Trump And Russia

Yes, the benefit of the doubt is gone. And I agree with this:

Why on God’s good Earth would you defend any of this? Since I’ve been having this ridiculous argument all week, let me skip ahead. Yes, “Crooked Hillary,” Ted Kennedy, and a host of other liberals did bad things. Whether those bad things were analogous to this is highly debatable. But let’s just concede the point for argument’s sake. Let’s also accept the president’s grotesquely cynical and false claim that pretty much anyone in politics would have done the same thing and taken the meeting. (I for one am perfectly happy to concede that Sidney Blumenthal would happily have done equally sleazy things for his Queen-master. But I have every confidence that if some shady Russian cutouts approached, say, James Baker with a similar scheme to “incriminate” Michael Dukakis, he would become a helicopter of fists.)

But here’s the thing: Who gives a dirty rat’s ass? If you spent years — like I did, by the way — insisting that the Clintons were a corrupt affront to political decency, invoking their venal actions as a moral justification for Team Trump’s actions is the rhetorical equivalent of a remake of Waterworld set entirely in the main vat of a sewage-treatment plant, i.e., the intellectual Mother of Sh*t Shows. This is a point Ben Shapiro made well earlier this week (and which I’ve been writing about for two years now). If you want to make the case that Democrats or the media are hypocrites, whataboutism is perfectly valid (and quite fun). But if you want to say that it’s fine for Trump to do things you considered legally and morally outrageous when Hillary Clinton did them, you should either concede that you believe two wrongs make a right or you should apologize for being angry about what Clinton did. And you should be prepared to have no right to complain when the next Democrat gets into power and does the same thing.

When Trump does something good, I’ll praise him. When he does something stupid and dubious, I’ll call him on it. I am consistent in my insistence that public officials be held to the same standards as the rest of us.

I wouldn’t mind him being impeached and removed, or even prosecuted, but if either of those things happen, I’ll be incandescent in my outrage if the investigation against her is not renewed and finally done properly, so she can finally be accountable to the law. I’m still glad she lost, but I will not worship this gang of ethically challenged incompetents.

[Saturday-morning update]

Wow, the comments sections is under attack by an army of strawmen.

Here’s what I didn’t say and what I don’t believe. I don’t believe that he is plotting with Putin against the United States. I don’t believe that he’s Hitler. I don’t believe that he is plotting to undermine democracy. I don’t believe he should be impeached (yet). I don’t even believe that he committed a crime (at least with regard to the Russian stuff). If I were as under the sway of the media as some fools fantasize, I would believe all these things.

All I (and Jonah) said is that, for months, we’ve been told by Trump supporters that any suggestion that the campaign had colluded (that is, had meetings with them to discuss how they could help elect Trump) with the Russians was “fake news.” For months, given the absence of evidence, we have given them the benefit of the doubt, despite all of the smoke, and the continuing changing stories (sometimes daily, which continues even now, with the number of attendees at the meeting continuing to grow). So now we know that we can do so no longer on this particular issue. I don’t believe this because I’ve been brainwashed by the media. This is not a position I came to from Trump hatred (though I continue to find him loathesome). I came to this rational, objective position because Trump’s idiot namesake told me that he colluded with the Russians (albeit unsuccessfully in terms of getting the desired Hillary dirt), even if he didn’t use that word.

But apparently (as with Obama) no criticism, no matter how objective, no matter how fact based, of the God King will be brooked by his acolytes. I don’t suffer in any way from Trump derangement, but apparently many of both his opponents and his supporters clearly do.

[Late-morning update]

“This isn’t Watergate. This isn’t treason. And there’s still no smoking gun.”

Oops, guess I shouldn’t have noted this, because according to my brilliant commenters, I’ve been brainwashed by the media (which I in fact find even more despicable than Trump).

[Afternoon update]

BTW, this is why I don’t post about Trump all that much. It’s impossible to have a sane conversation about him with both his opponents and defenders.

[Sunday-morning update]

I see that Ken continues to insult my intelligence in comments because I had and continue to have the temerity to criticize his God King in any way.

119 thoughts on “Trump And Russia”

  1. With regard to Trump and Russia name just one thing he did wrong and talking (which he would be derelict if he didn’t do) does not count.

    Did he say on a hot mike that he would be more flexible after his election?

    Did he give away 20% of our uranium?

    Other than poor handling of a ridiculous media, what exactly is his crime?

    1. I don’t know what his crime is, or if there is one. But if he had been trying to make people think that he and his campaign are guilty of something for the past several months, what would he be doing differently? He’s an impulsive child, lacking any self control or sense.

      1. what would he be doing differently?

        What would you do differently if the entire media said “Rand is a baby molester” and ignores any protestation by you.

        It would be the daily headline for months and for proof they would show all the times you were ever near a baby.

        It’s that stupid and you’re on board.

        1. I wouldn’t be continually changing my story, undercutting my spokespeople, tweeting about it continually, getting into mindless wars with media people, saying stupid things that made it sound like I enjoyed molesting babies…

          1. …and none of that would matter. The proof being you are a person with more sense, yet even you let the media play you.

          2. I’m not being played by the media. It’s not the media who told me that the campaign did in fact collude with the Russians after the Trumpers told me for months that it hadn’t. Junior did.

            But (as always) you continue to be played by Trump.

          3. What collusion? A lawyer (brought into this country illegally by democrats) says they have dirt on Hillary (which she didn’t) and Jr. meets with them. That’s NOT collusion.

            Collusion is not just talking, or even legally acting for the same goal. Collusion implies acting in an illegal way in concert with others.

            You can certainly argue stupidity, but stupidity is not a crime. What is a crime is letting the media lead you by the nose when real treason is happening by the accusers.

            You don’t like Trump. Get over it and get on board fixing this country… which is what Trump IS DOING.

          4. So will you be happier with desperately attempting to collude? Because that’s what this was.

            Why do you want to continue to look like an idiot on my web site?

          5. It’s not the media who told me that the campaign did in fact collude with the Russians after the Trumpers told me for months that it hadn’t. Junior did.

            Trump Jr said the campaign worked with Putin to hack the election? Must have missed that part.

            In no way does want Trump Jr said validate the collusion conspiracy theory. The meeting wasn’t related to any previous accusations about what the Trump campaign did.

          6. Trump Jr said the campaign worked with Putin to hack the election? Must have missed that part.

            Wodun, you are better than this. Don’t put straw men in my comments.

          7. The problem is that collusion has a specific meaning in the context of the conspiracy theory this meeting is being used to support. It isn’t being looked at as one event but as evidence of every fevered dream expressed over the last year.

            The specifics of the meeting will not be mentioned going forward, only that there was “collusion”.

            That the meeting was set up to discuss whistle blower evidence of Hillary colluding with the Russians wont get mentioned.

      2. But if he had been trying to make people think that he and his campaign are guilty of something for the past several months, what would he be doing differently?

        You put the onus on Trump but there is nothing that he could do that would prevent the DNC media from acting the way they have. The media isn’t reacting to Trump’s actions so much as they are operating on their own motives.

        Had some other Republican won, it would be the exact same.

        It is one thing to wish Trump acted differently but another to ignore that other parties have their own motivations that guide their actions regardless of anything Trump does. The media is always going to be anti-Trump and they have no problems inventing things to keep up their negative coverage.

        1. You put the onus on Trump but there is nothing that he could do that would prevent the DNC media from acting the way they have. The media isn’t reacting to Trump’s actions so much as they are operating on their own motives.

          No, but he didn’t have to be doing everything he possibly could to feed ammunition to him, every day, sometimes multiple times a day. It’s at least in theory possible that he could have been shooting himself in the foot on less that full auto, but he had other ideas.

    2. Did he tell the Ukraine if they gave up their nuclear weapons we would protect them, then did nothing?

      You may note I correctly predicted the Russians would take over Crimea on this blog before it happened.

  2. I don’t know what his crime is, or if there is one.

    Try to focus on that thought; then justify the media coverage.

    1. I’m not justifying the media coverage. Your continual mischaracterizing of my position is both a) infuriating and b) continuing to diminish my estimate of your intelligence, if that was possible. Why do you insist on looking ever more idiotic on my web site, Ken?

      1. Justifying: show or prove to be right or reasonable.

        By supporting the media narrative (would you seriously deny this?) you are saying the media is being reasonable when they are actually about as reasonable as opposite sides of the milky way.

        You’re more intelligent than that, but you’ve dug in your heals.

        It’s not possible to mischaracterize something so blatant even with my obviously deficient cognitive abilities. Ad hominems don’t change that.

        1. you are saying the media is being reasonable

          I am not saying, and I have never said, that the media is being reasonable (and neither is Jonah), but again, apparently straw men are all Trump fanatics have.

          1. The media says there is collusion. You say there is collusion. That’s dumbing down the meaning of collusion which is unreasonable.

            So using their dumbed down definition:

            YOU ARE COLLUDING WITH THE MEDIA! I’m not claiming this. You are.

            So now, let me reveal your parsing: “I have never said, that the media is being reasonable… just in this case. So strawman!!!”

          2. That’s dumbing down the meaning of collusion which is unreasonable.

            When you are meeting someone with the hope and intent to do something, that is collusion. I don’t need the media to tell me that. What’s dumb is attempting to continue to deny it. We’re not stupid.

          3. Collusion is not a precise term which is why the media loves it… like Lynch telling Comey what term to use for Hillary’s actions. It’s the same damned thing.

            The false narrative is the implication. Should I repeat it several times? The fact that Trump people talked with Russians is immaterial. A judge might even throw it out as prejudicial. Why do judges throw out things that are factual. They must have a reason right?

            It’s the difference between denotation and connotation. It’s guilt by association asserted by those actually guilty of crimes.

          4. I mean, would you prefer “conspire”? Give me a word, Ken. Because most sane speakers of the English language would use one of those two words to describe the activity.

          5. The word collude is fine. The problem is there is not a direct 1 to 1 relationship between words and meanings.

            You continue to call me stupid. Can you explain the difference between connotation and denotation? Of course you can. However, you make the conscience decision to be impervious to my very clear point. Intentionally impervious as if winning an argument is more important than truth.

            Attacking me does not strengthen your argument. It actually indicates weakness.

            I absolutely hate that you’ve put me in this position Rand. It’s undignified of you. Why is it so hard to acknowledge a point that is not stupid or nonsense? Your assertion that it is does not make it so.

            You asked, “Why did they hide the meeting?” This is a tactic straight from the lefty playbook where you assume the worst answer which is nowhere indicated. Instead you could have stuck with your default position: they were stupid and throw in they were trying to avoid this shitstorm. But instead you imply something beyond your standard position to nefarious intent (mind reading) which is obvious bias.

            I don’t want to be put in the position of defending something that may turn out to be everything you presume. That you would do it without evidence is just the type of thing you usually criticize.

            I’d rather respond to the Rand I respect.

            I would not have hidden any meeting. I would have challenge all accusers to show any crime. Trump isn’t perfect which is to be expected with non-stop attacks. Attacks that disappear when they get no traction to be immediately replaced by a new attack.

            Rand, you would not survive such an attack and I believe in you more than any politician. You know I would defend you from slander as vociferously as anyone. More so, because I personally know your character. But you also have flaws.

            I have spoken truth. If I’m a fool it would be because I refuse to stop believing in you.

          6. I have spoken truth.

            I’m sure you believe that. But smart people know those are frightening words. They’re words that I would never say. They’re words that climate religionists say. They’re words that cultists in general say. Please stop blathering at my web site.

            If I’m a fool it would be because I refuse to stop believing in you.

            I don’t want you, or anyone, to “believe in me.” Unlike Trump, I am not, and do not want, to be thought of as a god.

            Take a few minutes, and read, and think, in a comptemplative manner, about the insanity you continue to spew on my web site.

    1. He would be criticized for handling it poorly, but there’s no way around that.

      Oh, there are lots of ways around that. One of them would be not handling it poorly, but Trump isn’t capable of that.

      1. Nobody is capable. That Trump may be less or not is entirely beside the point. Have you not been paying attention to the media’s BS tricks or are you just swallowing them whole?

        “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Is child’s play for the media.

        Trump is certainly a buffoon but you confuse that with stupid. Trump is not stupid. While you or I would not do some of the things he does; He does them because they work. The media is frustrated precisely because they work.

        By pounding the same narrative as the media you are being played, denials not-with-standing.

        1. While you or I would not do some of the things he does; He does them because they work.

          This is nonsense. He’s been sabotaging his own agenda almost non stop since he took the oath of office.

          1. Those are not exclusive options. That you can’t admit that which has been effective says more about you.

            You don’t like the guy. That’s blinded you.

            You seem to claim I worship him. Yet never acknowledge that I’m fully aware of his flaws.

            Trump has unbalanced you… which is his particular gift.

          2. I like what others reveal about themselves when reacting to Trump. He is the perfect embodiment of the principle of dislodging from a local minimum.

            Trump is crude and imprecise, but he’s not wrong.

            Compared to the D.C. smog, he’s fresh air. If that isn’t an indictment, I don’t know what is?

            In a perfect world, nobody would elect Trump. Have you looked at the world lately?

  3. I blame the Republican Party for this gigantic CF.

    Let’s not forget how Trump, prior to 2016 a lifelong democrat, won the party nomination. By wining almost each and every primary by a solid 30-35% of the primary voters. Where were the remaining 65-70% of the Republicans? Well they were splitting and diluting their vote across the remaining 6,000 candidates. At the 11th hour Ted Cruz tried to plead with the base to support him as one of the last survivors, but it was too little too late. And frankly, I would not have voted for Cruz either…

    No the Republican Party got saddled with Trump thanks to about 30% of its base and now we have the result. Rand predicted the media would be at constant odds with a Trump Administration and so we see it. We just didn’t know it would be about the legitimacy of his election rather than the substance of the programs his administration would be promoting. This protracted attempt at a Watergate redux is bad for the country. And I for one don’t believe Watergate is an apt analogy but for many Dems that I’ve talked with, they don’t see the difference.

    But until the Republican Party reforms itself, to prevent a demagogic confidence man who knows how to manipulate a block voting party minority and winner-take-all primaries to game himself or herself into the party’s nomination, I’m afraid Bobby Jindal will remain right about “the party of stupid”.

    There is ONE thing I think has been good for the country out of all this and that has been the exposure of the unaccountable and un-elected shadow government. Those who have taken it onto themselves to “right this wrong”. Just who has been ‘leaking’ private emails of a US citizen to the NY Times? That I’d like to know. Esp. since one of the participants in that email chain was overseas. Alarm bells anyone? Hmm. Just because you pull down a high GS pay rating doesn’t certify you to be above the results of an election. Wish that the media were digging as hard at this issue.

    1. It would be nice if we had at least one party that took the Constitution and free-market capitalism seriously. The Republicans don’t even bother giving lip service to them any more, and the Democrats are outright hostile.

      One thing this election and its aftermath has clarified is that the Uniparty and Deep State are real, and that they regard any Americans who oppose them as the enemy.

      The Tea Party was traditional American citizens asking politely for the government to reform itself and return to original principles.

      That attempt failed, largely due to the machinations of both parties, and so Trump was elected to “drain the swamp”.

      The swamp is adamantly refusing to be drained. It is fighting tooth and nail against it.

      Whatever comes after Trump will not be polite at all.

      1. I said shadow government but the more commonly accepted term is “Deep State”. Thanks rickl for that reminder…

      2. It would be nice if we had at least one party that took the Constitution and free-market capitalism seriously.

        Yup. Republicans have control and rather than go to their ideological roots, they increase spending and leave anti-capitalist Obamacare in place. All while scheming how to sabotage the President from their own party.

        We need the Tea Party now more than ever. Trump isn’t a conservative and he wont rein in the RINOs.

        1. The deplorables have long known the repubs are no more trustworthy than the dems. Trump is neither.

          Apparently our founders were justified in their trust?

    1. The country will not survive any attempt at a “civil war”. The resolution of such a conflict will not confine itself to phony geographic borders.

      1. Obviously not. But there’s no place for nations the size of America in a post-industrial world anyway. If you can make most of the things you need on a 3D printer in your basement, why would you want to be told what to do by people thousands of miles away?

        Canada, too. I get strange looks when I tell people to make the most of the 150th anniversary, because there won’t be a 200th.

        1. The trick is how to survive the interim period right? Like the “final outcome” of communism; where somehow, at the end of the process, the state magically disappears…

          I dunno about having unicorns flying out of my butt. I’d settle for golden eggs myself….

          1. Yes. The only real question is whether the dissolution is violent or non-violent?

            Trump is a chance to make it non-violent, or at least not as violent as the blue cities burning as the power and EBT cards are cut off, the urban left eating each other, and the right throwing the survivors out of helicopters into the ocean. Which is what a civil war would look like.

        2. And suppose ‘obsolete’ nations like China and Russia hold together, and there’s no USA left play balance of power against them?

          1. They will play balance of power against themselves as they always have. Albeit we won’t be there like we were in 1969 to help. Maybe a balance of power is only stable among three players? Interesting game theory…

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Soviet_border_conflict

            In the meantime; here is a helpful phrase repeated in the two dominant world languages post US “Civil” War:

            Будет работать за еду. / 会为食物而工作。

  4. A civil war will look like large mushroom clouds over select areas to get the infrastructure down to the point where coastal invasion can secure the remaining unaffected areas and offer the survivors and their families medical treatment, food and shelter in exchange for peace.

    The middle part of the country will be left to fend for itself as long as it doesn’t try too hard to interfere with their coastal masters. But that will be a constant tension.

    And a few rogue former US naval surface & sub commanders will likely commandeer an island somewhere and set up a new country. One that because of its existing indigenous nuclear force will be left alone as long as it appears rational.

    1. Actually, what would happen is that China would quickly sideline Russia, since Moscow is much the weaker of the two players nowadays. Beijing would then begin to fully implement the ideology of Tianxia or the Great Order Under Heaven. You can guess whose great order the world would be under. No powerful USA means the beginning of the end of freedom on planet Earth. They wouldn’t be any attempts, or very few attempts at outright military conquest, but just a slow squeeze that might take a generation or two. Oh people under the Tianxia would have certain amount of individual freedom in their daily lives. And a certain amount economic prosperity would be delivered by the world-wide crony capitalist economy Beijing would preside over, but anybody who strayed off the reservation would suffer the fate of the very recently deceased Liu Xiaobu and the owners of the Rainbow Bookstore in Hong Kong in 2016, which was part of Beijing’s ongoing campaign to gradually snuff out civil liberties in the former British colony. B of P needs a core state for the balancers to rally around, and the only nation that fits that description vis-a-vis China is the USA.

  5. Here’s another bad, terrible, and awful scenario. Trump is forced to resign under dubious circumstances, or possibly not so dubious circumstances, but still retains the allegiance of the hard-core 30% of the population that continues to support him no matter what. Three months later he returns to Washington with 500, 000, or even just 300,000 very upset Tea Partiers, NRA members, and assorted other disaffected types. He tells them that he’s been railroaded by the Deep State in collusion with both political parties. Of course, he also tells them they’ve also been railroaded as well, and he then proceeds to tell his supporters to go forth and tear DC apart. However, except for a few branches of government like Defense, NASA, NIH, all the other R&D agencies, and the Smithsonian Museums complex, I really don’t feel like this would be a really bad thing.

    Please stop talking about the breakup of the USA. I don’t want to have apply for South Korea citizenship. Plus, as an English teacher here in Seoul, anything that downgrades the importance of English damages my livelihood. Another not very pleasant possibility coming out of a possible US breakup would be China making the West Coast an extension of Guangdong Province. Not to mention Czar Putin reclaiming Alaska.

    1. Three months later he returns to Washington with 500, 000, or even just 300,000 very upset Tea Partiers, NRA members, and assorted other disaffected types. He tells them that he’s been railroaded by the Deep State in collusion with both political parties. Of course, he also tells them they’ve also been railroaded as well, and he then proceeds to tell his supporters to go forth and tear DC apart.

      That is what was predicted if he lost the election. It wouldn’t have happened but what did happen was the Democrats continued their coast to coast riots.

      Trump isn’t going to be removed from office based on anything we know today and even the Democrats wont fake something up to do so. It is more in their interest to keep the outrage machine going with fake news that energizes their base.

      If Trump is removed from office for a legitimate reason, there wont be any violence, even though many millions will be upset.

  6. A Google of the phrase “Percent of the population that is Republican” yielded this response, albeit some old data:
    However, an earlier 2013 Gallup survey found that 42% of Americans identified as political independents, a record high. The latter result is more in line with Gallup polling in 2010 that found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrats (tying a 22-year low), 29% as Republicans, and 38% as independents.
    Political party strength in U.S. states – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_U.S._states

    30% of 29% is 9% of the total country. Even 500,000 is not civil war. 500,000 sacking a city (even DC) is a riot. Sacking >1 city is an insurrection. Either of these can be suppressed easily and is not a threat to the United States.

    1. 30% of primary voters isn’t a good metric. After a primary, parties typically unite around the candidate. You can’t assume that everyone who didn’t vote for Trump in the primary hates him.

      Nearly 63 million people voted for Trump.

      If only 30% of people who voted for Trump took up arms, that’s 9 million people. Even 10% is 3 million people.

      Civil War would depend on why a president is removed. A legitimate reason wouldn’t lead to any significant violence. A coup would lead to war. It might not just be Trump supporters either. Independents and Democrats might also be upset at a coup.

      The tearing down of our institutions that Democrats and NeverTrumpers are fantasizing about is very dangerous. They should just suck up their hatred for the next 4-8 years rather than destroy the country in a hissy fit. Maybe they could even find some good candidates to run or make reforms to their leadership that angered people enough to vote for Trump.

      1. I disagree. People vote in the general election for a variety of reasons but I would suspect few are “true believers” of any creed and not likely rioters. I stick with my numbers…

        1. The election of 2016 was really an choice between the lesser of two evils…. Bad vs Worse is, under the best circumstance, still bad.

      1. Rand, you talked about impeaching Trump before he was even elected. Now Goldberg has given you cover.

        Obama and Hillary did actual crimes. You’ve already admitted you know of no Trump crimes.

        “No more.” Yeah, you’ve made a complete about face. /sarc

        1. Rand, you talked about impeaching Trump before he was even elected.

          Yes, because any president should be subject to impeachment, and I viewed Trump as more vulnerable than most, both because he is so completely lacking in ethics and understanding of the law and Constitution, and because so many of his “own” party (like me) find him loathesome.

          Now Goldberg has given you cover.

          This is stupid. I don’t need Jonah for “cover.” But he and I have been on the same wavelength on Trump since the beginning.

          1. He is certainly hard to defend at times, but the media makes it so much easier by distorting what he said.

            It’s true that you don’t need Goldberg’s cover, but you’re accepting it even though (and we agree) you don’t need it.

          2. It’s true that you don’t need Goldberg’s cover, but you’re accepting it

            Jonah is not “providing cover” for me to “accept.”

            This is stupid, Ken. As have been most of your comments here.

  7. Speaking of “the investigation against her”, when will that start? Shortly after the election I was told (was it by you, Ken?) that Mr. Trump had temporarily dropped his threat in order to keep Mr. Obama from preemptively pardoning her. So what has been holding things up since inauguration day? Or was that promise just so many words?

  8. “If you break into a bank, you can’t claim you did nothing wrong if the safe turns out to be empty any more than a terrorist can plead innocence if his bomb didn’t go off.”

    That’s the most asinine argument I’ve heard about anything in many years. If the stories are true, Trump Jr. was being offered genuine incriminating information on Hillary Clinton. It didn’t matter who was offering it, or how it was obtained. He didn’t solicit it. So even if he had obtained anything, and it was true, nothing illegal, unethical, or immoral would have been perpetrated had he released it.

    So equating what Trump Jr. did to an interrupted attempt at child molestation or a failed terrorist bombing is more than just wrong, it’s flat out libelous.

    I don’t “defend” what Trump Jr. did because “they do worse things.” I defend it because there was absolutely nothing wrong with it in the first place.

    1. But MfK, it’s not about crime. Its knowing who the good and bad people are (because the left tells ya.)

    2. I suspect that if a Russian came forward with information of Putin and Trump working together to hack the DNC, Podesta, and voting machines, not a single person would think it improper if Hillary or anyone else met with them to get the information.

      Goldberg certainly wouldn’t complain. He would look at it as vindication, just like the Trump team probably looked at it as verification of suspicions that all the money Hillary got from Russia meant some quid pro quo was going on.

  9. Rand,

    Seriously, I thought you were smarter than this. If you’re so misinformed on this matter, it makes me wonder why I should trust your opinion on anything else.

        1. I’ve never denied that Trump coverage has been a continual s**tstorm. That changes nothing that I wrote in my post. It is entirely possible to believe that Trump is terrible, and that the Democrats and media are worse. I know this for a fact, because it is what I in fact believe.

          I am not relying on media coverage for this post. One more time: Junior told us that he had done something that the Trump defenders have been telling us was “fake news.” And the story continues to shift.

          1. The story will continue to shift, not because of anything nefarious, but because we are dealing with humans not robots or criminals that orchestrate their stories.

            As a matter of fact (and please don’t take my word for it, look it up yourself) investigators know when many people are telling the same story it is probably a lie because of natural human inconsistencies or difference of perspective. Criminals are the ones that get their story straight (but thankfully fail as well.)

            The fake part of the news is implying that there is something evil that Trump is trying to hide. It’s just another case of the media labeling their political enemies as both idiots and savants. It is done every time and only the elites are [appear] oblivious to it. It takes a real genius to be that stupid.

            SNL even did a skit that Reagan was a doddering old fool in public, but an energizer bunny cracking the whip on his stupid evil henchman at night when the cameras were off (making fun of the meme that Reagan would be asleep during any national crisis.)

            The media hasn’t changed at all since then, thus fake news.

  10. Why do you want to continue to look like an idiot on my web site?

    Rand, “Iron sharpens iron.” This once was a well understood principle. You benefit me when you point out any actual idiocy on my part.

    Intelligence isn’t perfection. It’s humility.

  11. Let’s also accept the president’s grotesquely cynical and false claim that pretty much anyone in politics would have done the same thing and taken the meeting.

    Getting past the whole James Baker fist helicopter thing (with effort), Jerry Pournelle has a different (historical) take on the commonness of oppo research.

    And if (as memory serves) recoiling at the whole Charlie Trie thing, and the accompanying media hand-waving, makes my cynicism grotesque and my falseness… noteworthy, then so be it. One more “this is the final straw” from yet another never-trumper, at this point, adds about as much meaning to the current debate as a tear drop in a class 5 hurricane.

    1. Jonah didn’t say “this was the final straw.” All he said (and all I’m saying) is that for months the Trumpettes have been blaring that the notion that there was collusion between the campaign and the Russians was “fake news.” We now know that it was not, by Junior’s own admission. But any criticism of His Highness is apparently unacceptable.

      1. …blaring that the notion that there was collusion between the campaign and the Russians was “fake news.” We now know that it was not, by Junior’s own admission.

        Wrong. It is precisely fake news because of the false implication made possible by the loose definition of collusion.

        How can you not understand the false narrative the media is trying to create? There is no treason by Trump. There is no crime by Trump.

        Jr. admitted to a meeting that has no sinister implications. He could meet with them again today and it would still mean nothing more.

        Fake news is not just that which is literally false, but that which implies something false. How can you not get that? Other than your willful bias against Trump. Because you don’t like him the facts don’t matter.

        Perhaps you are a child molester? You’ve offered no proof you aren’t? I sit in a higher chair looking down my nose over my glasses at you so you know my accusation carries so much weight. /sarc

        1. Ken and Rand, your emotions are getting the better of the two of you. Both of you should step back and take a deep breath.

    2. I didn’t say it was a crime

      What are you waiting for? Isn’t defending Trump from unreasonable attacks by serial abusers crime enough?

      This Pournelle guy is just spouting nonsense. /sarc

        1. Rand is wrong. He’s strong enough to defend his position.

          If he chooses to ban me I would be disappointed because I’ve considered him a friend for more than 20 years.

          1. Gentle hint: if you are in fact correct, it is not necessary for you to use illegitimate debating tactics, such as misrepresenting what the other person is saying.

            Your behavior here is that of a person who doesn’t actually have a valid argument.

          2. I have an idea, Ken.

            a) Read what I actually write (not what the voices in your head tell you that I write).
            b) After reading, actually give what I write some serious thought.
            c) If, after actually giving it some serious thought, you still think you have anything intelligent to say, then comment.

            I know it will be a novel approach for you, but just give it a try, once.

          3. I’m quite sure I’d never even heard of you in the last century.

            I believe the first article I ever commented on involved your explanation of solar sailing sometime in the late 90s. I was working in Seattle at the time and my coworkers were giving me grief for reading blogs which was about that time described as, “kids in PJs in their parents basement” as the meme.

            Back then DenBeste’s blog was in its prime.

        2. I in fact have an idea of what Rand is waiting for — not losing his loyal following.

          Rand’s fine salon is reaching an “inmates are running the asylum” state of affairs. It’s one thing to cut off a vexatious troll, but when your loyal followers are trying your patience . . .

          1. Trump has always been a contentious subject. As much as people talk about Trumpets and cults, there has always been contention among those to the right over politicians. The primary was very contentious, and it wasn’t just about Trump. Remember how Team Rubio and Team Cruz went after each other?

            Even in the Bush years, there was a lot of contention about his leadership. And what about congress?

            Rand has never shied away from debate or criticism. I hope the comments from some of us are not vexatious but they certainly aren’t malicious.

  12. As I see it, Don Trump Jr. did nothing wrong. It is standard practice for elections to do opposition research. This must have been one of hundreds of such meetings.

    What I do find interesting is that the Russian lawyer wasn’t in the country through the normal channels: no visa, for instance. She got into the US through the intervention of Lynch. There is indeed more to the story, but the smoke isn’t coming from the Trump side, it’s coming from Lynch and the Democrat party.

    1. As I see it, Don Trump Jr. did nothing wrong. It is standard practice for elections to do opposition research. This must have been one of hundreds of such meetings.

      If there was nothing wrong, then why have they been telling us for months that it didn’t happen?

  13. Rand: “Trump’s idiot namesake told me that he colluded with the Russians (albeit unsuccessfully in terms of getting the desired Hillary dirt)”

    It may have been unsuccessful but how do we know? From what the people in the room said about the meeting?

    Jonah: “Why the Hell are people taking the word of anyone in that meeting as proof of anything?”

      1. Heh! That was funny.

        Jonah wrote “I unconvinced nothing damning happened in that room…” I commented because I thought you sounded more convinced than Jonah.

    1. I am not, and do not want, to be thought of as a god.

      No worries there mate. I believe in a lot of humans because they are worthy of trust. You’re the one raising delusions here.

      There’s nothing a person can do to win an argument with someone that isn’t going to allow reason to sway them. That doesn’t prove your argument. It just means you are being unreasonable.

      One method of proof is to assume you are right and follow that to its conclusion. Assume not only that Jr colluded but with evil intent. Further, let’s assume it involved an actual crime.

      Where does that leave us? NO WHERE.

      It doesn’t mean the election was hacked. It doesn’t mean treason.

      Meanwhile you are equating a popgun to a nuclear bomb.

      Hillary and Obama committed actual federal crimes including treason, destruction of evidence and abandoning our allies to the wolves while embracing and enriching our enemies with planes loaded with cash. These are not impeachable actions. These are firing squad actions.

      If we concede that Trump is stupid and inept you are equating that with the actual evil of the left. Claim you are not all you like, that just means you lack the perception typical of the left.

      Nothing Trump and associates do has come anywhere close to what the actual crimes and treason of the left. In fact, they are fixing things that you claim to support (and I believe you which makes your behavior in comforting the enemy so bizarre.)

      You can claim otherwise, but I bet Jim is thrilled by your position.

      Do you really imagine you could withstand the flood of criticism going after Trump? Do you really think it benefits your goals by adding to it?

      Talk about delusional.

      1. I’m with you, man, and so is most of everyone else around here.

        Perhaps Rand isn’t arguing reasonably with respect to the efforts to tear President Trump down. I am not joking here, the anti-Slavic-person hatred imbedded in the Russian Influence saga is wearing on me. I have or have had relatives in “that part of the world” where post-Soviet Russian influence is the only thing keeping them from disaster.

        But Rand is graciously paying for the bandwidth that we can all weigh in with our opinions. Thanks, Rand!

      2. There’s nothing a person can do to win an argument with someone that isn’t going to allow reason to sway them.

        Why do you continue to insult me at my own web site?

        If we concede that Trump is stupid and inept you are equating that with the actual evil of the left.

        Yet another completely mindless statement.

        Do you really imagine you could withstand the flood of criticism going after Trump?

        I would withstand it a hell of a lot better than he does, because I wouldn’t continue to pour gasoline on the fire with continual shifts in the story, ADHD, and no impulse control.

        1. I agree you would withstand it better. Which does not mean you could withstand it.

          Why do you continue to insult me at my own web site?

          Because I respect your integrity more than your insults and ad hominems. The truth is more important than winning arguments. Here’s the money quote:

          So there was no collusion, based on what is known thus far. In the absence of any evidence of collusion, the media and the Democrats are talking about an “attempt to collude,” which is a meaningless term, legally and literally.

          Is their argument also nonsense? Be sure to read the sentence following the one I quoted.

          1. Because I respect your integrity more than your insults and ad hominems.

            That is not an explanation for your continual mindless insults on my intelligence.

            Is their argument also nonsense?

            Yes, their “argument” is also nonsense. They not only attempted do collude, they colluded, just not with any useful outcome.

          2. I disagree with you. This does not constitute an insult to you.

            You disagree with others… but you don’t leave it at that.

            You win the argument. Congrats.

          3. You don’t even know what a reasonable argument is.

            What I know is reasonable arguments are ineffective against some people at some times. The pivot of my argument is the meaning, application and intent of using the word collude:

            “secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose.”

            ‘Especially’ is a key word here because it allows for the ambiguity the dishonest use to misrepresent the truth.

            In this case there is also a logical problem that is intentionally being glossed over for not just an obvious reason but the whole point of the dishonesty.

            So is collude accurate? Only if we take ‘illegal purpose’ out of the definition because as you’ve already said, there is no evidence of illegality.

            The logical problem is the suggestion of illegality is the intent. Those opposed to Trump want to use both definitions. The first to claim it exists and the second to imply something worse that has no actual evidence.

            You call this nonsense. I call this typical of the lying bastards.

            Your assertion that I’m not making an argument is just a form of bullying. It is pure assertion that only wins an argument by making people afraid to offer a contrary view. I acknowledge when I’m wrong. Are you never wrong?

            That’s not an insult. That’s a hope that you let your better nature prevail.

          4. you remain impervious to the ability to accept any criticism whatsoever of your God King.

            Both false and insulting. I’m made many negative comments about ‘my god king.’ Some right here in this thread.

            It’s also deflection from my discussion of ‘collude’ which you did not respond to even though I emphasized it’s pivotal roll… and directly on point.

            I have no interest in tearing you down, but I must remain true. Please Rand, can you not acknowledge anything?

  14. A few things… to the extent Jonah has given Trump benefit of the doubt, it has been a purely legal definition of such. I think it is fair to say Jonah has never trusted Trump either, which is fine. The thing is I do agree with the notion that has been bandied about this week that Trump doesn’t think he is dirtier than anyone else, because he thinks all of Washington is dirty. Actually, I’ve agreed with that the moment I decided to vote for Trump. It was an easy decision. The difference between Trump and Hillary was simply one would get scrutinized by the Press and one would be praised.

    Still, I’m not seeing the smoking gun in all this. The biggest item is Trump Jr.’s enthusiastic response. What I do see is lack of political acumen by the Trump team. The woman they met with seems to be a big time lobbyist, and mostly for the opposite side. Perhaps they thought she had learned something from the other side that she was willing to share; but if that is the case; she still deserved the ten foot pole treatment. That’s the primary reason Jr.’s enthusiasm is wrong headed. I do think meeting with her is a mistake.

    Anyway, Jonah and others are welcome to their opinion. Trump is delivering exactly what I hoped for and more. He’s implementing a conservative agenda as good as I’ve seen in over a decade. He’s reduced his WH staff. He’s getting rid of trash at the VA. He’s put the right people in key positions. And most of all he’s pissing off the people I have problem with getting butt hurt. At the same time; he’s a leader that wouldn’t get a way not washing his hands after taking a piss.

    It would be great if we always treated politicians this way, but I looked through Jonah’s articles at National Review, and you have to go back to May 1st to find any discussion regarding Healthcare, and that was criticism of Jimmy Kimmel, not Mitch McConnell. That’s why Jonah was given Trump. If Trump is what he needs to sharpen his sword, have at it. We will be waiting for him when he decides to truly use his sword against proponents of big government. We just won’t be holding our breaths.

  15. BTW, this is why I don’t post about Trump all that much.

    I think your criticisms of Trump are far more rational and than the media’s. The media has gotten so much wrong and just flat out makes things up. It might be impossible to have a chill conversation about Trump but it is also impossible to get sane articles from the media right now.

    If the media were putting out better content, then the conversations around their content would also be better.

    This meeting is the first time anything legitimate has been discovered and without the confirmation bias, it wouldn’t be a big deal for any other politician. But the criticism that the Trump admin didn’t come forward to the public with this meeting sooner, is good criticism. It shows that, like all other politicians, they hide damaging information even when they don’t need to.

    I disagree with some of Rand’s criticisms but big deal. I am sure if some other Republican had won, there would be criticisms of them too and the same if any Democrat had won. Rand’s healthy skepticism of the ruling class is a good thing. His POV on politics and other subjects draws a lot of different views to the comments, which is great.

    I am sorry if I have been causing vexation.

  16. Because most sane speakers of the English language would use one of those two words [collude, conspire] to describe the activity.

    Only if they held a preconceived bias of criminal intent. Which you have agreed is not in evidence.

    Objectively they met and talked, not colluded or conspired.

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