195 thoughts on “Madison, WI, December 17th – A March

  1. 2slugbaits

    Of course, I’m none of Menzie’s students were out protesting and were busy studying for finals instead. 🙂

    Barkley Rosser and I disagree about this, but I think the House should go ahead and vote to impeach; however, Speaker Pelosi should simply sit on the articles of impeachment and not send them over to the Senate. Her public excuse should be that she will hold the impeachment articles until the GOP Senate demonstrates its willingness to hold a good faith trial because a corrupt acquittal would have unforeseen and damaging consequences to the Constitution. Her private motivation should be to deny Trump the opportunity of having his day in court and remove any chance he might have of clearing his name in the history books. It would also get a few vulnerable Democratic senators off the hook in Nov 2020 while still leaving vulnerable GOP senators in an awkward position.

    Yes, I’m a mean and heartless guy.

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ 2slugbaits
      You no doubt have good intentions, but I advise you to say out of Pelosi’s pill box. Supplemental estrogen is not to be used by men. Thanks for playing “You Too Can Be a Bad Policy Analyst”. The receptionist has a lollipop for you as you exit our prize showroom floor.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Moses,

          Your Tulsi Gabbard has just voted “presnt” on both articles of impeachment. Are you going
          to continue to support
          this utterly worthless candidate?

          1. baffling

            on an extremely important issue, to vote “present” is lacking in leadership and direction. as president, what happens when she encounters an uncomfortable decision to make? does she simple say “present” and carry on with her day? these are the decisions that keep her from gaining any traction in the polls. she wanted a different vote, as i understand it. but you vote on what is presented and not what you want.

          2. Moses Herzog

            @ Menzie
            It would have been ok if you were poking a little there Menzie. I like to think I can chuckle at myself sometimes. A little embarrassed chuckle maybe, but a chuckle. I’m probably overly sensitive but I like to think I can see when I got conned. Hopefully not often, but Tulsi got me to bite on the fish hook and so I have it coming.

            If I “dish it out” I have to take it sometimes, and if it had been someone else I would have “dished some out” there. I remember when James Kwak was quite enamored with John Edwards’ presidential run, and admitted later he bit down on the fish hook. So, as you well know, James Kwak is at least two standard deviations IQ level above me, so if James Kwak can do it then I can make that mistake.

          3. Barkley Rosser

            Mose,

            I also had a period of liking John Edwards. Fortunately I got the hook out of my mouth before all the embarrassing stuff blew up.

      1. 2slugbaits

        Moses Herzog Can you show me where I’m wrong? Can you make a substantive case as to why it would be better to hand Trump the opportunity for certain acquittal in the Senate? The Democrats inflict maximum damage on Trump by impeaching him. Democrats diminish that damage when the Senate acquits him. This is a no brainer. There is no upside in giving Trump the chance to acquit himself.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Well, it does not fully acquit Trump. Sure he is not convicted on those articles, but investigations continue in several court ans House committees on other matters, including Trump’s taxes and his efforts to sllence his aides. Much of this will go against him, dripping out off and on over the next year. He is not going to escape from bad news, possibly very bad news frmo getting acquitted.

          Heck, the verdict in the Senate may well end up backfiring on them and their party as more and more serious dirt comes out.For one thing, especially on the matter of him refusing to let his aides testify, it will simply become clearer and clearer that he has been indeed guilty of obstructing Congress. This will not remotely be over, and McConnell may well rue the blatant coverup trial he appears set to do.

        2. Moses Herzog

          @ 2slugbaits
          I cannot claim to understand completely how the average American voter’s mind works (other then starting from an extremely ignorant baseline prototype). And I suspect you will tell me I am comparing apples to oranges (and you may in fact be right that I am comparing apples to oranges, but let me ask you a question, which I think is at least a semi-good analogy—-

          If the LA County prosecuting attorneys (Marcia Clark and pals) had asked for a mistrial saying “due to the largely minority composition of the jury, we cannot get a fair trial” in the O.J. Simpson case, instead of prosecuting the case to its end and seeing the trial to its end, do you think O.J. Simpson looks “more guilty” than after the largely African American jury told us O.j. was innocent?? How does saying “we don’t trust the jury and therefor will not continue the trial” make O.j. look more guilty??

          I should add, media keep talking about the “leverage” this gives Pelosi. I will cop to being a little slow sometimes, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out where the hell the “leverage” is in “pocketing” the impeachment. As I would love to see trump fry, I’d be very happy to be educated on where the hell this supposed “leverage: is that Pelosi has??

          1. baffling

            its not simply a case of not trusting the jury. this is also about not trusting the court system and judge as well, which is different from the jury. a rigged or bias jury is something one has to accept with a democracy, although you want to avoid it. but a rigged judicial system is an even more devastating construct. all cases run the risk of stupidity in the jury box. they should not run the risk of a rigged court system as well.

            “As I would love to see trump fry”. right not that is not possible. not only do you have a biased jury, but the judicial system to be set up will also be biased. you will never see trump fry. we may not be able to change how the jury votes, but we sure can make sure the case is presented in a fair and transparent way. that is the only leverage pelosi has, and i am sure she will not give it up.

        3. Barkley Rosser

          2slug,

          There is more weirdness to all this.

          1) Impeachment is not subject to double jeopardy rules. If his officially not convicted by the Senate, he can be impeached again if he gets wildly out of control.

          2) OTOH, apparently if he is actually removed from office, he can still run again next November (or whenever), even if Pence is in place. Of course, all this makes all the whining by Jordan and others about trying to “undo the election of 2016” and we must respect those 63 million Trump voters more than the 66 million Clinton ones look all the more ridiculous.

          3) As it is, I think Pelosi is playing this pretty well. Use holding back the articles to get some sort of decent trial out of McConnell. I fear going on much longer than that will feed the crazy Trump base machine with claims of “unfairness” blah blah blah, which need not be done given both the many ongoing investigations and the possibility of being impeached again. Hey, it is bade enough to be impeached once, but to become the first president impeached twice?

    2. Willie

      That’s a plan I never thought of. Pelosi is at least as wily as Moscow Mitch, so she’s probably though of a few more things that none of the rest of us have considered yet. Trump will go down as the American Caligula no matter whether the Senate lets him off or not. If they do, it will be more of a stain on the Senate and Moscow Mitch than anybody else.

    3. hilsm

      2Slugs,

      Trump deserves no justice/day in court where the rules of evidence are applied, charges and specification found somewhere outside of Schiff’s mind, and whistleblowers appear in person to relate only what they can stand the standards of perjury!

      “Good faith trial” would be founded on something other than hearsay, reading the worst motives into a victims mind and “prosecution” acting like Beria making up things for Pelosi (Stalin) to jail the opposition.

      While Democrats accuse McConnell of predilection, Senate democrats should show they are free of #resistance and not suffering over the events of November 2016, before they are offered the chance to swear an “oath or affirmation” to be “fair”..

      Trump is only dangerous to Brookings’/Atlantic Council’s neocon hold on US policy.

      Biden must be investigated!

      1. 2slugbaits

        ilsm You have no idea what you’re talking about. Several witnesses provided firsthand knowledge that Rudy was running the show and Rudy told us that it was all about strong arming Ukraine. Trump’s own chief-of-staff even admitted it in front of TV cameras. Telling the “Three Amigos” to “talk to Rudy” wasn’t hearsay, it was an order directly out of Trump’s mouth. It wasn’t hearsay that the Ukrainian president wouldn’t get an official WH visit until he announced an investigation into Biden and CrowdStrike. That wasn’t hearsay. And just the other day Rudy admitted that he urged Trump to get rid of the US ambassador to Ukraine in order to grease the skids for a Biden investigation. And there was no “hearsay” as to whether or not Trump obstructed a congressional investigation. Trump told his aides not to appear and he did so without claiming executive privilege.

        As to the whistleblower, his or her testimony adds nothing to the impeachment. It was simply a complaint that prompted an investigation. Police use anonymous tips all the time and the person who gave the tip is not asked testify in court. The tip simply alerts investigators that something smells bad. It’s up to the investigators to do the actual investigation and interview fact witnesses. Trump and his toadies are only interested in intimidating whistleblowers…sort of like Beria.

        This impeachment doesn’t have anything to do with the Nov 2016 election. Even if Trump were convicted in the Senate it wouldn’t change the fact that Mike Pence would become President. And if you’re a Democrat that’s probably a worse outcome than facing Trump in Nov 2020. So this nonsense about overturning the 2016 election is just garbage. This might come as a shock to Fox News junkies, but Nancy Pelosi does not become President if Trump is impeached and convicted.

        Biden must be investigated!

        You can go back to watching RT and reading Pravda.

        1. ilsm

          What I heard was hearsay, you can give names…… and who answered “I saw something criminal” when asked by a republican?

          How can you say the 2016 debacle is not applicable you know their minds? I know a few forst hand who cannot get away from Hillary losing her turn.

          RT and Pravda….. ad reduction ilsm!

          You were an ORSA?

          1. 2slugbaits

            ilsm Ambassador Sondland heard firsthand from Trump himself that the invitation to the WH was conditional upon the Ukrainian president announcing investigations of Burisma, the Bidens and CrowdStrike. This was not second hand hearsay. It was right from Trump’s mouth. Pressuring a foreign government to provide dirt on a political opponent fits my definition of an “abuse of power.” And while I’m no fan of so-called “originalist” interpretations of the Constitution, there was a Founding Father who argued that the “wanton removal of meritorious officers” (e.g., Ambassador Yovanovitch) would be “impeachable…for such an act of maladministration.” I’ll let you do the research to figure out who that Founding Father was, when he said it, and the circumstances that prompted his statement.

          1. Willie

            He misspelled his name once. Could be. I’m not sure why a Russian bot would bother with an economics blog full of real geeks and geek wannabes like me. But, I suppose bots know no difference and pixels are cheap.

    4. Barkley Rosser

      2slug,

      I salute you on calling the importance of this matter. I stick with it is not wise to go on and on with not sending the articles over. But betweeen Tribe and Rep. Blumenauer now, the idea that Pelosi should withold on the articles in the near term to get McConnell to make the Senate trial be “fair” before the articles get sent over. You have at least partially called it. Congrats.

      1. baffling

        it is also possible that pelosi could continue to hold the articles (or one article) until the supreme court decides on the issue of subpoenas, since this is at the heart of obstruction of congress. for instance, if the articles are sent and voted down by the senate, and a few months later the supreme court renders a decision that says he must follow the subpoenas, then what? the earlier vote would not be valid, because at that point it would have been determined that trump indeed violated the law-something his defenders argue is not the case today. trump and his friends want a quick end, but if you push this into the supreme court you need to be willing to wait for that outcome, as it is important to the case (otherwise why would the court consider the issue in the first place?) trump is the one who took it to the court.

  2. Rick Stryker

    Let’s put this impeachment in context.

    Hillary Clinton and the DNC pay a foreign spy to get Russian dirt on their political opponent, Donald Trump, in a Presidential election, in order to affect the result. The foreign spy earns his pay by not only getting the phony dossier into media articles, he actually gets it to the Obama DOJ and FBI, who use it to get a FISA warrant on a Trump campaign worker, which effectively allows the FBI to spy on the campaign. Despite the FBI knowing that the Dossier was bunk and other mitigating factors, the FBI continued to spy while Trump began his Presidency, ultimately triggering a special prosecutor, who then harassed Trump for several years. Even though the special prosecutor knew what the FBI knew at the outset of the FISA warrant, which was that there was no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Russia, they dragged out the investigation until after the 2018 election, only clearing Trump when their hand was forced by the appointment of Barr.

    Meanwhile Democrats continued to lie about the dossier, the FISA warrants, and Trump, accusing him of conspiring with Russia to affect the election, the very same misconduct that Democrats were in fact guilty of. Mueller’s report and the IG report exposed the Democrats’ deceit. Mueller however set Trump up for impeachment in his report, which was the point of the probe, and Democrats were going to go with that to impeach him. Unfortunately for them, Mueller fell flat in his testimony and the Democrats’ impeachment hopes were dashed.

    Now what do the progressives do? They take the same fundamental accusation, cross out “Russia” and put in “Ukraine” and then start impeachment proceedings, which they’ve been planning to do since Trump was elected. Trump is the most investigated politician in America and also the most honest–Mueller’s partisans, the FBI conspirators, and House Democrats couldn’t find anything, despite virtually unlimited investigative resources. But they are still going to impeach Trump nonetheless.

    The dishonesty and abuse of power of the Left has no bounds.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Rick,

      Wow, you have simply repeated a set of lies Sean Hannity spouts almost every other night.

      The dossier is not “phony.” Sorry, but while it does contain some items found not to be true, the vast majority of it has actually been verified. Somehow Hannity never mentions this embarrassing fact. Something neither verified nor disproven is the silly but ultimately irrelevant “golden shower” story, Who cares since we have learned he paid off prostiitutes? Not a big deal.

      It was not the trigger of the FISA warrant, although it was used to support renewal of it. The trigger was the Australian diplomat through Papadopoolous. Somehow Hannit and friends never mention this fact, unless it is to simply lie and claim the latter was not. It was.

      There was no “spying on the Trump campaign.” When the FISA warrant approved spying on Carter Page, hw was no longer part of the campaign. He had been under suspicion previously by the FBI.

      Horowitz did find some misbehaviors by the FBI, most especially by an agent who removed information that Page had worked fr the CIA. That act wwill probably get prosecuted. But it is pretty small potatoes and does not undo all the lying above.

      As for the Mueller Report, it documented over 100 contacts between the Trump campaign team and Russians, with a bunch of Russians being indicted for their interference in the election. It was clearlyi collusion, but Mueller did not see all this as sufficently coordinated to rise to the level of criminal conspiracy. Lots of obstruction of justice was also documented., although that has not been included in the articles of impeachment.

      And Trump does seem to have attempted to bribe the Ukrainian lasership, a felony actually.

      You actually have almost nothing accurate at all in this post, almost nothing, a pack of lies widely repeated by Fox News figures and shouting supporters of Trump in the House. Pretty shameful, but you are hardly the only one doing it.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Of course the biggest misrepresrntation of alll is that the main FBI interference in the election was by Comey 11 days before it when he publicly announced the repoening of the phony Clinton email investigation, only to call it off just before the election. But there is little doubt it tipped the result. Prior to Comeey’s move, Hillary had a large lead. It was this that tipped Wisconsin and Michigan against her. None of what was being done in connection with former Reump campaign staffers was made public prior to the election. If anything, the FBI conspired to aid Trump and hurt Clinton. All this whining by Fox News and Trump is just wild misrepresentation, when it is not just outright lies, which large amounts of it is.

      2. ilsm

        Barkley,

        Durham will get it all out. He will have actionable indictments as he delivered in the past.

        Different standards for “truthiness” for different factions!

        Mueller’s charade was based on extending a political hit job started by the Clinton/Obama criminal enterprise in the DoJ and CIA.

        1. noneconomist

          Actionable indictments? Hey, according to the late J. Blowhard Hambone, there are 92,000 indictments (at last count) stacking up in federal district courts while there’s a whole lot of construction going on for future “trials” at Guantanamo. Add those together with a whole lot of potential night time traitor rousting TBD, and you’ve got yourself the perfect storm of traitor punishing/wishful thinking/right wing goofiness yet to unfold.

        2. Barkley Rosser

          Sorry, ilsm, Durham does not have much more. Wray has ordered 40 changes in practice, based on the 17 errors made in the Page FISA matter. As it is, he has been treated pretty well. He has not indicted, unlike a long list of Trump flunkies and associates. He had been suspect, but seems in the end to be innocent, and he is walking around free and unindicted. Does not look too bad.

          The reported differences between Durham and Horowitz are both most reports very minor. One FBI agent will get indicted for removing that Page apparently worked with the CIA. That crucial people seem to have known this may be why Page has not been indicted and walks around free.

          I do not see Durham adding anything substantial for Trump, maybe one or two others who misbehaved badly enough to get indicted to join Cohen, Flynn, Manafort, Stone, and a large numbe of others, indluding a bunch of Russians not able to be arrested.

      3. Rick Stryker

        Barkley,

        Everything in your comment is wrong. I’m not going to bother going through it sentence by sentence, by I’ll just take one:

        “It (the dossier) was not the trigger …”

        Wrong. Read the IG report and watch his testimony. The dossier was the critical piece of “evidence” that was used to open the first FiSA. It was not a tip from a so-called friendly country about Papadopolous.

        Your other statements are incorrect as well. I don’t get my news from Hannity—I go to primary sources, always.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Rick,

          You are not providing a detailed response because you are unable to. You simply make an assertion that is basically false. Sorry, the dossier was not the immediate trigger. Where did you get this lie? You have done zero to refute anything I have said.

          Better luck next time.

          1. Rick Stryker

            Barkley,

            I didn’t provide a detailed response because I’ve learned from experience that the facts don’t matter to progressives. But ok–I’ll bite. I said: “Wrong. Read the IG report and watch his testimony. The dossier was the critical piece of “evidence” that was used to open the first FISA.” That was in reaction to your false statement: “It was not the trigger of the FISA warrant, although it was used to support renewal of it. The trigger was the Australian diplomat through Papadopoolous. Somehow Hannit and friends never mention this fact, unless it is to simply lie and claim the latter was not. It was.”

            Now look at the IG Report, specifically page vi where the IG discusses the first FISA warrant. Here is the conclusion:

            “We determined that the Crossfire Hurricane team’s receipt of Steele’s election reporting on September 19, 2016 played a central and essential role in the FBI’s and Department’s decision to seek the FISA order. “

            You are completely wrong. You should ask yourself where you get your false ideas–is it watching Rachel Maddow? Is it left-wing blogs. Adam Schiff? Clearly you don’t read the primary sources. That’s why you are so easily manipulated.

            I could demonstrate that your other statements are wrong too but frankly it’s not worth my time. Facts don’t matter to progressives.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            Rick,

            “central and essential role” is not the same thing as “trigger.” You have distorted the language in a “critical” way. Ans as 2slug points out, this was hardly the first FISA warrant on Page, although he seems in the end to have been more innocent than a lot of others (Manafort, etc.), getting no indictment.

            And, again, he was no longer working for Trump when this was approved, so all this stuff about FBI “spying on the Trump campaign” is just an out and out lie.

        2. 2slugbaits

          Rick Stryker The dossier was the critical piece of “evidence” that was used to open the first FiSA.

          Wrong. Carter Page had been the subject of ongoing FISA warrants since 2014. The FISA warrant discussed in the IG’s report refers to an extension of the earlier FISA warrants. It was not the first FISA warrant.

          1. Rick Stryker

            2slugs,

            You are completely wrong. Please refer to the page I referenced in the IG report I linked to above in my reply to Barkley, in which it is clearly stated that the first FISA warrant on Carter Page was opened on October 21, 2016

          2. 2slugbaits

            Rick Stryker No, the “first” subpoena you’re talking about was the FBI’s initial effort to extend the existing FISA warrants that had been renewed several times since 2014. That “first” warrant you’re talking about was only “first” in the sense that it was sent back and the “second” FISA warrant included information from the dossier that wasn’t in the “first” subpoena. Carter Page had a long history of being the subject of FISA warrants long before Trump ever entered the race.

            It’s true that the “first” FISA warrant by itself wasn’t approved and that it was only the additional dossier information that pushed the FISA warrant over the approval threshold; however, that does not mean the dossier was entirely responsible for the eventual approval of the FISA warrant. Here’s an analogy. Suppose my Cubs are down 5 to 4 in the bottom of the 9th with Kris Bryant on 1st base. Javy Baez comes to the plate and hits a two-run homer to win the came. Is Javy Baez the reason the Cubs won? Not really. After all, there were four other runs that contributed equally. It’s the same thing with the Carter Page FISA warrant. The FBI already had a fair amount of evidence, but apparently not quite enough to justify an FISA warrant. The dossier simply provided the last bit of marginal evidence needed to extend the previous warrants.

        3. pgl

          “I don’t get my news from Hannity—I go to primary sources, always.”

          Primary sources? Oh yea – RUDY and the DONALD. Same thing dude.

    2. pgl

      “Rick Stryker
      December 17, 2019 at 8:17 pm
      Let’s put this impeachment in context.”

      This was followed by the usual set of bald faced lies. Yes THE RICK does his best to emulate THE RUDY!

      1. ilsm

        “Lies”:

        like what the democrats will push through the House today.

        The impeachment is baseless, I suspect it is based on the same level of “psychological hurt” my partner has lived with every day since 9thNove 2016.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          ilsm,

          Do you seriously dispute that Donald J. Trump has made around 15,000 lies since he became president?

          This is so far beyond what any previous president or even candidate has pulled, we have lost count.

          History will record this. You should think more seriously about how history will view all this, not the way you are arguing now.

          1. ilsm

            The impeachment is a “denunciation” of the Beria kind, run by children getting back at their parent who attempted to discipline an evil crony.

            I don’t see Trump as much different than Obama and Clintons in terms of “truthiness:”. Afghan documents, dumping Qaddafi and armng al Qaeda in Syria, etc.

            I suspect he is less experienced, and he crosses the swampewrs are the problem.

            While the statements made by democrats on the impeachment being bc he is “corrupt” shout to me “how can you ignore Biden and Clintons”?

            I see a policy dispute over crossing Brookings and the Atlantic Council and the corrupt democrats wanting to run another flawed candid protected from inquiry.

            Why Pelosi and Schumer do not want a process in the senate which seeks truth.

            BTW your post at AB on Afghan papers is good, in spite of whitewashing Obama’s part in places like Libya and Syria. I would say more but run is censoring.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            ilsm,

            I do not think you can remotely claim that somehow any other president or even candidate is or was as lacking in truthfulness as Trump. The man is up 15,000 lies since he was inaugurated. He is simply in another dimension than all others ever. Wow, Clinton or Obama lied a few times. But these people were not even at 100 for their entire presidencies, although not tweeting on a near-daily basis helps in that.

            Let me note another issue not mentioned in this discussion and that was left out of the articles of impeachment basically on the grounds that it is too complicated. This is the matter of emoluments, which is itself mentioned in the Constitution. Trump has been accused of receiving funds from something like 26 foreign nations, with him clearly doing favors for some of their leaders, in some cases clearly against US national interests. This is screaming corruption. But what is really astounding is that no other president in our entire history has ever even been accused of this once. But here we have someone screamingly and massively guilty of this, and his defenders simply ignore this.

    3. 2slugbaits

      Rick Stryker I see that Donald Trump’s unhinged craziness is contagious. What’s wrong with you? Is your MAGA hat too tight? I know that most folks in your redneck trailer park don’t read, but if you want to get the facts on Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier, let me recommend Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump. It was written by the Fusion GPS guys themselves and it corrects a lot of your misunderstandings. Also, the only thing the FBI used from the dossier was some supporting material to continue an already existing FISA warrant. This was ancillary material and the FISA warrant would have been extended without it.

      there was no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Russia

      Obviously you have not read the entire Mueller report, including all 2200 footnotes. I have. In fact, Mueller did find evidence that the Trump campaign did collude with Russia; however, Mueller specifically said that Don, Jr. was so stupid and utterly clueless that he probably didn’t know that what he was doing was illegal. Mueller found that there was no evidence that Trump himself colluded with Russia, but the Trump campaign certainly did. And the reason Mueller didn’t find any evidence of Trump’s personal involvement was that Trump himself actively obstructed the investigation. And the second part of the report lays out a pretty strong case that Trump himself was guilty of obstruction of justice on at least four of the ten possible counts. In those four counts Mueller was able to check all three of the DOJ threshold boxes.

      The IG report did not find that the FBI was wrong in investigating members of the Trump campaign. The IG found that the FBI was guilty of committing sloppy procedural errors and did not present the FISA warrant judges with a balanced view by hiding potentially exculpatory evidence. That’s a problem that has plagued the FBI ever since Dick Cheney days. But the key point is that the IG did not find any evidence of political bias in the Trump investigation. OTOH, there is plenty of evidence that the NYC office of the FBI was politically biased against Clinton, but Fox News doesn’t like to talk about that. Or the fact that Lisa Page and Peter Strzok didn’t just trash talk Trump, but they were equally savage in what they had to say about Clinton and (especially) Bernie Sanders. Again, you won’t get that from Fox News.

      cross out “Russia” and put in “Ukraine” and then start impeachment proceedings

      Wrong on several counts. First, most Democrats and especially Nancy Pelosi did not want to impeach Trump because of the political risks. Pelosi had no choice after the whistleblower’s complaint became public. AOC wanted to impeach Trump from day one, but she was in a minority. Most Democrats didn’t want to go that far. Second, it wasn’t the Democrats who forced Trump to make that “perfect” phone call. It wasn’t the Democrats who bought into the long discredited “CrowdStrike” nonsense. It wasn’t the Democrats who listened to crazy Rudy’s half-baked conspiracy theories. You criticize the Steele dossier for getting a few things wrong (but most things right), but yet you seem perfectly comfortable with the stuff in Rudy’s briefcase! Finally, the Democrats didn’t force Trump to obstruct a lawful Congressional investigation. He did that all on his own, so let him take responsibility. Even his own GOP toadies in Congress can’t seem to dispute the substantive charges; they just whine about how unfair and mean the Dems are being to poor little Donald. And I noticed that nowhere did you offer an actual defense of Trump’s actions with respect to Ukraine. Your complaint boils down to the Democrats being mean and nasty. Pathetic.

      1. sammy

        2slugbaits sounds like Captain Queeg in the Caine Mutiny “I know someone stole those strawberries and I can prove it, scientifically……..”

    4. Manfred

      Rick, don’t waste your breath. A wall listens better than most commenters on this blog. It is obvious to many that this is not a “House Impeachment Proceeding”.
      This is a “House Democrat Impeachment”. Not one Republican will vote for it, and couple of Democrats will vote against. There is no bipartisanship, like in other impeachments. This is just a revenge, a very awful one, because he won the election. They never got over it. Pelosi said it herself in an interview a few days ago. Impeachment started over two years ago, that’s what she said – almost verbatim. Thus, this is a charade, a repulsive theater, just because they don’t like him.
      For me, the sad part is, that Republicans will learn nothing. Democrats play very hard when they have power – incredibly hard, even abusing power.
      But Republicans don’t do it. Paul Ryan and John Boehner did not play this way as Speakers. Maybe, just maybe, Republicans will wake up and play as hard, just like Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler played. But I don’t keep my hopes up.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Manfred,

        Were you alive for the Clinton impeachment? It never had more 30% support from the population and more GOPs voted against it (with 2 out of 4 articles not even passing). In the Senate, one Dem did vote to convict, squaky-clean Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. That was easily as partisan as what is going on now.

        And there have been a lot GOPs supporting this. They just do not happen to be in Congress.

        1. ilsm

          JBR,

          The Clinton impeachment was very different………

          Bill losing his license to practice law was not at all political! 83% of democrats likely wanted Bill to keep practicing!

          The popular opinion unless empanelled on a jury and informed on rules and law have no appealable decisions of law or morality.

          Look at fivethirtyeight 44.4% independent and 10.2% GOP support impeachment, today.

          https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/impeachment-polls/

          1. Barkley Rosser

            Oh gag, ilsm. There are competing polls, but the overall average of polls shows little shifting, with at least a plurality, and more often than not a majority, supporting both impeachment and removal. That is a hard fact.

            There simply was little support to impeach Clinton, never above 30 percent. That is also a fact.

            Have you completely lost touch with reality, ilsm? Do you know what a “fact” is anymore?

          2. baffling

            “83% of democrats likely wanted Bill to keep practicing!”
            seriously, where do you get this stuff? do you understand how stoopid you sound uttering such nonsense? or do you not care?

          3. Willie

            We are in a post-fact era for some people. Trump has Putin’s support, though. That’s got to count for something. I wonder if Fox News will report on that at all. I also wonder how much Moscow Mitch’s constituents care about having what amounts to an accidental double agent in the White House.

      2. Moses Herzog

        @ Manfred
        Well Manfred, we had an oversexed President from Arkansas who stuck a cigar into some girl’s coochie-box who was desperately needing attention. And after saving a stained dress like it was an article of clothing from the Battle of Gettysburg, she got the attention she craved. And we got an impeachment out of that.
        https://youtu.be/OrjHrHYv6us?t=35

        Now we have a President who withholds military aid to an ally, already designated by Congress for payment, which should be effectuated by the OMB that is used to hinder Russia from getting a foot in the door for military incursion into Europe so trump can get dirt on his seemingly biggest political adversary in the 2020 election, and you say “I am the dumb circus money, trump tells me to cover my eyes, I cover my eyes, trump tells me to cover my ears, I cover my ears, trump tells me the sky is red, the sky is red”.

        Manfred, remind me never to play “Simon Says” with you, as I know I am no match for you in that game.

      3. noneconomist

        Thanks for the reminders of bipartisanship, Manfred.
        Hard to forget that Democrat Senate Majority Leader who said he would do everything in his power to make Trump a one term president.
        And how about those Freedom Caucus Democrats who made Boehner’s life miserable? They came to D.C. supposedly concerned about fiscal discipline and, wouldn’t you know, they’re not the least bit concerned about trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see?
        Poor Paulie Ryan. He knew those tax cuts would never pay for themselves, but the supply sider Democrats forced his hand, and now he’s back looking forward to little more than cheering on the the Badgers in the Rose Bowl.
        For some reason, Republicans just don’t get no respect. (RIP, Rodney Dangerfield). Thanks again, Manny, for reminding us how little we know of our past.

      4. Rick Stryker

        You are right Manfred, especially about the difference between the way Republicans and Democrats behave. Trump fights back, often alone.

    5. Willie

      Huh? That whole comment was one alternative fact after another. Sniffing glue is bad. It may be too late, though.

      1. pgl

        It is the repeated assertion. Tell the same lie enough times some fool begins to believe the lie. Of course with Team Traitors (those who support Trump are indeed traitors), it is tell a whole pack of lies over and over and over again.

    6. baffling

      “Let’s put this impeachment in context.”
      yes rick, lets do just that. the president of the united states pressured a foreign government to investigate a political rival, or risk losing hundreds of millions of dollars of us support to his country. then the president covered up the actions, and refused to cooperate with an investigation into the details of the bribery and coverup. is this the context you were trying to convey, rick stryker? or are we still standing behind your argument that trump has a right to lie to achieve his means?

      1. Rick Stryker

        Baffling,

        I think you have Trump confused with Biden. Biden is on tape recounting how he did exactly that, at Obama’s behest.

        1. 2slugbaits

          Rick Stryker You’re confused. Let me help you out. Biden is on tape saying that he followed the official Obama position that the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin had to be removed because he wasn’t investigating corrupt companies like Burisma. Biden warned his son that he needed to be careful and asked him if he was sure he knew what he was doing. Why did Biden ask his son that? Because the official position of the US government, the British government, the French government, the German government, the Dutch government, the Belgian government, the Italian government, the World Bank, the IMF and NATO in Brussels was that Bursima needed to be investigated. Far from protecting his son, Biden was putting his son in potential legal jeopardy. That’s why Biden warned his son about Burisma.

          The Rudy lie is that Shokin was somehow the only honest person in Ukraine. No one except Rudy and dimwit Donald believes that. Even Trump’s own national security team told him that Rudy was feeding him BS and that Trump needed to quit listening to crazy Rudy. Rudy’s been running around with a briefcase full of irrelevant affidavits from Shokin and other corrupt Ukrainians trying to cover their asses from prosecution.

          If you can’t keep all that straight, here’s a helpful timeline:
          https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/09/the-hunter-biden-timeline/

        2. Barkley Rosser

          Rick,

          There you go again, repeating a lie Hannity and others just repeat over and over. Biden did press to get Shokin out, but he was not investigating Hunter Biden, and the effort to get him out was supported by European allies and the IMF due to his high rate of corruption. This was an actual anti-corrruption effort. Trump and Giuliani have been working to restore the power of those corrupt former officials.

        3. baffling

          no russian rick, there is no confusion. the conversation was between trump and ukraine. we have the edited transcript of the bribery, which itself sounds bad. imagine if we were to see the unedited transcript, or better yet, the actual recording (which i am sure exists). it would be absolutely devastating russian rick. lets release the actual conversation then pass judgement, what do you say to that transparency russian rick?

  3. Moses Herzog

    I am guessing Menzie is asleep now, (as most normal human beings are, nevermind a prof bogged down with work). But I wanted to share this tweet, which to me is a standout in today’s times:
    https://twitter.com/RepKendraHorn/status/1207017249330126848

    Kendra Horn has now proven herself (in my book anyway) to be a woman of strong moral conviction and strong moral fiber (a rarity in 2019). She is making her decision being fully-aware that what she is doing will preclude her ever being re-elected by the district she represents (packed with voters who are, in essence, functionally illiterate). She is doing it fully knowing and fully aware this decision is one which will be self-detrimental to many of her personal goals and where she wanted to go with her political career. But Kendra Horn is voting for impeachment because she knows it is the right and morally just thing to do. She is doing it because she is a person who knows God judges people MORE for their Christian ACTS than about blathering about Jesus all day long. Kendra Horn WALKS THE WALK. I hope those outside her district will take the time to write her a personal thank you letter (As I am now seriously pondering doing myself, an old school “snail mail” to tell her I admire both her and her decision made under great political duress). Or even contribute $10–$25 to her campaign if you can afford it. I have to NO personal or professional connection to her campaign, for the record. We all hope we are the type person who will “take one for the team”—to sacrifice ourselves for the betterment of the whole—but how many of us actually DO it when that time presents itself??? Kendra Horn is this person, and I think, if not in this life then in the next, a favorable light will shine brightly upon this woman.

  4. Moses Herzog

    The last girl in the short video link below mentions being inspired by Hong Kong protesters. In essence saying she knows what Hong Kongers are doing shows much more self-sacrifice than what she is doing, so that self-sacrifice and fearlessness of Hong Kongers lit a fire underneath her and her friend to show up in Times Square:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUS1wssj0Ro

    So this is something Hong Kongers may not be aware of, that their actions effect people in other countries and they may think “Oh we are ‘just Chinese’, what other people in other places care about us??” But they DO care and people are emotionally moved by those things. It’s a kind of guilt when you see other people “biting the bullet” to gain things that you already have but may not fully appreciate.

  5. pgl

    Had to laugh at this:

    Another Trump supporter, who declined to give her name, expressed her disdain for House Democrats. “They should take away their law degrees,” she said.

    Well why not just tear up the Constitution as this is the era of King Donald I!

  6. joseph

    Hey, Megapixel Stryker is back! Right on cue.

    Recall that Stryker first declared his obeisance to Trump on the very first day of his administration, leaping to Trump’s defense on his lie about the size of his inaugural crowd. Rick had megapixels, yea, gigapixels to prove it.

    Stryker never fails to debase himself at the feet of his Dear Leader.

    Here we have him faithfully parroting Rudi Giuliani’s crazy paranoid conspiracies. When Trump says lie for me, Stryker jumps right to it.

    1. pgl

      “leaping to Trump’s defense on his lie about the size of his inaugural crowd.”

      Is that like lying about the size of one’s hands or the size of one’s (expletive deleted in case the children are watching)?

      1. Moses Herzog

        @ pgl
        I’m WAY too young to observe this internet conversation, but I just want to let you know I don’t mind if you use that word you almost used.

        Note: This fulfills my contractually obligated “one Dad joke per comment thread” stipulated in my contract.

    2. 2slugbaits

      joseph Stryker first declared his obeisance to Trump on the very first day of his administration

      But a few weeks before the 2016 primaries and caucuses Rick Stryker boldly declared himself a “never Trumper”. He was even more disgusted with Trump than I was and he vowed never to vote for Trump. Then after Trump became the nominee Stryker started his intellectual gymnastics. We saw the same thing with GOP senators. Back in September they were horrified with Trump’s “perfect” phone call and hoped it wasn’t true. Now they’ve done a 180 and don’t see anything wrong with it. Michael Cohen was right; Trump morally corrupts everyone he comes in contact with.

      1. Moses Herzog

        Stryker really is the purest of trollers. The word is way over-used. But he really has no idealistic disagreements with the bear. He just likes poking the bear to get a reaction. We had a similar commenter here before, I forgot his name because it’s been ages. But you just had the sense he hovered over comments in some sadistic fashion. I’m too lazy to hunt his name down. Stryker has no interest in engaging, just throw the firecracker into the crowd and watch with a grin from the bushes.

        1. baffling

          one only needs to recall how rick stryker declared that it is permissible for trump to lie if it allows him to get what he wants. all of rick’s positions become crystal clear once you understand his ethical line in the sand.

  7. Not Trampis

    how about this from left field.

    When people voted for Trump they knew he was a crook. Afterall a property developer is always sus. He had ‘contacts’ with criminal figures for ages.
    Yes everybody knows he committed a crime however everyone knew he would. I hate to invoke godwin’s law but everybody knew Hitler would kill people once in power and they approved of it.

    Is this no different.

    an unkind person from downunder would say /Suckers but I could not possibly comment!

    1. pgl

      Sammy! The first reasonable comment from you ever. Have you joined the Lincoln Project (the one hope for old fashion Republican values)? If so, I guess they decided you were the one who would actually go so far as to murder King Donald I. If you succeed, I’ll pay for your defense attorney. Go for it man!

    2. pgl

      Sammy’s quote has been put into modern practice:
      https://streetwiseprofessor.com/when-you-strike-at-a-king-you-must-kill-him/Shares

      When You Strike at a King, You Must Kill Him

      Ralph Waldo Emerson penned those lines in a letter to Oliver Wendell Holmes more than 150 years ago: in the last 27 months, a latter day sultan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has put them into practice. In the aftermath of the July, 2016 coup that failed to topple him, Erdogan has ruthlessly cracked down on anyone he or his minions even suspected were involved in, or even supported, the coup. The military and civil service have been purged, and Turkey lives in fear. Anyone with the even remote ties to the Gulenists whom Erdogan believes were behind the coup is at risk of losing his/her job, and even his/her liberty. People struck at Erdogan, failed to kill him, and he is taking his revenge. Today, Erdogan is taking advantage of the Khashoggi killing to strike at a monarch–in this case, an actual monarch, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (and by extension, his father, King Salman). One wonders if Erdogan is paying proper heed to Emerson’s warning, or whether he is merely an arrogant chancer who is failing to recognize that MBS will respond as ruthlessly to an existential threat as Erdogan did to his own. Erdogan imagines himself the leader of world Islam, and views this as his chance to strike at his main rival for that distinction. Indeed, MBS (or his creatures) committed a blunder by killing Khashoggi, and on Turkish soil no less. But despite this blunder, Erdogan’s success is far from certain.

      MBS? Erdogan? Oh yea – Trump’s mentors! Careful Americans – if we do not take Trump out ASAP, he may do us all in!

  8. joseph

    Trump’s closest associates:

    Michael Cohen, Trumps’ personal attorney – convicted
    Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager – convicted
    Rick Gates, Trump’s deputy campaign manager – convicted
    Roger Stone, Trump’s campaign adviser – convicted
    George Papadopoulos, Trump’s campaign adviser – convicted
    Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Adviser – convicted

    That’s a lot of criminals among Trump’s closest associates.
    What do they all have in common, well, other than the fact that they are criminals and close friends of Trump? What they all have in common is that they lied to the FBI about their contacts with the Russians. Why would so many Trump associates be so desperately lying, even at the risk of jail time, about their contacts with Putin’s Russian operatives?

  9. ilsm

    There I was, 49 odd years ago………. Political protests…….. some are different than others!

    Spring 1970, Nixon was president, had sent the US troops into Cambodia. The campuses were in turmoil. It was not so much Nixon!

    I was a sophomore, lived in a fraternity. We had invited a USMC Major to give us information on the USMC’s officer training programs.. He spoke to us in uniform. We were located close to the campus Admin building which had been seized.

    When the lecture was done several of us asked the Major if we could walk him to his car. He said “No I won’t need any help.”

    I was AF ROTC never bothered me to walk campus in uniform, one day a week.

    Today, no one seems to care how much mayhem the US perpetrates around the world [2slugs and pgl I’ll save you some typing “ad reduction ilsm”). Trump according to some (misleading) democrats withheld anti tank missiles keeping Kyiv from doing Donbass like US did in Vietnam!

    1. 2slugbaits

      Sorry, but this is incomprehensible. Sure you’re not drunk after seeing Trump get impeached? But for the record, the US did not invade Ukraine, Putin did. Trump did withhold Javelin missiles until Trump got caught and released some of the money for the Javelins. And contrary to what Trump says, he did not release all of the Javelin money Congress appropriated. There’s still about $55M in military aid that somehow never made it to Ukraine…gee, maybe it got diverted to help build that wall!

      1. baffling

        2slugs, you have to allow for bots to produce gibberish every once in a while. their algorithms are not perfect.

      2. ilsm

        2slugs,

        Let me explain.

        There has been a cease fire in Donbass for months, 9 Dec 2019 meeting achieved some movement on prisoner exchange, the situation is analogous to denying “self determination” to Russian speakers in Donbass. Kyiv is hesitant to allow an “elections”, like the US in 1954 in Vietnam.

        You should look into the Normandy Format ongoing and meeting again in March 2020.

        Campus protests in the 70’s were justified unlike the Trump Derangement Syndrome driving these campus denunciations’.

        As to aiding the Ukraine version of Saigon 1965, why is Trump wrong on hesitating to arm a corrupt regime?

        The 1970’s kids protested US harm in Southeast Asia. The kids today are protesting for the harm to self determination US can do in Donbass.

        Irony is lost when you have to explain.

        1. pgl

          Kent State again? Dude – have you been doing coke ever since? That would explain your incredibly stupid posts!

    2. Barkley Rosser

      Oh dear, ilsm. When Trump witheld the mil aid, it was much more powerful Russians who were pushing forward miliarily. The idea that the Ukrainians, supported by military aid from the US, could carry out in the Donbass even remotely like what the US did in Vietnam is just absurd.

      1. pgl

        ilsm is disappointed that people object to Putin annexing Crimea and East Ukraine. After all – some of the residents there actually speak Russian and drink vodka. Every time we read the utter nonsense from ilsm we should forgive him as he wakes up drinking vodka.

          1. pgl

            Yep. And Brighton Beach (south Brooklyn) is very Russian so maybe Trump will allow Putin to annex that too! After all – he has figured out that most voters in his home state will vote against him in 2020 – just like we did in 2016.

          2. ilsm

            analogies…. Vietnam 1954, come to mind.

            If US and Kyiv could just let Donbass go as the US could have saved a lot of trouble letting Saigon go…… dominoes et alia?

            I suggest you read Professor Earnest May’s Strange Victory concerning an=mong other topics appeasement to gather deeper perspective.

            https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Victory-Hitlers-Conquest-France/dp/0809088541

            My feeling is Putin is no Hitler and has no Prussians, as Brad DeLong asks ‘could there ever be a Prussian military ethic as potent as in 1940’?

          3. pgl

            “My feeling is Putin is no Hitler”. Ala ilsm. No – Putin is Stalin. Ask East Europe how ignoring him worked out!

    3. pgl

      This is your defense for having a traitor in the White House? Kent State? Dude – you do not need to keep reminding us you lost your marbles over a generation ago. It is even more obvious than the crimes Trump has committed.

        1. pgl

          I hate to disappoint Trump #1 troll but I am not part of the DNC. But you do work for the KGB. Yes Trump is a traitor and it appears you are too.

    1. ilsm

      Gabbard a profile in courage, she has been called a Russian asset so she earns it by staying out of the denunciation.

      1. pgl

        Abstaining from voting on the impeachment vote is a profile in courage? I think we have a new winning for Stupidest Man Alive. ISLM – in all seriousness you need to lay off the vodka as it has clearly rotted what ever brain cells you ever had.

  10. joseph

    Moses: "You wanna see me say I was wrong about something/someone?? I was wrong about Tulsi Gabbard."

    Don’t give up on her too soon. She has the best chance of beating Trump as the Russians’ new favorite candidate.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I don’t think this is fair, to judge a combat veteran based on certain noise being made on the internet. However, I am no longer moved to defend the woman, so, I guess this is kinda like if you saw your mother-in-law trip over the coffee table. You know, I’m just not in that big of a rush to pull her up and this beer in my hand isn’t getting any colder.

      I’ve always thought myself pretty perceptive about people, but I was horrendously wrong on Tulsi Gabbard, so it’s a good time to get out the chainsaw and do your best Leatherface imitation on Uncle Moses, I can’t even bring myself to raise up my hands up to protect my face on this one.

  11. Vasja

    I rarely venture into politics. Perhaps I should avoid it… In my view, the main benefit from launching the procedures has been achieved. It was to act as a deterrent to bypass official channels with an intent to obtain damaging information on political rivals via foreign assistance, in the next year. By now, the involved parties should realize that they will be under increased scrutiny should this practice continue. This increases the likelihood of fair elections, absent of foreign interference, in 2020. Regardless who wins, the opinion of US voters gets its deserved respect. Good luck to all!

    1. Baffling

      The threat of investigation and possible impeachment for colluding with the russians should have been a deterrent to what happened in ukraine, but it had no impact on future behavior. You give the trump administration too much credit for the capacity to act ethically and morally upright.

  12. 2slugbaits

    Well, it looks like my recommendation for Speaker Pelosi to simply sit on the articles of impeachment is beginning to get traction. I saw that it was the subject of some talking heads panels last night. John Dean was making a strong case for it. Dean presented two arguments. The first is that it would give Pelosi a lot of leverage over the Senate rules. The second is that it would put Trump in the position of having to campaign throughout the summer and fall as a “still impeached” president, which has the ring of “loser” written all over it.

    1. sammy

      2slugbaits,

      You are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

      Take a look at what the Democrats have wrought:
      1) Impeached a President of whom 30+ (D) congressman constituents voted for
      2) Energized the Repub base, and most notably fundraising https://www.foxnews.com/politics/republican-party-sets-fundraising-record-amid-impeachment-battle
      3) Sidelined 2 of the top 3 Democratic presidential contenders (Warren and Sanders) in the month leading up to the 1st primary, greatly benefitting Sleepy Joe.
      4) Enraged DJT, who seems motivated by a foil. Remember the catalyst for Trump running was supposedly Obama humiliating him, over and over, at some banquet. Do you see how that turned out?

      All for something that is sure to be defeated in the Senate. The epitome of a Pyrrhic victory.

      1. pgl

        Gee standing on actual principles might be politically costly. Which is why pretend Senators such as McConnell and Lindsey Graham never stand on principles. Of course these two pretenders have no principles. Sort of like you!

      2. pgl

        “All for something that is sure to be defeated in the Senate.”

        Kind of funny since our Senate died the day they let McConnell become its leader. Way to cheer for traitors there Sammy! We always knew you had it in you.

      3. 2slugbaits

        sammy

        Impeached a President of whom 30+ (D) congressman constituents voted for

        The 2018 election tells us that those constituents had a change of heart regarding Trump.

        Energized the Repub base, and most notably fundraising

        True. When you can win the arguments with reason, then try big money. That’s been the Republican playbook for years.

        Sidelined 2 of the top 3 Democratic presidential contenders

        Since Sanders and Warren are the least likely to beat Trump, I’d say that sidelining them is an advantage to the Democrats.

        Enraged DJT, who seems motivated by a foil.

        Yes, he lost the popular vote by quite a large margin. The Electoral College is Affirmative Action for Republicans.

        All for something that is sure to be defeated in the Senate.

        Not if it never gets to the Senate. You can see how just the mention of not holding a trial in the Senate has enraged Trump. He’s a petty man and it’s pretty easy to push his buttons. Worst gamester I’ve ever seen.

    2. Barkley Rosser

      2slug,

      Even if he is not convicted, Trump will remain the “still impeached” president. That never goes away. Impeachment is essentially an indictment. Even if one is not convicted, one was still indicted. Bill Clinton remains an “impeached” now -former-president, despite not getting convicted.

      1. 2slugbaits

        Even if he is not convicted, Trump will remain the “still impeached” president.

        Sure. Strictly speaking that will always be true, but I think John Dean’s point was that Trump will have to campaign as having been impeached without having been acquitted. He would be denied the opportunity to claim the Senate found him not guilty. It’s like being indicted without ever having the chance to clear your name, even if clearing your name would require jury tampering. None of that will matter to Trump’s base, but it might matter to some independents and it will matter a lot to future historians. But most of all it’s the kind of thing that will stick in Trump’s craw and eat away at him until the day he dies.

        1. Willie

          It is still early, too. There will be additional information that leaks out. Pelosi’s delay strategy may be more astute than any of us could have imagined. Things may get worse, and Trump’s enablers in the Senate may have a harder time quashing things if more and more damning information comes out. The administration sure acts like it’s hiding fetid, rotting things. And, the courts have not yet ruled on whether the administration can just do a blanket stonewall job. That’s a mixed metaphor at best, but it’s the only description I can think of for the insistence that nobody who has been part of the administration can testify before Congress. That seems unConstitutional to me, but I’m even less of a lawyer than I am economist.

    3. pgl

      Of course Senator Turtle took to the Senate floor accusing Pelosi of getting wet feet over her allegedly weak case. Of course the Turtle is flat out lying. I just wish some Senator to call him out when he lies to the Senate this way. They’d do this in London so why not here?

      1. 2slugbaits

        The irony is that Pelosi just took a page from McConnell’s own playbook. Remember when McConnell sat on Obama’s SCOTUS nomination? What surprised me is that McConnell seems to have been caught off guard by Pelosi’s threat to sit on the articles of impeachment. This was an obvious gambit, so McConnell should have seen it coming.

        1. Baffling

          As mcconnell did, pelosi should sit on it until the next elected congress. He set that precedent. Let the people vote.

    4. ilsm

      Pelosi cannot stand for the denunciations to get process concerned with due process, justice, timing and facts.

  13. joseph

    Vasja: “In my view, the main benefit from launching the procedures has been achieved. It was to act as a deterrent to bypass official channels with an intent to obtain damaging information on political rivals via foreign assistance, in the next year. By now, the involved parties should realize that they will be under increased scrutiny should this practice continue. This increases the likelihood of fair elections, absent of foreign interference, in 2020.”

    With no consequences, there is no deterrent. It’s just the opposite. Every time Trump has gotten away with something, he doubles down and does something worse. Recall that it was just the day after the Mueller testimony, which Trump took as vindication, that he had the infamous conversation with Zelensky. He gets away with something and he takes it as clearance to do something worse.

    As soon as Trump is acquitted by the Republican Senate, you will see Trump unchained. He will truly know, just as he said during the campaign, that he could get away with shooting someone on Fifth Avenue and nothing would happen. And he would be right. The Senate is telling Trump loud and clear that there is absolutely nothing that they won’t let him get away with.

    The 2020 election is in great jeopardy.

    1. ilsm

      The house denunciation can stand no process……

      Trump did nothing wrong, how can assaulting corruption be wrong outside the DNC,impeachable, he did what a lot of politicians do!

      Your implications are not acceptable. You may be too young but the last outsider Reagan was called the Teflon man!

      Although the DNC is setting up an assault on their upcoming drubbing aka 2020 elections!

      The greatest threat to the US is the DNC masters in the swamp.

      Who can vote for corrupt Biden!

      1. Barkley Rosser

        “Corrupt Biden”? Sorry a Giulliani-Trump-Hannity lie. Biden was not demanding the firing of a prosecutor investigating Hunter or Burisma. This was an internationally supported anti-corruption effort.

        1. pgl

          Here is a serious question – why are we even bothering with this Russian bot? Same old lies over and over again.

  14. Rick Stryker

    Barkley,

    Sorry, you can’t get out of your false statement that easily, by trying to talk about the meaning of “trigger.” I said that the essential piece of evidence that allowed the FBI to get a FISA warrant on Carter Page was the Steele Dossier, Russian dirt that was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Let’s just stick to that statement? Are you denying that?

    I gave you a link and a quote from the IG report that shows that my assertion is true. Once you tell me whether you are denying that basic statement we can talk about your “trigger” qualification.

    2slugs, where do you get these fantasies that the first FISA was an extension of one that existed since 2014? Why don’t you give some documentary evidence for once to back up your statement? And if you can’t (hint: you can’t) then you should apologize for wasting my time.

      1. Rick

        The Washington Free Beacon hired fusion GPS to conduct oppo research on a number of candidates, including Trump. However, that ended when Trump became the candidate.

        The hiring of Steele and the insertion of Russian dirt into the FBI, DOJ, and the media was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, in order to affect a Presidential election.

          1. Rick Stryker

            There is nothing wrong for a newspaper to pay for oppo research to help it write articles.

            There is something badly wrong with a political candidate, Hillary Clinton, and a political party, the Democratic Party, paying for Russian dirt on their political opponent in a Presidential campaign and then inserting it into the DOJ and FBI in order to get an investigation started. That’s far worse than anything Trump is accused of doing with the Ukraine (which he didn’t do of course.)

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Rick Stryker: But OK for a USG official (Trump) or candidate (Trump) asking Russia for information from Russian govt? Or from Ukrainian individuals?

          3. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Rick Stryker: But OK for USG official or presidential candidate (Trump) asking Russian intelligence for dirt? Or asking Ukrainian govt officials to announce investigation of political rival? That is what you are essentially saying.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          The vast majority of that “Russian dirt” has been verified. Note this was not Dems demanding dirt from the Russian government, which was providing dirt on Clinton to Trump. It came from a retired British agent, quite a different matter.

          1. Rick Stryker

            Barkley,

            Another set of false statements. There were four Steele specific dossier reports that were used in the FISA application—reports 80, 94, 95, and 102. These were the core set of allegations about Trump campaign collusion with Russia. All four reports were shown to be false. It’s also false that Russia was providing dirt on Hillary Clinton to Trump.

            In fact, Hillary Clinton paid for Russian dirt on Trump, in an attempt to influence the election. It was Hillary Clinton and the Democrats who conspired with a foreign spy to pedal Russian dirt, allowing foreigners to interfere in the election.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            Rick,

            It is my understanding that there are only two claims in the Steele dossier that have actually been shown to be false, with the majority verified and several (including the notorious but ultimately unimportant “golden showers” report) still undetermined.

            The two found to be false were the claim that Michael Cohen made an Aug. 2016 trip to Prague, loudly dismissed by Cohen himself with support from his passport, even as he supported or said nothing about numerous other matters in the dossier, many of which he apparently had knowledge about.

            The other was a claim that when Carter Page met with officials from Rosneft in Moscow, which he did, they offered him some wildly huge financial deal. That appears to be false. Of course, as already noted, although long a target of FBI suspicions, Page was never indicted, apparently innocent of the charges. indeed the most likely person to be indicted is the FBI official who removed crucial information that he has worked for the CIA (perhaps a reason Brennan opposed using the Steele dossier, a matter just reported, although apparentlyi Durham is after Brennan for who knows what).

            In any case, again, Page was no longer part of the Trump team when he was investigated and none of this leaked prior to the election, in comparison with Comey leaking damaging but false information about Clinton 11 days before the elecition. And again, Steele was not a Russian government official, but a former British spy long used by various US intel agencies as a reliable source.

      2. Rick Stryker

        The Washington Free Beacon hired Fusion GPS to conduct oppo research on Trump and other candidates. However, that stopped when Trump became the nominee. The Free Beacon had nothing to do with Steele and the Dossier.

        It was Hillary Clinton and the DNC who paid for Russian dirt on the Trump campaign to be pedaled to the FBI, DOJ, and the media.

          1. pgl

            THE Rick apparently gets paid by the word. Yea his words are nothing more than lies but look at who pays him – another serial liar.

          1. Rick Stryker

            2slugs,

            Learn to read. I didn’t say the DNC or Hillary hired Steele directly . I said his dossier was bought and paid for by them. And that’s a fact.

          2. 2slugbaits

            Rick Stryker This is what you said:
            Hillary Clinton and the DNC pay a foreign spy to get Russian dirt on their political opponent, Donald Trump,
            http://econbrowser.com/archives/2019/12/madison-wi-a-march#comment-233003

            You didn’t just say that they bought and paid for the dossier, you said that they paid a foreign spy. You didn’t say they paid Fusion GPS for information in the dossier, you said they paid a foreign spy.

            As I corrected you before. They paid Fusion GPS, not Steele. Steele was paid by Fusion GPS. Steele was not a “foreign spy” at the time; he was a private investigator who didn’t do any actual gumshoe investigating himself. The information in his dossier came from other sources that Steele then aggregated into a report and added various comments as to each item’s veracity.

          3. baffling

            “I said his dossier was bought and paid for by them. And that’s a fact.”
            and that is wrong. you have the signed and cashed check i assume? otherwise you owe the dnc and ms. clinton an apology russian rick.
            it is interesting how russian rick has turned on the trump family friend christopher steele, a member of the british (ie allied) intelligence community. everybody eventually gets thrown under the bus when they enter the trump orbit.

    1. 2slugbaits

      Rick Stryker
      https://www.justsecurity.org/59837/reports-carter-page-subject-fisa-warrant-2013-2014/

      Even the Trump friendly Washington Examiner noted that Carter Page had been under FISA warrants since 2014:
      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/former-trump-adviser-carter-page-under-fisa-warrant-since-2014-report

      And then there’s good old Wikipedia:
      Page was the subject of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant in 2014, at least two years earlier than was indicated in the stories concerning his role in the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump,[28][29] 2017 news accounts about the warrant indicated it was granted because of Page’s ties to Buryakov, Podobnyy, and the third Russian who attempted to recruit him, Igor Sporyshev.[28]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_Page

      Satisfied?

      1. Rick Stryker

        2slugs,

        Just as I expected, but I wanted you to commit to it. Do you realize that those are not 3 separate sources? They all rely on one CNN report that made that claim, based on leaks from unnamed people who are allegedly familiar with the matter. Of course we know the track record that CNN has had with its predictions from leakers.

        So, no I’m not satisified. I asked for documentary evidence, not leak-mongering from CNN.

        CNN was of course getting its leaks from people like Obama DNI James Clapper. Here’s what Clapper later said publicly on CNN about the use of the steele dossier in the FISA application. From the article summarizing the interview:

        “Clapper weighed in on the FISA process for the Carter Page warrant that used documents such as the infamous dossier with deep knowledge and precise memory. He said the dossier was certainly not the “primary source” for the warrant and later said it played “perhaps an input.””

        Except we know from the IG report that the dossier was the primary source.

        Unless you have something better, I’ll take that apology now.

        1. pgl

          “Do you realize that those are not 3 separate sources?”

          And some people think the source of your lies is the White House. WRONG! All of these lies begin in the Kremlin. Trump is just Putin’s hand maiden.

        2. 2slugbaits

          Rick Stryker Of course they are based on leaks. We’re talking about FISA warrants. They don’t post those on your local post office bulletin board. And they were based on “leaks” (plural) from “people” (plural).

          You’ve also misread what the IG report said. And apparently you didn’t understand the Javy Baez analogy. The dossier provided additional information, but it wasn’t the only source of information. The background story is that the information provided in (what your are calling) the “first” warrant was the same information that had been provided to FISA court judges ever since 2014. The problem was that after two years the FISA warrants had not produced any criminal action, so the judge rejected the request. That’s when the FBI decided to use the dossier as a way to puff up the warrant with new information.

    2. pgl

      “you can’t get out of your false statement that easily”.

      You are exactly like Trump. First you lie serially. And when someone points out you have lied about every thing – you accuse that person of lying.

      Lord – I would say you and Trump are really childish but I don’t want to insult children who learned to tell the truth. No – let’s just say it shows what an incredible little worthless idiot you and your hero really are. I’m rubber and you’re glue is really pathetic but you play this dumb game with real expertise.

    3. pgl

      “you should apologize for wasting my time”. Relax Ricky boy. ALL of your comments are wastes of time.

  15. 2slugbaits

    After all of this we still haven’t heard any actual defenses of what Trump did. I’m feeling generous today, so let me attempt to offer what I think might suffice as a defense against impeachment. It’s possible (although I don’t think likely) that in his “perfect” phone call Trump was unconsciously more concerned about what happened in 2016 and less concerned about his potential rival in 2020. It’s not a story I entirely believe, but it’s at least plausible. Trump is clearly a very insecure personality and he is easily manipulated by folks who know how to flatter his ego. Given that I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that he was entirely suckered by crazy Rudy’s conspiracy theories. Trump never got over the fact that he lost the popular vote. He never got over the fact that his inauguration crowd was smaller than Obama’s. He has never gotten over the fact that he was never accepted by the NY elites. In short, he holds a grudge and can’t let go of hurt feelings. Rudy’s conspiracy theories played into those insecurities because they allowed Trump to believe he really would have won a landslide popular vote victory had it not been for Ukraine and those millions of illegal votes cast by non-citizens. Trump was still obsessed over the 2016 election. Crazy Rudy’s conspiracy theories allowed Trump to pretend that he lost the popular vote because Obama and Biden and the FBI all conspired to ensure a Clinton victory. And according to a story just the other day, we know that Putin told Trump that Ukraine was behind it all because they wanted Clinton to win because of her vocal support for Ukraine. It was another Putin lie that Trump was only too happy to believe.

    I think that’s a possible defense against the charge that Trump was trying to interfere in the 2020 election. This paints a picture of someone who wasn’t engaged in some deeply clever scheme to ensure his reelection, but the playing out the fantasies of an insecure sociopath. This is a man who is manifestly unfit to be president. I rarely agreed with Reagan or Ford or Bush 41 or Bush 43, but no one ever accused them of holding a grudge to the point of a pathological obsession.

  16. pgl

    Hey more intellectual garbage for the RICK and his lying little crew!

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/i-watched-oans-unhinged-ukraine-impeachment-special-so-you-dont-have-to

    ‘Right-wing TV channel One America News has released its full, three-part series meant to reveal the “real” Ukraine story, starring Rudy Giuliani and a host of allegedly corrupt Ukrainian officials. The three-hour-long, often disjointed special aims to debunk the facts behind the impeachment inquiry days before Congress votes on impeachment. At its core, the series tells a story in which Giuliani has been unfairly smeared for trying to open a good-faith investigation into so-called Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. Along the way, the story goes, Giuliani stumbled upon head-spinning evidence that the Bidens are corrupt. OAN host Chanel Rion managed to throw in some additional allegations — culled in part from Ukrainian politicians fighting off corruption allegations of their own — that Schiff himself is personally corrupt due to his investments in Franklin Templeton-run mutual funds. The allegations don’t make sense, and frequently contradict themselves. Watching the series, it becomes clear that OAN failed to do basic research in numerous areas. For example, the documentary ties Ambassador Yovanovitch to the release of the so-called “black ledger,” a purported bribe ledger in Ukraine that named Paul Manafort, even though the document was made public months before she arrived at the post.’

    There is more but you get the idea.

    1. noneconomist

      Those crazed left wing maniacs at CT Today. They apparently have joined with the traitor Fox judge, Benedict Napolitano, in trying to take down Glorious Leader. What other reason would these (faux?) Christians have in writing this drivel?
      “…The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That not only is a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral….this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration
      He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example to a human being who is lost and confused.”
      If that weren’t enough, this: “We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath…None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.”
      Obviously, it’s been a while since these people have thumped a Bible or they would certainly remember Jesus’ advice on wealth and power: if you’ve got it, flaunt it, and that it never hurts to hurt others before they hurt you. I look forward to Russian Rick’s riff that will set these charlatans straight.

  17. joseph

    I think it is rather curious that federal convict Paul Manafort decided to work for free for Donald Trump at the very same time he was receiving millions of dollars from Putin surrogates in Ukraine.

    And now we have Rudi Giuliani who decided to work for free for Donald Trump at the very same time he is receiving over a million dollars from Lev Parnas who received millions of dollars from Russian mob boss Dmytro Firtash.

    Donald Trump has to be the luckiest guy in the world to have all of these high powered consultants, not particularly known for their charitable dispositions, deciding out of the blue to work for free for Donald Trump. But not to worry, their children aren’t going barefoot because they are getting millions from Russian interests.

    Also curiously, Trump is at this very moment fighting with Congress to reduce sanctions on Russia.

    1. Willie

      Hmmmm… As I recall, Trump said he wasn’t going to take a salary for being president. Could this be a pattern?

  18. sammy

    One of the Democrats’ witnesses who testified in favor of President Trump’s impeachment cautioned Thursday that in order to officially impeach the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must send the articles of impeachment to the Republican-led Senate.
    In a Bloomberg op-ed, Harvard legal scholar Noah Feldman said Pelosi, D-Calif., can delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate, but not for an “indefinite” period of time.
    “Impeachment as contemplated by the Constitution does not consist merely of the vote by the House, but of the process of sending the articles to the Senate for trial. Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution: The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial,” he wrote, going on to say that if the House doesn’t release the articles, Trump could legitimately declare that he was never actually impeached.

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/trump-not-impeached-yet-noah-feldman

    This is your guy saying that your effort to “stain” Trump with a scarlet letter may not even be valid unless Pelosi sends it over.

  19. Baffling

    I find it fascinating that a reagan republican like russian rick would so favor trumps damage to an ally like ukraine at the behest of the soviet spy putin. Reagans head would spin in the grave at the thought of such republican defense of soviet activity. Well done russian rick stryker.

    1. noneconomist

      Re: Supposed Reagan Republican Russian Rick’s repetitious rants. They reveal really ridiculous revelations filled with rudimentary rot.

  20. Baffling

    On an unrelated note, my guess is russian rick was behind boeings ill fated attempt at flying to the iss. I guess nasa should rely a little less on commercial enterprise. Or take the advice of the rossers when keeping space time.

  21. Barkley Rosser

    To ilsm,

    You are free to comment on my Afghanistan War post on Econospeak, which is where it went up originally anyway.

    Oh, and I have posted there on whether Menzie or Tyler Cowen is the successor to Mark Thoma. Probavbly both are is the bottom line.

  22. Barkley Rosser

    I have done further digging into what the IG report says about the Steele dossier.

    So the initial investigation into the Trum-Russia link was triggered by the Papadopolous convesation with an Australian diplomat. However that did not supply enough evidence for the FBI to restart its surveillance of Carter Page that it had done in the past. The Steele dosier was critical to pusing that over the top in Sept. 2016, convincing in particular a senior FBI counsel figure to go for the FISA application.

    The report does find one more specific allegation in the dossier that is apparently untrue, besides the allegations about Cohen going to Prague and Page being offered a huge part of Rosneft (although he did meet with one of their top officials, something he initially denied). This third false allegation is a claim that Page was an intermediary between Manafort and the Russians. That is false. Manafort’s intermediaries were others.

    Steel himself estimates that 70-9 percent of his dossier is correct. He puts 50 percent rating on the still unverified but not disproven “golden shower” allegation.

    Again, there were definitely a lot of errors and goofups in the FISA application, certainly the worst when an FBI agent removed information that Page had been working for another US agency. That agent will be in serious trouble.

    Also, for alll the claims of this being done to influence the election, there was only one report on it that came out before the election, a Halloween article by David Corn in Mother Jones that got almost zero attention. Most people were looking at Comey’s announcement about the renewed investigation of Clinton’s email server. As it was, apparently Fusion GPS and Steele had tried to sell things from his dossier over a period of months the several national security reporters at place like NY Times and WaPo, but none went for it then.

    So much for the conspiracy by the mainstream media against Trump. They trumpeted the phony investigation of the sillly Clinton emails server scandal while simply ignoring this large story of Trump-Russia collusion, most of which has since been verified.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      MOre stuff from digging around the report.

      The GOPsters have made a huge and ongoing stinnk about the messages brwteen Peter Srzoek and Lisa Pagee; Hannity mentions them almost every night, along with those lines quoted by several here about the “phony Steelle dossier” being “bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.” Heck, they have been almost the new Benghazi.

      Well, according to the Horowitz report they were relatively minor figures in the whole thing with no decisionmaking authority. One may disapprove of their affair and even some of their messages to each other. But they were just a sideshow.

      Furthermore, while the individuals are not named, the report reports that there were several people involved who were very much pro-Trump and who sent each other cheeering and congratulatory emails when Trump won.

      This is not in the report, but it has long been claimed that the reason Comey publicly announce the renewed investigation into HRC’s servr 11 days before the election was that anti-Clinton officials in the FBI New YOrk office allied with Rudy Giuliani were going to leak it if he did not. WaPo the other day claims that the most influential minor act by anybody was Weiner photographing his weiner in 2011, which led to this revrelation and Trump becomingn president

      Of course many things in the Steeele dossier long denied by Trump and his allies have since been verified. Probably the most important is that he was indeed in volvoed in major business negotiations with Putin and his people far into 2016, soemething very important right now and that he should probably be getting impeached for but is not.

    2. Rick Stryker

      Barkley,

      It’s good that you are looking at the primary sources, e.g., the IG report, to get your info rather than from anonymous leaks to the media.

      Yes, that’s correct: Crossfire Hurricane was opened because of a statement that Papodopolous made to an FFG (friendly foreign country) over beers. What actually got the counterintelligence investigation opened was Papadopolous (Pap) relating what the mysterious Joseph Mifsud told him, which was that the Trump campaign had received an offer of assistance from the Russians. The FBI opened the investigation on Pap, Page, Flynn, and Manafort based on the FFG report.

      However, the FISA warrant was a separate matter because it allowed far more intrusive surveillance. The FBI thought about getting one on Pap but had insufficient evidence. They tried to get one on Page as well, but also failed at first because of insufficient evidence. However, once they introduced the dossier, they got the first FISA warrant. As the IG makes clear in the report, the dossier was the crucial piece of evidence needed. The warrant didn’t rely on the whole dossier but on four specific reports in the dossier, 80, 94, 95, and 102.

      Turning to the dossier, the IG report makes it clear that it was garbage. After the first FISA, the FBI located the primary subsource who gave the Steele the info about the reports that were used in the FISA. The subsource failed to confirm a good bit of it. Regarding the pee tape, which Steele has said has a 50-50 chance of being true, the subsource who gave Steele the info told Steele that it was “rumor and speculation” and yet Steele did not put that important qualification into the report. (That’s on page 187 of the IG report if you want to verify.) Steele has no credibility. He put incendiary charges in his report that were not backed up by the source himself. Steele also was very biased, as he was “desperate that Donald Trump not be elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President,” yet the FBI did not inform the FISA court about Steele’s biases. (quote from Page xi of the report)

      Alarmingly enough, even though the FBI knew that the subsource had raised serious questions the crucial allegations in the Steele report used for the FISA (and used to trigger the Mueller investigation) they still requested and obtained 3 more FISAs using the Steele dossier.

      Getting a FISA allowed the FBI to spy on the Trump campaign and transition. FISA’s allow the FBI to go back in time and look at communications, phone calls, emails etc. months if not years before the FISA is granted. They are also generally 2 hop or 3 hop. 2 hops means that the FBI can also get the records of anyone Page was in communications went. 3 hops means that they can also get the records of anyone who communicated with anyone Page communicated with. FISAs are very intrusive, which is why they are supposed to be tightly controlled when applied to US citizens. 2 hops would have allowed the FBI to get quite a lot of the campaign and transition records, including probably Trump’s records. 3 hops would have given them everything. We don’t know whether the FISA was 2 or 3 hops, as that is still classified.

      What happened here is very, very bad. Forget for a minute that this surveillance was directed at Trump. It should not be directed at anyone. These are not just errors and goofups and the IG did not see them that way. We’ve learned how easy it is for the government to spy on whoever they want for the flimsiest of reasons. The IG report is chilling to anyone who cares about civil liberties. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the end of the story. It’s going to get even worse as more comes out.

      1. 2slugbaits

        Rick Stryker These are not just errors and goofups and the IG did not see them that way.

        Not quite. I watched Horowitz’s testimony and Sen. Gary Peters specifically asked him about that. Horowitz said that he could not say one way or the other whether or not these were just isolated errors or whether they were part of a larger systemic problem or whether they might have reflected some political bias, although he also pointed out that he didn’t have any evidence of political bias. Horowitz said that his auditors would be doing a larger investigation across other unrelated FISA applications to try and answer Sen. Peter’s question. So they might be “just errors and goofups” or they might not. Horowitz would not commit one way or the other.

        The report makes it clear that the dossier was a necessary but not a sufficient condition for getting the FISA eventually approved. And as Barkley pointed out, this was all about restarting FISA investigations on Page. Page had been on the FBI’s radar for a long time.

        1. Rick Stryker

          “These are not just errors and goofups and the IG did not see them that way.”

          2slugs,

          This is an accurate statement. The IG did not see them as just errors and “goofups.” To quote from the report:

          “That so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations that was briefed to the highest levels within the FBI, and that FBI officials expected would eventually be subjected to close scrutiny, raised significant questions regarding the FBI chain of command’s management and supervision of the FISA process.”

          Or,

          “While we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct on the part of the case agents who assisted OI in preparing the applications, or the agents and supervisors who performed the Woods Procedures, we also did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or problems we identified.”

          In this quote, the IG is hinting its view that problems of this magnitude can’t be explained as a series of innocent errors and goofups. However, the IG cannot state that view explicitly. The IG is an auditor. They are very careful to say that they find no “documentary” or “testimonial” evidence of intentional misconduct or political bias. In other words, the IG is saying that nobody wrote down anywhere that they intended misconduct or that they were biased. That’s the “documentary” part. And nobody admitted under questioning that they intended misconduct or were politically biased. That’s the “testimonial” part.

          As an auditor, the IG must use a very weak standard. By the IG’s standard, no one would ever conclude that banks are engaged in racially discriminatory loan practices or that employers are engaging in gender discriminatory hiring practices, because no one would write it down or admit it. Of course, you infer bias from the facts and the IG is hinting in the quote above that the fact pattern is very troubling.

          You keep making the unsubstantiated claim that Page had “been under the FBI’s radar for a long time” despite my having informed you that this allegation came from a single CNN story reporting an anonymous leak. But we know that claim about Page is not true at this point, since Page had been actually working for the CIA

          One of the FBI actions the IG uncovered could not be called an error or goofup by any stretch. After the first FISA, the FBI received evidence that Carter Page had a relationship with another government agency, which would have explained his contact with Russian intelligence officers. Although the IG report does not name that agency, we know it was the CIA. Page had actually been working as a confidential human source (CHS) for the CIA and had been reporting his contacts and helping the CIA. In the third FISA, FBI Supervisory Special Agent 2 wanted a definitive answer as to whether Page had been working for another US agency. The FBI lawyer tasked with getting that answer actually altered the email he received from the CIA, inserting the phrase “not a source” into the email. (pg 372 of the IG report). That FBI lawyer resigned after being questioned by the IG and is reportedly under criminal investigation by Durham.

          1. Barkley Rosser

            And the obsession with Weiner’s weiner and deagging out yet again the sinvestigation of Clinton’s email server, in which she did something nowhere near as bad as what Trump does all the time making phone calls on a completely unsecured phone and apparently not as bade as what Colin Powell did as SecState. But, hey, ho investigation of him. and while it continues to be completelyi ignored by the Fox News bubble and Trump schmucks, it was Comey’s annouincemount 11 days before the 2016 election that moved things, but this is easily forgotten given that Trump later fired Comey, he was so grateful for the assistance. The FBI did nothing lhat to aid Clinton against Trump.

            All of this is just such a pile of hysterical nonsense, especially given that in fact most of the Steele dossier has proven true, including the very important fact that TRump was doing major business deals with Putin, or trying to, far into 2016. Indeed, this easily explains his acting as Putin’s puppet, repeating ad even retweeting outtright lies from Putin. For all the foibles in the Page FISA warrant (which led to him not being inddicted), the fundamental concern that Trump was essentially a puppet of Putin subject to blackmail by him hasproven absolutely and incontrovertibly true.

          2. 2slugbaits

            Rick Stryker Go to the C-SPAN website and view the video of Horowitz’s testimony. Specifically, view his answer to Sen. Peters’ direct question about that part of the report. The IG walked things back and said that he couldn’t really say whether or not they were just isolated errors. They might have been or they might not have been. The IG said that the sample size was too small to draw any larger conclusions and that he hoped to be able to answer that after they completed a wider audit.

            BTW, you really need to be very careful about IG and GAO audits. Sometimes they are very good, but sometimes…not so much. I’ve had plenty of personal experience. Contrary to what many people believe, the auditors rarely do the investigating themselves; they usually visit offices and farm things out. The auditors set the parameters of the study and put the findings in the official document template, but they rarely do the in-depth analysis and legwork. For that they depend upon the good faith of career professionals. I learned a long time ago that when the IG or GAO came for some audit, the first thing to do would be to count the number of auditors and ask them how many findings they needed to justify the audit and when they wanted it. We would then write up “findings” for things that we wanted but couldn’t get through the usual channels. I’ve ghost written many AAA, IG and GAO audits. In fact, shortly before I retired there was one that made a splash in the news concerning price fixing of helicopter parts. That’s an example of using auditors in a good way; unfortunately, sometimes auditors get used to settle in-house scores.

            Of course, none of this IG stuff is really germane to Trump’s impeachment. Trump was impeached for abusing his office and obstructing Congress’ investigation. The fact that the DNC bought a report from Fusion GPS that included information based on the Steele dossier may not be flattering to the DNC, but it isn’t illegal or even especially unethical. That’s very different from Trump using his office to extort promises to announce an investigation of a political rival, and to base those “investigations” on crazy Rudy conspiracy theories that are orders of magnitude more erroneous than the Steele dossier. It’s pretty clear that you’re just engaging in the GOP’s all-too-often used response to Trump’s crimes; viz., play the old “but whatabout”-ism card.

          3. baffling

            it is important to note how rick stryker is attempting to distract from the important issue of the day. donald trump and his cronies attempted to bribe a foreign country to create dirt on a political opponent, and then proceeded to cover up that misbehavior. this is why the evangelical community recently came out and said, enough of the dishonesty and unethical behavior, remove trump from office. all of the arguments rick is throwing out are simply a distraction from this betrayal of the nation and the constitution. it appears that rick stryker no longer believes in a constitution and rule of law, and supports a new monarchy from the house of maralago. happy holidays rick.

  23. Moses Herzog

    You know, I would probably put this in the most recent post so more people would read this, but I know Menzie is friends with Mr. Frankel and we should respect Mr. Frankel as a guest contributor, so I don’t wanna track my dirty foot soles onto Mr. Frankel’s post. You know I respect 2slugbaits as one of the better commenters here on the blog (maybe the best) and I think he’s a highly intelligent guy. And I made the comment about getting into Pelosi’s estrogen supply, which probably took it a little too far, but 2slugs took it as a good sport as he usually does, because I think he knows underlying my shoulder punches I respect him. But you know, I don’t bring up “estrogen” for nothing. You know it’s these milquetoast strategies by Democrats as why we often lose, and lose battles that could have been won. And this gets back to Pelosi’s delay of impeachment, which gets to court documents and subpoenas that would be 6+ months farther along if Pelosi ever got her head out of her ___. But this is exactly what I am talking about when I reference estrogen, is 2slugs and Barkley talking about “leverage”—when no one in their right mind thinks there’s any “leverage” here. The true leverage would have come with the impeachment process starting earlier (Pelosi’s screw up, and no one else’s) and document requests and subpoenas having more time to process through the courts before February—or November for that matter:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-12-19/trump-impeachment-delay-could-be-serious-problem-for-democrats

    Noah Feldman is highly respected–I’m here to tell you, you could count on your fingers how many folks know this stuff better than Feldman—arguably a few, but not many. If Feldman’s saying this, it really shows people are making themselves out to be buffoonish characters by celebrating a “pocketed” “impeachment”. It makes Pelosi and the whole group look silly as all hell.

  24. Rick Stryker

    Barkely,

    That Comey reopened the email investigation is just of one of the many excuses that progressives have used to explain their defeat. It’s a silly point, since you could blame any number of factors, including the fact that progressives and their media allies (including Hillary) thought Hillary was so far ahead that she didn’t need to campaign in the rust belt states. Lots of factors produced her defeat. I can’t have much sympathy for Clinton about Wiener. If the Clintons had not consistently associated themselves with highly unsavory characters, had not been arrogant enough to set up a private email server while Secretary of State, had stayed away from people like Jeffrey Epstein, had isolated Huma Abedin after her husband’s disgraceful conduct, etc. the Comey re-opening would never have happened. You guys never held the Clintons accountable for anything so you can’t complain now when their criminal behavior came back to bite you in 2016.

    “All of this is just such a pile of hysterical nonsense, especially given that in fact most of the Steele dossier has proven true” False. I challenge you document what parts were true that were relevant to any of the charges made against Trump or the Trump campaign.

    “the fundamental concern that Trump was essentially a puppet of Putin subject to blackmail by him has proven absolutely and incontrovertibly true.” False. You realize that Mueller and his team of partisans fully investigated this claim, don’t you?

  25. Rick Stryker

    2slugs,

    Unlike me but like all progressives, you referred to some alleged testimony but didn’t provide a link. I could not verify your claim by looking at CSPAN testimony with Sen Peters. I suspect you just made that up, which would certainly be typical.

  26. Rick Stryker

    2slugs and Baffling,

    If Trump really did attempt to bribe Ukraine for domestic political purposes and obstructed Congress, then why is Nancy afraid to send the charges to the Senate? Why is she demanding a “fair trial?” Isn’t it the accused that is supposed to get a fair trial, not the prosecutor? Why do they demand to call witnesses they didn’t call during the House investigation?

    Obviously, the evidence they have cannot prove the charges and they know it. They are afraid of being exposed for the deceitful frauds they are in the Senate trial and so they delay.

    1. noneconomist

      RR: please provide an example of a fair trial conducted after the jury “foreman” has said he and a majority of jurors will coordinate their efforts with the defense/accused. Jurors, btw, who’ve already made up their minds before the trial has begun.

      1. Rick Stryker

        Noneconomist,

        If Nancy really wanted a fair trial, she should call for the following “jurors” to recuse themselves:

        Michael Benet
        Cory Booker
        Amy Klobuchar
        Bernie Sanders
        Elizabeth Warren

        These senators are running against Trump for President and have a direct conflict of interest. If Trump were convicted, it would be much easier for one of them to become President.

        Also, there are two jurors who ran for President against Trump but dropped out. They are on the short list for Vice President and thus have a direct conflict of interest as well:

        Kirsten Gillibrand
        Kamela Harris

        If this truly were a fair process, Nancy would call on those Senators to recuse themselves as well.

        Nancy Pelosi is not interested in a fair trial.

        1. baffling

          wow, i did not think dick striker could come up with such a stoooopid argument. fascinating world you live in rick. you should try and touch base with reality every once in a while. then again, a guy who defends a president who bribes a foreign country to create false accusations against a political rival is already standing on stoooopid ground. perhaps moscow mitch should recuse himself as well, since he has already soiled the impeachment process. happy holidays russian rick.

        2. noneconomist

          OK, again. Can you provide an example of a “trial”in which the the majority of the jury has already made up its mind as to the guilt or innocence of the “ accused”? A trial in which the jury “foreman” has SAID he will happily coordinate with the defense?
          Many of the jurors who have already decided they’ll vote not guilty are also concerned with their futures, a number fearing an anti Trump vote will mean the end of their careers. Using your rationalization, this would also seem a HYOOGE conflict of interest, , i.e. neglecting their constitutional duty for political future gain If so the 20+ senators who fear any other but a non guilty vote will cause harm to them should recuse themselves as,well.

          1. Rick Stryker

            Noneconomist,

            You are slowing getting there. This isn’t a trial and the senators aren’t jurors, despite what Pelosi wants to trick you into thinking.

            Nor can Pelosi constitutionally dictate the rules the Senate will adopt, any more than the Senate can dictate the rules the House will adopt.

            Pelosi knows perfectly well the outcome of the “trial” is a foregone conclusion. That’s why she didn’t want to impeach in the first place. But her progressive base demanded it. Now that it’s happened, she’s stuck. She has a very weak case and she knows it. The damage to Trump that they hoped the impeachment would cause did not materialize. Pelosi and the Dems have only downside risk now with the Senate trial. Mcconnel has signaled that he may well give in to Trump’s preferred strategy to go after the Dems during the Senate trial, which she definitely doesn’t want. For example, Trump will call Biden and Biden will refuse to appear, making him look guilty while running for President. Trump will also drag it out, forcing Senators like Warren and Sanders to sit in the Senate rather than campaigning. If Trump gets his way, the Senate trial will be very damaging to the Dems.

            That’s why Pelosi is sitting on the charges–she’s hoping for something to change that she can use.

          2. noneconomist

            RR, Why didn’t you simply admit you have no example (s) ? That would have saved the pathetic song and dance you offered.
            Then there’s this headline from “The Hill” today:
            Senate Republicans plot speedy Trump Acquittal
            Ahead of impeachment trial
            In “ The Federalist Papers” 65, Hamilton asked ( re: judging impeachment) “Where else but in the Senate could have been found a tribunal sufficiently dignified or sufficiently independent? What other body would be likely to feel confident enough in its own situation to preserve unawed and UNINFLUENCED the necessary IMPARTIALITY between an individual accused and the representatives of the people, his accusers?”
            Plotting acquittal AHEAD OF any trial but asking for accusations anyway would seem like wheel spinning with no destination possible.

  27. baffling

    “Why is she demanding a “fair trial?”
    dick striker, that is a very good question. why will moscow mitch not commit to a fair trial? it is a very simple request. these are very serious allegations, and should be dealt with seriously. unfortunately, as we saw with merrick garland, moscow mitch does not like to play fair. but there are consequences to be had.

    trump and mcconnell have enjoyed the benefits of not playing by the rules for a while now. they believe there are no repercussions. even a toddler knows better. they both get a time out until their behavior improves. as for dick striker, i would recommend you quit crying when somebody beats you at your own game. play more honorably, and you won’t feel so frustrated.

    “If Trump really did attempt to bribe Ukraine for domestic political purposes and obstructed Congress”
    why do you add the word “if” rick? it is not a question, it is a fact. be careful of the consequences as you continue to defend this behavior. just like the rabbit hole you dove into when you defended the donalds right to lie, you are going to face ramifications for allowing the president to bribe foreign governments to interfere with our elections. happy holidays rick.

    1. Rick Stryker

      Baffled,

      I wasn’t trying to imply by “if” that it’s possible Trump did what he’s accused of. Trump did not do what he’s accused of in Ukraine, any more than he conspired with Russia, was a Russian agent, was being blackmailed, or did any of the other nonsense he’s been charged with. You’d think after the Russian fiasco, progressives would be hiding their faces in shame. But no, they move right on to a new charge.

      1. baffling

        and right on cue, dick returns with the lies and “alternative facts”. you can read directly in the transcripts (and they were edited, imagine what the actually call sounded like). trump very clearly asks for a the favor of a hack job on a political enemy in return for releasing federal money-a bribe. and dick, your pal mulvaney came out and admitted this on national tv. his words, not mine. but don’t bother rick with facts when they don’t suit his narrative.

  28. joseph

    You are wasting your time arguing with Stryker. It isn’t worth your time.

    Stryker declared his undying loyalty to Trump on his very first day when he defended Trump’s lies about the size of his inaugural crowd. Remember Kellyanne Conway’s famous words on that day, “we have alternative facts” which to normal people are known as “lies.”

    There is no point in arguing with someone who can invent “alternative facts.” Stryker will say whatever it takes to defend his Dear Leader. You will never convince him otherwise. He is impervious to rational thought.

    Gary Kasparov explained how it works from his experience in the Soviet Union. The Leader states an obvious lie and then he looks to see who repeats it. Obvious lies serve an important purpose. It is a loyalty test. Obvious lies reveal the devotion of those who support the Leader and exposes those who do not.

    It is like the Mafia. First they entice you to do some small petty crime and then they own you. You can’t go back and now have to do the big crimes. Once someone like Stryker had debased himself by lying for Trump for some small thing like crowd size, there is no going back. To go back would mean having to admit to himself that he had debased himself for Trump so he can only go forward, telling even more lies.

    So it is a waste of time arguing with Stryker. He’s a Made Man in the Trump mafia and there is no way out.

    1. Rick Stryker

      I don’t invent alternative facts. I link to primary sources or video to support my points, something that neither you nor the other progressive buffoons on this blog ever do–because none of you can.

    2. noneconomist

      In this instance, no jury tampering is necessary. No threats, no anonymous phone calls.No threats to the family. No need. No one needs to explain to the Republican jurors worried about their re-election what will happen to them if they cross the boss. No need to bury them in the Meadowlands. Home turf will do nicely.

  29. joseph

    baffling: “james o’keefe is an example of the “links” dick striker provides.”

    That was classic Megapixel Stryker. First he got into an argument promoting the feasibility of Trump building a wall across Canada. Then he justified it by a James O’Keefe video purporting to show terrorist ninjas from Canada coming 50 miles across Lake Erie on Jet Skis to Cleveland to attack the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Oh, Rickie. Never stop being you. Total loon. Always good for a laugh.

    1. baffling

      yea, rick has a strange definition of what he considers primary source material. but take it easy on the snowflake, he is fragile.

  30. baffling

    i would consider letting moscow mitch set up the rules in exchange for a secret impeachment ballot in the senate.
    right now social media is enabling trump and his behavior. if they shut down his account, game over.

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