Sunday, March 24, 2019

Ducks and ice

Cheerful car wash

Some anti-Trump smears, one at a time

1. Jonah Goldberg via Mollie H.


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15h15 hours ago
More Mollie Retweeted Jonah Goldberg
Pish posh. Mueller may have his fans, but also a history of questionable prosecutorial judgment and absolutely wretched hiring decisions (as evidenced even in this probe). If even they couldn't find anything here, shows how ridiculous this conspiracy theory was.Mollie added,
Jonah Goldberg
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Ok. And there were a LOT of people happy to lay the groundwork that Mueller was looking to frame Trump in some way. That was the whole point of the dishonest "dirty cop" crap from the beginning. Can't have it both ways: Mueller is corrupt AND he exonerated Trump. …
181 replies . 1,082 retweets 3,215 likes
Reply 181 Retweet 1.1K Like 3.2K

So: If Mueller were corrupt in the sense of always making the system work for his friends, and against his enemies, he would have found something against Trump, somehow? So now we know Mueller is clean? Isn't the more obvious headline that there was absolutely nothing to find along the lines of Trump-Russia-2016 election--not even the sleazy Mueller could find something?

A similar take would be: If Trump defenders are right that Mueller is brutally incompetent, his career consisting of one promotion after another following fiascos for which he was responsible, then Mueller's failure to find anything at all--absolutely anything at all--linking Trump-Putin-2016 election--proves nothing. "You can't have it both ways." Easy answer: no matter how incompetent Mueller is (and you're conceding quite a bit here), he is full of hatred for Trump, who both fired Mueller's intimate friend/lover, Comey, and refused to give the big job to Mueller himself. All of Mueller's best friends hated Trump, and Mueller would have done a great deal to bring him down. His motivation, let us say, would have overcome his inability to figure anything out if there was anything at all to find. He had associates who probably have higher IQ's than he does. Goldberg disgraces himself with this crap. No matter if every highly funded investigation (tens of millions of dollars?) finds nothing, absolutely nothing, Goldberg is convinced there is something there, somewhere.

2. By his comments about Judge Curiel, Trump supposedly showed a willingness to interfere with the independence of the judiciary, subvert the rule of law, etc. The attacks on Kavanaugh showed a clear intention to use any scrap of allegation or smear, not matter how groundless, to prevent a distinguished jurist from moving from a circuit court to the Supreme Court. By the logic of Kavanaugh's enemies, it would have made sense for them to impeach him off the circuit court, and why stop there? Why not get him disbarred? So: vote pro-choice, or we will destroy you. Now that is interfering with the independence of the judiciary. Trump has never done anything remotely similar. (Everything he said about Curiel was true).

3. Trump never described any group of white nationalists, or any part of such a group, as "fine people."

4. Trump and Alicia Machado had a contract. She was failing to live up to the contract.

5. Khizr Khan had every right to take part in a presidential campaign if he chose to do so. The only reason he was invited to do so was that he was a fairly recent (legal) immigrant whose son had died in one of the U.S. wars. His son was an unusually noble American, and his whole family becomes an unusually noble bunch of immigrants by extension. This was of no relevance to what Trump said about people who were not in the U.S. legally. Mr. Khan delivered a lecture on the U.S. Constitution, as if it protects everyone in the world who wants to move to the U.S. It doesn't do so.

Has anybody ever had more fun than Trump? Updated

Imagine what it must have been like to be Trump the day after Election Day 2016. Bogart toward the end of "The Maltese Falcon," multiplied by a thousand. He laughs at his mental and emotional superiority to other people. "Don't be too sure I'm as crooked as I'm supposed to be. That kind of reputation might be good business, bringing in high-priced jobs and making it easier to deal with the enemy."

Now: Mueller himself completely full of shit: the Flynn conviction bullshit--Flynn didn't lie, he pleaded guilty to save his son; the Papadopoulos conviction bullshit; the Manafort convictions having nothing to do with Trump, or Russia, or the 2016 election, and in any case heading down the road toward a bill of attainder, which is specifically outlawed by the U.S. Constitution. New Attorney General Barr is going to say Mueller did nothing wrong because the Establishment does indeed protect itself, people within it think this all contributes to making people law-abiding, etc.

Worse: the media writ large, including pundits and professors, have openly hoped for the destruction of a duly elected President, whether there is anything a sane person would regard as evidence or not. This was always really vicious bullshit, the kind that actually could undermine the Constitution and the country's system of laws, and now the views of the cognescenti have been revealed to be completely and utterly untrue, even though they have treated their favourite propositions about Trump as ratified by God for three years.

Matt Taibbi:

Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.


The Special Prosecutor literally became a religious figure during the last few years, with votive candles sold in his image and Saturday Night Live cast members singing “All I Want for Christmas is You” to him featuring the rhymey line: “Mueller please come through, because the only option is a coup.”


For those anxious to keep the dream alive, the Times published its usual graphic of Trump-Russia “contacts,” inviting readers to keep making connections. But in a separate piece by Peter Baker, the paper noted the Mueller news had dire consequences for the press:

It will be a reckoning for President Trump, to be sure, but also for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for Congress, for Democrats, for Republicans, for the news media and, yes, for the system as a whole…

This is a damning page one admission by the Times. Despite the connect-the-dots graphic in its other story, and despite the astonishing, emotion-laden editorial the paper also ran suggesting “We don’t need to read the Mueller report” because we know Trump is guilty, Baker at least began the work of preparing Times readers for a hard question: “Have journalists connected too many dots that do not really add up?”

The paper was signaling it understood there would now be questions about whether or not news outlets like themselves made a galactic error by betting heavily on a new, politicized approach, trying to be true to “history’s judgment” on top of the hard-enough job of just being true. Worse, in a brutal irony everyone should have seen coming, the press has now handed Trump the mother of campaign issues heading into 2020.

I don't know what's going to happen in 2020. Will Trump laugh if he wins again? My God will he laugh.


I got the link from Mollie H., who has a fun thread.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Buildings from different eras

Part of house ca. 1900, then bus stop about five years old, then parts of the old Tannery including clock tower (not the most famous Clock Tower in town).

Russia-Trump and fact checking

Just about perfect by Althouse.

Russia-Trump is bullshit. Fact-checking by the NYT is bullshit.

Once respected law prof Lawrence Tribe in a class by himself.