despite the nuts trying to claim it's some sort of dog whistle.

That'd be a more believable sentiment, if only his boss's idea of a Sheriff weren't characters like this and this.

Your effort to politicize the non-political fares no better than Zonk's. That you object to the "Anglo-American" legal tradition says something about you, not Sessions. Perhaps you'll take on "Judeo-Christian ethic" next? Viva the Magna Carta!!


I've got nothing against the Anglo-American legal tradition. I just don't happen to think that Jeff Sessions, Joe Arpaio, and David Clarke are what the creators of the Magna Carta had in mind. I'm sure that you're quite comfortable with all three of them, but then you're also quite enamored of pussy-grabbing presidents, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
   286. greenback took the 110 until the 105 Posted: February 12, 2018 at 11:27 PM (#5623985)
Byron York: Comey told Congress FBI agents didn't think Michael Flynn lied

It's fun to see stuff like this from Marcy Wheeler before you see it from somebody looking to "score points" on the Internet.

The Crazy Right:
January: Peter Strzok is totally biased Jail Prison Treason!

February: Peter Strzok didn't think Mike Flynn lied: FBI colluded to cover that up.

Make up your mind people!!
   287. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 11:28 PM (#5623986)
I've got nothing against the Anglo-American legal tradition. I just don't happen to think that Jeff Sessions, Joe Arpaio, and David Clarke are what the creators of the Magna Carta had in mind. I'm sure that you're quite comfortable with all three of them, but then you're also quite enamored of #####-grabbing presidents, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.


Andy, you're embarrassing yourself. There's no dog whistle here. There's only a nutty conspiracy theory pushed by uninformed lunatics.
   288. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 12, 2018 at 11:36 PM (#5623987)
Andy, you're embarrassing yourself. There's no dog whistle here. There's only a nutty conspiracy theory pushed by uninformed lunatics.


You mean like someone pushing the idea that an artist is reduced to nothing more than "black women holding severed white heads," when he paints his interpretation of a biblical story that a long history of painters, from Rembrandt, Botticelli, Goya, Klimt, Rubens, and 3/4 (at least, no sure if Da Vinci did) of the friggin' ninja turtles took a whack at?
   289. Lassus Posted: February 12, 2018 at 11:37 PM (#5623988)
I finally spent some time looking at the portraits. They are excellent works of art.
   290. Lassus Posted: February 12, 2018 at 11:42 PM (#5623990)
Man, maybe SBB is Ben Garrison.
   291. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 13, 2018 at 01:21 AM (#5624006)
Following up on #127, it now seems to be confirmed that both Trump's pick for a Hawaii vacancy on the 9th Circuit and his choices for two Illinois-based 7th Circuit vacancies have the support of their home-state Democratic Senators. Too early to tell if this is part of a larger return to normalcy for judicial nominations, but there are quite a few remaining longstanding judicial vacancies from states with Democratic Senators.
   292. Stormy JE Posted: February 13, 2018 at 02:00 AM (#5624010)
Sen Warner was trying to get Deripraska to give testimony to the intelligence committee, so it's reasonable that he'd reach out to the guy who is registered as his agent in the US.
But the issue raised here isn't Warner's relationship with Waldman but the nature of the latter's relationships with Deripraska and Steele -- and the latter two's relationship with each other.
   293. Stormy JE Posted: February 13, 2018 at 02:06 AM (#5624012)
Maybe Mueller had something worse on Flynn, or maybe the reports that Flynn cut a deal to save his son were accurate, or maybe both.
And maybe there is something non-routine about Mueller's decision to seek the three-month delay in Flynn's sentencing.
   294. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: February 13, 2018 at 03:03 AM (#5624016)
One of the following must be true:

A. Jeff Sessions must be doing a far better job than I think he is if him accurately describing the historical origins of the system of justice that is in place in the United States is some gotcha.

B. Jeff Sessions is terrible and Jolly and Zonk are drooling dolts.

I know which one I'll take.
   295. Lassus Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:14 AM (#5624020)
A binary limit? Unpossible.
   296. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:39 AM (#5624027)
I feel like I missed something.

What's the significance of "Anglo-American tradition"? Isn't that just a different way of referring to the common law tradition?
   297. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:40 AM (#5624028)
But the issue raised here isn't Warner's relationship with Waldman but the nature of the latter's relationships with Deripraska and Steele -- and the latter two's relationship with each other.


Blah blah blah. So, what is your Putin number JE? Hmmmmm?
   298. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:53 AM (#5624029)
   299. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2018 at 08:01 AM (#5624031)
It is interesting that although the office of sheriff comes from England, American and English sheriffs are very different. I believe the sheriff is a purely ceremonial official in England now. Its road to irrelevance was a long one. In 1626 Charles I "pricked" Edward Coke as a sheriff. Mostly because he thought Coke was a trouble maker and sheriffs weren't allowed to sit in parliament.
   300. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 13, 2018 at 08:04 AM (#5624033)
More violent eliminationist rhetoric from the left.


That reminds me, can you drop me your mailing address real quick?
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