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Monday, April 16, 2018

OTP 2018 Apr 16: Beto strikes out but is a hit at baseball fundraiser

“I guarantee you he didn’t just get three pitches and three strikes like his old man,” said O’Rourke.

He can afford a laugh, since he has dusted Cruz in fundraising by taking in an eye-popping $6.7 million in the first three months of this year. That’s more than twice the $3.2 million gathered by Cruz, whose tally counted money from multiple campaign entities including a political action committee.

O’Rourke won’t take PAC money, a stand that’s expected to put him at a fundraising disadvantage as the general election nears. He said Saturday that he and his supporters are “doing this 100 percent the right way. There are no political action committees, no corporations.

 

“It’s just the people, the people of Texas, and you all look awesome,” O’Rourke told supporters who filled The Long Time grounds with a laid-back vibe as they sipped beer, wine, lemonade or water, sitting on blankets, a small stand of bleachers and scattered chairs; children and amiable dogs milling around.

(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: April 16, 2018 at 08:18 AM | 1328 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, politics, strikeouts, texas

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   101. Ray (CTL) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:30 PM (#5654947)
The FBI is not supposed to make decisions of prosecutorial discretion, of the phony kind Comey outlined. That's Justice's role. The lawyers at Justice do not defer on legal questions and decisions re prosecution to FBI agents; indeed, the idea is preposterous.


Indeed. The system is not set up for that. The FBI has a role. The DOJ has a role. The individuals at the FBI and the DOJ have different roles and expertise. Jim Comey was not the AG, and neither he nor Lynch had any business having him act as such.
   102. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:34 PM (#5654952)
Moreover, you have pulled an Andy, changing the topic.

I can't help but laugh at the way you keep invoking my name even in cases where I agree 100% with the point you're making. I'm beginning to think you're just envious because you've yet to learn how to drive with your knee.

   103. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5654954)
The Washington Times is absolute trash. Who is hell is this guy anyways?

Looks a bit like Scott Brosius, though as a fan of all True Yankees I sure hope I'm wrong.
   104. Count Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5654959)


Lynch might as well have been speaking on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

Note:

Lynch had to recuse herself because the public was aware that she had compromised her partiality in favor of Hillary.

That left it to Comey, who has now admitted that he was basing his actions (subconsciously!) on the polling.

Thus professionalism was in short supply. Getting people at the DOJ and the FBI to handle this in a professional manner was too tall an order. To say nothing of Strzok/Page.

But for the TDSers... nothing to see here. It never is.


You're pointing out that the FBI acted inappropriately in ways that hurt Clinton and may have swung the election, which plenty of Democrats have been saying since the election - and you think "for the TDSers" there's nothing to see here? What the hell are you talking about? If you think the FBI was unfair to *Trump* during the campaign you should say so. Instead like JE you're just throwing a bunch of #### out there and being smug about it as if your position has been vindicated when the opposite happened.
   105. Count Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:42 PM (#5654961)
I did speak narrowly but my point was broader than that.


What does this mean? There wasn't a constitutional violation - I think maybe you mean to argue that Comey violated departmental guidelines (though you aren't saying how he did it) which was in your view immoral.

   106. Ray (CTL) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5654968)
Money having nothing to do with anything? Hannity reasonably assuming anything? Not sure which of David's statements are more laughable.

But of course he is right about payment not being required to cause an attorney-client privilege to attach. A statement made when considering whether to retain an attorney is privileged as are statements made by pro bono clients and clients whose fees are paid by third parties such as when an insurance company defends Andy for causing a wreck while driving with his knees.


If the person paid the lawyer for the lawyer's advice then that would be evidence pointing in the direction of an attorney-client relationship. So, no, whether money exchanged hands is not irrelevant. Though I took David's point to simply be that the issue doesn't turn on whether money exchanged hands, and that even if money didn't exchange hands an a-c relationship could still be in place.
   107. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:58 PM (#5654982)
and that even if money didn't exchange hands an a-c relationship could still be in place.


I get that, but Hannity can't have it both ways. He can't claim Cohen was never his lawyer, but his conversations should be privileged. It's either both or none.
   108. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5655012)

Currently there is a "radioactive plume" of material this leaking towards the Columbia. While levels in the river itself are not worrying there is a chance that within the next 5-15 years the plume will make it to the river and be carried downstream. Obviously this is an intolerable outcome for Oregon and Washington and there is concern that the DoE is not up to the task of cleaning up the waste.



Have you no faith in Rick Perry?
   109. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:01 PM (#5655028)
Twitter and the internet react to the news that Sean Hannity is Michael Cohen's mystery "Client Number 3."
Suzanne Aubin
This is like yahtzee on the first roll.

Jules Suzdaltsev
Really looking forward to Sean Hannity's show tonight, which is slated to be an in depth look at [checks notes]... Monica Lewinsky?

Jason O. Gilbert
Tonight on Hannity: Is Hillary Clinton's email server causing Sharia law to break out in sanctuary cities? Colin Kaepernick.

Tim Carvell
(Sean Hannity furiously googles whether Judge Kimba Wood ever co-hosted “The Man Show”.)

Asawin Suebsaeng
Sean Hannity being a client of Michael Cohen’s while also doing a bunch of segments on the raid, etc. without disclosing he’s been a client of Cohen’s is honestly not even cracking the top-3 most professionally/journalistically problematic things Hannity has been doing since 2016

Mike Drucker
‏I know it's easy for all of us to make fun of Sean Hannity, but please remember that he pushed a conspiracy theory that forced the parents of a murdered man to beg him to stop so fuck him, fuck him in his dead lego face

Rex Huppke
All I ask is that everyone treat Sean Hannity with the same measured respect that he would treat any political journalist if it was revealed that journalist had once been represented in a minor traffic dispute by one of Barack Obama's attorneys.

Karen Chee
Ending with Sean Hannity is a spot on use of the rule of 3's

Josh Marshall
Look if Hannity was Cohens client I’m sure it had something to do with mundane estate planning issues.

Brian Krassenstein
‏I am proud to announce that 67% of Michael Cohen's clients have me blocked on Twitter!!!

Oliver123
Getting an awful lot of reminders from Trumpanzees about Trump's electoral college win back in Nov. 2016.

Dave Holmes
CNN: Michael Cohen's third client is Sean Hannity.
MSNBC: Michael Cohen's third client is Sean Hannity.
Fox News: This baby goat looks like James Cromwell.

Mike Drucker
Thoughts and prayers to whoever fucked Sean Hannity

Gabriella Paiella
I truly can’t wait for the day we find out the pee tape is real.

Stefan Heck
Reports indicate Sean Hannity may have had an improper relationship with a "Ruth Chris," meeting with this mysterious woman upwards of 15 times a week. More on this as it develops.

Bridget McKenna
But just to be clear, all communications with this guy who isn't your lawyer are still covered under attorney-client privilege, right?

Eric Garland
"I did not have legal relations with that lawyer."

And this image from somebody.

And this tweet from Scott Tobias.

And this tweet from Krister Johnson.
   110. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:06 PM (#5655030)
. . . but Hannity can't have it both ways. He can't claim Cohen was never his lawyer, but his conversations should be privileged. It's either both or none.

No, as someone here said before, a person could consult (even informally) with an attorney about whether he should bring a claim or hire an attorney, and their conversation could be privileged. People may have different views as to whether that interaction makes the person consulted your lawyer, or just a lawyer helping you obtain legal assistance in a manner protected by the confidentiality privilege.
   111. greenback slays lewks Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:08 PM (#5655032)
(Sean Hannity furiously googles whether Judge Kimba Wood ever co-hosted “The Man Show”.)

Shouldn't he complain about Judge Wood's rather well-known support for illegal immigrants. Or maybe she can't be fair, because she was a Playboy bunny BITD.

Man, I remember some useless #### from the 1990s.
   112. OCF Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:10 PM (#5655033)
Maddow on her show decided the news of the day was worth a Hunter Thompson qoute: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
   113. Morty Causa Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:14 PM (#5655034)
110

Irrelevant and immaterial.
   114. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:24 PM (#5655037)
No


Yes.

Are you really arguing that one can claim that:

a) This person was never my lawyer. And

b) my conversations with him should be subject to lawyer-client privilege.

It just doesn't follow.
   115. Ray (CTL) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:43 PM (#5655043)
You're pointing out that the FBI acted inappropriately in ways that hurt Clinton and may have swung the election, which plenty of Democrats have been saying since the election - and you think "for the TDSers" there's nothing to see here? What the hell are you talking about? If you think the FBI was unfair to *Trump* during the campaign you should say so. Instead like JE you're just throwing a bunch of #### out there and being smug about it as if your position has been vindicated when the opposite happened.


I said that Lynch and Comey were (a) unprofessional and (b) incompetent. Lynch was also -- to take it a step further -- biased in favor of Hillary ("Let's call this a matter," which calls into question her story about the Bill Clinton tarmac meeting). That's before you even get to McCabe's unprofessionalism (putting his interests above the public's in making his statement to the media) and his potential criminal false statements. And it's before you get to Strzok/Page.

Here I'm not even getting into which of Trump and Hillary benefited more from the maze of unprofessionalism and incompetence. It's just one big clusterfeck. And yet we're constantly told how respectable these institutions are -- the DOJ, the FBI... and what we learn the closer we look is that the people running these institutions and investigations are self-beclowning. Trump has destroyed their credibility? They've destroyed their own credibility. We were told at the beginning that Comey was a man of utmost integrity. That has not been borne out by the facts. (Nor is there anything that should place these institutions above reproach in the first place; politicians and the media and defense lawyers attack these institutions all the time.) People really don't have their heads on straight here.
   116. greenback slays lewks Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:47 PM (#5655044)
We were told at the beginning that Comey was a man of utmost integrity.

His integrity is fine. It's his judgment that awful.

You can resume your usual, lazy TDS spiel.
   117. Ray (CTL) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:55 PM (#5655045)
Indeed, if a lawyer meets with someone (e.g., for the purposes of a free consultation) and provides that person with advice on whether to bring a claim, what the chances of success are, what the issues are, and how much it would cost, etc., that conversation is understood to be confidential -- even if one or both parties decide not to proceed further with each other.

Now, beyond what I've stated in this thread I'm not clear on all of the intricacies of the scope of the attorney-client privilege or confidential communications so there could well be other relevant aspects of this that I haven't touched on.
   118. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:57 PM (#5655046)
Yes

Remind us again, where did you go to law school, and what state are you admitted in?

The issue doesn't turn on what your opinion is of Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, or Sean Hannity. I explained the issue in #110, as did Ray in #117, and David touched on it on the previous page. You haven't addressed any of the substance, just stubbornly insisted your lay opinion is controlling. It isn't.
   119. tshipman Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:59 PM (#5655047)
His integrity is fine. It's his judgment that awful.


This is the real takeaway.

Comey made a bunch of decisions that kinda sorta make sense if you twist yourself into a pretzel. He kept on relying on his judgment rather than following the correct process.

Process says to refer the case to Justice and let them handle prosecution decisions? Nope, because of all these special circumstances, including Russian propaganda about Lynch that he knew to be false, Comey decides to give a granstanding speech to Congress.
Process says minimize editorializing when discussing cases? Nope, because Comey decides that people need to be reassured of his integrity, he launches into a diatribe where he tries to parse "extremely careless" from "gross negligence."
Process says don't discuss anything within 60 days of an election? Nope, because someone might leak the information to the press.
Sign a letter condemning Russian involvement in the election? Nope, because enough other agencies signed it that Americans would think it's credible enough to not need his signature.
Have an investigation open on both campaigns? Only talk about one publicly because one was referred publicly and the other came from a diplomatic source.


All along the way you can kinda see the basis for each individual decision. It's when you zoom out and look at the totality that you realize he would have been much better off just following process and playing things by the book rather than substituting his own judgment.

Of course, then James Comey wouldn't be a household name ...
   120. Ray (CTL) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:08 AM (#5655048)
The issue doesn't turn on what your opinion is of Donald Trump or Sean Hannity.


This is how the media and the lay people here do legal analysis:

"Do I like Trump? No. Thus my legal conclusion is X."

"Do I like Hillary? Yes. Thus my legal conclusion is Not-X."
   121. tshipman Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:13 AM (#5655049)
This is how the media and the Ray people here do legal analysis:



FTFY.
   122. Morty Causa Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:16 AM (#5655050)
Dershowitz jumped Hannity's case about not disclosing his relationship with Cohen. Hannity's justification is the definition of lame.
   123. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:23 AM (#5655052)
I did a quick edit to #118, but Ray was even quicker and quoted the original version in his #120, in case anyone was wondering. Substance is the same, either way.
   124. Count Posted: April 17, 2018 at 01:07 AM (#5655055)
Conversations you have with an attorney who is investigating your case or giving you a consultation are privileged. I also don't see why you would believe Hannity; if it's true that Cohen did nothing of substance for him then why would Comey's lawyer bring up Cohen having three clients? That would be damaging Cohen's (allegedly non) client just to help with a longshot motion. (And in any event this is all kind of tangential to the main point, which is that it's hilarious Hannity was the mystery client.)
   125. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2018 at 01:14 AM (#5655057)
Judd Legum noted Hannity's afternoon reaction in real time:
Hannity's radio show, scheduled to start at 3PM is a train wreck.

First 10 mins was music and clips of the Comey interview.

Then Hannity came on and said they'd continue to play the Comey interview while he thought about whether to say something.

But Hannity had his story straight by the start of his Monday night show.
   126. Count Posted: April 17, 2018 at 01:15 AM (#5655058)
I said that Lynch and Comey were (a) unprofessional and (b) incompetent. Lynch was also -- to take it a step further -- biased in favor of Hillary ("Let's call this a matter," which calls into question her story about the Bill Clinton tarmac meeting). That's before you even get to McCabe's unprofessionalism (putting his interests above the public's in making his statement to the media) and his potential criminal false statements. And it's before you get to Strzok/Page.

Here I'm not even getting into which of Trump and Hillary benefited more from the maze of unprofessionalism and incompetence. It's just one big clusterfeck. And yet we're constantly told how respectable these institutions are -- the DOJ, the FBI... and what we learn the closer we look is that the people running these institutions and investigations are self-beclowning. Trump has destroyed their credibility? They've destroyed their own credibility. We were told at the beginning that Comey was a man of utmost integrity. That has not been borne out by the facts. (Nor is there anything that should place these institutions above reproach in the first place; politicians and the media and defense lawyers attack these institutions all the time.) People really don't have their heads on straight here.


Strzok/Page shouldn't have had an affair over work phones, which shows poor judgment. There's nothing else there, which is why you're just handwaiving toward them. I agree Comey showed poor judgment (and McCabe may have; although I don't really care about leaking in general it was very inappropriate for McCabe to contribute to that anti-Hillary story in the interest of self-preservation). Don't know enough about what Lynch did or didn't do to have a strong opinion- seems more like possible appearance of impropriety territory more than any actual evidence of impropriety.

You're not getting into which of Trump and Hillary benefited more because Trump was the beneficiary, as Democrats have been saying since the campaign. As we all know Trump doesn't give a #### about unprofessional or inappropriate behavior by the FBI if he benefits. You were told from the beginning that the FBI weighing in favor of Trump wasn't the reason Trump attacked the FBI and fired Comey. There's no hypocrisy in criticizing Trump for obstructing an investigation. Liberals have been critical of the FBI for decades, but it's not like Trump wants to reform the FBI in a positive direction; he just wants an agency that will protect him and go after his opponents. Hell he calls for imprisoning people who investigated him so often that it's barely a story anymore (he did it several times in the last week!). He wants to be an authoritarian. Everybody knows it. You should not be blase about it or cheer him on.
   127. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: April 17, 2018 at 01:49 AM (#5655060)
Nothing Comey did, or how unprofessionally he may have been when he did it, obviates anything Mueller has found. And prosecuted.

Similarly, nothing HRC has ever done obviates any fool thing Trump did/does.

   128. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 04:55 AM (#5655066)
Shouldn't he complain about Judge Wood's rather well-known support for illegal immigrants. Or maybe she can't be fair, because she was a Playboy bunny BITD.
Oh, poor, sad, you. You don't think these things through at all. MAGA Twitter found a much more juicy target: Kimba Wood ... officiated at (((Soros's))) wedding. (To quote the late¹, great, Dave Barry: I Am Not Making This Up.)




¹Okay, technically he's not dead, but Harry Anderson is, so close enough.
   129. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 05:07 AM (#5655067)
Are you really arguing that one can claim that:

a) This person was never my lawyer. And

b) my conversations with him should be subject to lawyer-client privilege.

It just doesn't follow.
No, actually, it does. You come into my office, and say, "I have a legal problem. I want to sue Ray for harming me by making such bad arguments on OTP." I ask you some questions about your situation, find out what your purported damages are, etc. After a brief consultation, I explain that while I sympathize with you, the law doesn't actually support such a claim. As bad as Ray's pro-Trump arguments are, they don't rise to the level of intentional infliction of emotional distress, and "pretending not to support Trump while actually doing so enthusiastically" isn't currently a cause of action. You thank me for my time and go on your way to see if FLTB will represent you in a fake courtroom. Both of the following are true:

1) I was never your lawyer.
2) Our conversation is protected by attorney-client privilege.

That's because you had a conversation with me for the purpose of securing legal advice, but you never actually retained my services.


EDIT: Cokes.
   130. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2018 at 05:33 AM (#5655070)
Sarah Huckabee Sanders' tweet from this past Saturday night:
Last night the President put our adversaries on notice: when he draws a red line he enforces it. (Inside the Situation Room as President is briefed on Syria - Official WH photos by Shealah Craighead)
Sanders' accompanying photograph shows Trump and his advisers, sternly and resolutely in command during the previous night's missile attack on Syria.

As you can see, the briefing apparently included Vice President Mike Pence doing his best imitation of Luke Skywalker fighting Kylo Ren on the salt flats in "The Last Jedi"... since Pence was actually in Lima, Peru, not Washington. But what's 3,500 miles here or there for the truth teller Huckasanders?
   131. Ishmael Posted: April 17, 2018 at 06:31 AM (#5655073)
A late comment on Thank God for the Atomic Bomb, which was mentioned in the previous thread. I think there’s a bit of an elision of two positions that goes on, perhaps intentionally, in TGFTAB. The first is that dropping the atomic bombs was the right thing to do. The second is that we shouldn’t blame those who made the decision, or who defend it. Those are not quite the same thing.

It is true that you can’t escape the context of the decision, the unavoidable moral depravity that was the Second World War. And Fussel isn’t disingenuous about the nature of that, either. He talks colourfully about Japanese atrocities, but he doesn’t shrink from American atrocities either.

There’s always a point in any discussion of the moral case for the atomic bombs where the person arguing for the bombing says that the Japanese would have defended the home islands to the last man (and woman and child). As E.B. Sledge puts it, quoted by Fussel: “It would shock the American public and the world. [Every Japanese] soldier, civilian, woman, and child would fight to the death with whatever weapons they had, ride, grenade, or bamboo spear.”

Often unstated but implicit in that argument is that the US Army would have killed every Japanese soldier, civilian, woman, and child, hand to hand if necessary, in order to extract the correct terms of surrender from the Japanese government. Whether or not that’s true, that’s the insane context you have to inhabit in order to consider dropping an atomic bomb.

Also, the elevation of the perspective of frontline soldiers over armchair theorizing in TGFTAB does reminds me of Roger Fisher’s suggestion for nuclear deterrence:
My suggestion was quite simple: Put that needed code number in a little capsule, and then implant that capsule right next to the heart of a volunteer. The volunteer would carry with him a big, heavy butcher knife as he accompanied the President. If ever the President wanted to fire nuclear weapons, the only way he could do so would be for him first, with his own hands, to kill one human being. The President says, “George, I’m sorry but tens of millions must die.” He has to look at someone and realize what death is—what an innocent death is. Blood on the White House carpet. It’s reality brought home.

When I suggested this to friends in the Pentagon they said, “My God, that’s terrible. Having to kill someone would distort the President’s judgment. He might never push the button.“
   132. -- Posted: April 17, 2018 at 07:01 AM (#5655074)
If you think the FBI was unfair to *Trump* during the campaign you should say so.


???

The FBI bugged his campaign on a pretext.
   133. -- Posted: April 17, 2018 at 07:02 AM (#5655075)
If the person paid the lawyer for the lawyer's advice then that would be evidence pointing in the direction of an attorney-client relationship. So, no, whether money exchanged hands is not irrelevant. Though I took David's point to simply be that the issue doesn't turn on whether money exchanged hands, and that even if money didn't exchange hands an a-c relationship could still be in place.


The "party" example is a little more complicated than is being let on. The privilege is waived if the communication is made in the presence of third parties. So if you ask for legal advice in a group of eight people drinking martinis at a party, the communication isn't privileged.
   134. -- Posted: April 17, 2018 at 07:07 AM (#5655077)
Instead like JE you're just throwing a bunch of #### out there and being smug about it as if your position has been vindicated when the opposite happened.


??

The breakdown of responsibilities between FBI and DOJ is exactly as I typed and Ray quoted. One investigates, the other prosecutes. The idea of an AUSA deferring to an FBI agent for legal/prosecutorial decisions is beyond comical.(*) Doesn't happen, isn't intended to happen, makes no sense, is ridiculous.

What would you say if Mueller -- of lower rank than Lynch -- came out and said, "I'm just going to leave all my decisions in the Russia investigation to Christopher Wray. Whatever he wants is just super swell with me"?

Absurd on its face, right?

(*) Most FBI agents aren't even lawyers. They're cops. Prosecutors don't have cops decide what to do with cases.
   135. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2018 at 07:16 AM (#5655080)
We're one week away from the logically forgotten special election in Arizona's 8th district.

Republicans most recently won the seat by 37% and 52%. Trump won the district by 21%. The median voter age is 68. The district is 88% white.

It's served as Sheriff Joe Arpaio's suburban power base. It includes the heavily conservative Sun City retirement community, where most of the residents are on a permanent early voting list. The Cook Political Report describes the area as having "no Democratic heritage." Republican registered voters outnumber Democrats 41% to 24%. More than half the expected ballots have already been cast, with Republican registrants accounting for 49% of those (compared to 27% Democrats).

And the GOP has sunk over $600,000 in late money into the district, to "get out the vote." Speaker for Life Paul Ryan is flying in to headline a campaign fundraiser tomorrow.

I wonder what the historical average is for how much it should cost to hold a seat like this? How about for eight months?
   136. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 07:43 AM (#5655082)
The breakdown of responsibilities between FBI and DOJ is exactly as I typed and Ray quoted. One investigates, the other prosecutes. The idea of an AUSA deferring to an FBI agent for legal/prosecutorial decisions is beyond comical.(*) Doesn't happen, isn't intended to happen, makes no sense, is ridiculous.
As always, FLTB is disingenuous. Comey is not "an FBI agent." He was the director of the FBI. And not only was he not "an FBI agent" when Lynch deferred to him, but he never was an FBI agent. He's an attorney. A former US Attorney. And a former Deputy Attorney General. So, no, there's nothing "comical" about Lynch deferring to him. Or "ridiculous." Or "absurd." (I always love how FLTB has so little content to his thoughts that he needs to repeat himself, but with the aid of a thesaurus.) Comey's experienced at, and eminently qualified to, make prosecutorial decisions, unlike a "cop."


(Wray, of course, is also a lawyer, former AUSA, and AAG. So, again, no, not "absurd" for him to make such a decision.)
   137. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 17, 2018 at 07:54 AM (#5655083)
1) I was never your lawyer.
2) Our conversation is protected by attorney-client privilege.

That's because you had a conversation with me for the purpose of securing legal advice, but you never actually retained my services.



I actually get this, but it does seem weird to then refer to me as your client in a legal document though, doesn't it? Because wasn't Hannity referred to as a client? I mean I don't really care either way honestly, but that struck me as a bit odd.
   138. -- Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:01 AM (#5655084)
As always, FLTB is disingenuous. Comey is not "an FBI agent." He was the director of the FBI. And not only was he not "an FBI agent" when Lynch deferred to him, but he never was an FBI agent. He's an attorney. A former US Attorney. And a former Deputy Attorney General. So, no, there's nothing "comical" about Lynch deferring to him. Or "ridiculous." Or "absurd." (I always love how FLTB has so little content to his thoughts that he needs to repeat himself, but with the aid of a thesaurus.) Comey's experienced at, and eminently qualified to, make prosecutorial decisions, unlike a "cop."


So am I. Doesn't mean that's my role in the process.

DOJ is the nation's prosecutorial office. End of story. The FBI investigates and advises -- it's competent to advise (*), certainly, both generally at the agent level and in senior management -- but it does not decide.

Wray, of course, is also a lawyer, former AUSA, and AAG. So, again, no, not "absurd" for him to make such a decision.


Yes, it would be absurd for Mueller to announce that he's just going to defer to Wray's decisions. And comical. And ridiculous. All three simultaneously and separately.

(*) And sometimes it's not particularly competent to advise and must be domesticated -- again a job for lawyer-prosecutors.
   139. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:12 AM (#5655087)
Telling SBB when his phraseology is ill-chosen is like telling an attention-seeking 6-year-old at the supermarket that it's not nice to keep saying "penis." In both cases, the immediate response is always "penis penis penis penis penis!!!"
   140. Lassus Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:12 AM (#5655088)
The A/C privilege for unpaid legal advice makes perfect sense to me; however it seems apparent that someone between Hannity and Cohen was totally not being honest with themselves about where that relationship was going and who was more into it.
   141. McCoy Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:14 AM (#5655089)
re 131. Japan was ready to surrender months before the dropping of the Atomic bomb. The sticking point was the Emperor and what America was going to do with it. Once that issue was resolved via back channels and Japan's last hope for holding out was removed (Russia declared war and invaded Japanese territory) the Japanese surrendered.
   142. McCoy Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:16 AM (#5655090)
If I had to guess I would guess that Cohen was Hannity's backchannel for Trump. I think if all would be revealed that at the very least some very unethical things went on and that a principled news channel would have to terminate Hannity's contract.
   143. Lassus Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:24 AM (#5655093)
If I had to guess I would guess that Cohen was Hannity's backchannel for Trump.

This made sense at first, but then I found myself wondering for what purpose? Did they even need a backchannel? Hadn't they each already talked about being buds? Do either of them have any interests or opinions or methods of operation between the two of them that aren't broadcast?

Again, it does follow, sorta, it just seems kinda pointless for them, the way each of them have acted.
   144. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:28 AM (#5655094)
Sean Hannity has been at Mar-a-Lago, and at the White House, and there have been reports of Hannity advising Trump on things like the Nunes memo.

It's simpler to assume Stupid Occam had a side piece.
   145. Lassus Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:39 AM (#5655096)
It would actually be funny if it really was just four or five shitty apartment buildings on Colvin in Denver or something.
   146. BrianBrianson Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:44 AM (#5655098)
It's of course possible Cohen just did a free consultation or two with Hannity. How likely you think that is is going to be informed by your priors, which'll probably come from your own political biases. Unless you're actually seeing the documents, it's probably best to reserve any certainty in your guess - the FBI has the documents, so I expect we'll find out the truth pretty soon.
   147. McCoy Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:52 AM (#5655100)

This made sense at first, but then I found myself wondering for what purpose? Did they even need a backchannel? Hadn't they each already talked about being buds? Do either of them have any interests or opinions or methods of operation between the two of them that aren't broadcast?

Again, it does follow, sorta, it just seems kinda pointless for them, the way each of them have acted.


If I had to guess I would say they watched too much TV and were going for deniability on certain things. Wouldn't surprise me if Trump was feeding Hannity information via Cohen and they all thought, "well, if I go through Cohen I can say I didn't tell X directly and Cohen gives C/A protection".
   148. -- Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5655102)
Telling SBB when his phraseology is ill-chosen is like telling an attention-seeking 6-year-old at the supermarket that it's not nice to keep saying "penis." In both cases, the immediate response is always "penis penis penis penis penis!!!"


You're his target demographic.
   149. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5655105)
It's of course possible Cohen just did a free consultation or two with Hannity. How likely you think that is is going to be informed by your priors, which'll probably come from your own political biases. Unless you're actually seeing the documents, it's probably best to reserve any certainty in your guess - the FBI has the documents, so I expect we'll find out the truth pretty soon.


Sure -

Remember that this all came up because last Friday, Cohen's attorneys were arguing to squelch lots of seized documents because of potential harm to some (maybe YUGE! but unspecified!) number of clients... Prosecutors - and the judge - were skeptical and upon questioning from the judge, responded with mumble, mumble could be bazillions mumble golly we don't know mumble mumble. Hence, the order to talk to their client so they could present the list Monday.

Hannity might well just be 'padding'... though, you'd think someone would have reached out to Hannity and said "hey buddy... we need to add you a list-thanks, bye!"

Though, in such a case, you'd think they'd do more padding -- given the stories they were telling Friday about super-attorney Cohen and all his clients.

In any case, I am stocking up big time on popcorn... I cannot imagine this sort of raid being conducted if an indictment weren't in Cohen future, and if even half - or just a quarter - of the sleazy #### that's long been alleged about Cohen is true, he's probably looking at some serious charges that come with lengthy prison terms.

Sing like a bird? Or wait for the (so long as Trump remains in office, inevitable) pardon? The problem with the latter is that you gotta figure an actual trial may not happen until next year. I suppose Trump - if he's suicidal about his Presidency - could just whip out the pardon pen before Cohen gets convicted...
   150. Lassus Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:02 AM (#5655106)
You're his target demographic.

I don't think Gonfalon is an aging academic Progressive who thinks the 60s were the height of racial harmony in America, or a trucker, or a hedge fund dude.

Your newest catch phrase makes absolutely no sense, though, so at least you're consistent. There's joy in repetition, as the late, great Prince wrote*




*Prince was probably writing about something else. (But anyone who can name the album without looking it up wins a no-prize.)
   151. -- Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5655109)
I don't think Gonfalon is an aging academic Progressive who thinks the 60s were the height of racial harmony in America, or a trucker, or a hedge fund dude.


So? He's still the target demographic. Biased and prone to inability to distinguish between (a) qualified for a job; and (b) having a job. The Pedantic Dilettante depends on that kind of slackthink and targets it.(*)

As has been made abundantly clear, a few of us know better.

(*) And then when he gets caught, reverts to the usual "troll," "fake lawyer," etc. He's still very much smarting from being exposed and from the resulting damage to his self-image.
   152. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:16 AM (#5655111)
Lassus to SBB, #150:
You're his target demographic.

I don't think Gonfalon is an aging academic Progressive who thinks the 60s were the height of racial harmony in America, or a trucker, or a hedge fund dude.
Your newest catch phrase makes absolutely no sense, though, so at least you're consistent.

I believe this to be the converse of Donald Trump asking Russia to find Hillary's 30,000 emails-- I think SBB was actually making a joke. Yes, the original reference is senselessly inane. But this particular repetition of the inanity was an effort at humor.

[EDIT: Or maybe not. #151: "As has been made abundantly clear, a few of us know better." Too bad it's not abundantly clear who SBB is even talking about-- me or David.]
   153. Greg Pope Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5655112)
Let it never be said that the Blagojeviches aren't politically savvy:

Patti Blagojevich appeared on FOX's "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Monday, a network President Donald Trump has openly said he's likely to watch. After the U.S. Supreme Court chose not to hear her husband, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, appeal his corruption sentencing, Patti said they will have to find another way to secure her husband's freedom. "If you could speak to the president, what would you say?" Carlson asked Illinois' former first lady. "What would be your pitch to pardoning your husband."

"My husband probably is the only person in U.S. history who got sentenced for asking for campaign contributions,"
"He never took bribe or kickbacks, never made promises to contributors for acts. Never took gifts, trips, cars, watches, that other governors have been convicted of, yet he serves sentence twice as long as anyone else."

Trump and the former Illinois governor are tied to reality TV from Blagojevich's stint on trump's celebrity apprentice show in 2010.


She knows the best way to get a pardon is to go on Fox News and talk about how innocent her husband is and how unfairly he's been treated. This is where we're at.
   154. -- Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:19 AM (#5655113)
Yes, the original reference is senselessly inane. But this particular repetition of the inanity was an effort at humor.


Generically speaking, the truth can sometimes be quite funny.

And of course, the "original reference" isn't remotely "senselessly inane," other than by interested proclamation -- anymore than the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme characters on SNL's The Sinatra Group were "senselessly inane."
   155. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:29 AM (#5655119)
I think SBB was actually making a joke. Yes, the original reference is senselessly inane. But this particular repetition of the inanity was an effort at humor.


Occasionally - when bored - I try to read Stretchy completely straight and assume he is being an honest, forthright poster and everyone else is a dumb troll. The world is really really different in that universe, let me tell you.
   156. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5655123)
What a delight that SBB edited his post (#154) to add this topper, as if it powerfully reinforces his super true original reference:
- - anymore than the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme characters on SNL's The Sinatra Group were "senselessly inane."
   157. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5655124)
She knows the best way to get a pardon is to go on Fox News and talk about how innocent her husband is and how unfairly he's been treated.

I think the next guest on Fox News should be this innocent guardian of private property:

Goat, Standing Guard Over Crap Game, Butts Two Interfering Policemen
   158. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5655125)
GOP Tax Law Is Getting Less Popular

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that the tax-cut law, never broadly popular, has sagged in public esteem lately. Just 27% of Americans call it a good idea, while 36% call it a bad idea and the rest have no opinion.

“Moreover, a majority gives thumbs-down on the plan when asked to consider its potential effects. Just 39% foresee a positive impact from a stronger economy, more jobs and more money in their pockets; 53% foresee a negative impact from higher deficits and disproportionate benefits for the wealthy and big corporations.”

New York Times: No one’s talking about the new tax law.


Looking at the various polling and recent elections and other recent events it is kind of strange. Everything is trending against the GOP except Trump approval and the generic ballot, which are still bad but stable or drifting to the right. At this point I am just not sure what to make of it, unless the snap back is the GOP base circling the wagons in the face of doom, and that effect is causing the contrary motion in some of the polls.

Anyway, I suspect it will become more clear by July or August, since election season will be in full swing by then; and all the snow might have melted by then. /bitter about the terrible spring.
   159. -- Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5655126)
Too bad it's not abundantly clear who SBB is even talking about-- me or David.


Oh, it's perfectly clear -- the people who aren't biased and who are able to distinguish between qualified for a job and having a job. Neither you nor "David" fall in that category -- as the thread has made abundantly clear.

More broadly, some people are his gulled target demographic, and some people know he's gulling a target demographic. It's also abundantly clear who falls into those categories.
   160. Lassus Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5655127)
EDIT: Or maybe not.

Fake humor expert!
   161. -- Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5655128)
What a delight that SBB edited his post (#154) to add this topper, as if it powerfully reinforces his super true original reference:
- - anymore than the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme characters on SNL's The Sinatra Group were "senselessly inane."


Interested proclamation.

Still not convincing.

Sorry.
   162. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5655129)
Let it never be said that the Blagojeviches aren't politically savvy:


Let's not confuse political savvy with the unique ability of piles of sleaze in human form having the unique capability to smell their own.

Frankly, I'm surprised it took this long.... Blago is inherently a Trump kind of guy - even before remembering his reality TV turn with him and as an added bonus, he had a decidedly frosty relationship with Obama before Obama even became President. Being laughed out of the room when he made insinuations about wishing for a cabinet post and then, later, ignored in his requests for clemency or pardon did not improve that relationship.

It's a match made in heaven. I fully expect Trump to pardon Blago at some point... and then I also fully expect Blago to get a show on Fox where he'll become the exemplar of "See? Even Democrats like Trump!"
   163. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5655131)
I'll take in kind campaign contributions for hitting SBB much harder than normal sparring, should he bring his stretchy band ass out for his scheduled beating.
   164. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5655136)
Let's not confuse political savvy with the unique ability of piles of sleaze in human form having the unique capability to smell their own.


That's a KIND of political savvy.
   165. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5655143)
That's because you had a conversation with me for the purpose of securing legal advice, but you never actually retained my services.


Got it. Thanks.

EDIT: Cokes.


Don't think you owe anything. Yours was an explanation. The others were snark.
   166. perros Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5655157)
When I suggested this to friends in the Pentagon they said, “My God, that’s terrible. Having to kill someone would distort the President’s judgment. He might never push the button.“

Eventually we'll create a button that will push itself -- a self-fulfilling decision tree. You could look at similarties with the New Yorker story. You set up a structure that make killing living persons acceptable.

Because they no longer fall under the definition of living.
   167. BrianBrianson Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5655162)
I've repeated said every current and former Democratic senator and governor except Rod Blagojevich was thinking of running for president in 2020.

Obviously, I was wrong.

Mea Culpa.

Mea Maxima Culpa.
   168. Tom T Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5655163)
Wow. This couldn't be more wrong if SBB had written it. Your understanding is completely backwards. Earmarks were a way for the party to control individual members of Congress: if you wanted your earmarks for your district, you played ball. Because there are no more earmarks, it has tremendously weakened the party's influence over individual legislators; the party has no leverage.


Sorry for the callback to this, but I had to spend most of last night wrapping up some grading....

David, in the context of the example I provided, please clarify for me how earmarks represent a congressional representative being controlled by his party. To refresh: Myers was a (R) serving from 1967-1997, and the only time there was a (R) as the speaker was his last term (Gingrich).

Therefore, it is unclear to me how there exists a logical path between him bringing lots of money into a Republican district from a Democratically-controlled Congress, and the argument that earmarks represented HIS party controlling him.

Now, I was pretty young when he started bringing in the cash, so maybe I missed a particular political coup he achieved, but the "rep on the street" was always that Myers played ball with the folks across the aisle. (Whether you interpret that as he was willing to vote for ANYTHING if you sent money his way, or simply that he was willing to sell his vote when it had minimal effect on his home district, is up to you.)

As such, the evidence HERE (as in my hometown) is that earmarks were NOT a way for a party to control a member of congress, but rather a way to achieve majority votes by pulling from both parties. Now...MAYBE he got most of his money from bills that were (R) authored and for which they needed every single (R) vote to get through, but that would still seem to point to your argument being backward.
   169. BrianBrianson Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5655165)
I would guess that (by/special) elections are even more heavily motivation driven than midterms, so this year's midterms will be a fall somewhere between what we've seen in the special elections, and the generic ballot (which I believe is still measuring all voters, not likely voters). But motivation is still big player in midterms.
   170. Omineca Greg Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5655166)
Irish singer Big Tom just went out the same way he came in...video in link most noteworthy for no-budget production values.

Oh we're going out the same way we came in
Don't matter who you know or where you've been
Makes no difference who you are
Skid Row Joe or superstar
You're going out the same way you came in

We are born into this world without a thing
And we leave it just as naked as we came
You may drive a Coupe de Ville, own a mansion on a hill
Don't mean nothing when Saint Peter calls your name

Oh you're going out the same way you came in
Someone will notify your next of kin
Some will weep and some will moan
Some will spit upon your stone
But you're going out the same way you came in

Oh, they'll lay you out in all your fancy clothes
And they'll figure out just who and what you own
Then the lawyers line their nest
And your kinfolk get the rest
Oh, you can't take it with you when you go

Oh you're going out the same way you came in
Makes no difference who you know or where you've been
Makes no difference who you are
Skid Row Joe or superstar
You're going out the same way you came in
Yeah, you're going out the same way you came in

link to video
   171. Lassus Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5655167)
As long someone's here, it's time for a reminder of how flippant Margaret Atwood is:
For the second time in five weeks a student at Binghamton University has been arrested for murdering a fellow classmate.

Michael Roque, 20, was arrested on Monday night for allegedly stabbing to death freshman engineering student Joao Souza on Sunday, police said. Souza, 19, was born in Brazil and attended high school in Rye Brook, New York, before attending Binghamton, according to New York ABC station WABC.

Binghamton University police said the two were known to each other, and the attack wasn't random.
Souza was murdered just 37 days after fellow Binghamton student Haley Anderson was found dead at an off-campus apartment. Anderson was allegedly murdered by fellow nursing student and ex-boyfriend Orlando Tercero, according to police.

Nothing to fear but fear itself! (As the famous Oingo Boingo quote goes.)
   172. BrianBrianson Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5655169)
Wait, what does that have to do with Peggy Atwood?
   173. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5655177)
For the second time in five weeks a student at Binghamton University has been arrested for murdering a fellow classmate.

Michael Roque, 20, was arrested on Monday night for allegedly stabbing to death freshman engineering student Joao Souza on Sunday, police said. Souza, 19, was born in Brazil and attended high school in Rye Brook, New York, before attending Binghamton, according to New York ABC station WABC.

Binghamton University police said the two were known to each other, and the attack wasn't random.
I'm confused as to why you highlighted this, since it doesn't support your (or Atwood's) argument at all.
   174. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5655180)
Occasionally - when bored - I try to read Stretchy completely straight and assume he is being an honest, forthright poster and everyone else is a dumb troll. The world is really really different in that universe, let me tell you.
The best SBB snippets are those that compete for his Projection Quote of the Day. Here's the clubhouse leader this morning:
He's still very much smarting from being exposed and from the resulting damage to his self-image.
He's his own target demographic!
   175. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5655185)
He's his own target demographic!


But oddly enough, never accepts his own concessions...
   176. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5655186)
. . . please clarify for me how earmarks represent a congressional representative being controlled by his party. To refresh: Myers was a (R) serving from 1967-1997, and the only time there was a (R) as the speaker was his last term (Gingrich).

Therefore, it is unclear to me how there exists a logical path between him bringing lots of money into a Republican district from a Democratically-controlled Congress, and the argument that earmarks represented HIS party controlling him.

Now, I was pretty young when he started bringing in the cash, so maybe I missed a particular political coup he achieved, but the "rep on the street" was always that Myers played ball with the folks across the aisle.

Not addressed to me, but Congressman Myers was able to bring home the bacon because he was a member of the House Approprations Committee - a senior member for much of his tenure - allowing him considerable say about dispersing the minority party's share of the pork barrel. He got that position through the House GOP leadership, and needed its support, as well as that of his fellow GOP Committee members to retain that influence, and at least potentially even his seat on the Committee. Dissident members who vote against their party too frequently weren't likely to be put on Appropriations or have much influence if they were and then decide to go rogue.
   177. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5655198)
Oops - Neil Gorsuch sides with liberals to tip decision to immigrant in Supreme Court deportation case

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a law subjecting immigrants to deportation for crimes of violence is unconstitutionally vague, handing the Trump administration an early defeat.

President Trump's nominee to the high court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined the liberal majority's 5-4 opinion in deciding that the law passed by Congress failed to define what would qualify as a violent crime.


Perhaps not what Trump had in mind. Such is life.
   178. Greg K Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5655199)
I'm assuming the Atwood stuff is related to her take on the Steven Galloway controversy?

Though I haven't read her recent op-ed on the topic, so I don't know what the connection is.
   179. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5655202)
Oops - Neil Gorsuch sides with liberals to tip decision to immigrant in Supreme Court deportation case

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a law subjecting immigrants to deportation for crimes of violence is unconstitutionally vague, handing the Trump administration an early defeat.

President Trump's nominee to the high court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined the liberal majority's 5-4 opinion in deciding that the law passed by Congress failed to define what would qualify as a violent crime.

Perhaps not what Trump had in mind. Such is life.

From the article:
The ruling was a victory for James Garcia Dimaya, whose two burglary convictions were considered violent crimes under the statute — despite not having involved violence.

Emphasis added. But to close on a nonpartisan note, that same paragraph ended thusly:
It was a defeat for the Justice Department, which had defended the law under both the Trump and Obama administrations.
   180. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5655203)
Perhaps not what Trump had in mind. Such is life.

I haven't read the decision (yet), and I'm pretty sure Bitter Mouse will never get to it, but from the blurb posted, it sounds like Gorsuch voted similarly to how Justice Scalia often did in criminal cases. Those trying to simplify such matters by looking solely at who appointed the Justices only expose their own limitations.
   181. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5655207)
I don't recall anyone managing to think up any reasonable explanations for these yet. From CNN:
"Before the name was revealed, Mr. Ryan argued that the mystery client was a "prominent person" who wanted to keep his identity a secret because he would be 'embarrassed' to be identified as having sought Mr. Cohen's counsel.
.....
If his relationship with Cohen was a total nothingburger -- as Hannity says it was -- then why would he be embarrassed about it or so worried about it becoming known to the broader public?
Remember that Cohen took out a home equity line of credit to make the $130,000 secret payment to porn star Stormy Daniels as part of a hush agreement to keep her from talking about allegations of an extramarital affair with Trump. That doesn't suggest someone who is awash in cash.

Then there is Hannity who, according to Forbes, made $36 million in 2017 alone.

Given that seeming financial disparity between the two men, why would Hannity never pay Cohen a dime for his services? Was the legal work -- and real estate advice -- so minor that Cohen wouldn't accept money for it? And, if so, why would Cohen's lawyer refer to Hannity as a client? And, if no money was exchanged but the men did have a business relationship, was there some other sort of payback offered by Hannity to Cohen?
   182. zenbitz Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5655209)
Not only am I David's target demographic, if he put up a Patreon account I might just pay him a buck or two a month.
   183. Lassus Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5655211)
#171 refers to a quote attributed in various forms to Margaret Atwood: ‘Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.’

#172 is Brian not remembering the disagreement we had on said quote, or being dismissive.

#173 - I bolded that portion based on a totally unconfirmed personal conjecture that the parties being known to each other would be him asking the murdered woman out, expressing his interest to her or others, actually dating or fooling around, etc., prior to the murder.

The above should answer #178.
   184. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5655212)
I haven't read the decision (yet), and I'm pretty sure Bitter Mouse will never get to it, but from the blurb posted, it sounds like Gorsuch voted similarly to how Justice Scalia often did in criminal cases. Those trying to simplify such matters by looking solely at who appointed the Justices only expose their own limitations.

Well, there's a difference between saying that Justices are always on autopilot and noting that most of them tend to vote the same way 90%** of the time in cases where the court is divided ideologically. In this newest decision, you'll note that Gorsuch aside, the other 4 Justices in the majority were Clinton or Obama appointees, while the 4 in the minority were appointed either by Bush II, Bush I, or Reagan. The days of Justices like White or Souter are pretty much long gone.

** percentage not to be taken literally
   185. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5655218)
If his relationship with Cohen was a total nothingburger -- as Hannity says it was -- then why would he be embarrassed about it or so worried about it becoming known to the broader public?

Not to be the defender of Sean Hannity, whom I despise as a hack journalist. (I do not know him personally, he could be a fine person). It is certainly embarrassing professionally. He is reporting on the Trump White House and is his biggest defender. It is an obvious conflict of interest, especially seen in raid.

Secondly, Cohen's rep is as a fixer, not a lawyer. Even if the work/advice Cohen gave to Hannity was benign and about real estate as Hannity said, it could look like he was covering up an affair or some other unflattering thing.
   186. Srul Itza Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5655221)
So, no, there's nothing "comical" about Lynch deferring to him. Or "ridiculous." Or "absurd." (I always love how FLTB has so little content to his thoughts that he needs to repeat himself, but with the aid of a thesaurus.) Comey's experienced at, and eminently qualified to, make prosecutorial decisions, unlike a "cop."


But that is simply NOT the role of the FBI, or the director of the FBI.

He may be qualified to do any number of things, including step in as a criminal defense attorney if a friend of his was indicted. That he is qualified does not mean he should do it.

The FBI investigates, and passes the investigation on to the DOJ (or sometimes a state AG or DA) to decide whether to prosecute. The FBI does not decide whether to prosecute.

Telling Comey to make that decision was wrong. Period. If she did not want to do it, she passes it down the chain to another prosecutor. Not to the investigative agency.
   187. The Good Face Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5655223)
#171 refers to a quote attributed in various forms to Margaret Atwood: ‘Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.’


Ummmm.... Joao Souza was a man.
   188. Srul Itza Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5655224)
It's of course possible Cohen just did a free consultation or two with Hannity.


Except that he's really not much of a lawyer. He's a fixer and a thug.
   189. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:33 PM (#5655230)
Well, this might take the nation's mind off pee tapes and Sean Hannity for at least an hour or two:

IRS electronic filing system breaks down hours before midnight deadline

Note: It actually is kind of a nothingburger, but those who are trying to file for themselves at the last minute might not realize that.
   190. -- Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5655231)
But that is simply NOT the role of the FBI, or the director of the FBI.

He may be qualified to do any number of things, including step in as a criminal defense attorney if a friend of his was indicted. That he is qualified does not mean he should do it.

The FBI investigates, and passes the investigation on to the DOJ (or sometimes a state AG or DA) to decide whether to prosecute. The FBI does not decide whether to prosecute.

Telling Comey to make that decision was wrong. Period. If she did not want to do it, she passes it down the chain to another prosecutor. Not to the investigative agency.


Clearly and obviously. Axiomatic.

He's trying to gull the target demo.(*) From the early feedback, mission appears to have been accomplished.

(*) Either that, or he doesn't actually know the roles of the various agencies. Probably both.
   191. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5655232)
Not to be the defender of Sean Hannity, whom I despise as a hack journalist. (I do not know him personally, he could be a fine person). It is certainly embarrassing professionally. He is reporting on the Trump White House and is his biggest defender. It is an obvious conflict of interest, especially seen in raid.

Secondly, Cohen's rep is as a fixer, not a lawyer. Even if the work/advice Cohen gave to Hannity was benign and about real estate as Hannity said, it could look like he was covering up an affair or some other unflattering thing.


Meh, I think Hannity is at most "going through the motions" of being 'embarrassed professionally'.

I mean, come on... this is a guy who was pushing Seth Rich conspiracy theories until the family started publicly asking him (and pressuring advertisers) to stop and was threatening legal action.

I don't know Hannity either, but I'm fairly certain he's incapable of experiencing "shame"... and I'm further sure that 99% of his audience wouldn't care less anyway.

Maybe offscreen he is a peach of guy, rescuing children from fires and petting abused puppies... but I tend to doubt it - remember that 8-10 years ago, he got in trouble because his "freedom concert" charity... i.e., tax returns for the foundation showed that in 2006, for example, it raised $11,000,000... but less than $400,000 actually went to vets/children of vets. $1,000,000 got spent on "consultants". Another $3,000,000 spent on "postage, handling, and shipping"... plus, some more million spent on transportation (Sean needed private jets and luxury transport to the concerts).

So strike that... he's probably not a peach of a guy off camera, either.

   192. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5655233)
Is "fixer" actually a thing within the Lawyer Community? Like dude's not a "real lawyer" he's just a "fixer"? I'm picturing Max Cherry with a law degree.
   193. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5655234)

#171 refers to a quote attributed in various forms to Margaret Atwood: ‘Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.’

#172 is Brian not remembering the disagreement we had on said quote, or being dismissive.

#173 - I bolded that portion based on a totally unconfirmed personal conjecture that the parties being known to each other would be him asking the murdered woman out, expressing his interest to her or others, actually dating or fooling around, etc., prior to the murder.

The above should answer #178.
Yes (wrt 173), I assumed that was your point. The problem is that the part you bolded, about the parties being known to each other, is about Michael Roque's stabbing of Joao Souza. And there is no "murdered woman" in there. Souza is male.
   194. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5655237)
Telling Comey to make that decision was wrong. Period. If she did not want to do it, she passes it down the chain to another prosecutor. Not to the investigative agency.


I largely agree with this. What a mess. I am not fond of how Obama (since the buck stopped at his desk) handled everything, but I am waiting to criticize him because ... well basically Andy's argument for giving Comey a pass. I don't like the argument for Comey, but Obama really did have to view the situation at the highest level and make decisions with an eye not towards policy and procedure, but what is best for the nation long term.

Note: Whenever stretchy and I agree I examine my position for flaws, but on review it seems clear the Hot+Key bot is stuck again (since his whole #190 is recycled stretchy phrases) and so I think I am in the clear.
   195. Srul Itza Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5655238)
Is "fixer" actually a thing within the Lawyer Community? Like dude's not a "real lawyer" he's just a "fixer"? I'm picturing Max Cherry with a law degree


You can be both a fixer and a lawyer.

The ultimate example, for me, in that regard is Roy Cohn -- who was one of Trump's original go-to-guys in NY Real Estate dealings with both the government and the Mob.
   196. zenbitz Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5655241)
Isn't Margaret Atwood the author of "The Handmaiden's Tale"? Or are there two.
   197. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5655244)
You can be both a fixer and a lawyer.

The ultimate example, for me, in that regard is Roy Cohn -- who was one of Trump's original go-to-guys in NY Real Estate dealings with both the government and the Mob.


I presume there's actually a pretty healthy market for "lawyers" who also provide at least a patina of "attorney-client privilege" for certain kinds of rather shady legalesque dealings, where said patina makes it at least harder-to-the-point-of-why-bother as a path in criminal investigations.

I think the Trump/Trumpkin/Cohen problem is that I imagine they believe this SOP for politicians like it is in the shady world of Trump and Trump-like people... but that's probably not the case because both the stakes and the glare is far brighter.

I mean... if Vito Corleone had run for office, I expect Tom Hagen would have no longer had his one and only client.
   198. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5655245)
I haven't read the decision (yet), and I'm pretty sure Bitter Mouse will never get to it, but from the blurb posted, it sounds like Gorsuch voted similarly to how Justice Scalia often did in criminal cases. Those trying to simplify such matters by looking solely at who appointed the Justices only expose their own limitations.

Well, there's a difference between saying that Justices are always on autopilot and noting that most of them tend to vote the same way 90%** of the time in cases where the court is divided ideologically. In this newest decision, you'll note that Gorsuch aside, the other 4 Justices in the majority were Clinton or Obama appointees, while the 4 in the minority were appointed either by Bush II, Bush I, or Reagan. The days of Justices like White or Souter are pretty much long gone.

Well, you're certainly making my point, and again ignoring that Gorsuch voted very much in the tradition of Justice Scalia, and you also seem to be quickly forgetting your own point that the decision is as much a rebuke to the Obama Administration as the current one.

Most conservatives (and many others across the political spectrum) would favor a statute that made a burglary conviction a deportable offense, but they'd also require Congress to write a statute that makes that clear. Justice Scalia was a leading proponent of the Rule of Lenity while on the Supreme Court. So, apparently, is Justice Gorsuch. Why anyone would think that changes his supporters view of his appointment is a mystery.
   199. Tom T Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5655248)
Not addressed to me, but Congressman Myers was able to bring home the bacon because he was a member of the House Approprations Committee - a senior member for much of his tenure - allowing him considerable say about dispersing the minority party's share of the pork barrel. He got that position through the House GOP leadership, and needed its support, as well as that of his fellow GOP Committee members to retain that influence, and at least potentially even his seat on the Committee. Dissident members who vote against their party too frequently weren't likely to be put on Appropriations or have much influence if they were and then decide to go rogue.


Thanks, Clapper. As I said, I was still really young when the whole process started (mid-70s, I want to say), but that does change the flavor of the "earmarks" a bit. I would imagine he could get things like railroad relocation into the budget as the Dems would still presumably frequently need his vote (and/or that of other Republicans) to get things out of committee and onto the floor.

So, I see how one could interpret those earmarks as downstream consequences of doing a good bit of within-party back-scratching to get to and keep said position.

But I still don't really see the "earmarks" as a direct means of the Republican party controlling him --- the Dems still had to allow it --- but I do see the *opportunity* for those earmarks as a reward for allowing some degree of control.

Interestingly, the local effort was led by some of the bluest-of-the-blue Dems --- there IS a University here, after all. Perhaps the local action was why he had such a strong reputation for working "across the aisle", moreso than anything taking place on Capitol Hill.
   200. Lassus Posted: April 17, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5655249)
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