To me, the most surprising developments in the Democratic presidential race have been the rise of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and the failure of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaign to catch hold. According to betting sites, Buttigieg is a six to one favorite to win the nomination, and Warren a distant 25 to one. There is a long way until the caucuses and primaries, but here are some guesses why Buttigieg has caught fire and a few thoughts why Warren’s flame has flickered. Read More
Dallas Co. District Attorney stokes crime by refusing to prosecute theft of personal items worth less than $750. If someone is hungry they can just steal some food. If cold, steal a coat. Where does it end? It’s wealth redistribution by theft. #txlege https://t.co/dqfYogr4NX
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 15, 2019
An article published last night in the Post captures a lot of the problems MSM/bothsidesist journalism faces in the age of the Trump. Headline: “Trump’s plan to send migrant detainees to sanctuary cities draws concerns about cost, legality.” Read More
Over the last three weeks a series of events have taken place which may seem individual but need to be viewed in a joined context. Together they’ve put us in a much different, darker place as a country. I think many of us sense this intuitively. I see it in public reactions. I see it in your emails but more as an attitude. But what it is needs to be sketched out explicitly and seen for what it is. Read More
Though we are fundamentally in the dark, like everyone else, we think there’s a real chance the redacted Mueller Report will be released sometime today. This is really just a process of elimination. Bill Barr said he’d have it out by or before “mid-April” (Monday is April 15th). Then in Tuesday’s testimony he said it would be within the week, which should be no later than next Tuesday. Basic media management – which is obviously playing a very big role here – dictates you don’t kick off a week by tossing out a big piece of red meat. So Friday going into a weekend makes a lot of sense.
Here’s the actual progression of Barr’s quotes. Read More
This paragraph from the Times, similar to a report from CNN and likely relying on the same sources, shows a big problem with the biggest US media operations and their continued validations of Bill Barr’s intentional deceptions.
Mr. Barr, who began his career at the C.I.A., did not intend to imply that spying was inherently wrong, according to a person who has discussed the matter with him but was not authorized to share their conversation. Mr. Barr sees no technical difference between that term and surveillance. He indicated that at issue was not the act of surveilling but whether officials followed proper procedures when they decided to gather intelligence on Trump’s associates in 2016.
Barr is not simply using his job to defend the President. He’s repeatedly playing word games like this. He issues a supererogatory exoneration of President Trump and then claims he had never meant to do that. He’d like to release the whole Mueller Report. But the rules just make it really hard for him to do that. He very clearly used the word “spying” and then said he needed to make sure it hadn’t happened. That was to give the President his talking point. Then he or his staff tell the Times that he didn’t mean to imply anything by that. He just meant “spying” as a synonym for surveillance, which of course judges authorize law enforcement to conduct routinely. This is obviously not true. Yet the Times passes it on as though it were a good faith explanation of what Barr was thinking.
Here we have Robert Costa of the Post saying that Republicans are themselves wondering what Barr is up to. The explanation they’re being given? Well, it turns out he’s actually not a career prosecutor. So he’s just not really in tune with DOJ practices and policies and traditions.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 11, 2019
They simply can’t grasp their way toward the obvious explanation. He’s a bad actor, using his office for the purpose of defending the President as opposed to enforcing the law. He’s a crook. But he’s a smart one. And at least as far as we know so far he’s using his legitimate powers in creative ways to take corrupt actions.
Let me start by saying what is likely already clear to you. I see Julian Assange as a loathsome, destructive, megalomaniacal figure. These tendencies, apparent from the start, have undoubtedly been accentuated by years in self-imposed captivity which started and for many years was an effort to escape a legitimate sexual assault investigation. But I think we should be highly skeptical of his arrest and extradition to the US. Read More
I want to show you a couple clips from Bill Barr’s testimony today. You’ve heard the headlines but the full language is pretty key.
When Barr said he believed there was “spying” against the Trump campaign he explicitly compared that to spying on civil rights and anti-war activists during the 1960s. In other words, while saying he simply needs to ‘look into it’, he is quite consciously validating Trump’s claims of ‘Deep State’ spying going back two years. This is conscious, intentional and the grossest form of bad faith, pretending concerns about illegal surveillance of domestic dissidents while actually seeking punitive expeditions against people the President has targeted as enemies. Read More
Bill Barr basically openly embraced the President’s discredited claim that the Obama administration “spied” on his campaign. He later seemed to partly backtracked and then tried to suggest that by “spying” he might just mean court approved surveillance as part of a counter-intelligence investigation. But that’s really just caviling. He’s embracing the President’s conspiracy theories and pushing ahead with what can only be called a retributive new investigation of the origins of the Russia probe. Read More