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August 31, 2017



Crowded House now sings
Hey now, hey now, no DREAMers
It's over, suckas

::wipes tears of admiration from my eyes::


Draft exoneration first, immunity agreements with Mills and Samuelson after.


Tom R:
Yes that was the purpose of the tarmac meeting and golf game with Obama and Bill Clinton.



Tillerson has been presiding over the wrecking of the State Department ever since he was confirmed, and he has very little else to show for his tenure. It’s safe to say that the demoralization and hollowing out of the department will just keep getting worse the longer he is in charge. The trouble is that replacing Tillerson probably won’t change any of that, because the gutting of the State Department has been and continues to be an administration priority. The person Trump chooses to replace Tillerson is likely to have the same disdain for diplomacy and diplomats that he has.

I believe no one could argue with with me placing myself somewhere in the middle of the JOM Trumpean bell curve (with maryrose and OL as the respective tails on each end), but if in fact Tillerson is in fact cleaning out the Augean Stables State, I could not be more gruntled.

Miss Marple the Deplorable

Mike Huckabee‏Verified account @GovMikeHuckabee 34s34 seconds ago

@realDonaldTrump pledges $1million of HIS own money to flood victims; hey @CNN is THAT empathetic enough for you? How much is CNN giving?

Janet the expert 🚬

Did Comey make his decision to let Hillary off the hook before or after these immunity agreements were offered to all of her underlings involved with her illegal server?

The draft statement also came before the Department entered into immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson where the Department agreed to a very limited review of Secretary Clinton’s emails and to destroy their laptops after review. In an extraordinary July announcement, Comey exonerated Clinton despite noting “there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information.”



Sarah Sanders was asked if Trump was backing away from his endorsement of Luther Strange, and if so, is this not he first time a president has not endorsed the incumbent. First, I believe it is typical for a president to NOT weigh in, during a primary, so the endorsement of Strange was the anomaly.

But she refused to answer, saying this is a political question and she is forbidden by law from answering (Hatch Act).

Q. on Comey issue. Does Trump know about this, and did it weigh on his decision to fire? She doesn;t know if Trump knows, but if it is true, then firing Comey was the right thing to do.


Two "in fact"(s) for the price of one!

Janet the expert 🚬

Comey decides he's gonna let Clinton walk & then he makes immunity agreements that allow him to destroy computers & evidence that would show what a crook he is.

Tom R

But she refused to answer, saying this is a political question and she is forbidden by law from answering (Hatch Act).

Sarah Huckabee Sanders may be the best press secretary in history. I've followed politics intensely for over 35 years and I have never seen anyone handle the WH press corps as well as she does.


Though we may not want to admit it fully, we are at war right now with China and that war is more important than dealing with the Clinton, Inc. situation or the Obama Chicago Crowd idiots. I think the administration is moving prudentially forward on all fronts but things are much clearer on the international front.

Given the Chinese economic war against us, the Trump Administration is putting a MASSIVE economic squeeze on China. A patient, python-like squeeze because *we* own all of the leverage in this situation.

Here are the itemized plays that you can evaluate for yourself pulled directly from Sundance's piece:

♦Squeeze #1. Trump and Mnuchin just sanctioned Venezuela and cut off their access to expanded state owned oil revenue. Venezuela now needs more money. China and Russia are already leveraged to the gills in Venezuela and hold 49% of Citgo as collateral for loans outstanding. Now China and Russia will need to loan more, directly.

♦Squeeze #2. China’s geopolitical ally, Russia, is already squeezed with losses in energy revenue because of President Trump’s approach toward oil, LNG and coal. Trump, through allies including Saudi Arabia, EU, France (North Africa energy), and domestic production has driven down energy prices. Meanwhile Russia is bleeding out financially in Syria. Iran is the financial reserve, but they too are energy price dependent.

♦Squeeze #3. Trump and Tillerson just put Pakistan on notice they need to get involved in bringing their enabled tribal “extremists” (Taliban) to the table in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s primary investor and economic partner is China.

♦Squeeze #4. China’s primary economic threat (competition) is next door in India. President Trump has just embraced India as leverage over China in trade and pledged ongoing favorable trade deals. The play is MFN (Most Favored Nation) trade status might flip from China to India. That’s a big play.

♦Squeeze #5. President Trump has launched a USTR Section 301 Trade Investigation into China’s theft of intellectual property. This encompasses every U.S. entity that does manufacturing business with China, particularly aeronautics and technology, and also reaches into the financial services sector.

♦Squeeze #6. President Trump, Secretary Ross, Secretary Mnuchin and USTR Robert Lighthizer are renegotiating NAFTA. One of the primary objectives of team U.S.A. is to close the 3rd party loopholes, including dumping and origination, that China uses to gain backdoor access to the U.S. market and avoid trade/tariff restrictions. [China sends parts to Mexico and Canada for assembly and then back-door entry into the U.S. via NAFTA.]

♦Squeeze #7. President Trump has been open, visible and vocal about his intention to shift to bilateral trade renegotiation with China and Southeast Asia immediately after Team U.S.A. conclude with NAFTA renegotiation.

♦Squeeze #8. President Trump has positioned ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) as trade benefactors for assistance with North Korea. The relationship between ASEAN nations and the Trump administration is very strong, and getting stronger. Which leads to…

♦Squeeze #9. President Trump has formed an economic and national security aliance with Shinzo Abe of Japan. It is not accidental that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un fired today over the Northern part of Japan. Quite simply, Beijing told him to.

* * *

According to Sundance, you add all of this up, and you can see the cumulative impact of President Trump’s geopolitical strategy toward China. The best part of all of it – is the likelihood China never saw it, meaning the sum totality STRATEGERY of all of “it,” coming.

Part of Trump's genius is a knowledge of American impatience; dare I say, a much-too-quick instinct for a Lurker's Ledge.

I keep talking to people here in Tallahassee who are 100% ignorant of what's being done internationally. People who want to believe racism explains the election of Trump. These are people actively engaged in what Scott Adams rightly asserts is a hallucination when it comes to Trump.

I'll say, again, something I firmly believe: there's a weird disrespect of "things Southern" going on with this look-see at Jeff Sessions. Somehow this man, practically the first rider on the Trump Train, is fat / dumb / happy / and asleep at the wheel as Attorney General?

Bullshit. But it is another indication of Trump (I think) playing the whole confusion to your adversary angle. Necessary, in part, because our internal and external adversaries are quite skilled, and quite intent on winning.

However, take a look around; providence is on our side and the Portico is beautiful this time of year. Heat, humidity and a breeze. You know sweating is good for the soul, right?

Faith and patience, my fellow Americans. I'm probably out for the remainder of the day. I'll probably have a joint tenancy question for the lawyers tomorrow. It's something of an Atlanta/one party, Northern California other party situation.


I had to apologize for linking Spengler a week or so back. I don't think I will have to for this:


Other cultures are less successful. We sacrificed thousands of lives and disrupted a million more, at the cost of nearly $5 trillion, in a misguided effort to change the political culture of the Arab world, and the Arab world puked us out. I subtitled my book on dying civilizations " ... and why Islam is dying, too." Muslim societies seem to proceed from infancy to senility without passing through adulthood. Muslims are in general incurious about Western culture. Except in Israel, I have never encountered an Arab in a Western music conservatory. The total number of Western books translated into Arabic in the last 1,000 years is less than the number of books translated into Spanish in one year.

Infidel trash talk.

Comanche Voter

As long as Clinton gets crunched in the end, make mine a Manhattan on that veranda.


Hmmm. With no disrespect to our fair maryrose, I might have erred in not placing RG in the antipodal position to OL on the JOM Trumpean Bell Curve™ frequency distribution tails... ;)


Drezner is dssapointed that there is too much demolition, whereas the truth is too much of the old structure stays in place from the last administration.


As long as Clinton gets crunched in the end

Yeah. As if that will ever happen. If it does I'm breaking out all of my 3L bottles at once for a JOM wine bachanalia. I think they're safe for as long as Hilligula steals oxygen. Sigh...

Miss Marple the Deplorable


The problem with the Arabs is their educational system, which is heavy on memorizing the Koran and not much else.

I do think the Saudis are slowly modernizing, but you can't take a medieval culture to a modern one overnight, without complete societal disruption.

I found it very interesting that Melania Trump arrived with no head covering, and never wore one while there. Even Laura Bush wore a head scarf. I watch these little details because that's my forte - it's how I used to spot antiques and collectibles in piles of junk.

It's not our job to change Arab culture. They are going to have to do it on their own. Sisi has pushed for reformation of Islam, and it looks to me like the Saudi king is heading that way as well, although cautiously because of their position as custodians of their holy cities.

This is pretty much speculation, but something odd is happening over there and the Saudis seem to be aligning with Trump far more than they did with either Bush president or Obama.

Kushner was over there again a few days ago. No one ever seems to pay attention to the fact he's an Orthodox Jew, which in past years would have created a huge controversy.

Alas, time for me to clean up the Faith and Patience Portico. I have a lot of gold trim to polish.

Back later.


Muslim societies seem to proceed from infancy to senility without passing through adulthood.

That's gonna land Spengler on the SPLC h8rz list.

Clarice Feldman

How is Comey's conduct not obstruction of justice?


There is that, also Goldman ignores that the base of suicide bombers out side of the gulf states in Iraq is what mantes Bradley has turned up re Barcelona, mrabet fahsi and his tie to the Madrid cell, same with Milan, Paris molenbeek


How is Comey's conduct not obstruction of justice?

It's different when they do it, Clarice.

Speaking of different, this is long but I'd like to get opinions about it:




Lawyers for Donald Trump have met several times with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in recent months and submitted memos arguing that the president didn’t obstruct justice by firing former FBI chief James Comey and calling into question Mr. Comey’s reliability as a potential witness.

Clarice - I think, as a legal matter, an investigator can't obstruct his own investigation. Just as Trump (or the AG) killing an investigation is an exercise of discretion. Obstruction is not giving an investigator what the investigator has a right to seek. But if the investigator doesn't want it, doesn't ask for it, etc. there is no way for a witness to obstruct the investigator's efforts.

As a casual matter, "obstruction of justice" is in play for all the "too big to charge" events. Lynch obstructed justice by not relieving Comey of the investigation, and ordering the team to deliver the evidence so a DoJ prosecutor could review.


hey, lyle, that Nebraska incident you noted (through Powerline) was occasioned by three of my English Department colleagues and one English major undergraduate (whom I've had in class). Sigh.


Oh, dear, Catsmeat. You're made of sterner stuff than I to have to dwell in that kind of environment. Bless you.

Old Lurker

Lyle "Hmmm. With no disrespect to our fair maryrose, I might have erred in not placing RG in the antipodal position to OL on the JOM Trumpean Bell Curve™ frequency distribution tails... ;)"

Lyle, Maryrose has occupied that far other end for years and years, true, but RG, as the new kid on the block, has spent the last year or so trying, trying ever so hard, to take that spot from her. (I will leave the optics of a big strapping, good looking black guy in a hoodie stalking dear little Maryrose on her way to church, dropping flower petals as she skips along for others).

The other end of the curve is all mine, but you have to admit I have a band of loyal JOMers to keep me company. Some say that is due to my open bar policy; others just admire how I like to keep Trump's Feet and Fire in close proximity.

But have no fear, RG will come to claim his guest room before all the dust has settled, and we will treat him as the Prodigal Son just as the book tells us to.

Old Lurker

cboldt, your 4:32 reminds me what a cold bucket of water you can be sometimes! :-)

But what if Comey already knew he was going to try to get fired so he could write a book, make gazillions, and nail Trump with a SP from the Swamp Bench and accomplish all of that in the near future. So while he might have been the investigator at the moment, his actions were to tie the hands of the future investigators he (and he alone) knew would be following him in just a few months.

Into the trundle he goes.


David A. Clarke Jr. resigns as Milwaukee County sheriff

No reason given in the report. Resignation effective midnight tonight.

Clarice Feldman

cboldt, I'd like to see a case on that. In recent years the SDNY has played obstruction to the farthest reaches imaginable(i.s., Arthur Anderson). Do you think a prosecutor who hides evidence is not obstructing justice as the wizards of SDNY US attys office would use it against anyone they didn't like? Ditto they're view of "conspiracy".Why weren't Lynch and Comey conspiring to obstruct justice?

Clarice Feldman

wikipedia (FWIW):Generally, obstruction charges are laid when it is discovered that a person questioned in an investigation, other than a suspect, has lied to the investigating officers. However, in most common law jurisdictions, the right to remain silent can be used to allow any person questioned by police merely to deny answering questions posed by an investigator without giving any reason for doing so. (In such a case, the investigators may subpoena the witness to give testimony under oath in court, though the witness may then exercise their rights, for example in the Fifth Amendment, if they believe their answer may serve to incriminate themselves.) If the person willfully and knowingly tried to protect a suspect (such as by providing a false alibi) or to hide from investigation of their own activities (such as to hide their involvement in another crime), this may leave them liable to prosecution. Obstruction charges can also be laid if a person alters, destroys, or conceals physical evidence.[1] Obstruction charges may also be laid in unique situations such as refusal to aid a police officer, escape through voluntary action of an officer and refusing to assist prison officers in arresting escaped convicts.
[b]Obstruction can include crimes committed by judges, prosecutors, attorneys general, and elected officials in general. It is misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in the conduct of the office. Most commonly it is prosecuted as a crime for perjury by a non governmental official primarily because of prosecutorial discretion.[/b]


Big run on gas here in Austin. Husband says it looked like the Carter administration at the Shell down the block.

Miss Marple the Deplorable


I left a comment over there under my real name. It quotes Lincoln on Grant.

I notice that many of the commenters agree with me; Trump is a fighter and is doing what needs to be done, and can we not have another article by a conservative damning Trump with faint praise?

SO, what Mr. Fischer says is that the coarsening of the culture is due to Obama's 8 years, so we shouldn't be surprised that Trump is coarse and he does fight back but I guess Mr. Fischer is embarrassed because he has a Queens accent or maybe because Mr. Fischer grew up in the same area and wants to forget about it or something.

MY article on this subject would sort of be in the James D. variety. You don't like Trump's brashness and street talk? Tough. He's your president, and a damn good one, too.


Captain Hate

I'll say, again, something I firmly believe: there's a weird disrespect of "things Southern" going on with this look-see at Jeff Sessions.

My grandfather was Sons of the Confederacy so I have no built in animosity toward anything from the South except tired and feeble codgers who bite off more than they can chew and get in the way of anyone capable of doing the job.


Local CBS Report says Clarke is taking a non-government position. Resignation letter is embedded in the CBS report, and is very sterile. States fact of resignation and cites a statutory provision by number.

Miss Marple the Deplorable


Hmmmm. Why this sudden softening of their hearts?

Old Lurker

They have no hearts, MM.


Clarice - of course a prosecutor can commit obstruction, as can an investigator. My point though is that an investigator in charge of a case can't obstruct his own investigation, at least not to begin with. If the boss wants to deal with malfeasance, the boss can assign a different investigator, and convert the original investigator into a witness.

The obstruction statutes ring of misleading the investigator. I see no way for an investigator to mislead himself, as a matter of law.

I do take the point though - if Comey destroys evidence that a replacement investigator would use, he could commit obstruction. In other words, no investigator holds a perpetual right to "lead investigator." I think that's why the immunity agreements and correlated destruction of hard drives.

Now, where the rubber meets the road. Was there intent and would any reasonable prosecutor take the case? LOL.

Google still isn't listing this story as important in their aggregator. If it gets legs in the dishonest press, we'll see at least a few opinion pieces explaining why Comey's conduct is, and why it is not obstruction.

No doubt, Comey doesn't have the same get out of jail card that Lynch and the prosecutors do.


Hi friends,

Just wanted everyone to know that tomorrow is the last day of the campaign to help our dear friend Ignatz Ratzkywatzky.

You are all wonderfully generous. Thank you.

Clarice Feldman

I think he's in a heap of trouble, cboldt. As for Lynch certainly there's something to deal with her actions. After all she could have recused herself instead of colluding with Comey to drop it,


Clarice - He's only in as much trouble as the DoJ decides to press. Grassley grousing about this is not trouble, at all.

And if the DoJ decides to indict, you know that Comey will parse the statutes like the proverbial Philadelphia lawyer.

US Attorney Manual on Protection of Process

Captain Hate

Yes, can we please stop pretending that these Congressional hearings are anything other than complete wastes of time?


Clarice - Comey's usurpation (and Lynch's acquiescence) was itself, with nothing else, a form of obstruction. " ... the defendant corruptly endeavored to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law"

Lynch can argue the absolute immunity that attaches to prosecutorial discretion, but Comey can't. Lynch should be impeached, convicted, and prohibited from office. Courts can't do squat about that. Congress could do the same to Comey.

Clarice Feldman

I think Grassley's release was significant. If nothing else it shows Mueller that Comey would be a piss poor witness against Trump re the conversation about Flynn and now everybody knows that (including Feinstein who said Trump might well be a good president after she presumably saw the same evidence Grassley did)>.


New thread.

Clarice Feldman

More details on the Grassley letter--Graham also signed it:https://www.cbsnews.com/news/comey-drafted-conclusion-clinton-probe-before-key-interviews-top-republicans-say/


Clarice - Grassley's release is a big deal in principle. So was Rosenstein's memo.

Principle is dead. It's all about appearance of principle, and whatever line of crap will fool at least half the people. E.g., Josh Gerstein of Politico remarking ...

The GOP senators referred to Comey's statement as "exonerating" Clinton, but it was so critical of her and her aides that it subsequently led Democrats to write to the Office of Special Counsel to seek a probe of whether his comments were intended to damage her prospects in the presidential race.

That totally misses the meaning of "exonerated" or "decline to prosecute," because the alternative is Clinton would have been indicted. Gerstein is trying to convert absence of an indictment into a negative.

My point is that the public will fall for Gerstein's take, and rather than Comey being a skunk for letting Crooked Hillary off the hook by usurping the role of prosecutor and otherwise spiking the case, the public will accept Comey is a skunk for harming Hillary's chances.

The law plays second fiddle to politics, and as far as I know, no lawyer will disagree that at some level, the country is a nation of men, whim and power - not of law.

Clarice Feldman


The full text of the letter to wray

Clarice Feldman

Politico readers might fall for this because it fits their confirmation bias, but from the full text of the letter, it's clear that Comey in spring notified his top FBI officials how he intended this to come out.

Ignatz Ratzkiwatzki

Hey, I was going to say "isn't it malfeasance if an investigator or DA does it?"

I'm not as dumb as I look.

Clarice Feldman

You never look dumb to me, Iggy,

Wesley Messamore

Bravo! Great work!

Question I've always pondered:

Who certifies the certifiers?

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