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Monday, April 09, 2018

OTP 2018 Apr 9: A Curveball From the New Tax Law: It Makes Baseball Trades Harder

As President Trump congratulated the World Series champion Houston Astros at a White House ceremony last week, he also heaped praise on himself and congressional Republicans for passing a sweeping tax cut last year. He hailed Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the House’s chief tax writer and an Astros superfan, as “the king of those tax cuts.”

What he did not mention is that the new tax law Mr. Brady helped draft, and which Mr. Trump signed, levies a large new tax on the Astros, and similar franchises across professional sports.

 

(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 09, 2018 at 12:46 PM | 1677 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: houston astros, off topic, politics

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   1601. Count Posted: April 16, 2018 at 01:07 AM (#5654418)
When Comey was sworn in as FBI director he took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. By leaking documents he failed to do that. It is immoral to accept a job which requires one to behave up to certain standards and then disregard those standards.


He didn't violate the Constitution. This doesn't make any sense. Even if you thought that getting a memo to the press about Trump trying to obstruct the Flynn investigation was illegal (which is an argument you haven't made), it wouldn't be unconstitutional.
   1602. Count Posted: April 16, 2018 at 01:18 AM (#5654419)
Which just reinforces SBB's point above: Had Comey thought the election was closer, he would have gone easier on Hillary. That's a ridiculous state of affairs.

This type of nonsense -- making decisions based on polling -- is not what we want our FBI directors doing, I don't think. We want them to follow standard procedure, election or not, and despite the polling.

And this lends further support to the notion that Comey went easy on Hillary during the server investigation -- in interviewing witnesses, in deciding whether to charge her, etc. -- because what is clear is that by his own admission he was NOT following normal procedure. He was allowing election season to interfere with his decisionmaking.

Yes, yes, David will say that Comey confessed to going HARDER on Hillary. True.... at that particular cycle in the polls. But the polls were cycling throughout the general election. So by the decisionmaking rules Comey laid out there would be times -- when the polls were closer -- when he went easier on her.

Really, he was an incompetent Director -- incompetent is different from corrupt -- who deserved to be fired.


His public statement in July 2016 after not charging her (and as we've discussed many times she shouldn't have been charged) was clearly inappropriate and hurt Clinton. Pretty funny to see this course of conduct as evidence that maybe just maybe he was going easy on her the whole time! You're right that he acted inappropriately. His rationalizations in the interview tonight were infuriating. Of course, that does not justify firing him to obstruct an investigation.
   1603. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 16, 2018 at 01:28 AM (#5654422)
According to Vanity Fair, Michael Cohen is telling friends that he may act as his own attorney.
   1604. Zonk is One Individual Posted: April 16, 2018 at 01:33 AM (#5654423)
According to Vanity Fair, Michael Cohen is telling friends that he may act as his own attorney.


Is this the right time for him to be doubling his client list?
   1605. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 01:57 AM (#5654425)

Yes, and that is inexcusable. The FBI isn't supposed to look at polls.
That's one way to frame it. Another is to say that the FBI should consider the real world consequences of its actions.
   1606. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 02:07 AM (#5654427)
Yes, yes, David will say that Comey confessed to going HARDER on Hillary. True.... at that particular cycle in the polls.
Actually, David will say that, as YC pointed out, Comey isn't really "confessing" to this; he's saying that maybe it happened but if so it was subconscious.
But the polls were cycling throughout the general election.
No, they weren't.

So by the decisionmaking rules Comey laid out there would be times -- when the polls were closer -- when he went easier on her.
He didn't lay out any decision making rules. And there were only two times -- one when he announced that he didn't think Hillary should be charged, and one when he told Congress that they had some more emails to look into. And "easier on her" than what? At no point did he suggest that he would have given her special treatment if the polls were closer.
   1607. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 02:12 AM (#5654428)

That's a smear on Trump -- and on Trump's wife, which I trust the Khizr and Ghazala Khan defenders will be quick to point out.
No, it's not a smear on Trump's wife. It doesn't say anything negative about her if Trump thinks that she might not fully trust him. (If anything, it's a credit to her.)


When Comey was sworn in as FBI director he took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. By leaking documents he failed to do that. It is immoral to accept a job which requires one to behave up to certain standards and then disregard those standards.
Yes, indeed he took such an oath. Note: not an oath to Trump. Which part of the constitution did he violate with his actions?
   1608. OCF Posted: April 16, 2018 at 02:21 AM (#5654430)
Question (for David, or for any of the other lawyers present):

In three hush money agreements that Cohen was involved in - the three that have become public so far - the women were all represented by a particular other lawyer named Davidson. In one case, the woman now alleges (in a court filing) that Davidson was not actually representing her interests. The whole story isn't established yet, but there's at least a hint that Cohen and Davidson were actually working together, even though they were supposed to be representing opposing parties.

If true, how bad is that as a violation of legal ethics? Do they risk disbarment? Do they risk criminal prosecution?
   1609. perros Posted: April 16, 2018 at 02:30 AM (#5654432)

But technically, we're all a bunch of "slimy little communist #### twinkle-toed ##########\"s around here ... at least to listen to some ...

A collection of Putin cockholsterin' peaceniks.
   1610. perros Posted: April 16, 2018 at 02:34 AM (#5654433)
Fussell's son Samuel is the author of a very good book on bodybuilding, and just a good book in general actually: Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder.


Unwillingness to claim us
You got no war to name us...

   1611. BrianBrianson Posted: April 16, 2018 at 02:43 AM (#5654434)
Yes, indeed he took such an oath. Note: not an oath to Trump. Which part of the constitution did he violate with his actions?


David, if it's not illegal when the president does it, if follows Ipso facto that it's illegal when someone who's not the president does it. Aren't you supposed to be some kind of lawyer?!
   1612. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 03:25 AM (#5654435)

In three hush money agreements that Cohen was involved in - the three that have become public so far - the women were all represented by a particular other lawyer named Davidson. In one case, the woman now alleges (in a court filing) that Davidson was not actually representing her interests. The whole story isn't established yet, but there's at least a hint that Cohen and Davidson were actually working together, even though they were supposed to be representing opposing parties.

If true, how bad is that as a violation of legal ethics? Do they risk disbarment? Do they risk criminal prosecution?
I've got to read more to give a real answer. It seems to me from a quick perusal that McDougal's claims about the lawyer are mostly sour grapes/buyer's remorse that the results of the deal weren't as favorable as she'd have liked. However, to the extent that Davidson wasn't zealously representing these women because he was colluding with Cohen, yeah, that'd be bad for him. (No, not criminally. But ethically. If he wasn't zealously representing them out of laziness or incompetence, that's more of a matter of professional malpractice than anything else.) Cohen's legal and ethical problems are already overdetermined, so it doesn't matter so much for him, but if he was fixing these women up with Davidson, that could be bad. As a lawyer dealing with an unrepresented party on the other side, I'm allowed to give one piece of advice to that person: you should get a lawyer. If I give any other advice,¹ that's a big no-no. So if Cohen is saying, "You should hire Davidson" when he has some sort of understanding with Davidson... big problem.


¹I mean, advice that purports to be friendly. I can say to the person, "Your best bet is to pay my client the money he's asking for. Otherwise, I'm going to tear you apart and it'll cost you three times as much." That's not advice; that's hardball. The rule is not intended to keep me from negotiating with the other side; it's to keep me from tricking him into thinking I have his best interests at heart.
   1613. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 03:29 AM (#5654436)
Speaking of Cohen's problems, here's something from the USA's filing last week explaining why they should get to have their taint team review his documents; I haven't seen this commented on much, but it's a big whoa: "Fourth, the USAO-SDNY has specific reason to doubt that the seized materials will include the volume and nature of attorney-client communications that Cohen claims. This is because the USAO-SDNY has already obtained search warrants – covert until this point – on multiple different email accounts maintained by Cohen, and has conducted a privilege review of the materials obtained pursuant to those warrants." (Boldfaced emphasis added.)

This might well explain how they knew about Prague, if indeed that rumor is true. But... whoa. They've already searched all his emails? And based on that decided to openly raid his home and office and grab his files? Wow.
   1614. BrianBrianson Posted: April 16, 2018 at 04:18 AM (#5654441)
Maybe I'm naive, but given the heavy emphasis in media on how hard it is to get a search warrant to raid a lawyer's office, especially with a no-knocker, I had assumed they already had some very incriminating documents that should've been turned over in some request or another that Cohen didn't turn over but claimed he had turned everything he had to turn over.

Maybe I'm mistaken (unlike most people here I'm not, nor do I pretend to be, a lawyer), but the impression I got from media was that they must've already had something pretty damning.
   1615. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 06:43 AM (#5654442)
What has Comey said about Trump that wasn't true?

Just name ONE thing.


That he asked for Comey's "personal loyalty."
That he inquired about Flynn with bad intent.
That he's morally unfit to be president.

Those are three easy ones. I'm sure a more exhaustive list could be made with more effort.

   1616. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 06:47 AM (#5654444)
Count has a pretty good point here. I realize it would require some effort on your part, as opposed to your standard lazy "I don't care" rejoinder, but you really should articulate why such "leaks" constitute a mark against Comey's integrity.


Bearing false witness is very much not a good look. If the memos he leaked contained classified info, it could be illegal -- also not a good look.

The "obstruction memos" were nothing more than a continuation of the insurance policies that the protagonists texted about after the meeting with McCabe. Comey has copped to thinking Hillary was a shoo-in. When Trump won, he was panicked and as a result started inventing things that could be insurance.

It's no coincidence that Comey is torching his value as an investigatory witness.
   1617. perros Posted: April 16, 2018 at 06:56 AM (#5654445)
the impression I got from media was that they must've already had something pretty damning.

And who gave the media that impression? Anytime a warrant is issued, might as well skip right to the sentencing.
   1618. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 07:00 AM (#5654446)
His public statement in July 2016 after not charging her (and as we've discussed many times she shouldn't have been charged) was clearly inappropriate and hurt Clinton. Pretty funny to see this course of conduct as evidence that maybe just maybe he was going easy on her the whole time! You're right that he acted inappropriately. His rationalizations in the interview tonight were infuriating. Of course, that does not justify firing him to obstruct an investigation.


He only did the statement in July because he knew the investigation had been tanked (*) and he knew he was inventing a non-existent legal standard. It was an effort to be "fair" that was absurd -- and worse than absurd, completely ultra vires to his position. It was not his place to invent a legal standard in that investigation. It was DOJs. But DOJ couldn't do it, because DOJ was behind the tanking. Thus Lynch's "refer to it as a matter, Jim, not an investigation."

Comey wants to say that about Lynch, and has strongly insinuated it in his book -- he alludes to a classified document that caused him concern about Lynch tanking -- but won't go all-in. It's better for his reputation and future to go all-in on Trump, instead.

(*) It was likely inappropriate to raid Cohen's office, but compare and contrast the tactics there, with the soft shoe tactics in the rogue server investigation -- where the FBI knew that the people involved in the investigation had in fact engaged in evidentiary spoilation.

   1619. Lassus Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:25 AM (#5654452)
Comey setting himself up as the country's moral compass is fucking insulting. He should STFU and go away.
   1620. Lassus Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:44 AM (#5654454)
Parker Posey as a more sociopathic Dr Smith isn't really working for me so far

Parker Posey is a terrible actress.
   1621. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:44 AM (#5654455)
Comey setting himself up as the country's moral compass is ####### insulting. He should STFU and go away.

Well, at this point who's the better alternative? I say that more in sadness than anything, but with a handful of exceptions like Rev. Barber, about the only other moral compasses I'm seeing today in public view are for the most part too young to vote.
   1622. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:45 AM (#5654456)
Those are three easy ones. I'm sure a more exhaustive list could be made with more effort.
Well, it’s impossible to put in less effort than just quickly making up three items.
   1623. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:45 AM (#5654457)
Well, at this point who's the better alternative?
Me. Duh.
   1624. Spahn Insane Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:47 AM (#5654458)
David, if it's not illegal when the president does it, if follows Ipso facto that it's illegal when someone who's not the president does it. Aren't you supposed to be some kind of lawyer?!

What if someone calls the non-president Hitler?
   1625. Lassus Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:47 AM (#5654459)
Well, it’s impossible to put in less effort than just quickly making up three items.

FALSE.

Could have been two items.
   1626. DavidFoss Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:48 AM (#5654460)
Comey setting himself up as the country's moral compass is ####### insulting. He should STFU and go away.

Yeah, there's something weird about him. He acts like he's never seen people commit crimes before.

Then there is this notion that he's sitting there in front of Stephanopoulos pondering out loud is such a candid and reflective manner. I mean, he knows there's a camera there, right? He knows they are going to put this on the TV.

   1627. Spahn Insane Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5654462)
If Zonk were interested in an honest discussion he would note that I said above that both Comey AND Trump smeared each other.

And if you were interested in an honest discussion, you'd acknowledge that, this specific exchange with zonk aside (and leaving aside that your position even in this instance is some swell false-equatin'), you repeatedly (indeed, reflexively) apply a different standard for what circumstances justify Trump's behavior versus other people's.

That, of course, would first require recognition of this fact on your part, so I'm not holding my breath.
   1628. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5654464)
Note: The number one disc golf course in the world lived up to its rating. Fantastic course.


What's so amazing about it? Do you toss the frisbee over a live volcano or through the Playboy grotto or something?


Since I submitted a new thread, I figure I can go off topic about disc golf here. Obviously there is a large subjective element but here are some factors that make for a good disc golf course. Remember DG is a very low money game (not like ball golf).

Extras: Some people like to have a clubhouse/pro shop on sight. Good maps of the course. Good parking. Cost. Harmony Bends had no clubhouse and the parking lot was small, but the set up was nice and it is a free public park (most of the very top courses are private pay courses). The extras don't count much for me honestly, I care about the course.

The course itself: Here is where Harmony Bends excelled.

Variety of holes: 18 holes, all very different.

Individual hole design: Each hole was very tough, but fair. There were also a variety options on each hole. Some courses/holes have a "this is the one true line you must throw", but there each hole had a variety of possible lines and options. Even the lengths of the holes had variety. Overall it was really long (one of the longest courses I have played), but it was not long holes after long hole all the same.

Good use of natural features like elevation, water, trees and so on: The course had everything and used it wonderfully. Great use of elevation and water especially, with some really dramatic drives and some tricky pin positions. And as I said above the course had a nice mix.

Difficulty/shot selection: Hard, but fair. In order to be a championship course it has to be hard enough (duh) to challenge the pros. However, it was playable by me (intermediate amateur at best) and even the less skilled in our group. Everyone was challenged, but there was nothing that was just stupid hard for a non-pro to handle. There were shots that were out of my ability, but there was always an option or place to go that I could reach. There was a stretch where I kept screwing up my drives (like really bad), but the difficulty and length were enough that with really really good following shots I was able to make back a fair amount (in fact on 18 I gained 3 strokes on the guy who won - by one stroke as it turned out), because after a bad first throw I was freaking brilliant and he ended up taking two penalty strokes (creek winding through the entire hole with much out of bounds).

Misc: The pads (where you initially drive from) were really good, concrete, grippy and big enough. They also had three different pads for short, medium and long which played very differently, even when they were only a few feet apart because of angles and such (it was very clever on a few holes). Each hole also had very good signage, including signs pointing to the next tee (this is a problem in some parks). All this makes the course easy to play and allows for good variety.

Visual appeal: It helps when the park is pretty and this was a very nice park. Not the prettiest I have ever seen, but very nice.

Gimmicks: You mention volcanoes and such, actually it was a course virtually devoid of gimmicks. Some of the high end courses (actually most I would say), end up adding in some gimmicks (elevated baskets, artificial out of bounds, constructed walls and obstacles) but this course was just straight up well designed. I don't mind the occasional gimmick, but I don't want to feel like I am playing mini-golf.

They had a really nice plot of land and hired the top DG Course designer in the world and he hit a home run. There were a few flaws though. There are some spots where they should put in some erosion control, because in a few years there might be problems. They could use a few bridges over the creek in spots (they did have stones to help ford it, but my dog was not impressed and with rain or a higher creek they could be problematic). And more parking.

   1629. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:58 AM (#5654465)
Yes, and that is inexcusable. The FBI isn't supposed to look at polls.

That's one way to frame it. Another is to say that the FBI should consider the real world consequences of its actions.

Exactly. Comey was in zugzwang, bound to be damned no matter which way he moved. AFAICT he's acted more honorably throughout this whole affair than just about anyone else, in spite of what hindsight tells us may have been performing an action that tipped the election to Trump.

Comey really can't win. He's got a madman in the White House and every Trump Whisperer after him, Hillary and a fair number of her supporters will (perhaps understandably) never forgive him, and for a lot of graying activists he summons up visions of J. Edgar Hoover's war against the civil rights and anti-war movement, simply by his association with the FBI. And yet he offered two absolutely essential points last night, one obvious but the other not as much so:

First, he made the unanswerable statement that Donald Trump is morally unfit to be president. Who can seriously argue otherwise? And remember, this was clearly aimed at those remaining individuals who haven't been following these events closely and aren't yet 100% certain of what's at stake. It wasn't aimed at the already convinced.

But second, he also said that removing him before his term runs out would be "letting the American people off the hook". They were the ones whose tragic decision (along with the electoral college) put him in the White House, and they're the ones whose decision it should be to remove him, and through the same door they opened to let him in: The ballot box.
   1630. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:59 AM (#5654466)
Parker Posey as a more sociopathic Dr Smith isn't really working for me so far

Parker Posey is a terrible actress.

It should be clarified that it's Molly Parker, not Parker Posey, who is in the new Lost in Space.

I haven't seen the show, but Molly Parker gets a lifetime pass from me for Who Loves the Sun. Which should be a BTF favourite as the Silver Jews feature heavily in the soundtrack!

EDIT: Well I'm a moron. Molly Parker and Parker Posey are both in Lost in Space? They really should have thought about how stupid I'd look before they decided to put two similarly named women in a TV show.
   1631. Count Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5654468)
Parker Posey is a great actress.
   1632. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5654469)
Comey setting himself up as the country's moral compass is ####### insulting. He should STFU and go away.
Someone I saw on Twitter compared him to Edmund Exley. It’s not enough for himself for him to do good; he has to be seen by others to be doing good. But
   1633. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5654473)
I've been watching the Lost in Space reboot on netflix...


Me too. My glib review/prediction is that it wants to be BSG but it will fail. Mildly entertaining through 5 shows so far.
   1634. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5654474)
First, he made the unanswerable statement that Donald Trump is morally unfit to be president. Who can seriously argue otherwise?


Anyone with any sense of history and scope and objectivity.

And remember, this was clearly aimed at those remaining individuals who haven't been following these events closely and aren't yet 100% certain of what's at stake.


LOL. No, it was "aimed at" restoring Comey's reputation and nothing else. There's no way an accurate accounting of his actions and performance can ever do that, so he's turning to the next best thing, which is joining the TDS brigade in the hopes that aligning with them, and asking people to contrast and compare him and Trump will help do that.

But in the end, like everything else, this is about a moralistic man with an inflated self-image mentally trying to work through and process the fact that he did a poor job and wound up, as a result of that poor job, getting fired. (*)

He was corrupted by his power. It's a very old story.

But second, he also said that removing him before his term runs out would be "letting the American people off the hook". They were the ones whose tragic decision (along with the electoral college) put him in the White House, and they're the ones whose decision it should be to remove him, and through the same door they opened to let him in: The ballot box.


No, this is silly and evinces a complete lack of understanding of the American constitution and political system. First of all, it wasn't a "tragic decision" and only a small niche of Americans think that it was. Second of all, the Constitution provides for an explicit means of removal of a president and if the president does bad enough things there's no reason to wait for the "ballot box" to remove him.

(*) Even if Trump did everything the deranged say he did, the Rosenstein memo is a damning and accurate appraisal of Comey's tenure. Moreover, it's now turning out that Comey's hand-chosen second-in-command was also professionally unethical and a serial liar under oath. Not a good look for either McCabe or Comey.
   1635. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5654475)
Exactly. Comey was in zugzwang, bound to be damned no matter which way he moved. AFAICT he's acted more honorably throughout this whole affair than just about anyone else, in spite of what hindsight tells us may have been performing an action that tipped the election to Trump.


I disagree. I think honorable/dishonorable is a silly way to frame his actions though (I know it is not your frame, but still I challenge it). As I said before I think* he acted with an eye towards appearing honorable and professional, without actually using fairness, professionalism, and honor as his guides when acting.

It is not that his actions might have cost HRC the election, because many factors could have cost her the election. I think it would be stupid to single out just one in that regard.

My problem is he didn't play it straight or play it according to the expected rules. He didn't treat both campaigns the same. Both were under investigation and he could have refused to comment on either during the campaign or he could have commented on both during the campaign. Instead he clearly focused his public actions on one campaign. Commenting on it, recommending no charges and yet still more comments, and then reopening it (with yet more public comments). And silence regarding the other campaign under investigation. He clearly doesn't like Hillary and yet thought she was going to win and so bent over backwards to comment on her campaign and actions and was silent towards the other campaign being investigated who he also didn't like (but didn't think would win).

How on Earth is that honorable? Multiple personal comments on one situation and radio silence on the other in a way that clearly could (not I am not saying it did or was the only thing that did), again it clearly could possibly tip the election, and still that is the course he took.

I don't think he acted in a professional manner at all. He let his feelings and the state of the campaign effect his actions (at least to all appearances and he even admits it was a possibility). If he was that conflicted either don't say anything** or talk about both campaigns being under investigation.

* Just my opinion. I don't pretend to be a psychic or anything. I could easily be wrong in guessing his motivations.
** I am talking about the comments and press conferences. He could have just reported the outcomes and said nothing more if he felt he had to comment on the Clinton campaign. As soon as he decided to bring in his personal comments on the situation AND keep his silence about Trump he loses me.
   1636. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5654478)
double post
   1637. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5654479)
Parker Posey is a terrible actress.

Parker Posey is a great actress.


Why not both. She should stick to Christopher Guest movies. Thumbs down on her Dr. Smith character so far.

Spoiler Alert:





Bill Mumy will make a cameo as Dr. Zachary Smith.
   1638. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5654481)
If Comey was "honorable," he would have resigned rather than carry out the orders to tank the rogue server investigation. Or at the very least, sharpened his elbows and done the investigation as it should have been done notwithstanding the orders. And then if he was "honorable" he would have recommended prosecution and not completely invented a non-existent legal standard. And then if he was "honorable" and he thought that Trump had actually obstructed justice, he would have reported it and then maintained his credibility as a witness instead of creating an insurance policy memo for the desk drawer and then shredding his credibility by writing a book and going on TV. And if he was "honorable" he wouldn't have let the poll standings dictate whether to report the reopen in October.

Etc, etc

He hasn't acted "honorably" in the least. Thus, the Rosenstein memo justifying his termination.
   1639. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5654483)
He didn't treat both campaigns the same. Both were under investigation


Right, but one investigation was legitimate. The other was interference in the election and an insurance policy.

And, no, Trump was never under investigation -- as Comey told him several times. If Comey was "honorable," he would have said so publicly. But he wanted to keep the investigation and the dossier as an insurance policy.

When he reported the dossier to Trump and briefed him on it, he never told Trump that the H Clinton campaign had financed it. Also dishonorable.
   1640. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5654484)
Parker Posey is a terrible actress.
Parker Posey is awesome at playing a Parker Posey character. She's wrong for everything else. When Parker Posey is terrible it's because she's been terribly miscast.
   1641. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5654485)
Parker Posey works just fine for me, thank you.
   1642. Count Posted: April 16, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5654487)
If Comey was "honorable," he would have resigned rather than carry out the orders to tank the rogue server investigation. Or at the very least, sharpened his elbows and done the investigation as it should have been done notwithstanding the orders. And then if he was "honorable" he would have recommended prosecution and not completely invented a non-existent legal standard.


In case people were wondering there were no orders to tank the Clinton investigation, and it would have been inappropriate to charge her with a crime absent evidence of intent.

He hasn't acted "honorably" in the least. Thus, the Rosenstein memo justifying his termination.


The memo laid out justifications that were, obviously and admittedly, not the reasons he was actually fired.
   1643. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5654489)
The memo laid out justifications that were, obviously and admittedly, not the reasons he was actually fired.


They were the reasons, but it doesn't matter in the least. The memo's justifications were more than sufficient grounds for his termination.

In case people were wondering there were no orders to tank the Clinton investigation,


The investigation was actually tanked, and Comey has insinuated that Lynch wanted it tanked. And Comey has stated that Lynch demanded that he refer to it as a "matter," when it was an "investigation."

Close enough. It was not a legitimate investigation.

and it would have been inappropriate to charge her with a crime absent evidence of intent.


Given the statute's explicit use of the term "gross negligence," and Clinton's ... gross negligence, it wouldn't have been "inappropriate" in the least to charge her. But Comey and Lynch wanted her to win and didn't want the blowback of charging her and then having her control their jobs ... so they didn't charge her.

Not exactly "honorable."
   1644. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5654490)
The memo laid out justifications that were, obviously and admittedly, not the reasons he was actually fired.

It's kind of a fun reversal of the usual course of intrigue politics.

Instead of using a flimsy pretext to cover your real intentions, you toss aside legitimate and plausible cover story and advertise your real motivations.

It's the new politics.
   1645. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5654491)
Instead of using a flimsy pretext to cover your real intentions, you toss aside legitimate and plausible cover story and advertise your real motivations.


Of course. If they were going to tank for Clinton, why wouldn't they want her to know that they did? That's something you advertise.
   1646. Omineca Greg Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5654492)
Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is making Turkmen women cover up. It is unlikely he and I will ever see eye to eye on this issue.

Don't blame the sunbathers in Turkmenistan if their bikinis seem out of style at the country's forlorn Caspian Sea beach resorts this summer.

The Turkmen government has banned the import of new bikinis and other traditional swimwear, forcing swimmers and other beachgoers to use their old suits or come up with their own fashions.

Owners of swimwear shops say customs officials have also in recent months halted the import of any swimsuits, as well as short pants for both men and women.

"As the swimming season approaches, demand for these products is growing," one seller told RFE/RL. "But the customs officers do not explain the reason for this ban."

At a new bazaar in Ashgabat -- the glittering, white-marbled capital of Turkmenistan -- shopkeepers that still have swimwear and shorts for sale say they are only able to offer what's left from their old inventory.

Once those are gone, it's unclear what people without a bathing suit will wear in the arid Central Asia nation -- and for those who like wearing shorts in a country where summer temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius.

It’s also unclear whether old bikinis will also fall afoul of government fashion norms.

New bikinis and shorts are just the latest in a long line of goods that the Turkmen government has decided aren’t acceptable for its people.

Ruled tightly since 2007 by authoritarian President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who has dubbed himself "The Protector," Turkmenistan has in recent months imposed bans on such things as black-painted cars (the president thinks white cars bring "good fortune"). Also prohibited: fingernail polish, hair dye, and gold jewelry for all state workers, The Chronicle of Turkmenistan newspaper reported last month.

Like those previous bans, no government statement has been issued about the prohibition on the import of bikinis and shorts.

One customs official told RFE/RL that the ban is connected with the "the moral norms of the Turkmen people," and alluded to officials not wanting Turkmen women to wear revealing swimsuits. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, since he was not authorized to speak to the media.

With no official word about the ban, most people are finding out about it the hard way, as happened earlier this year when Ashgabat police began impounding black vehicles parked around the capital, even pulling over the drivers of such dark cars and issuing stiff fines.

The ban on nail polish and hair dyes for government employees was only the start, as shops that sold such items reported they were no longer allowed by customs officials to import the products. The items are slowly vanishing from store shelves.

Many Turkmen find the hair-dye ban to be particularly ironic, since Berdymukhammedov himself was known to have random streaks of gray upon his head early in his rule, though in recent years he has appeared in public with a head of sheer black hair, with some referring to him as a "burning brunette."


link
   1647. Lassus Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5654496)
Parker Posey is awesome at playing a Parker Posey character. She's wrong for everything else.

Yes. I had written something very similar but never posted. (And admittedly, her Parker Posey characters have worn on me as well at this point.)
   1648. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5654501)
Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is making Turkmen women cover up.
Turkwomen.
   1649. Traderdave Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5654508)
Molly Parker is hotter than Parker Posey.
   1650. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5654509)
They were the reasons, but it doesn't matter in the least. The memo's justifications were more than sufficient grounds for his termination.
FLTB doesn't understand the legal/logical concept of "pretext."


You can't fire someone for being black and then say, "It doesn't matter, because we would have fired him for doing a poor job even if we hadn't fired him for being black." (Clarification: if you first find evidence of wrongdoing justifying firing after the firing, it can be used to mitigate damages -- but that's only if you learn about it after the fact. If you knew about it at the time and ignored it, you can't use that defense.)
   1651. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5654512)
Exactly. Comey was in zugzwang, bound to be damned no matter which way he moved. AFAICT he's acted more honorably throughout this whole affair than just about anyone else, in spite of what hindsight tells us may have been performing an action that tipped the election to Trump.

I disagree. I think honorable/dishonorable is a silly way to frame his actions though (I know it is not your frame, but still I challenge it). As I said before I think* he acted with an eye towards appearing honorable and professional, without actually using fairness, professionalism, and honor as his guides when acting.

It is not that his actions might have cost HRC the election, because many factors could have cost her the election. I think it would be stupid to single out just one in that regard.

My problem is he didn't play it straight or play it according to the expected rules. He didn't treat both campaigns the same. Both were under investigation and he could have refused to comment on either during the campaign or he could have commented on both during the campaign. Instead he clearly focused his public actions on one campaign. Commenting on it, recommending no charges and yet still more comments, and then reopening it (with yet more public comments). And silence regarding the other campaign under investigation. He clearly doesn't like Hillary and yet thought she was going to win and so bent over backwards to comment on her campaign and actions and was silent towards the other campaign being investigated who he also didn't like (but didn't think would win).

How on Earth is that honorable? Multiple personal comments on one situation and radio silence on the other in a way that clearly could (not I am not saying it did or was the only thing that did), again it clearly could possibly tip the election, and still that is the course he took.

I don't think he acted in a professional manner at all. He let his feelings and the state of the campaign effect his actions (at least to all appearances and he even admits it was a possibility). If he was that conflicted either don't say anything** or talk about both campaigns being under investigation.


That's a natural reaction, and at the time it was one I shared. But here's how Comey responded to that same "double standard" accusation when Stephanopolous put it to him, and I find it wholly credible, his last point in particular:
"Take a step back and stare at the two cases and the posture they were in. The Hillary Clinton email case, was public, and the counterintelligence investigations trying to figure out whether a small group of people, not Donald Trump -- we were not investigating Donald Trump -- whether this small group of Americans was coordinating anything with the Russians,” Comey said.

“We had just started the investigation,” he added. “Didn't know whether we had anything. So it would have been brutally unfair to those people to talk about it. And it woulda jeopardized the investigation."

Emphasis added.
   1652. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5654515)
If Comey Trump was "honorable,"....

he'd jump off the roof of Trump Tower and pay the cleanup bill in advance----in cash.
   1653. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5654516)
Parker Posey. Now the aging manic pixie dream girl. I think she played that role perfectly in louie.
   1654. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5654517)
“We had just started the investigation,” he added. “Didn't know whether we had anything. So it would have been brutally unfair to those people to talk about it.


This is an odd way to describe what we now know had happened by mid-summer, which was that FISA warrants for at least four Trump people had been sought and some denied. And they had the dossier.
   1655. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5654518)
FTR, here's the transcript of the Comey interview, which was much longer than the heavily chopped version that was squeezed between 50+ commercials on last night's broadcast.
   1656. Zonk is One Individual Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5654519)
Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is making Turkmen women cover up.

Turkwomen.


Turkmen women is correct.

A Turk woman would be from Turkey.
   1657. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5654520)
This is an odd way to describe what we now know had happened by mid-summer, which was that FISA warrants for at least four Trump people had been sought and some denied. And they had the dossier.
FLTB makes up facts and doesn’t know the timeline.
   1658. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5654521)
“We had just started the investigation,” he added. “Didn't know whether we had anything. So it would have been brutally unfair to those people to talk about it. And it woulda jeopardized the investigation."


I think that is just an excuse, and not a very good one. Two campaigns, both under investigation. One known and one not known. Why on Earth would you "honorably" comment past the absolute minimum on the already known one?

The choices are comment on both, comment on one and not the other, or comment on neither (past the bare minimum). He choose the middle path, which I think is the worst of all possible paths.

"I had to comment and editorialize (and then reopen and comment on THAT) regarding the known investigation, but I was afraid it might effect something so I had to be absolutely mum on the other investigation" just doesn't work for me. If he was that concerned he should have "No comment" his way through everything past the absolute bare minimum. Instead he repeatedly editorialized.
   1659. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5654522)
Turkmen women is correct.
No. I've decided that sounds stupid, and have declared Turkwomen to be correct. I didn't say a "Turk woman." I said a "Turkwoman." Totally different.
   1660. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5654523)
“This guy swung an election.”

— White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, admitting to ABC News that former FBI Director James Comey helped elect Donald Trump.
   1661. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5654524)
Two campaigns, both under investigation.


No. The Clinton "campaign" wasn't under investigation; the candidate herself was under investigation. Not so with Trump.

Moreover, the investigation of Clinton was criminal; the investigation of Trump people wasn't. (The investigation of Trump people was also ginned-up and not really bona fide, but that's beyond the scope of the immediate discussion and points.)

   1662. Zonk is One Individual Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5654525)
No. I've decided that sounds stupid, and have declared Turkwomen to be correct. I didn't say a "Turk woman." I said a "Turkwoman." Totally different.


Well, I've become addicted to a trivia game that says otherwise....

Men and women from Turkmenistan are Turkmen.

Men and women from Tukey are Turks.

Men and women from the Turks and Caicos Islands are Turks and Caicos Islanders.

I have $0.87 in winnings to prove it.
   1663. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5654527)
In other news there is a minor squabble between Democrats in California ... no, wait, it is a bit more serious than that - Speakership drama pits McCarthy vs. Ryan.

Tensions over who will succeed Speaker Paul Ryan are starting to torment House Republicans as they enter one of the most difficult midterm election cycles in years.

Allies of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the current favorite for the job, are upset that Ryan insists on staying through the election. They think the delay can only hurt McCarthy’s chances and might mean a months-long power struggle in the House Republican Conference in the thick of election season.

The relationship between McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) remains frosty. Scalise endorsed his more senior colleague on Friday after his hand was forced by Ryan, but the Louisiana lawmaker remains interested in the speakership if McCarthy can’t round up the votes.

And then there's the House Freedom Caucus. The group on Friday sent the majority leader a blunt warning that he doesn't have the votes when one of the group’s ringleaders, Rep. Jim Jordan, floated that he might run for speaker himself. Jordan couldn’t win. But he could deny McCarthy votes from the Freedom Caucus that he can’t become speaker without.


So at least the GOP leadership is united in the face of the upcoming possible blue wave. I am sure that will help minimize the damage. At least they have a popular President who cares about them and will act to help them and no political scandals of any kind on the horizon.
   1664. Lassus Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5654529)
Men and women from Tukey are Turks.

Wouldn't they be Tuks?
   1665. Zonk is One Individual Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:12 AM (#5654530)
Wait... succeed Paul Ryan?

He's quitting?

Does Clapper know about this?
   1666. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5654532)
Does Clapper know about this?


I doubt it, I think there is a past Obama dead-cat polling bounce and recent Trump polling surge he is busy analyzing.
   1667. DavidFoss Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5654537)
Men and women from Turkmenistan are Turkmen.

Men and women from Turkey are Turks.

Men and women from the Turks and Caicos Islands are Turks and Caicos Islanders.


Lots of fun stuff to learn today.

Turks and Turkmens are both Turkic peoples. The Turkmen are currently putting their language through Turkification to undo decades of Soviet influence. Turks is a smaller island than Caicos and is named after the Turks Cap Cactus that grows there. That cactus is so named because it looks like it is wearing a red Fez cap commonly worn by Turks.

The Portuguese word for turkey is 'peru'. You can find Turks Cap Cactus is Peru, too. Fez from That 70s Show almost sounds like he could be from Peru, but they never revealed where his character was from and the actor who plays him is an American of Venezuelan and Colombian descent.
   1668. manchestermets Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5654538)
Two campaigns, both under investigation.


The Clinton campaign wasn't under investigation, was it? Hillary Clinton was personally under investigation, for her actions as Secretary of State, prior to the time when she was a presidential candidate. Now, I don't know whether Comey's action in writing the letter to Congress was appropriate outside of the context of the election or not, but I don't believe that he should have acted differently because the subject of the investigation was by then a presidential candidate. David said that the FBI should take note of real world effects of their actions, which is true in the abstract, but I don't think their behaviour should be different because it might affect the outcome of an election if that behaviour would have been what they'd done if the election wasn't happening. People shouldn't get preferential treatment under the law because they're running for high office.
   1669. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5654539)
No one said anything about Milos Forman, so I will. RIP to a good director. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Amadeus, Fireman's Ball, People vs Larry Flynt are all very good movies.
   1670. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5654540)
The investigation of Trump people was also ginned-up and not really bona fide
This is the investigation that has resulted in multiple guilty pleas and several additional indictments, right?

See, here's the thing. The legitimacy of the HRC investigation has precisely nothing to do with the Mueller investigation.
   1671. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5654544)
“We had just started the investigation,” he added. “Didn't know whether we had anything. So it would have been brutally unfair to those people to talk about it. And it woulda jeopardized the investigation."

I think that is just an excuse, and not a very good one. Two campaigns, both under investigation. One known and one not known. Why on Earth would you "honorably" comment past the absolute minimum on the already known one?

The choices are comment on both, comment on one and not the other, or comment on neither (past the bare minimum). He choose the middle path, which I think is the worst of all possible paths.

"I had to comment and editorialize (and then reopen and comment on THAT) regarding the known investigation, but I was afraid it might effect something so I had to be absolutely mum on the other investigation" just doesn't work for me. If he was that concerned he should have "No comment" his way through everything past the absolute bare minimum. Instead he repeatedly editorialized.


The problem with "no comment"ing on the Weiner emails is that if something damaging actually had come out of them, after Hillary had been elected, the political angst we're now going through would've seemed almost quaint by comparison. You would've had every ####### congressional panel right down to the House Agriculture Committee's subcommittee on soybean futures running two years worth of hearings on the FBI's "coverup".

That said, the more substantial FBI screwup, for which Comey deserves at least partial blame, was not realizing that those Weiner emails could be gone through thoroughly before the election, which as it turned out they were. If that had been realized at the time of Comey's "October Surprise", then he could've credibly held off making any public comment until all the vetting had been done, or alternately, he could've simply not even brought the whole matter to public attention (in the event there was nothing new in those emails, which there wasn't). But that would've been contingent upon his knowing that the vetting could be completed before November 8th, which apparently it wasn't, for reasons I'm not sure have ever been explained.
   1672. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5654547)

That said, the more substantial FBI screwup, for which Comey deserves at least partial blame, was not realizing that those Weiner emails could be gone through thoroughly before the election, which as it turned out they were.
Comey is not a forensic computer examiner. If his experts told him -- as he told Snuffleupagus they did -- that they couldn't do it, on what basis could he have said otherwise?

If that had been realized at the time of Comey's "October Surprise", then he could've credibly held off making any public comment until all the vetting had been done,
People keep getting this wrong, so not to pick on Andy. (For once.) Comey didn't make a public comment. He sent a letter to Congress. Congress decided to make the letter public.
   1673. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5654552)
I didn't say a "Turk woman." I said a "Turkwoman." Totally different.


How would one know the difference if you were speaking?
   1674. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5654555)
How would one know the difference if you were speaking?
Trust me, you'd know.
   1675. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5654558)


If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself: New Thread.

(All I'm claiming credit for here is posting the link to the new thread -- not for posting the new thread itself.)
   1676. . Posted: April 16, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5654559)
If his experts told him -- as he told Snuffleupagus they did -- that they couldn't do it, on what basis could he have said otherwise?


That's not the key question raised. There were a ####-ton of emails involved, so it's not that surprising that Comey's "experts" (*) would say they couldn't go through that many in such a short period of time (**)

Yet, notwithstanding this report of the "experts," it took only a few days to go through them so thoroughly that Clinton was "re-exonerated."

So what changed between the "experts" saying it couldn't be done ... and it being done with room and time to spare?

A cynic might suggest that the review, much like the investigation itself, was truncated and ultimately perfunctory.

(*) Kind of odd terminology there; the "experts" would be FBI agents and/or DOJ lawyers, who would have to do the reviews.

(**) I noted the large number in real time.
   1677. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5654591)
That said, the more substantial FBI screwup, for which Comey deserves at least partial blame, was not realizing that those Weiner emails could be gone through thoroughly before the election, which as it turned out they were.

Comey is not a forensic computer examiner. If his experts told him -- as he told Snuffleupagus they did -- that they couldn't do it, on what basis could he have said otherwise?


Fair point. My comment here simply meant that the head of an organization ultimately bears some sort of responsibility for what goes out under its name.

If that had been realized at the time of Comey's "October Surprise", then he could've credibly held off making any public comment until all the vetting had been done,

People keep getting this wrong, so not to pick on Andy. (For once.) Comey didn't make a public comment. He sent a letter to Congress. Congress decided to make the letter public.


Another good point that I should have made explicit,** although once Comey's letter was transmitted to a hyper-partisan Republican-dominated Congress, the cat was out of the bag.

** I knew it but didn't think the distinction was all that important, for the reason just given. But you're right to call this to everyone's attention.
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