There are 13 comments.

  1. Cow Girl Thatcher

    I read the great article about American Exceptionalism. It was terrific! I’ve recommended it to my brother and some friends. It was so well laid out, and I especially liked the comparisons to the various other nations who’ve attempted to become a republic, but didn’t make it. Really fine article.

     

    • #1
    • February 21, 2019, at 7:16 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    John again peddling the line that the Obama administration was “worried” about Trump being a foreign asset rather than being a bit more cynical about the motives never ceases to amaze me.

    • #2
    • February 21, 2019, at 8:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. DJ EJ Member

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    John again peddling the line that the Obama administration was “worried” about Trump being a foreign asset rather than being a bit more cynical about the motives never ceases to amaze me.

    By claiming that Trump has only himself to blame for the creation of the special council investigation, Podhoretz seems to (suddenly?) have forgotten everything leading up to the firing of Comey. At the time everyone was surprised he lasted that long into the new Trump administration and that a president Hillary would have fired him immediately after her inauguration. Let’s not forget Comey’s first briefing with the president where he told Trump the FBI knew about the hookers and peeing on the hotel bed in Moscow – a not so subtle threat, an excuse for the press to leak the dossier, and as we were to later learn a revealing clue into their already a year old abuse of the FISA courts and unmasking. Comey was antagonistic (despite his “I’m the last boy scout” act) toward Trump from the beginning of his administration, and Trump’s main mistake in his dealings with him was not firing Comey immediately after his inauguration, citing many of the same reasons Hillary would have. But hey, hindsight is 20/20.

    The special council was the perfect way to legitimize, go public with, and continue what had been up to that point illegitimate and secret, and you don’t have to believe in the deep state or be a loyal Trump supporter to say that.

    • #3
    • February 22, 2019, at 6:59 PM PST
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  4. Daniel Sterman Listener

    DJ EJ (View Comment):

    By claiming that Trump has only himself to blame for the creation of the special council investigation, Podhoretz seems to (suddenly?) have forgotten everything leading up to the firing of Comey[…]

    All of that could have been true, if not for Trump’s outright admission that (and pride in the fact that) he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.

    • #4
    • February 23, 2019, at 9:09 AM PST
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  5. DJ EJ Member

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    DJ EJ (View Comment):

    By claiming that Trump has only himself to blame for the creation of the special council investigation, Podhoretz seems to (suddenly?) have forgotten everything leading up to the firing of Comey[…]

    All of that could have been true, if not for Trump’s outright admission that (and pride in the fact that) he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.

    Sure, if you believe that the president firing an executive branch subordinate is obstruction of justice.

    • #5
    • February 23, 2019, at 10:57 AM PST
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  6. Daniel Sterman Listener

    DJ EJ (View Comment):

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    DJ EJ (View Comment):

    By claiming that Trump has only himself to blame for the creation of the special council investigation, Podhoretz seems to (suddenly?) have forgotten everything leading up to the firing of Comey[…]

    All of that could have been true, if not for Trump’s outright admission that (and pride in the fact that) he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.

    Sure, if you believe that the president firing an executive branch subordinate is obstruction of justice.

    The question of whether or not there’s obstruction of justice inherent in that one act is entirely beside the point. When the president fires somebody in order to end an investigation into something that indirectly involves the president, that doesn’t raise even the tiniest bit of suspicion in you that there might be some direct involvement there and you should investigate it? That is why he only has himself to blame.

    • #6
    • February 23, 2019, at 9:18 PM PST
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  7. DJ EJ Member

    I’d be more suspicious of Trump’s firing of Comey if I wasn’t suspicious and cynical of an investigation that began during the Obama administration based on an oppo-research dossier that has yet to be verified, was called an “insurance policy”, and continued as a special council investigation with many of the same Obama admin officials until they were fired only after their bias was exposed by the FBI Inspector General.

    But yeah, sure, Trump is a foreign agent controlled by Putin with whom he colluded to steal the election from Hillary. They tricked her into not campaigning in Wisconsin and they duped all those Obama 2012 voters in Pennsylvania into voting for Trump. Also, despite no evidence of it whatsoever, vote tallies and vote machines in multiple states were altered somehow.

    Convince me that I shouldn’t be suspicious and cynical of the investigation itself, which was Jeff Hawkins original point in his comment, and I’ll agree that it’s all Trump’s fault the investigation continues on and on. If he hadn’t fired Comey, the investigation would have continued in its original form, or they would have found another reason to appoint a special council. Even before Mueller wraps up, the investigation continues in Congress under Adam Schiff, and on and on in several other congressional committees ad infinitum. It’s savvy politics by the Democrats to constantly keep a president from the other party under investigation, but nothing more than that – politics.

    • #7
    • February 24, 2019, at 5:22 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Daniel Sterman Listener

    You do realize more than one thing can be true at the same time, right? That the Obama administration can begin an an investigation for political reasons and Trump can have ulterior motives for firing Comey?

    I mean, the latter one isn’t difficult to believe because he admitted it outright.

    • #8
    • February 24, 2019, at 6:23 PM PST
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  9. DJ EJ Member

    I mean, the latter one isn’t difficult to believe because he admitted it outright.

    Then it is, by definition, not ulterior.

    • #9
    • February 24, 2019, at 7:11 PM PST
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  10. Daniel Sterman Listener

    DJ EJ (View Comment):

    I mean, the latter one isn’t difficult to believe because he admitted it outright.

    Then it is, by definition, not ulterior.

    “Because of the Russia investigation” doesn’t tell us exactly what part of the Russia investigation he is worried about. The Trump Tower deal in Moscow? His kids’ finances? Behind-the-scenes contacts? It could be anything. The fact that we don’t know which ones it might be, or if it is something else we don’t even know about yet, is what makes it ulterior.

    • #10
    • February 25, 2019, at 12:13 AM PST
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  11. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    You do realize more than one thing can be true at the same time, right? That the Obama administration can begin an an investigation for political reasons and Trump can have ulterior motives for firing Comey?

    I mean, the latter one isn’t difficult to believe because he admitted it outright.

    Yes, but 1) he didn’t stop the investigation 2) he can fire Comey for whatever reason he wants, Comey serves at the pleasure of the President.

    Your argument that he had an ulterior motive doesn’t take into account he literally did nothing about the investigation.

    Also, why is the one thing people believe Trump means?

    • #11
    • February 25, 2019, at 10:39 AM PST
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  12. Daniel Sterman Listener

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Yes, but 1) he didn’t stop the investigation 2) he can fire Comey for whatever reason he wants, Comey serves at the pleasure of the President.

    Your argument that he had an ulterior motive doesn’t take into account he literally did nothing about the investigation.

    He didn’t stop the investigation because, at the time, Republicans made it abundantly clear that if he did he would be impeached outright.

    And the fact the he can fire Comey for whatever reason he wants is completely irrelevant. He fired Comey for a reason that raised suspicions. Had he not done so – had he even just kept quiet about it and let the Rosenstein firing memo be the only word, had he not made that stupid “tapes” tweet, and so on and so on – we wouldn’t be where we are today.

    • #12
    • February 25, 2019, at 11:21 AM PST
    • 1 like
  13. DJ EJ Member

    That is exactly my point and the source of my cynicism – the investigation is evergreen. It would have continued in some form no matter what Trump did. The naïveté of Podhoretz’s statement that it’s due to Trump stating he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation is twofold:

    1. It presumes the investigation would have ended if he hadn’t said that, thus…
    2. …ignoring the fact that after Trump fired Comey, Comey gave several memos he had written to a friend who then leaked them to the New York Times to justify the appointment of a special council investigation. The Times didn’t get to see the memos, a Comey associate read parts of them to a Times reporter. The memo portions read to the reporter were designed to cast what Trump said in a private meeting with Comey about going easy on General Flynn as an attempt to obstruct justice.

    The Trump administration states that the Times report mischaracterized his comments, but Rosenstein appointed the special council the day after that story ran in the Times. Comey used his own firing to make sure a special council was appointed, no matter what Trump’s stated and public reasons. Also, as we’ve learned from McCabe’s recent interview appearances, he was pushing hard behind the scenes to make sure the Russia investigation continued. Comey doesn’t get fired, the Russia investigation continues in its original form – started and perpetuated by Obama appointed FBI officials’ use of a Clinton campaign commissioned and still unverified oppo-research document written by a former British agent who hates Trump to justify obtaining FISA warrants, to spy on Trump’s campaign, and to unmask US citizens in intercepted communications (and then leak those intercepts to the press).

    The Russia investigation is evergreen.

    • #13
    • February 25, 2019, at 11:30 AM PST
    • 1 like