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Is the Comey Firing Proof of a Smoking Gun?
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  • seattleoutcast

    The last person who has any authority in my eyes is Cass Sunstein. He is an unbridled progressive who thinks he has the right to manipulate human actions through “nudging.” He is a dangerous man and against any liberty whatsoever. Who cares what he has to say.

  • Tom

    Much more plausible: Trump fired Comey because he took the Michael Flynn thing personally.

  • Unelected Leader

    Comey was just a mess. He said that Queen Hillary and her IT guy broke the law (the IT guy who went to Reddit asking how to fight a subpoena). Then he chose not to recommend an indictment because he’s a mess, and not interested in the law. And then she had the audacity to blame her laughable campaign and loss on him haha.

  • Anthony

    “Who can sincerely believe that President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey for any reason other than to thwart an investigation of serious crimes? Which crimes – and how serious – we can only guess.

    The suggestion that Comey was fired to punish him for overzealously mishandling the Clinton email investigation appears laughable….

    No, this appears to be an attack on the integrity – not just of law enforcement – but of our defense against a foreign cyberattack on the processes of American democracy. The FBI was investigating the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russian espionage. Trump’s firing of Comey is an apparent attempt to shut that investigation down.

    Now comes the hour of testing. Will the American system resist? Or will it be suborned?” (David Frum)

    • Angel Martin

      Old Democrat narrative: Comey is a Republican/Russian stooge who cost Clinton the election
      New Democrat narrative: Saint James Comey, public servant extraordinare, martyred by the unspeakable Trump

      • Anthony

        Martin, I’m an American of very long descent and Country before partisanship has always been important in my family. The issue is Russian interference in our Democratic process. JeBurke (and he is a longtime Moynihan Democrat) sums it up aptly in several places above.

        • leoj

          Come on, Anthony… You’re about as American as pelmini. Just your use of definite and indefinite articles, let alone your thesaurus-hunting word usage indicate you’re not native. I never imagined you were a paid troll until you bring up interesting details concerning “John Burke of Ardsley, NY”(who I’m about 80% certain is a paid troll). We’ll have to keep an eye on you, Anthony, as tiresome as that may be, given how uninteresting your contributions generally are.

          • Anthony

            I’m more American than you (but that’s not relevant as my American interest is not divided). I write as I choose and you can pass it up or play to your insecurities; you have obviously been awaiting your brief moment, now you’ve utilize it disgruntled one.

          • leoj

            I’m perfectly gruntled, Anthony. Alles geht mir super. Tout est parfait. Ochen Horosho.
            N.B.
            -I would recalibrate the cryptographer concerning ‘divided American interest’ as this is not a meaningful statement.
            -‘Passing up’ your writing is not exactly idiomatic, but I catch your drift. As I said before, as tiresome as it may be I will (as a public service) keep an eye on you.
            -Concerning “disgruntled one”: in whatever language you’re translating from, this is probably a nominalized adjective. It’s a dead give away that you’re not an English-speaking native if you use it in this fashion, especially in the vocative.

          • Angel Martin

            I don’t think “Anthony” is a single person. More like a group effort. There is the “Anthony” who eschews definite articles (Russian?) and writes convoluted sentences with lots of subordinate clauses. And then there is the other “Anthony” of the normal sentence structure and an overused thesaurus…

          • Fred

            I have a hard time imagining that anyone would pay for obscurantist nonsense; links to articles of wildly varying quality, reliability, and relevance; praise for trolls; and ridiculous, pseudo-scientific ad hominems. Turgid Anthony is nothing more than a pompous turd with an unearned superiority complex, a rather common type on internet comment boards.

          • leoj

            Precisely, turdgid.

          • solstice

            Saint Frederico, for someone who loves to showboat your devotion to jesus, you expend an awful lot of time and energy wildly exaggerating the specks in other people’s eyes while ignoring the log in your own eye. Whatever happened to “judge not lest ye be judged,” “love your enemies,” and “let he who has not sinned cast the first stone?” It doesn’t take a genius to see that “Christians” like you only cite these passages to showboat their piety in public and don’t actually practice these precepts. You are also “comically unaware” that the negative attributes you love to ascribe to others describe you perfectly.

        • Angel Martin

          “Country before partisanship has always been important in my family. ”

          Come off it. If Clinton had been elected and the FBI was still investigating her emails and she had fired Comey, you and every other pearl clutcher on this thread would be applauding.

          Oh, and since you are so concerned with interference in elections, what about this?
          https://wikileaks.org/cia-france-elections-2012/

          • Anthony

            Martin, stop playing to the crowd (that’s always easy) and use that mind to transcend partisanship, even in Canada.

          • Isaiah6020

            I mean, he did kind of call you out on your hypocrisy and you kind of admitted to it. That’s not partisanship per se, it is human nature.

        • Jim__L

          Hi Anthony,

          As you know, there are two posters with the handle “Anthony” on these boards. As Angel points out below, you distinguish yourself by your more-lucid writing. You might want to point that you are not turgid-Anthony, (who is HIGHLY partisan) when you’re fielding ad hominem attacks. The rest of us are willing to help too. No one who isn’t turgid-Anthony deserves to be treated the way many posters treat turgid-Anthony. (You could certainly make an argument that even he doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.)

          In any case, as I said, you may want to clear things up to avoid this kind of thing in the future.

          • Anthony

            Perhaps you ought to spend less time worrying about Anthony and take the advice tea & snark provided you (Anthony and Anthony will make do).

          • ——————————

            This is the turgid Anthony. That is the one I blocked a few weeks ago, and the Anthony in this thread comes up as blocked.

          • Jim__L

            Huh. He’s actually being coherent today. Good for him.

          • ——————————

            He’s not speaking in tongues?

            Well if he can also cut the arrogant and condescending crap maybe someone besides FG will engage with him sometime…it won’t ever be me…but maybe someone….

          • Jim__L

            I engage him sometimes. Skewering arrogant and condescending Lefties is a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s just so easy…

          • ——————————

            That’s true. I love messing with idiot people’s heads, especially face to face. I like belittling them but very subtly.

            My last exchange with Anthony was not subtle. It was easier to belittle him that way.
            I call him professor Gobbledygook…he knows everything so he can’t be challenged, but he really knows nothing and says it in tongues….

          • Anthony

            Point of clarity, you my friend are here for engagement as constrained input (and replies) reveals – to paraphrase jeburke: not having a line segment next to my Disqus account will “not” be missed in the least (frankly, it’s best news I’ve received on Disqus since being informed about troll behavior, thanks).

          • Anthony

            You blocked me! You must be kidding.

  • WigWag

    This is Trump at his best. First he gives a big F U to the bipartisan elites in the Congress and then he trolls the gargantuan fake news apparatus (aka the mainstream media) by meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador the day after he fires the nincompoop leading the investigation of Trump’s relationship with Russia. As icing on the cake, he has Nixon’s Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger join him.

    Trump knew exactly what he was doing; it shows he possesses a set unlike his flaccid detractors.

    The reaction of the Democrats and the repulsive Republicans like McCain and Graham was as predictable as it was pathetic. The FBI’s investigation into the so-called Russian connection to Trump’s buddies is as illegitimate as they are.

    As for Trump’s supporters, they’re laughing at all the handwringing right along with Trump. To the consternation of his progressive opponents, Trump’s supporters will love him even more for this move.

    Will Trump appoint an independent prosecutor? Nope.

    Can the clerisy and their fellow travelers do anything about it? Nope.

    Trump was right to fire the incompetent FBI chief; good riddance to Comey.

    That fact that he did it in a manner that elicited squeals from the irrelevant and powerless cretins who oppose him make it all the more delicious.

    • jeburke

      Trump is a snivelling coward not man enough to look Comey in the eye to fire him. The idea that it shows he “has a set” -is as preposterous as it is juvenile. Trump has the power of the Presidency for the moment but we’ll see who “squeals” in the end.

      • Boritz

        ” look Comey in the eye”

        Here is how that would have gone:
        James! Come in! Thanks for joining us. Have a seat. You know Jeff, Rod, and Reince. I wanted Mike to join us but he has a ceremony he can’t get out of. Hows the traffic out there? Terrible as ususal I bet. Hey, would you like some coffee?…..cream?….sugar?….no? ……I think you should try one of these little croissants. They’re really good. I can hardly resist them myself……ya sure? Well then, let’s get down to business. As you know…………

      • Angel Martin

        Comey got to watch it live on CNN while he was giving one of his useless speeches – even better !

  • ——————————

    The “last thing we needed” is the media pounding away at these things, and articles like this one, full of ifs, maybes, and speculation, and opinions.

    Let’s drag out the experts and pundits and get everyone on both sides of the aisle all whipped up.

    And it is wondered why there is such a divide….

  • Dan Kearns

    I fear TAI may have taken the bait on this that they’ve been able to mostly avoid before. Prof. Mead knows his Jacksonianism well, so maybe he’ll weigh in soon, but a fight like this is exactly the nature of the beast. It’s how it does it’s thing. Draw all the opposition right into the ring and have at it with abandon, never ceding an inch. As Jackson showed with the Bank War, it’s can indeed a close run thing, but the deep stamina and never-ending vigor of the Jacksonians will win the day. This is no crisis, this is to be the new normal because it’s the preferred battleground: all battle all the time.

    • jeburke

      This Trump = Jackson thing is laughable nonsense. Jackson would not stoop to spit on the likes of Trump, a deeply unpatriotic, greedy, selfish buffoon.

      • Dan Kearns

        I didn’t say Jackson. I said Jacksonianism.

      • Dan Kearns

        I’m sensing that you are not exactly looking for conversation or beneficial mutual exchange, but, in hopes that I am wrong, I am curious to know the argument for “deeply unpatriotic.” I can see the arguments for the other two adjectives and the noun, but I don’t know the argument for unpatriotic?

        • jeburke

          You’re kidding, right? What would you call a man who dodged the draft three times, never lifted a finger for the ensuing 50 years to perform any kind of public service, outsourced production of a half dozen products, routinely hired illegal aliens, got himself elected with blatant help from America’s most dangerous adversary, and now seeks to quash any investigation into this massive attack on our democratic institutions? If that’s not an unpatriotic person, there is no such thing.

          • Isaiah6020

            He didn’t get elected with the help of Russia. See, you are presenting your paranoid delusions as facts again. This is why your conclusions don’t make sense. It’s a classic “garbage in, garbage out” case.
            Please try to imagine what these rants sound like to somebody who is not already with you 100%. Can you do that for me? Try to imagine.

          • jeburke

            You must have been living under a rock for the past year. What do you think the FBI and the two Congressional intelligence committees are investigating? Am I entitled to conclude that , because Russia conducted this massive campaign and Trump won in its wake by 77,000 votes in three states, “Russia helped to elect him,” you bet I am. You can disagree with that conclusion and quibble about how or why he squeaked by with those 77,000 votes, but my conclusion is solidly based in the facts as we know them so far, not paranoia.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-orders-review-of-russian-hacking-during-presidential-campaign/2016/12/09/31d6b300-be2a-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_russiahack-745p%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&tid=a_inl&utm_term=.b5901f50c0be

            People like you have closed your minds to the very real and obvious possibility that someone in Trump’s circle did coordinate with the Russians, or encourage their actions. Worse, by defending Trump, you are issuing an invitation to the Russians to do it again.

          • ——————————

            “Facts” about Trump from Wa Po…okay….

          • jeburke

            See, this is how we know Trumpists are totally unserious and not interested in facts or truth. I link one of hundreds of accounts of how and why all 13 US intelligence agencies assessed that Russia was working to help Trump — a fact that has been confirmed under oath by several senior officials — and you think the fact that this particular story was in WaPo is relevant.

          • leoj

            All of the sources in that piece are unnamed officials in thoroughly politicized intelligence agencies. It’s not just about the Washington Post, it’s about unaccountable rumor and hearsay that very likely is politically motivated.

            Now, I know your feelings about anonymity, so I think we can share in some outrage, right?

          • jeburke

            I think I made clear before that you can kiss my ass.

          • Isaiah6020

            Now, now. Just because you got called out on a hypocrisy is no reason to sulk. There’s a lot of us making fun of you and you have the right to lash out. May I suggest Daily Kos? You may find yourself more at home there.

          • jeburke

            I have zero in common with Daily Kos. To recognize Trump as the ignorant bumbling lout he is, one does not have to be a leftist, a liberal or even a Democrat. Some people are just not gullible.

          • Isaiah6020

            Now there’s a look in your eyes
            Like black holes in the sky
            Shine on, you crazy diamond.

          • seattleoutcast

            That was great, too.

          • ——————————

            Now there’s some intelligent rebuttal….

          • jeburke

            Let me know when you locate glimmer of intelligence among the comments by right-wing screwballs and Trump apologists here. There is nothing to “rebut.”

          • ——————————

            It’s just spirited debate. And there was intelligent commentary.

            No reason to let your emotions get the best of you to the point of profanity. It doesn’t help your credibility if you are trying to prove your points….

          • jeburke

            No, it’s not just “spirited debate.” In fact, there is no debate at all, just a lot of nasty, snide hectoring.

          • ——————————

            Call it as you see it…but you still lost control and resorted to profanity…so your credibility, in the eyes of those who read here, has been compromised….

            Enjoy your evening….

          • jeburke

            I could not care less about being credible to this crew. In fact, it’s very disappointing that TAI has allowed irs comment boards to sink into a sewer of Trumpist poison. When the site was launched, briefly, these comment sections were genuinely filled with smart commentaries. No longer. It’s a shame.

          • ——————————

            You did not recognize my thought. I referred to “those who read here”, not those who ‘write’ here.

            This blog gets thousands of page views per day, and thousands of readers. There are maybe 50 or less who comment here regularly, and you will never bring them to your line of thought.

            So when you comment here you are (or should be), thinking about persuading those multitudes who only come here to read.

            …and blatant ad hominem attacks on the president will only get cheers from those already in your corner, not those on the fence…..

          • jeburke

            Trouble with that is that, in my view, the danger of Trump lies in the man, not any actual, possible or supposed policies. I have no issue with Republicans generally, and in many cases, I am more aligned with GOP than Democratic views.

            The problem with Trump is Trump, and it’s a very serious one about which we should not mince words. Donald Trump is an ignorant clown, a coward who plays a tough guy on TV, a pathological liar, a serial adulterer and vulgar mysogenist, a greed-obsessed con man and thief, and an all-around rotten human being. I will never cease to wonder why Republicans care more about tax cuts — which will inevitably be rolled back within a decade — than they do about putting an obviius low-life wannabe thug in the most powerful office in the world.

            No, it’s not possible to discuss Donald Trump seriously without “ad hominem” observations.

          • Jim__L

            Jeburke, Trump got into the White House for two reasons: 1) “Ad hominem” didn’t hurt Trump in November because compared to corrupt, negligent, incompetent, assault-enabling Hillary, he was the lesser of two evils, and 2) Trump addressed a constituency whose interests (both economic and cultural) have been sacrificed for years to a Leftist agenda that many in the Center feel has to be stopped, even if it meant putting someone with Bill Clinton’s flaws in the White House.

            Tax cuts really didn’t have much to do with it. If anything, Trump’s constituents really don’t care whether rich people are heavily taxed or not. (They probably wouldn’t complain if Trump hiked those taxes.) Issues that matter more to them came to the forefront.

            I suspect from your posts that you weight the same facts differently. That’s your prerogative of course. But remember that every voter in this country has not only the right but the duty to do the same thing, to communicate to the government what we think the government should be about. Then, it’s politicians’ duty to take this vox populi and craft a governing agenda out of it. Hillary (and the rest of her Politically Correct mob) ignored a huge swath of those voices — and were defeated because of it.

          • jeburke

            I agree with much of your assessment of how and why people voted for Trump. But so what? In order to rebuke the “establishment,” stick it to Hillary, and rebel against PC, voters put an ignorant knucklehead in the White House. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to realize that the chaos he’s causing daily happens because he’s a fool who is not in control of himself.

          • Jim__L

            Every age has its problems. I’m honestly thankful that we don’t have to thrash the Nazis and Imperial Japanese every decade. That would get tiresome.

            We have checks an balances to deal with just this sort of situation. So far, so good, and yes we’re going to have another four years (or eight, if the GOP and Dems can’t get their act together) of the same slog.

            I’m still easier in my mind, having a well-recognized loose cannon like Trump shooting up the place while opposed by not only the Democrats but many in his own party, than have Hillary and her agenda with the Democrats lockstep behind her thinking she’s the second coming of Christ instead of recognizing that her negligence is frankly dangerous, her competence is vastly overstated, and her corruption exceeds that of Trump.

            Sure, it’s a mess. But as of the point where Trump clinched the GOP nomination (largely because he was the only one listening to the American people), that mess became the best available option.

            And we’re going to survive this mess. Hillary… I’m not sure we would’ve.

          • jeburke

            Oh please. Hillary is the original let’s go slow and make everyone happy centrist politician, not a china breaker. In fact, THAT contributed to her loss — losses, actually in both 2008 and 2016. Obama got to her left, as did Bernie — easily because she’s not even very ideological. More triangulation than “progressivism.” Hardly a danger to the republic.

          • Jim__L

            If Hillary had been interested in “making everyone happy”, the working class would have handed her the presidency. As it was, she wrote off half the country as “deplorable”. That rift would have gotten worse with time, destroying our social fabric in profound ways.

            Obama won, and Bernie was more popular, (and Bill managed both) because they have more charisma than she does, plain and simple. Bernie got ahead because he realizes (like Trump did) that something really isn’t right in America. His prescriptions are bunk, but at least he notices that something’s up.

            Obama, Bill, Bernie, Trump — they’re also more competent. Name three accomplishments of Hillary’s as SecState. How about two? One? Hillary was an entitled time-server who couldn’t even manage the boring virtue of following security protocols. There’s no reason to believe she would have been anything like effective in dealing with the china-shop bulls in the world today. In fact, her negligence could only make things worse.

            Trump may not be anyone’s idea (aside from his own) of perfection, but Hillary’s sheer incompetence — unchallenged (embraced even!) by her own party, would have been worse for us.

          • Isaiah6020

            But if Trump has no connection to Russia, he can’t tell them what to do. So is Trump an evil genius colluding with Russians or is he an orange monkey with no brains? You want to have it both ways. Sorry, but choose a narrative and stick to it.

          • ——————————

            I am not exactly a “Trumpist”.
            It is all speculation at this point, there is no evidence, so it is meaningless.

            And if Russia made an attempt at helping, as long as Trump didn’t collude or work with them, then that is a matter to take up with Russia….

          • Jim__L

            Link a few of the other hundred, please. If there are any that aren’t from papers known for partisanship, that would probably help.

          • jeburke

            Unserious

          • Jim__L

            Completely serious. The Washington Post is highly partisan, and has lost a great deal of its old credibility from being so.

            If you could link some of those hundred articles — from news outlets on both ends of the spectrum, if the center of the spectrum has grown dim in recent years — that would be very helpful.

          • jeburke

            Never mind the widespread coverage from months ago. How about the sworn testimony of seven or eight intelligence agency heads, including several appointed by Trump (eg, Pompeo, Coats). Asked if they personally agreed that Russian agents had interfered in our election to harm Clinton and help Trump, they all answered yes. Pretending this did not happen and it’s just the media is totally, painfully unserious.

          • Isaiah6020

            Um, anonymous sources? An official who declined to be named? You want me to believe somebody is a traitor because an anonymous source said Russia was trying to help Trump? The issue is one of COLLUSION and that word doesn’t appear in the article.
            “People like you have closed your minds to the very real and obvious possibility that someone in Trump’s circle did coordinate with the Russians, or encourage their actions. Worse, by defending Trump, you are issuing an invitation to the Russians to do it again.”
            That is a classic moral panic fear mongering tactic. If you don’t want to burn the witch, you are a witch yourself. Sorry, but that tired old stuff ain’t gonna fly here. You are a one man moral panic and those are not as persuasive as you might think.

          • jeburke

            The intel agencies’ findings have now been confirmed on the record and under oath by Comey, Clapper and NSA Director Rogers, and acknowledged publicly by a dozen key Republicans. You know this, yet you try to obfuscate it, which is a form of lying. As for collusion, that is what is being investigated by the FBI and two Congressional committees. They have yet to finish and when they do, we will see what they conclude. You know this too. The only panic is in the White House where Trump is trying to prevent us from ever finding out anything.

          • Isaiah6020

            You are missing the point. If there is no COLLUSION, and no one at any point mentions that there’s even the slightest evidence of COLLUSION, then what you have is evidence of Russia doing something you didn’t like. So take it up with the Obama administration for allowing a hostile foreign country to interfere with US elections. Trump has no control over what Russia does? Do you get that yet? Is he evil genius or incompetent buffoon? Pick a narrative, any narrative, but you can only pick one.

          • ——————————

            I like watching the live play by play action with you and leoj, on my phone….

          • jeburke

            “Trump has no control over what Russia does.” Nonsense. Trump is our President. If he takes his responsibility seriously, he would take Russia to task for interfering in our election — and European elections — and take steps to punish them for it. Instead, he dismisses the whole issue and mocks those who are concerned about it. No, he’s not an evil genius. Far from it. More incompetent buffoon.

          • texasjimbo

            To this point, the charges of Russia hacking the election are the product of very vivid imaginations or out and out lies designed to harm Trump and republicans politically. (My money is primarily on the later, I don’t think most people are that stupid, but I’m prepared to make an exception for you). If there is any “there” there, then the Russians made an extraordinarily bad decision. There is no chance Hillary would have taken an aggressive stance towards the Assad regime. Trump has. There is a very good chance Hillary would have approved regulations/signed legislation ending/limiting fracking. Trump is making it easier. And it was *always* obvious as the nose on you face that Hillary would be a threat to reduce American energy production while Trump would make it easier for American energy production to increase. So your position is that the Russians sought to manipulate the election to elect the candidate that would harm their economic interests instead of Hillary, who they had rolled when she was S of S and who was likely to act in a way that would dramatically advance their economic interests. You must have a very low opinion of the intelligence of Russians.

          • jeburke

            No, they’re smart enough to recognize that Trump us an ignorant, emotionally volatile knucklehead who would create chaos in American foreign policy.

          • texasjimbo

            Ok. I’ve gotten you to commit to a theory. Now explain to me how they thought the unpredictability and chaos would not be at least as likely to harm them as to help them? How they were certain the chaos would actually accrue to the harm of American interests? Explain to me how they prefer the near certitude of low oil prices with Trump over the likely significantly higher oil prices with Hillary? How they prefer an unpredictable American president that will likely be difficult to con and impossible to control even if he gets coned over an American president that they had already coned in the past?
            The theory you’ve committed to is incompatible with a more reasonable theory that you could actually point to some evidence for support: that Trump would actually have a foreign policy that was more in sync with Russian interests. Or don’t you remember Trumps statements that seemed to indicate he respected Putin and was prepared to allow Russia a free hand in Syria. How does Russia get “he’ll create chaos from that? Makes no sense. But you can’t claim that as your reason for your argument since you failed to mention it and proposed an incompatible alternative theory when I challenged you.
            Your desire to condemn Trump has overwhelmed you ability to think. If you really believe that nonsense, then you an idiot. But you don’t. You’re just screeching along with the rest of the left, throwing mud and hoping it will stick; you lost and you’re throwing a temper tantrum.

          • jeburke

            Hmmm…call me crazy to reply to anyone who calls me an idiot, but two things:

            1) Putin detested Hillary and expected that under her Presidency US policy vis a vis Russia would be considerably tougher than Obama. According to the US intelligence agencies’ assessment, Russia initially assumed Hillary would win and began its interference campaign to undermine her soon-to-be Presidency. As it became clear that Trump had a chance, they switched gears and worked to boost him. It’s pretty obvious that they preferred to see Trump win. To be certain why, you would have to ask Putin. I think it was because they sized him up as an ignorant clown. If he turned out to be more favorable toward Russia, that would be icing on the cake.

            2) You seem to be hung up on oil prices as a factor. This is mysterious. Oil prices are global. Currently they run around $50 a barrel — teetering on the edge of prices too low to attract further investment by producers. Consequently, Trump will have a tough time getting them any lower, even if US production had far more effect on global prices than it does. And gas prices at the pump for American consumers today average $2.34 — down from an historic high of $4.11 at the end of 2008 when you-know-who was President. Low oil prices, low gas prices at the end of eight years of Democrats, yet you think Democrats=high prices. Go figure.

          • texasjimbo

            Your first point is an opinion, not a fact, despite you acting as though it is a fact. As in every single individual assertion within the argument is not deductively provable, and it is unlikely you can even make a middling inductive case for most of them. So its really just question begging.
            The second point is such a whooper is suggest I might have been on to something when I provisionally called you an idiot. The left, including Hillary Clinton (and Obama) want to curtail US fossil fuel production. Obama did so with coal, and got lucky with the timing so that the huge ramp up in natural gas production compensated for coal’s decline. He made some tentative steps towards fracking restrictions, but was unable to go any further than making it almost impossible to do and federal lands. Hillary claimed she was going to make it harder to frack. That is what her political base wants. US frackers are the world’s swing producers. If a President Hillary stops fracking, the world’s current surplus goes away and oil prices sky rocket. Did you really need al that explained to you? I don’t think so. I think you’re either in denial or lying. The attempt to credit democrats with lowing gas prices (as though correlation is causation) is transparently a lie. Or you really are an idiot. As for whether US oil producers can increase their production and productivity more so that their marginal costs go down further and they are able to under sale other producers, neither you or I know. But I wouldn’t bet against it.

          • jeburke

            Not my opinion but the assessment of US intelligence agencies. Trouble with all you guys is that you keep wishing away the central thing about this issue.

            Oil prices are what they are, so it’s hard to see how it’s whopper to point it out. Sure Obama and probably Hillary if she had won, like most Dems, would lean in favor of renewable energy sources and against expanding certain fossil fuel sources, such as mor offshore drilling. Obama DID for eight years, yet oil is at $50 a barrel and gas costs $2.34 a gallon. Fracking is feeding in more oil and gas but as I pointed out oil prices are global and driven by a myriad of factors. US Presidents do not control them all. US production is way up, but so is production in Canada, Iraq and Iran over a decade ago. OPEC is no longer cutting production to boost prices. Russia is pumping like crazy because they need the money. Even more important than the supply side, demand in slack due to weak European economies and reduced economic growth in China and some developing countries. In any case, with prices so low, US production already so high, and a glut of oil on world markets, Trump can say and do whatever he wants, but oil companies will not be putting down any big bets on anything for a good long while.

            Not incidentally, call me names again and we’re done.

          • texasjimbo

            What you allege to be a US intelligence assessment was not anything of the sort. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443792/russia-trump-intelligence-report-serves-russias-propaganda-purposes It was more likely a Russian attempt to make it appear they wanted Trump to win, thus hurting his campaign. But if you’re able to provide credible links that prove your assertion, feel free. The problem with you guys is that you’ll accept the brain dead spin of some ill informed leftist new source as gospel.
            You’re being pretty dismissive of the idea that democrats wouldn’t succeed in reducing American oil production, especially fracking. (Just saying that oil is a global market and that there are a lot of factors involved really isn’t actually responsive.
            As for the name calling, you probably ought to police yourself a little before you start complaining about others.
            And don’t make an argument that is transparently not offer in good faith like: And gas prices at the pump for American consumers today average $2.34 — down from an historic high of $4.11 at the end of 2008 when you-know-who was President. Low oil prices, low gas prices at the end of eight years of Democrats, yet you think Democrats=high prices. Go figure.

          • jeburke

            Wow, are you confused. The document referred to in your National Review link is the Christopher Steele dossier, developed by a former British intelligence officer. Whether or not it’s a Russian provocation, it bears no relation to the report of US Intelligence Agencies, which you really should read. In the attached link, you will find the complete text in pdf form. Seriously, read it. You are badly misinformed about this.

          • texasjimbo

            There is no link in your comment. But the notion that any intelligence analysis by any US agency is a reliable source (especially one that is released to the public) is pretty specious. And the fact that the Russians might actually have been trying to hurt Trump’s chances is certainly relevant. Without the link, theres no way to tell if I’m confused.

          • jeburke
          • leoj

            It’s not lying. Certain Republicans want a more aggressive posture towards Russia and since Trump has been recalcitrant, this makes for an excellent pretext. There are a lot of countervailing motivations for this investigation, some are valid but most are not.

            As for Trump being in a panic, firing Comey was brilliant because it sent the tin foil hat brigade scurrying out from under their rock to remind the rest of us how unserious his opposition is.

          • D4x

            The timing distracted the brigade from the real news today: so much face time in the WH with FM Lavrov. Hours.

          • Dan Kearns

            I wasn’t kidding, no. And now I understand your argument. Thanks. 🙂

          • seattleoutcast

            I’d call that person a democrat. Specifically one with a 1960s pedigree.

          • Makaden

            Ruminations:

            1. Why would Trump, during a stump speech, encourage Russians to hack the election if, in fact, he was already colluding with them behind the scenes? Wouldn’t saying so publicly actually be evidence for the view that he wasn’t encouraging/colluding in secret? I think it would be.

            2. Do you think there is even ONE election in the post-war period that Russia has not tried to be involved in? Even if you say yes, do you then also think that Trump v. Clinton could even remotely be considered the first election Russia tried to influence? Russia hacks–or at least attempts to hack–this country and its institutions every, single, day.

            3. It should be repeated every time this faux argument rears its head: exposing the dirty laundry of a candidate, a candidate that really did some dirty things, and then having the electorate react to seeing that dirty laundry, is not, itself, dirty tricks. Condemning such activity is classic shooting the messenger. Only in an upside down moral world do people make the argument that the wrongdoings of a candidate SHOULD NOT have been exposed prior to their chance at assuming the highest office of the land.

            Pull back on the reigns of your horses, man.

        • Isaiah6020

          He has a Putin conspiracy to sell. And lemme tell ya, he is here to hard sell that bad boy.

  • jeburke

    Oh please, there is no credible explanation for this abrupt and extreme action except that Trump wants to quash the FBI’s Russia investigation lest it lead to results that cost Trumo big time. The truth is staring everyone in the face. How political people deal with this truth will determine their future reputations. So far, there are few Howard Bakers or Eliot Richardsons on the GOP side and quite a lot of Haldemans, Erlichmans, Colsons, etc.

    • seattleoutcast

      Um, sure. Except that there is no evidence of Russian interference. There is a UFO poster out there that says, “I want to believe.”

      Instead of Nixonian references, why don’t you refer to the time Clinton fired Sessions?

      • jeburke

        Yours is one nutty comment. The evidence of Russian interference in our election is massive and overwhelming, leading all 13 US intelligence agencies to say so.

        Clinton fired Sessions because the outgoing Bush administration had accused Sessions of serious ethical transgressions. Clinton gave him the opportunity to resign and when he declined, Clinton fired him. That was a perfect example of why, although the FBI Director has a fixed 10-year term, he can still be removed for cause. Trump’s “cause” is to quash an investigation of Trump.

        • seattleoutcast
          • Isaiah6020

            That poster is savage bro!!! Mad ups….

        • Dale Fayda

          “The evidence of Russian interference in our election is massive and overwhelming” – hmmmmmm….

          Care to comment?

          • jeburke

            Only to suggest that you need to pay attention. Seattleoutcast wrote that “there is no evidence of Russian interference,” which is preposterous. Literally everyone — even Trump — agrees that there was Russian interference. To date, however, we have not seen any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians — BUT THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE FBI INVESTIGATION AND THE PROBES BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEES. It should not be hard to understand this distinction but Trump apologists seem determined to conflate the two.

            Just to keep things up to date, today, we learned the Senate Committee has subpoened Flynn, a grand jury has subpoened Flynn associates, the Senate Committee has made clear that it is pursuing possible collusion, and the Wall Street Journal reports that Comey was in the process of accelerating the investigation because of concern about emerging evidence of collusion.

            This is a long, long way from over — and when it is over, a lot of Trump lovers are going to wish they never heard of Trump.

          • Angel Martin

            To see how bogus this whole Russia/Trump “investigation” is and how little actual evidence there is consider this:

            the Russians are supposed to have hacked the DNC computers. The FBI asked to examine them and the DNC wouldn’t allow it.
            http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/313555-comey-fbi-did-request-access-to-hacked-dnc-servers

            So the Democrats are the the “victims” of this great crime but they don’t want law enforcement to examine the crime scene ?

          • Dale Fayda

            But there is still NO evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, is there? Yes or no? And Flynn was not part of the Trump campaign in any way, shape or form, was he?

            I ask you point blank – how exactly did the Russians “interfere” with the election? Please tell me what the Russians did in an attempt to sway the election to Trump. Name at least one specific action on their part, which may reasonably be construed as deliberate interference. Just one.

            Did they interfere with the casting of the ballots? Nope.

            Did they interfere with the counting of the ballots? Nope.

            Did they give money to the Trump campaign? Nope.

            Did any Russian officials publicly agitate of behalf of Trump in the US, a la Obama speaking out against the Brexit vote while in Great Britain? Nope.

            According to Clapper, the FBI, the CIA and the NSA had found NO EVIDENCE of collusion. Yet, you’re already 100% positive that Trump is a Russian puppet and a traitor and have branded him as such with great invective.

            “This is a long, long way from over — and when it is over, a lot of Trump lovers are going to wish they never heard of Trump.” We’ve been hearing this baloney for months now and still the Democrats have produced zilch. Nothing, nada, naught. Why is there still no evidence? Months and months of investigations, by several entities have turned up bupkis.

            Could it be that the Democrats have started to believe their own B.S, just like you appear to?

          • Makaden

            They interfered with Clinton’s perfect (and paper thin) campaign messaging. People HEARD things that swayed their opinions. TRUE things. OFF MESSAGE things. Geez, man, can’t you see that they literally BRAINWASHED every Trump voter with factual but secret words from the Clinton campaign’s servers?

          • Dale Fayda

            Ahhhh, I see. Gee, that is a thorny problem. [ Sarc.]

          • seattleoutcast

            I meant that there was no interference with Trump. I thought smart people could understand context.

        • Jim__L

          Russians are going to scheme away, and they’re no more likely to stop doing that than we are to shut down Voice of America. I would frankly be shocked if there were an election they *didn’t* try to interfere with. As I’ve pointed out before, foreign interference can easily backfire; although it’s a little tougher to get around cases where they use an official’s own words (Podesta’s) against him.

          We need to boost our cyber-security, obviously, to stay a few steps ahead of the Russians. Unless you can prove collusion between team Trump and team Moscow, enhancing security is the only constructive comment to be made here.

          By the way, Trump had grounds for firing Comey for his incompetent handling of the Clinton email scandal, including handing out immunity like candy without those immunity agreements leading to the conviction of higher-ups (like Clinton herself).

          Comey just wasn’t very good at his job.

    • leoj

      The truth is you’re a crackpot, John. We’ve heard nothing but complaints from all quarters about Comey for the past year, so there are a variety of credible explanations for his dismissal. Almost too many for comfort….

      Now, I know you’re uncomfortable for entirely different reasons. My suggestion is that you adjust your tin foil hat, take a breath, and follow the continuing investigation.

      • jeburke

        When cowardly people like you post insults hiding behind an anonymous “handle,” my only response is, go fuck yourself.

        • Isaiah6020

          But you have to understand. To those of us who are not suffering TDS, your ability to find Putin under your bed is pretty tiresome. Like all TDS sufferers, you cannot process facts, you can only process what your biases need facts to be. So far we had numerous high level intelligence officials going on record, under oath, to say that they have seen no evidence of any collusion between Trump campaign and Russia. We are yet to have anyone say or even leak anything to the contrary. See, these are facts. And believe it or not, they are relevant.

          • jeburke

            Trump wouldn’t know a fact if it ran up and kicked him in the ass, and frankly most of his fans are having trouble recognizing truth.

          • Isaiah6020

            What you wrote is a non-sequitur. Like I said, you make it pretty clear you hate Trump. I get that. You are foaming at the mouth telling the world how much you hate Trump. But please…. try to understand. Not everybody’s reason for existing is hating Trump. OK? To the rest of us, you are ranting. Which I personally find hilarious. But you know what is even more hilarious? I’m willing to bet that your comment history contains quiet a few posts critical of Comey. I mean, he was the Devil just a few days ago. But now he is a saint. We are at war with Oceania. We have always been at war with Oceania. I guess when you are a rabid anti-trumpet, life comes at you pretty fast sometimes.

          • leoj

            well said, although the only time I see him post (either here or at other sites) is when there is some Trump-Russia conspiracy to support. Maybe it’s a new fixation of his or maybe it’s how he makes his living.

          • Isaiah6020

            Doubt he is a paid troll. Fixation explanation makes a lot more sense to me.

          • jeburke

            Try to understand this. Trump is an ignorant clown and a lifelong coward who plays a tough guy on TV. He’s vulgar, creepy, thuggish, massively unprepared to hold any high public office, much less President, totally greedy and selfish, painfully narcissistic and very likely psychologically disturbed. I don’t “hate” him but I do believe that his election poses a serious danger to my country.

          • Isaiah6020

            Yes. For the billionth time, I get what you are saying. You hate Trump. Can you imagine anybody else in the word whose opinion on Trump may differ?

          • ——————————

            Actually it is the left that pose a serious danger to this country. There is plenty of evidence of that crawling in the streets….

          • Jim__L

            If it’s any comfort, Trump appears to be kept in check by Constitutional processes. It’s almost as if they were designed for a situation like this… 😉

            I could wish that they’d been stronger for the last president. If a new layer of precedents get established that will help rein in the next D-side activist, so much the better.

          • jeburke

            Aha! Yes, they WERE designed for a situation like this — to curb the natural tendency of the executive to aggregate power. In fact, as you may know, the Constitutional Convention seriously considered a three-man executive.

          • Jim__L

            But there were enough classicists among the Founders to remember that a triumvirate is not free from troubles, I suppose.

        • leoj

          Steady there, John. I think in our past encounters I have been fairly patient and cordial and it was you who became belligerent at the drop of a hat (tin foil or otherwise). But maybe it’s all just a blur to you… The conspiracy mongering on countless websites… Can’t remember exchanges just a couple of months old.

          Maybe it’s time to take break. Go on vacation. Reconnect with your estranged wife and children. Take the dog for a walk. There’s just so much to life, John!

          • Isaiah6020

            But but but PUTIN!!!!

          • jeburke

            Your opening comment to me was “you’re a crackpot, John.” Cute. Is my belligerence “drop of the hat?” Hardly, though a cowardly twit like you may think you get to hurl insults while hiding your identity. For my money, it just means you’re a punk.

          • Isaiah6020

            All of us, you included, are hiding our identities. Oh wait. Not you. You are special. The first conspiracy theorist ever to grace the Interwebs…

          • leoj

            This is not the first time we have had the pleasure of chatting, buddy. My opening comment this time was that you’re a crackpot–primarily because I see you plenty elsewhere always with the conspiracy yammering.

            I can understand being concerned. I can understand being angry and biting the head off of anyone who disagrees with you. But the fixation indicates either that you are mentally unwell or that you are paid to do this one thing over and over, at numerous places all over the web.

            As for my identity, it is right there. ‘leoj’.

          • Isaiah6020

            What is your avatar?

          • leoj

            A still from Paradjanov’s ‘Legend of Suram Fortress’

          • D4x
          • leoj

            Thanks. Have been staying away from al-monitor because of tilt towards Assad/Hezbollah/Iran. That and the execrable Laura Rozen. I’ll give it a shot again

            The piece on Jordan is especially interesting.

          • D4x

            Plus, who knew Erdogan was hosting a conference on Palestinians? featuring Hamas rehab.

          • D4x

            Perhaps Kissinger handed a hard copy of this essay by R. D. Kaplan to POTUS, and said “You really do have to read this, and ask as many questions as you want, before Erdogan lands in D.C., or you talk with Putin or Xi again: “…originally a paper for the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA), which has released it for public view.” Released through CNAS – interesting website, of what might be the Shadow Pentagon, not resisting:

            http://stories.cnas.org/the-return-of-marco-polos-world-and-the-u-s-military-response

            It was at RCWorld today, so perhaps TAI will give it a look.

            Helpful for me because it relies on geography and applies empire to Russia, Turkey, Iran, and China, which is my preference in geopolitics.

            Am less than halfway through

          • leoj

            TY! Looks very interesting. If it rains again tomorrow it will make for some good reading.

          • D4x

            From the commentary by Parag Khanna, not a fan of populist nationalism: “America can remain the smartest spider in the
            web”

          • leoj

            Interesting. I see the link to his response at the bottom. Over at AAJ they have a new piece by Manent who is one of the more interesting commentators writing in French today (along with Taguieff).
            https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2017/05/populist-demagogy-and-the-fanaticism-of-the-center/

          • D4x

            TY. Deserves a close read, but the weather here is too nice for that today! Plus, this is Turkey-Kurds+Israel+Jerusalem? week.

            And, lots of Russian dressing, hold the Hezbollah 🙂

          • leoj

            I say take two scoops of Hezbollah and DESTROY it 🙂

          • D4x
          • leoj
          • D4x

            Weirder ice cream awaits, from charcoal to horseflesh: http://www.wetellyouhow.com/20-most-weirdest-and-yucky-ice-cream-flavors/
            More than enough flavors to outrage every Identity Group!

          • D4x

            Despite the nice weather, did read Manent, in translation. Doubt it is the head-smack that Brussels, or D.C., needs, or deserves. The technocratic elite do seem to be a messianic lawyer cult, neither enlightened, nor progressive.

            It is too late for me to ever really understand French intellectuals. Only started reading history in my thirties, never philosophy.
            Appreciate learning some from you.

          • leoj

            I wouldn’t worry too much about understanding French intellectuals, these days a solid foundation in history may be the most important thing. How is your reading on Lincoln coming?

            I like this: ‘messianic lawyer cult’. What would Garfinkle say, I wonder.

          • D4x

            TY. These days it might also take strong map-reading skills to keep track of so much history in the making – if this truly is the End of he Age of Frozen Conflicts.

            I am reading James McPherson’s 1988 “Battle Cry of Freedom”, for the second time, as the first time was more than ten years ago. Am in early 1862 when the Union Navy was brilliant in their blockade strategy and execution. It is such a pleasure to read history written just as the ‘white men’s evil imperialism’ concept changed historiography, with the bonus of footnotes at the bottom of the text page. It is also helpful to re-read how the fractures in both Whig and Democratic Parties led to Lincoln’s election, and so much brutal opposition and political sabotage.

            I started seeing the Dems as a jobs program for lawyers a few years ago. The advent of the TEA Party brought a more diverse experience to Congress. All the Dems seem to be lawyers, or lifetime politicians. The GOP has
            doctors, and a variety of business people. Garfinkle still believes in technocratic progressivism, and would approve of credentialed lawyers in charge.

            Have there been any clues that he sees it as a secularized
            religion? It was the stubbornness of the echo chambers while trying to retire
            in MA that made me think of them as no less rigid than the early Puritans who
            founded what became the ultimate nanny-state in the USA. They would have branded an “FA” for fracking
            apostate on my forehead if they could.

          • leoj

            Rather than “FA,” maybe some petroleum-based shaming: tar and feather.
            I have a hard time getting through Garfinkle’s pieces, especially when he’s talking domestic politics. I generally can get through his pieces on MENA regional politics and culture, and find them interesting.

          • D4x

            In the Zero hydrocarbon era: Red Clover Honey, not Tar; and heirloom chicken feathers.
            I think of the academics telling, in the form of a reasoned directive, telling the lawyers to write all the regulations, and “Dear” letters.
            I await Kotkin’s enlightenment on how to stop being a homeless conservative Democrat, and get over his mildTDS.
            I am reading McPherson on the Civil War to ignore everyone on domestic politics, especially since Comey blew up. Scanning headlines/ledes is enough “madness of crowds”.

          • leoj

            What if there were, broadly speaking, three positions. 1) Everything is more or less A-OK, just need to jigger and refine our models a bit and keep the soma flowing to the losers (ex. Garfinkle, I imagine). 2) The populists kinda have a point, even if I wouldn’t want them in charge of anything more complex than my plumbing (ex. maybe Kotkin, but also someone like Yuval Levin http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/11/yuval-levin-says-conservatives-become-detached-contemporary-problems/ ). 3) If they can handle your plumbing, maybe they can recognize when something is broken and contribute to fixing it.

          • D4x

            Probably a fine concept. Too bad I still need a plumber who can solve the mystery here, but, now, I would settle for real soma.

            Being online is no longer working to distract…from the perils of structural damage that no one can figure out.

          • jeburke

            Sorry, I have no recollection of “chatting” with you here or elsewhere. I suppose you think your nasty posts are unforgettable. In any case, piss off.

          • leoj

            You’re unforgettable, John. That winning personality. That way with persuasion…

  • Andrew Allison

    Oh, please. Comey testified before Congress that there was no evidence of improper campaign ties to Russia. Furthermore, the investigations will continue. Even more laughably, the Dims were screaming for Comey’s head not long ago. Even The Hill can’t stomach the hypocracy: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/332672-correcting-democratic-deception-on-jim-comey

    • Makaden

      Cannot rec The Hill article enough. Must-read.

  • FriendlyGoat

    I suspect Mr. Comey suddenly realizes that he made a very ill-fated (for himself) decision in pulling a stunt to throw the presidency to his own party 11 days before the election. He would, after all, most likely have remained FBI Director for six more years in a Clinton presidency. Maybe he will even realize that his party is a den of rattlesnakes and, sure enough, the ungrateful SOBs bit him.

    • Angel Martin

      ” in pulling a stunt to throw the presidency to his own party 11 days before the election.”

      So basically you are saying Comey is politically corrupt. Didn’t he then deserve to be fired ?

      • FriendlyGoat

        By the people he put into office? By people who, without him, most likely would not be in office or have any power at all?
        Answer that yourself, Angel.

        • Isaiah6020

          So you are not answering his direct question. I’m glad to see sliminess wasn’t reserved just for me.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Another alias, another block. Bye, Bye, Bye.

          • Isaiah6020

            Every Left-winger thinks I get a new handle specifically just for him. The truth of the matter is that I happen to really like Isaiah 60:20
            http://biblehub.com/isaiah/60-20.htm
            Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

      • Isaiah6020

        Well, he WAS the Devil less than 48 hours ago. The making him into a saint job is a bit sloppy, but time constraints are severe.

        • Angel Martin

          I’m getting whiplash watching leftists change their stories on Comey.

          • Makaden

            And Russia.

  • Isaiah6020

    Liberals yesterday: FIRE HIM!!! HE IS EVIL!!! WE HATE HIM!!!
    Liberals today: THE MAN IS A SAINT!! HOW COULD THIS BE!!! WE USED TO HATE HIM, BUT NOW WE LOVE HIM!!!
    I guess when you are a Left-winger, life comes at you fast sometimes.

    • Fred

      We are at war with Eurasia. We’ve always been at war with Eurasia.

      The following week: We are at war with Eastasia. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

  • jeburke

    “And Flynn was not part of the Trump campaign in any way, shape or form, was he?”

    Somebody actually wrote this in a comment. Uh, yes he was — for a year — and not just as some sort of “advisor.” Flynn was part of the core campaign team, often travelling with Trump, speaking at his rallies, etc. I’m afraid that writing this reveals a lack of knowledge of what is going on. There is a lot of that.

  • Gary Hemminger

    This is going just like the Clinton investigation. It just keeps going and going for political reasons. why can’t the FBI conclude an investigation in a few months? And was it Comey that was doing the actual investigation? Give me a break. He had people working on it and they are still there doing the same thing. Firing Comey has nothing to do with the people doing the investigation. they need to do the investigation and present the evidence to the DOJ. Instead what is going to happen is the same thing as the Clinton investigation. And good thing that Comey is gone because he would have done the same thing. Claim there was some bad stuff done but no prosecution would occur. Why would someone not think the same thing would happen?

    I can’t believe the media doesn’t see the same thing all over again. To act like the FBI and DOJ are not political is absolutely rediculous. The press has Trump Derangement Syndrome so bad they start foaming at the mouth every time Trump makes a move. And the moves Trump’s makes are exactly the same ones, in the opposite directions, as the Democrats make.

    The left and right make me sick. they are ruining everything. They are both kooks and whackos with their ideas on everything.

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