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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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   601. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:04 PM (#5624566)
From most accounts that professor was using the n word over and over and over again -- what his point might have been nobody knows. Hey, if you want to teach your class -- teach it. Just don't be surprised when some push back.
   602. Morty Causa Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:06 PM (#5624568)
586:


Player B is fully justified in not drinking with player B

Oops, that should be " Player B is fully justified in not drinking with player A."
   603. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:16 PM (#5624573)

From most accounts that professor was using the n word over and over and over again
No, the Prince reported that he used it several times. And again, the class was about hate speech. I think the point was pretty obvious.
   604. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:20 PM (#5624574)
A male student of color stood up, inches from professor Rosen’s face and shouted “FUCK YOU,” this witness claimed. Just before that, a female student of color had shouted at Rosen, as the first was approaching, “do you feel safe right now.” “There was no physical contact,” this witness claims, though at the time the student feared there might be.

LOL.


It actually doesn't seem to be a special snowflakes issue; it seems to be more an issue of students in the class simply not comprehending what the class was all about. Just not computing it.
   605. ^^^ Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:21 PM (#5624575)
I knew the weight of history was against me and turned back towards the more familiar ground of Crown Heights.


Don't blame "history" for you being scared.
   606. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:21 PM (#5624576)
"The Prince?" Tell me that's the name of the student newspaper.
   607. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:22 PM (#5624578)
I suspect that all of the nation's jr high schoolers hope revised Sex Education curriculum is designed at Princeton.
   608. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:23 PM (#5624579)
It actually doesn't seem to be a special snowflakes issue; it seems to be more an issue of students in the class simply not comprehending what the class was all about. Just not computing it.


So it's like art?
   609. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:23 PM (#5624580)
No, the Prince reported that he used it several times. And again, the class was about hate speech. I think the point was pretty obvious.


"several times" -- seems excessive IMO. Why even use it at all? Or, better yet, ask the students if they are comfortable with him using it?

You get an ivory tower type (with the surname "Rosen" as well...) and you get 18 year old Princeton types (AA to boot) and you aren't going to get a lot of backing down on either side.

The professor seems like he has his head up his ass IMO. Why not just stop short of saying the actual word given its weight? Or at least realizing as a white person it's not his place -- even in the classroom -- to be the arbiter of its usage.

   610. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:25 PM (#5624581)
Actually, the TPM story that Zonk linked to said that Sessions said "Anglo-American heritage"

I think it's pretty obvious that Jeff Sessions is a racist and that the office of sheriff is institutional racism. I think it's pretty likely he thought he was talking to his Klan buddies down in 'Bama and wasn't filmed and being shared with a national audience and that using the word "heritage" was part of that. Or, he didn't think it was a big deal. He is clueless on many levels.

And I thought it would be difficult for anyone to top Zonk & Andy. There is nothing improper about referring to our Anglo-American legal heritage. That some folks on the left are so delusional to think there is, is the only problem here. But keep it up, you're a laughingstock.
   611. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:26 PM (#5624582)
Alternate Headline: Liberal SJW Students Put End to Stupid Class Their Tuition is Wasted On
   612. ^^^ Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:26 PM (#5624583)
Why not just stop short of saying the actual word given its weight?


The word is heard tens of thousands of times per day in the United States by both white and black people. Indeed, the very people who screamed back at him have almost certainly heard it dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of times.

But I guess we're back in PretendVille again, wherein the word is never used nor heard when in point of fact it's heard by more ears more times than in the most retrograde of slavery or Jim Crow days. Sigh.
   613. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:27 PM (#5624584)
There's no defending this pointy head imo, how can you be so clueless, even after he was asked to stop saying it by his students he kept at it:


Rosen is believed to have justified using the word to students by saying, "It's supposed to deliver a gut punch, so that's why I used it."

"Every single time he used the N-word, he used the word in its entirety," Salter told the campus paper. "He said 'you need to suspend your disbelief for the sake of this class.'"

Students argued with Rosen and asked for an apology, but he said, "I don’t think I need to apologize; I did not oppress anyone," according to the newspaper.


What an idiot.

The word is heard tens of thousands of times per day in the United States. Indeed, the very people who screamed back at him have almost certainly heard it dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of times.


Even for you, this is puzzling framework for the debate. So the black students have been called the terrible, no good word hundreds "if not thousands" of times -- and so ... they should be inoculated? I'm white and it pisses me off when white people presume they can use the n word because they are "woke" or whatever the #### that means -- like this prof.

   614. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:29 PM (#5624585)
The professor seems like he has his head up his ass IMO. Why not just stop short of saying the actual word given its weight?


“Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy and Pornography.”
   615. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:29 PM (#5624586)
Alternate Headline: Liberal SJW Students Put End to Stupid Class Their Tuition is Wasted On


Alternate title: Young adults act immature, all of humanity shocked.
   616. ^^^ Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:29 PM (#5624587)
"I don’t think I need to apologize; I did not oppress anyone,"


Of course he didn't "oppress" a soul -- anymore than Kanye "oppressed" me last Saturday night.
   617. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:33 PM (#5624588)
Of course he didn't "oppress" a soul -- anymore than Kanye "oppressed" me last Saturday night.


christ could you possibly be any more predictable? Pivoting to the "but, but, black people say it".
   618. ^^^ Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:34 PM (#5624589)
So the black students have been called the terrible, no good word hundreds "if not thousands" of times -- and so ... they should be inoculated? I'm white and it pisses me off when white people presume they can use the n word because they are "woke" or whatever the #### that means -- like this pro


I didn't say they've been called the word hundreds or thousands of times; I said they've heard the word hundreds or thousands of times.

As to your last point, we need a little more proof that the prof was in this vein, but yeah someone who very much is would be Andy -- who's used the word in its entirely a couple dozen times at least, comically figuring he's "earned" the right or somesuch.
   619. ^^^ Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:35 PM (#5624590)
christ could you possibly be any more predictable? Pivoting to the "but, but, black people say it".


Nope, that's not what I said. What I said is that the word isn't inherently "oppressive," (LOL) and the fact that my hearing it doesn't oppress me helps prove the point.

White people say it, too; Tarentino the "actor" said it in Pulp Fiction. His usage didn't "oppress" anyone either.
   620. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:37 PM (#5624591)
And I thought it would be difficult for anyone to top Zonk & Andy. There is nothing improper about referring to our Anglo-American legal heritage. That some folks on the left are so delusional to think there is, is the only problem here. But keep it up, you're a laughingstock.


And who is the "our" and "them" here, old man? Can you possibly see out of your cataract clouded myopia for a minute? You think an old racist like Jeff Sessions, speaking to a room of cops (and not just cops by sheriffs), referred to "our heritage" naively? Come on.

White people say it, too; Tarentino the "actor" said it in Pulp Fiction. His usage didn't "oppress" anyone either.


QT is a ####### ####### and many have spoken out on his gratuitous use of the word in his films.

Nope, that's not what I said. What I said is that the word isn't inherently "oppressive," (LOL) and the fact that my hearing it doesn't oppress me helps prove the point.


I don't know if you know this -- but you're WHITE! Claro que si it doesn't oppress you. FFS man I'm not asking you to turn full SJW and ask black people if you can go to see Black Panther this weekend but a little self-awareness goes a long way. Being white is nice. Somehow "honky" doesn't have quite the same historical weight as the n word. Wonder why. (hint: it's because you and I weren't brought here as slaves and then denied basic human rights for most of our history here)
   621. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:37 PM (#5624592)
Tarentino the "actor" said it in Pulp Fiction.


Tarentino is an ass hole.
   622. ^^^ Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:41 PM (#5624593)
QT is a ####### ####### and many have spoken out on his gratuitous use of the word in his films.


Maybe, but his usage didn't "oppress" anyone.
   623. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:43 PM (#5624595)
Maybe, but his usage didn't "oppress" anyone.


He's the one who used the word "oppress". He offended people. If I walked up to you and your mother and called her a funking cnut, would she be oppressed?
   624. ^^^ Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:46 PM (#5624596)
I don't know if you know this -- but you're WHITE! Claro que si it doesn't oppress you.


Because it's not inherently oppressive. If it was, I'd feel oppressed by hearing it. Moreover, to go back to my example, Kanye didn't intend to oppress any listener, white or black, when he used it -- and I've never heard anyone say they felt oppressed by hearing him say it. In fact, I actually kind of liked it. So go figure.
   625. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:48 PM (#5624598)
He's the one who used the word "oppress". He offended people. If I walked up to you and your mother and called her a funking cnut, would she be oppressed?


This nicely illustrates the stupidity of the professor's position. But, I'm a feminist! I let my wife hyphen her name why can't I say the c word as much as I want!

Because it's not inherently oppressive. If it was, I'd feel oppressed by hearing it.


I've literally never used this but I got nothing else: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
   626. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:49 PM (#5624599)
Attention please, my SpokeSpicey has a statement.

Thank you.

Recent discoveries and previously undisclosed or unreported information information has come to light regarding the Zonk Administration's Recent TPM Posting. This administration takes vetting and posting clearance very seriously, far more seriously than any previous administration. Unfortunately, in this case the background vetting and clearance process has failed Zonk. Immediately upon being informed that No New Information Regarding Jeff Sessions' Long History of Racism had struggled over a vase, inadvertently resulting in Racial Harmony receiving a black eye, the No New Information Regarding Jeff Sessions' Long History of Racism was terminated.

Zonk believes that even No New Information Regarding Jeff Sessions' Long History of Racism is entitled to due process, as it is a bedrock principle of our Republic.

No New Information Regarding Jeff Sessions' Long History of Racism had been operating under an interim posting clearance, as is standard practice. While No New Information Regarding Jeff Sessions' Long History of Racism was operating in its role, the FBI (FaceBook Interlocution) vetting process was ongoing. Unfortunately, the FBI failed to notify the administration in a timely manner or, the RSS Reader Posting Appropriateness had been notified by the FBI but had failed to pass along the appropriate paperwork regarding No New Information Regarding Jeff Sessions' Long History of Racism to the Zonk Administration.

As Zonk has stated many times over in his unending and bottomless dedication to Making America Grate Again, the swamp must be drained, there is too much regulation and red tape, and the Deep State continues to engage in nothing more than a witch hunt, designed to distract the American people from the MAGA agenda.


I will now take questions...
   627. Lassus Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:54 PM (#5624601)
I don't know if you know this -- but you're WHITE!

Obligatory.
   628. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5624604)
This is a case where the so-called trigger warning might have actually served a purpose. I'd like to think that college students would be aware of the purpose of what the prof was doing, but obviously that's not always the case, and giving them a heads-up that there are going to be offensive words used for the purpose of the exercise might've been helpful.

Or maybe it wouldn't have mattered. But at least this way the students would've been warned, and could've chosen to leave before the exercise began.

As for the exercise itself, as I've said before, the question is stupid without any prior contextualization. I realize that the prof thought that the students were supposed to provide followup questions that would put the choice in context, but again, he might have thought it through a bit better beforehand.

And anyone who thinks that it's possible to somehow rate unprovoked racial fighting words on some hypothetical scale with a punch in the face----Well, I'd advise them to think about it before testing their theory in mixed racial company. The only thing you can be reasonably sure of is that the fighting words might well produce a physical reaction, and that nobody's going to feel sorry for the person who started the confrontation, even if he gets his clock cleaned.
   629. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5624605)
I don't know if you know this -- but you're WHITE!


Miss me wit dat #### boyee.
   630. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:12 PM (#5624607)
Holee ####### ####!

I mean, I don't know that this means anything more than Jarvanka are really bad with their (family) money, but wow... WTF.

Recent revisions to the financial disclosure form filed by Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, bumped up each of those debts to a range of $5 million to $25 million.

* * *
The changes take Kushner and Trump’s reported debts to a range of approximately $31 million to $155 million from the previously reported range of between about $19 million and $98 million.


I know legal help to fight the Deep State is expensive, but geez... they've got an entire media apparatus, a majority congress, and all the other Trumpkins pitching in for free (well, allegedly for free!).

But hey - at least Ivanka is paying down those credit cards!

One debt did drop in value as Ivanka Trump’s form was revised: the amount owed on a Visa account went down to a range of $50,001 to $100,000, from $100,001 to $250,000.
   631. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:13 PM (#5624608)
This is a case where the so-called trigger warning might have actually served a purpose. I'd like to think that college students would be aware of the purpose of what the prof was doing, but obviously that's not always the case, and giving them a heads-up that there are going to be offensive words used for the purpose of the exercise might've been helpful.

Or maybe it wouldn't have mattered. But at least this way the students would've been warned, and could've chosen to leave before the exercise began.

As for the exercise itself, as I've said before, the question is stupid without any prior contextualization. I realize that the prof thought that the students were supposed to provide followup questions that would put the choice in context, but again, he might have thought it through a bit better beforehand.

And anyone who thinks that it's possible to somehow rate unprovoked racial fighting words on some hypothetical scale with a punch in the face----Well, I'd advise them to think about it before testing their theory in mixed racial company. The only thing you can be reasonably sure of is that the fighting words might well produce a physical reaction, and that nobody's going to feel sorry for the person who started the confrontation, even if he gets his clock cleaned.


Well said.
   632. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:21 PM (#5624611)
"The Prince?" Tell me that's the name of the student newspaper.
Well, the Daily Princetonian, but everyone calls it the Prince.
   633. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:25 PM (#5624614)
Holee ####### ####!

I mean, I don't know that this means anything more than Jarvanka are really bad with their (family) money, but wow... WTF.
I haven't read the article, but Jared is really bad with his family (i.e. the Kushners) money. He sunk a huge amount of their money into a terrible deal on 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and he's been trying to dig out of that hole for like a decade now.
   634. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:42 PM (#5624617)
Dems winning state house races in heavily GOP districts seems like a bad sign for the Trump GOP in '18.

I guess the guy ran about as close to Trump as possible and got his ass handed to him. Should be interesting to see how the GOP candidates position themselves via Trump this fall.
   635. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:53 PM (#5624620)
I haven't read the article, but Jared is really bad with his family (i.e. the Kushners) money. He sunk a huge amount of their money into a terrible deal on 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and he's been trying to dig out of that hole for like a decade now.


The financial disclosure form is a maze of LLCs and other entities/holdings/etc -- but what's not clear to me if is this latest revision (there have been 13 revisions just since the July 2017 filing) reflect changes one might expect with such substantial debts over 6 months or just "finding" another 12 to 58 million in debts.

I mean jeebus... that's nearly a 50% increase in 6 months.... or 50% increase in found debts.

W T F

   636. Howie Menckel Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:54 PM (#5624621)
Vanity Fair/NBC guy - he says this would be a win for Team Jarvanka

Gabriel Sherman
‏Verified account @gabrielsherman
27m27 minutes ago

Widespread chatter tonight among Republicans close to the White House that Trump is nearing decision to name Gary Cohn as Kelly’s replacement

   637. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:58 PM (#5624623)
Dems winning state house races in heavily GOP districts seems like a bad sign for the Trump GOP in '18.


FWIW - some other odds and ends...

This broke FL records for special election turnout -- prior high was 22%, sounds like this broke 30% (was already at 25% by 11 AM).

What's more - this wasn't just a Some Dude who hitched his wagon to Trump (apparently, Corey Lewandowski did a late rally complete with "Lock Her Up!" chants... that's a thing now, I guess)... it was James Buchanan, son of longtime and current GOP rep Vern Buchanan. Maybe daddy is worried about November, too?
   638. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 13, 2018 at 08:07 PM (#5624626)
On the "This is just is amusing and in the Trump WH, would constitute an actual BEST PEOPLE" pick --

A Trump NSC aide is apparently so bored with his job, he's simultaneously trying to get a podcast career off the ground!

Mundane stuff, but some wit and wisdom...

“To think about commitment,” Hall says, “take your average breakfast. A farmer participated, and he provided the potatoes for hash browns. A baker contributed and participated by providing bread for toast. And a chicken participated, providing the eggs for those scrambled eggs. Now the pig. The pig is committed. He provided the bacon."

“So if you’re gonna be a leader, we need you to be committed. We need you to be the pig in that breakfast.”


BE THE PIG, Trumpkins. BE. THE. PIG!
   639. Hysterical & Useless Posted: February 13, 2018 at 08:16 PM (#5624631)
666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan


How is it that the Christian Right hasn't noticed this? This is their boy's son-in-law for cripe's (or somebody's) sake!
   640. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5624652)

See, SBB, you should take notes from "state of the art wall," whoever he is. Your tactic of simply trying to piss people off by saying stuff even you clearly don't believe is weak-ass trolling; state of the art wall is selling his much better.
   641. BDC Posted: February 13, 2018 at 09:52 PM (#5624661)
QT is a ####### #######

Tarentino's character in Pulp Fiction is a ####### ####### (am I spelling that right?) – and Tarentino may certainly be a ####### ####### in real life.

Tarentino's writing and directing of that particular scene ("I'm gonna get ####### divorced") is pretty brilliant.
   642. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 13, 2018 at 10:32 PM (#5624667)
In response to an FEC complaint, Michael Cohen has said he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed by the Trump campaign or Trump organization.

Man...

You Trumpkins should REALLY stop having these "Infrastructure Week"(s).

It's like Trumpkin code for "Ugh. This is going to be a worse week than usual. And you know how usual goes."

Wait... tell me the truth, Trumpkins, is it really code?
   643. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 13, 2018 at 10:34 PM (#5624668)
Tarentino's writing and directing of that particular scene ("I'm gonna get ####### divorced") is pretty brilliant.


I am not much of a film watcher but he is a brilliant film maker. Jackie Brown is probably my favorite but Pulp Fiction, Hate 8 and Reservoir Dogs are all up there. Kill Bill series and Django are my least favorite. Inglorious is pretty damn good too. Grindhouse? Totally not my thing. Four Rooms is awesome.

In response to an FEC complaint, Michael Cohen has said he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed by the Trump campaign or Trump organization.


Trump ###### Cohen to get to her.

obligatory.
   644. Srul Itza Posted: February 13, 2018 at 10:50 PM (#5624669)
Some NY Post provocateur made an interesting assertion that, frankly, occurred to me.

Namely, that the so-called "Russian mercenaries" are a lot like the Little Green Men of the Ukraine -- Russian forces under another name to create (im)plausible deniability while doing things the Kremlin wants done.

Think about it: Would Putin's Russia really allow the creation of a Blackwater-style mercenary outfit, without having both control and a piece of the action? Does that sound like something KGB-apparatchik Putin and his Kremlin Kleptocrats would allow?

Which would mean that the attack on the base with US personnel was not a rogue operation, or a mistake. It was Russia attacking US soldiers, to see what would happen.

Right at about the same time that Iran decided to fly a drone into Israel, to see what would happen.

The thing about Putin and the Ayatollah is, they don't take these kind of losses and just shrug and go away.

Send Lawyers, Guns and Money. The shit has hit the fan.
   645. Lassus Posted: February 13, 2018 at 10:54 PM (#5624670)
Am I the only one watching Westminster?

I've found Tarantino entertaining (which is certainly an accomplishment) but never brilliant.
   646. greenback understands the nyt's effect on man Posted: February 13, 2018 at 11:01 PM (#5624672)
The financial disclosure form is a maze of LLCs and other entities/holdings/etc -- but what's not clear to me if is this latest revision (there have been 13 revisions just since the July 2017 filing) reflect changes one might expect with such substantial debts over 6 months or just "finding" another 12 to 58 million in debts.

The form is useless for Kushner or any of the Trumps. I wouldn't make much of the debt levels, since real estate is almost by law a heavily leveraged investment. On the other side of the balance sheet you see stuff like fourteen straight Treasury notes, each in the $1-5 million range and none of them earning income, which are probably collateral required by his creditors, or part of some other complicated financing scheme.
   647. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 13, 2018 at 11:17 PM (#5624675)
So as I understand it, if you're going to lie about something - lying to the FEC is basically the way to go, right? Lying elsewhere - even in a civil case - probably costs Cohen a lot more than whatever I imagine lying to the FEC means... a fine?
   648. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: February 13, 2018 at 11:48 PM (#5624679)
Namely, that the so-called "Russian mercenaries" are a lot like the Little Green Men of the Ukraine -- Russian forces under another name to create (im)plausible deniability while doing things the Kremlin wants done.
Yeah, these appear (from the article JE linked) to be some of the same very fine people who totally didn't invade Ukraine.

since the US warned Russia about the impending action, my guess is that one totally-not-russian mercenary used the convenient American forces to eliminate or embarass a totally-not-russian rival. Either that or a real Russian commander used the convenient US forces to eliminate or embarass a rival. Or maybe the Russian in charge of deconfliction was drunk on duty.

Kind of interesting that Putin talked to Trump the day of the attack but "they didn't discuss the incident". Can you imagine the field day Fox news would have had with Obama, in that situation?
   649. tshipman Posted: February 14, 2018 at 02:18 AM (#5624686)
In response to an FEC complaint, Michael Cohen has said he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed by the Trump campaign or Trump organization.


This is an illegal in-kind contribution, yeah?

Could be some legal issues for Cohen, and he may have to prove it.
   650. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 03:17 AM (#5624690)
Blaming the Syrian civil war on the Iran deal is so nuts that JE isn't bothering to explain the causality.
So nuts, Count? You don't even believe Ben Rhodes' own words?
Rhodes repeatedly cites what he views as the administration’s top national-security achievements: Cuba, the Iran nuclear deal, and the Paris climate accord. At one point, while musing about what more could’ve been done to halt the murder, rape, torture, destruction, and resulting refugee crisis in Syria, Rhodes says, “if we would have gone full-bore into Syria, we wouldn’t be sitting here with a climate agreement, we’d have no Iran agreement, we wouldn’t have had the time to do Cuba.” Sorry, Syrians, you were sold out for carbon emissions targets.
So, so nuts.
   651. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 03:22 AM (#5624691)
Here's what it comes down to:

For nearly seven years, the West basically did nothing to help the Syrian people (and good ol' Srul was positively DELIGHTED as mostly Sunni men, women, and children were being slaughtered, while others were driven from their homes), but we NOW claim to be terrified with how the war is going?
   652. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 03:28 AM (#5624692)
Could be some legal issues for Cohen, and he may have to prove it.
SAYS WHO?
   653. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 03:39 AM (#5624693)
Kind of interesting that Putin talked to Trump the day of the attack but "they didn't discuss the incident". Can you imagine the field day Fox news would have had with Obama, in that situation?
Putin finally(!) got his nose bloodied in Syria and this is the hot take? The Kremlin has long denied those were his men so what was there to talk about?

And no, we can't imagine such a "field day" since Obama didn't believe in meaningfully punishing our enemies, just our allies.
   654. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 04:28 AM (#5624695)
One last thing: Even if this report contains exaggerations, the build-up of missiles is real and many of these weapons have sufficient range to reach any target in Israel. (Yes, that includes the nuclear facilties near Dimona.) Do we really think this #### took place overnight -- or did it happen over the past decade?

And please save the promises that Iron Dome will save everybody and/or American will massively retaliate, the IDF believes tens of thousands of civilian casualties are possible in any full-scale attack from Syrian and Lebanese territory.
   655. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 14, 2018 at 05:48 AM (#5624697)
As long as we're on the subject...

Matt Taibbi: Donald Trump's Thinking on Nukes Is Insane and Ignorant
In candidate Trump's debate with Hillary Clinton on September 26, 2016, he said, "I would certainly not do first strike" and "I can't take anything off the table" within the space of seconds. In between, he pulled a Reagan and told a homespun tale on the subject, except his made no sense. "I looked the other night, I was seeing B-52s," he said (where? In his head? On Sixth Avenue?). "They're old enough that your father, your grandfather could be flying them," he added. "We are not keeping up with other countries."

Nukes are the ultimate Trump policy problem because it's a subject that requires scientific knowledge he completely lacks, while also forcing him to choose between two of his most sharply conflicting narcissistic affectations: the deal-making man of peace vs. the "I love war" Lieutenenant Schiesskopf-style missile-humping parade-master.

Remember, candidate Trump ran as a quasi-isolationist who was too smart to waste treasure and lives on pointless regional confrontations in Middle Eastern countries. His first major foreign policy address in April of 2016 was an extended diatribe against post-Cold War interventionism. In it, he decried military adventures from Syria to Iraq to Libya that unleashed "civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans… killed… many trillions of dollars… lost…" etc. etc.

But Trump, like Americans generally, can't handle even the possibility of people thinking he's a wimp for a second. So even as he ran as an isolationist, an issue that probably won him some key votes – studies showed Trump did well in areas hit hardest by military casualties from our recent dumb wars – he also constantly hyped himself as someone so crazy and unpredictable, he just might use nuclear weapons (as if we needed to be told this!).

...Now...we get the release of Trump's "Nuclear Posture Review." And it's every bit as bad as could be expected. The scariest passage in the NPR is meant to clarify a word used with incredible frequency in the massive document: flexibility (I counted 38 usages). ...America will answer [Russian missiles] in kind, the paper says, by replacing our arsenal with newer and more "flexible" weapons: To address these types of challenges and preserve deterrence stability, the United States will enhance the flexibility and range of its tailored deterrence options. To be clear, this is not intended to, nor does it enable, "nuclear war-fighting." ...Translation: not that we want to enable "nuclear war-fighting," but we want to have the option of "nuclear war-fighting" should we need to opt for... "nuclear war-fighting."

...In 2007, a study by Alan Robock and other scientists in "Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics" estimated that a "limited" nuclear war involving just 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs could have a devastating effect on the world's food supply. An updated study published by the Physicians for Social Responsibility concluded that more than two billion people could end up threatened by reduced food stocks after just such a "limited" exchange of "low-yield" weapons (the study posited an exchange of warheads between India and Pakistan). This means that a “regional” war would kill in less than a week more than in all over World War II. Two billion dead from starvation would be a few hundred holocausts. And yet, this is the strategy we’re moving toward, not away from.

This is why the situation with Trump, his plans for a more "flexible" arsenal, and moreover his ongoing saber-rattling with North Korea, are so troubling. Donald Trump, guaranteed, is not thinking about what's going to happen to American and Chinese soybean crops if he has to lob a few missiles back and forth with "little Rocket man" Kim Jong-Un.

"Who would clean up afterwards?" [Beatrice] Fihn asks. "Where would you bury the bodies? If there's a nuclear war over a densely populated area, what do you do with the bodies to prevent infections from spreading?"

This is also what made Trump's State of the Union address so hair-raising. A fair portion of it was devoted to making emotional appeals about the evil nature of the North Korea regime, including a gruesome story about the dual amputation/torture of dissident Ji-Seong-ho.

The telling of a horrifying human rights abuse story about a foe by the president is often a precursor to some kind of military action. Those of us old enough to remember will recall the tale of Iraqi soldiers occupying Kuwait taking babies out of incubators and leaving them to die. The story turned out to have dubious provenance, but George H.W. Bush repeated it in a news conference prior to the first Gulf War. Bill Clinton compared Milosevic to Hitler. George W. Bush ran through a litany of human rights abuses ascribed to former U.S. ally Saddam Hussein prior to the second invasion, citing "beating, burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation, and rape."

This is not to say these things weren't or aren't true, just that if you go by the U.S. playbook of military conflict, there is almost always a high-profile human rights abuse accusation that comes shortly before the exchange of hostilities.

The piece concludes by mentioning Russia's "Kanyon bomb," which is either underway or completed. The Kanyon is an underwater stealth thermonuclear cobalt bomb designed to create a 1,500-foot radioactive tsunami while being untrackable and immune to anti-missile defense systems. Happy Valentine's Day!
   656. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 05:59 AM (#5624698)
For nearly seven years, the West basically did nothing to help the Syrian people (and good ol' Srul was positively DELIGHTED as mostly Sunni men, women, and children were being slaughtered, while others were driven from their homes), but we NOW claim to be terrified with how the war is going?


Strange that we seemed to lose our zeal for this sort of intervention after the Great War of Adventure in Iraq. You know what they say Juan - fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, blame Obama.
   657. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:01 AM (#5624703)
In response to an FEC complaint, Michael Cohen has said he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed by the Trump campaign or Trump organization.

This is an illegal in-kind contribution, yeah?

Could be some legal issues for Cohen, and he may have to prove it.
Well, it's cash, not in-kind. Whether it's illegal or not is complicated. The obvious precedent is the John Edwards case, in which he had campaign donors John Barron and Bunny Mellon pay off his mistress, Rielle Hunter. Only Edwards, not the donors, were prosecuted. (One of the two donors had already died, and the other was a centenarian woman at the time Edwards was prosecuted, so...) But Edwards was acquitted of one charge, and the other five charges were dropped after the jury hung on them.

As I mentioned the other day (not in the context of Cohen allegedly spending six figures out of the goodness of his heart to help alleged billionaire Trump), campaign finance violations are virtually always treated as civil, and resolved with FEC fines against the campaign.
   658. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:03 AM (#5624704)
"Who would clean up afterwards?" [Beatrice] Fihn asks. "Where would you bury the bodies? If there's a nuclear war over a densely populated area, what do you do with the bodies to prevent infections from spreading?"


Let the market decide, egghead.
   659. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:09 AM (#5624705)
Me too, after getting off the C train at Nostrand and walking the wrong way for a few blocks. I knew the weight of history was against me and turned back towards the more familiar ground of Crown Heights.
Try driving through Bed-Stuy at 8 or 8.30am on a weekday. Everywhere you turn, there's a school bus with Yiddish lettering stopped to pick up several passengers.
   660. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:21 AM (#5624707)
Oh dear...

Bombshell Email Suggests Comey May Have Misled Congress About Meetings With Obama on Russian Hacking:
A newly-discovered email suggests former FBI Director James Comey may have been less than honest about his meetings with former president Barack Obama on the subject of Russian interference with and during the 2016 general election.

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released the email on Monday after requesting “records of meetings between President Obama and then-FBI Director Comey regarding the FBI’s investigation of allegations of collusion between associates of Mr. Trump and the Russian government.”

A newly-discovered email suggests former FBI Director James Comey may have been less than honest about his meetings with former president Barack Obama on the subject of Russian interference with and during the 2016 general election.

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released the email on Monday after requesting “records of meetings between President Obama and then-FBI Director Comey regarding the FBI’s investigation of allegations of collusion between associates of Mr. Trump and the Russian government.”

In turn, the National Archives provided Grassley and Graham with “classified and unclassified versions” of the email in question. According to that email’s timestamp and header, it was written by former national security advisor Susan Rice and sent to herself at 12:15 p.m. on January 20, 2017–right around the time Donald Trump was inaugurated as president. The self-sent email reads, in part:

On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present.

If Rice’s email is accurate, Comey may have seriously misled Congress about his meetings with Obama.
What's strange is that Rice drafted this document mere minutes before leaving the office for the last time seemingly knowing that it would be discovered...
   661. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:25 AM (#5624708)
In response to an FEC complaint, Michael Cohen has said he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed by the Trump campaign or Trump organization.

This is an illegal in-kind contribution, yeah?

Could be some legal issues for Cohen, and he may have to prove it.

Well, it's cash, not in-kind. Whether it's illegal or not is complicated. The obvious precedent is the John Edwards case, in which he had campaign donors John Barron and Bunny Mellon pay off his mistress, Rielle Hunter. Only Edwards, not the donors, were prosecuted. (One of the two donors had already died, and the other was a centenarian woman at the time Edwards was prosecuted, so...) But Edwards was acquitted of one charge, and the other five charges were dropped after the jury hung on them.

As I mentioned the other day (not in the context of Cohen allegedly spending six figures out of the goodness of his heart to help alleged billionaire Trump), campaign finance violations are virtually always treated as civil, and resolved with FEC fines against the campaign.


I'll leave the legal ramifications to you and the other non-fake lawyers, but the details emerging from this story can't be doing Trump much good:
Michael Cohen, who had previously dismissed stories about the payment, said he paid Stormy Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — using his own money, rather than involving the Trump Organization or the Trump presidential campaign. His comments came after a watchdog group argued that the payout should be viewed as an unreported campaign expense, which Cohen denied....

In his statement, Cohen did not say why he made a payment to Daniels or whether Trump reimbursed him or knew about the payment. He did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about these topics....

Not that we don't already know this, but John Edwards was an amateur.






   662. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:27 AM (#5624709)

As an aside, Orin Kerr points out -- I hadn't read the statement, so I hadn't noted this -- that the media are merely paraphrasing Cohen, and not necessarily accurately. Cohen did not say that he paid $130K out of his pocket. Cohen said this: "I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to [Daniels]. Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with [Daniels], and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly."

See that? Not "I gave her $130,000 from my pocket." But "I used my own funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to her." The latter is an odd way to say the former.¹ It seems much more likely that this would refer to him spending his own money -- a few hundred bucks -- to set up the entity that was used to make the payment, rather than the hundred thousand dollars of the payment. Moreover, note that Cohen is very careful not to deny that he was reimbursed. All he says is that he wasn't reimbursed by the Trump Organization or Trump campaign. He does not say that he wasn't reimbursed by Trump, Trump Jr., Undead Trump, Javanka, or the Trump Foundation.



¹When someone puts out a formal press statement, especially one drafted by a lawyer, I think it is fair to parse the statement very carefully to see what is said or not said. (In contrast, parsing paraphrases or summaries, as SBB loves to do, is dishonest.)
   663. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:36 AM (#5624711)
What's strange is that Rice drafted this document mere minutes before leaving the office for the last time seemingly knowing that it would be discovered...
Also, remember what Obama boasted to Chris Wallace in 2016?
I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it. I guarantee it.
Do you want to change your bullshit story, sir?
   664. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:37 AM (#5624712)
Wow, Abrams is an awful hack. There is literally not one word in that article to support that headline. I do like this part, that you didn't quote:
Comey’s failure to disclose this meeting to the Senate committee is likely to be viewed as an intentional and material omission of a highly relevant fact related to the Russiagate investigation.
That is pathetic on multiple levels. First, the use of the passive voice. Who is viewing it this way? Trumpistas? They view the fact that someone in the DOJ failed to disclose that he ate an everything bagel the other day as suspicious. Second, the use of "is likely," which means that Abrams was too hackish/lazy to even wait for someone to make the accusation before reporting on it.

But set that aside. Why is this fact "highly relevant" to anything? Why is this email a "bombshell" or important in any way?


EDIT: I see Abrams didn't actually write it; it's just at his site. So, I still don't think much of him, but I guess I should place primary blame on the actual author -- Colin Kalmbacher, who I've never heard of -- rather than Abrams.
   665. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:42 AM (#5624715)
Wow, Abrams is an awful hack.
Gotta ask, David: What's with your recent obsession with "hack?" First, McCarthy was a GOP hack. Then it was, no, he's a law enforcement hack. Until he disagreed with what law enforcement did, meaning he was back to being a Republican hack. And now Abrams is an "awful hack?" As in Trumpkin hack? Or lazy hack? Or both?
   666. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:46 AM (#5624717)
And now Abrams is an "awful hack?" As in Trumpkin hack? Or lazy hack? Or both?
Well, my edit redirected my ire from Abrams. But I'd call him a lazy hack, not a partisan one. I mean, journalists routinely decide on a narrative first and then fish for the quotes that they want from the sources that they think will give it, in order to support that preformed narrative. But Kalmbacher just decided to skip the actual legwork portion of that process and tell us what he thought was going to happen.


And if you'd stop quoting hacks, I wouldn't have to call them that. If you're going with NR, stick to David French rather than McCarthy for legal commentary. I don't always agree with the former, but he's not one. (Yeah, I know he doesn't go as in depth in the legal analysis, but at least he's fair and reasonable.)
   667. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:47 AM (#5624718)
A newly-discovered email suggests former FBI Director James Comey may have been less than honest about his meetings with former president Barack Obama on the subject of Russian interference with and during the 2016 general election.


A newly-discovered Gregorian calendar suggests that a "brief" meeting on January 5, 2017 may not have occurred during the 2016 general election.
   668. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:49 AM (#5624719)
EDIT: I see Abrams didn't actually write it; it's just at his site. So, I still don't think much of him, but I guess I should place primary blame on the actual author -- Colin Kalmbacher, who I've never heard of -- rather than Abrams.
The LinkedIn profile says he's the Editor of LawAndCrime.com and earned a JD and LLM from Texas Wesleyan and Yeshiva, respectively.
   669. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:51 AM (#5624720)
And if you'd stop quoting hacks, I wouldn't have to call them that. If you're going with NR, stick to David French rather than McCarthy for legal commentary. I don't always agree with the former, but he's not one.
Alas, French isn't all that interested in dossier politics, let alone the gyrations over the memos, so I doubt you'll get your wish.
   670. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:51 AM (#5624721)

A newly-discovered Gregorian calendar suggests that a "brief" meeting on January 5, 2017 may not have occurred during the 2016 general election.
I'm critical of the piece, but you've misparsed that sentence. It's "about his meetings with former president Barack Obama (on the subject of Russian interference with and during the 2016 general election)," not "about his meetings with former president Barack Obama (on the subject of Russian interference) with and during the 2016 general election." In other words, the phrase "during the 2016 general election" refers to the Russian interference, not the meetings with Obama.
   671. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:54 AM (#5624722)

Alas, French isn't all that interested in dossier politics, let alone the gyrations over the memos,
Maybe you should take that as a sign?
   672. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:55 AM (#5624723)
I come from a long line of misparsers.
   673. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:55 AM (#5624724)
A newly-discovered Gregorian calendar suggests that a "brief" meeting on January 5, 2017 may not have occurred during the 2016 general election.
Unlike someone here, I don't sneakily reword article excerpts to fit my agenda.

The previously undisclosed meeting in question looks to be just one more action designed to sabotage the new administration.
   674. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:57 AM (#5624725)
Maybe you should take that as a sign?
A sign of what? He doesn't handwave away the larger issue, like some here have, but mostly says it's premature to draw cut and dried conclusions.
   675. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:01 AM (#5624726)
(Yeah, I know he doesn't go as in depth in the legal analysis, but at least he's fair and reasonable.)
Meh. If you had remembered McCarthy's Trump collusion pieces from just a few months back, he wasn't always siding with the GOP, and even now takes potshots at Trumpkins.
   676. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:04 AM (#5624727)
I guess BrianBrianson has an ally regarding refugees in the White House - Trump Orders Refugee Resettlement Offices Closed

“Refugee resettlement agencies are preparing to shutter more than 20 offices across the United States and cut back operations in more than 40 others after the State Department told them to pare their operations,” according to plans seen by Reuters.


Congrats?

Nothing says American values like turning a cold shoulder I guess.
   677. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:07 AM (#5624729)
An update regarding North Dakota - North Dakota Senate Candidate Quits Race

North Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Gary Emineth (R) says he’s quitting the race because he expects Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) to challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp after all, the AP reports.

Emineth said he’s talked with Cramer several times in the past week and expects him to enter the race.
   678. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:11 AM (#5624730)
More news almost too obvious to write ... Trump creep: bad habits spread fast

The big picture: Trump’s lifelong habits — to improvise, to attack, to deny the undeniable, to leak — spread fast through the White House, metastasized in the agencies, and infected Republicans in Congress. They are Republican habits now.


And those leaks that Jason is periodically so concerned about, yeah about that ... "Axios' Jonathan Swan says the current level of leaking — much of it against Kelly — is almost as bad as it was when a good proportion of the White House staff was trying to kill Reince Priebus."

I bet Obama is to blame!
   679. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:21 AM (#5624731)
Not sure if it got mentioned but...

Poll: GOP gains on generic ballot, Trump approval ticks upward:
Republicans have erased the Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance.

Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, are undecided.

Voters are split almost evenly along party lines. Democratic voters break for their party, 85 percent to 5 percent, while Republicans similarly favor the GOP, 84 percent to 8 percent. Among independent voters, 26 percent would vote for the Democrat, 25 percent for the Republican and nearly half, 49 percent, are undecided.

The GOP’s 1-point advantage comes after three months of tracking in which Democrats maintained a lead ranging between 2 and 10 points on the generic ballot. That has been generally smaller than the party’s lead in other public surveys: The most recent RealClearPolitics average shows Democrats ahead by 7 points on the generic ballot, though that’s down from a high of 13 points late last year.

The new year has also produced a Trump polling bump. In the new poll, 47 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while the same percentage disapprove.
Hey, enthusiasm is still firmly on the side of Democrats but come on, these numbers are way up from just a short time ago.
   680. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:23 AM (#5624732)
Meh. If you had remembered McCarthy's Trump collusion pieces from just a few months back, he wasn't always siding with the GOP, and even now takes potshots at Trumpkins.
As I said, that's because his first instinct -- like Heather McDonald's -- is always to side with law enforcement. AFAICR, he never supported any sort of collusion narrative, though; he was just defending the process.
   681. ^^^ Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:25 AM (#5624734)
Siding with law enforcement was his first instinct in FISAgate, too -- but then the facts overpowered that instinct.
   682. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:28 AM (#5624735)
   683. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:31 AM (#5624736)
By the way, David will be thrilled to learn that McCarthy's latest explores why Judge Contreras recused himself. He also wonders why Contreras' replacement, Judge Sullivan, immediately filed an "order directing Mueller to provide Flynn with any evidence in the special counsel’s possession that is favorable to Flynn, whether on the issue of guilt or of sentencing," even though Flynn had already waived those rights.
   684. Lassus Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:32 AM (#5624737)
Hey, enthusiasm is still firmly on the side of Democrats but come on, these numbers are way up from just a short time ago.

This song has always sucked.
   685. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:39 AM (#5624738)
Another verse, same as the first ... Democrats Flip Another Legislative Seat

"<Blah> ... <blah> ... <blah> ... Trump carried the district by a 51% to 46% margin in 2016."
   686. Count Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:41 AM (#5624740)
We did intervne in Syria! It was part of Obama's pattern of getting more involved in undeclared wars around the world, which Trump has accelerated. I have no idea what more we were supposed to have done; send in a ton of a ground troops instead of a small amount? Even if Americans had the appetite for it, which of course we didn't after the Iraq war that is the most proximate cause of the Syria bloodshed, I don't know what credible side we could have supported (we did provide aid to supposed moderate groups; as best as I can tell the theory is that there was some sliver of time when if we had intervened forcefully the "moderates" would have won, a theory that people don't go into detail about because it's implausible and it's much easier to blame Obama instead of suggesting real alternatives to his policy). Note that our more significant intervention under Trump and our open ended commitment of troops there has not magically ended the war.
   687. manchestermets Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:49 AM (#5624743)
And Dancing Monkeys.


Speaking of which, I don't know how well known (or known at all) Viz Comic is in the US, but the current issue has a Trump strip in it. And this frame almost makes me wonder if the artist is a lurker here and has snuck in an Easter Egg especially for Joe Bivens.
   688. Count Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:52 AM (#5624745)
The Susan Rice story is a good example of trying to suggest wrongdoing without really explaining what was wrong. She documented a meeting right before leaving office. Why is that supposed to be bad?

Flynn pled guilty and has not tried to withdraw or change that plea since. The Trunp administration and campaign lied repeatedly about contacts and communications with Russia and lied about why Comey was fired. The response, instead of agreement that this pattern supports an investigation, are repeated attempts to throw #### against the wall to protect the president. (What happened to unmasking? Or the thousands of deleted texts?)
   689. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:55 AM (#5624748)
as best as I can tell the theory is that there was some sliver of time when if we had intervened forcefully the "moderates" would have won, a theory that people don't go into detail about because it's implausible and it's much easier to blame Obama instead of suggesting real alternatives to his policy).
Only an Obama diehard apologist would utter such nonsense. Even Obama's Syria advisor on Syria from 2009-11, Frederic Hof, and his ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, have blamed the former POTUS for what went wrong.
Note that our more significant intervention under Trump and our open ended commitment of troops there has not magically ended the war.
This isn't even a well thought-out straw man argument.
   690. Count Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:56 AM (#5624749)
Relevant, a new story that Trump is still unconvinced that Russia meddled. The reality is that Trump was happy that Russia interfered on his behalf and would be happy for them to do it again, and the GOP is covering for him.
   691. Count Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5624750)
Jesus JE if you think he should have done something differently lay it out instead of just alluding to what other people had said.
   692. ^^^ Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5624751)
She documented a meeting right before leaving office. Why is that supposed to be bad?


Because she wrote about the meeting 15 days later. And then used terms like things being done "by the book." When someone sees fit to write an email to themselves, 15 days after the event in question noting that things were being done "by the book," it is indeed, quite bizarre.

   693. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 08:58 AM (#5624753)
The Susan Rice story is a good example of trying to suggest wrongdoing without really explaining what was wrong. She documented a meeting right before leaving office. Why is that supposed to be bad?
Trump had just taken the oath of office and she was leaving the office for the very last time. What exactly was the point of sending a note to herself containing sensitive information contradicting both her former boss (see #663) and the FBI director (see #660)?
Flynn pled guilty and has not tried to withdraw or change that plea since. The Trunp administration and campaign lied repeatedly about contacts and communications with Russia and lied about why Comey was fired. The response, instead of agreement that this pattern supports an investigation, are repeated attempts to throw #### against the wall to protect the president. (What happened to unmasking? Or the thousands of deleted texts?)
One controversy at a time. Not to worry, we're getting there.
   694. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: February 14, 2018 at 09:04 AM (#5624755)
Jesus JE if you think he should have done something differently lay it out instead of just alluding to what other people had said.
I've spelled out my position at least a dozen times and argued at length with numerous folks here, from Obtuse Mouse on the left to Good Face on the right. Please let Google be your friend.
   695. Lassus Posted: February 14, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5624758)
Please let Google be your friend.

Of course, his would make sense if Google on this site wasn't total shite. I'm sure "JE Syria" will really help. Because you writing three sentences is too much work.
   696. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: February 14, 2018 at 09:09 AM (#5624760)
Not that we don't already know this, but John Edwards was an amateur.


Maybe it's a hair vanity thing...
   697. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 14, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5624764)
I've spelled out my position at least a dozen times and argued at length with numerous folks here, from Obtuse Mouse on the left to Good Face on the right. Please let Google be your friend.


Sort of. You have spent 1000x the number of words blaming Obama than you have any sort of alternate set of actions, and even then it does basically boil down to "Find some unicorn moderates, fund them, Victory!", which is less plausible now than it was then, or when that same "plan" has been deployed many many times in the past.

And fun fact! Syria is one of the few places that TGF and I come to a common accord (well as close as we ever do), so arguing with both TGF and I on Syria is not so impressive - both of us* think it was, is, and will be dumb to meddle militarily in such quagmires. We differ - shocking I know - in what non-military interventions we would support.

* Based on many discussions we have had in the past. If my memory has failed me, TGF has changed his mind, or I have misrepresented TGF's position, my apologies.

EDIT: It is a sign that Trump has owned the GOP that Jason can't actually refer to me without an insult. Oh well, I am getting used to the new GOP normal.
   698. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5624765)
By the way, David will be thrilled to learn that McCarthy's latest explores why Judge Contreras recused himself. He also wonders why Contreras' replacement, Judge Sullivan, immediately filed an "order directing Mueller to provide Flynn with any evidence in the special counsel’s possession that is favorable to Flynn, whether on the issue of guilt or of sentencing," even though Flynn had already waived those rights.
McCarthy is forced to admit that he has no idea what this means:
We now know that one of Judge Sullivan’s first actions on the case was to file an order directing Mueller to provide Flynn with any evidence in the special counsel’s possession that is favorable to Flynn, whether on the issue of guilt or of sentencing. Significantly, the order stresses that if Mueller has such evidence but believes it is not “material” and therefore that Flynn is not entitled to disclosure of it, Mueller must show the evidence to the court so that Judge Sullivan may decide whether to mandate its disclosure. Could this provide General Flynn with factual grounds of which he was previously unaware to seek to have his plea vacated?

Now, it could be that this is just Judge Sullivan’s standard order on exculpatory information, filed in every case over which he presides.
Of course, there's an easy way to find out. Why didn't McCarthy do it? (I didn't do it either, but I'm not being paid to provide informed legal analysis.) Nevertheless, despite the fact that I haven't looked it up, I know the answer: yes, this is Judge Sullivan's standard order. And you know how I know that? Because I know Judge Sullivan's history. (McCarthy must, too.) Specifically, Judge Sullivan was burned once on this issue. He presided over the Ted Stevens trial, in which prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence left and right. And yet Sullivan was rendered powerless to do anything to them about it, because he hadn't issued such an order. Worse, he was tricked into not issuing the order. The Stevens team filed a motion requesting that Sullivan issue an order requiring them to turn over all Brady material, and the prosecutors assured Sullivan that the order wasn't needed since they knew their obligations already. So he didn't issue the order. Then, later, when it turned out that they had violated Brady, their response was, "You can't hold us in contempt because you had never ordered us to do it."


(Even if I didn't know the history, if you look at the order -- which McCarthy must have, since he linked to it -- it's clearly a boilerplate order. It's not tailored to the facts of this case in any way, and it's issued sua sponte.)
   699. ^^^ Posted: February 14, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5624766)
The scandal in the Flynn situation is that Yates rushed the FBI in to interview him about perfectly legitimate conversations he had with foreign counterparts as incoming NSA, under the absurd pretense that he had been "compromised" by the Russians.

The absurdity of her statements on this is not remotely appropriately appreciated. They're batshit insane.
   700. ^^^ Posted: February 14, 2018 at 09:28 AM (#5624769)
Still no reason to read anything into the judge switch, or the sentencing delay.

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