If you believe the chatter, Trump is getting ready to make his move against the Justice Department

Ever since word came out yesterday that the office, home and hotel room of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, had been raided by the FBI, people have been wondering if, perhaps, this might be the thing that finally causes Trump to go full-Nixon and start firing everyone in the Justice Department who refuses to do his bidding and end the Mueller investigation once and for all. Today, as word spread that Trump has been considering there possibility of shutting down the investigation since December, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee accelerated their efforts to protect the Special Counsel. In a letter to their committee’s Republican Chairman, Bob Goodlatte, Democrats Jerrold Nadler, Steve Cohen, and Sheila Jackson Lee wrote the following. “[W]e have grown increasingly concerned that the President may either order the firing of Special Counsel Mueller, or take other action to disrupt his and other pending investigations, such as firing Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions or Deputy Attorney General [Rod] Rosenstein,” the Democrats wrote.

The Republicans in Congress, however, don’t seem to share the sense of urgency. While it’s true, for instance, that Republican Lindsay Graham has proposed bipartisan legislation with Democrat Cory Booker to protect Mueller, for the most part, it would seem, Republicans are happy to just trust that Trump will do the right thing, if only because he knows that firing Mueller might hasten his impeachment. Republican Chuck Grassley, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today said that he had “confidence” in the Special Counsel, and that “it would be suicide for the president to fire Mueller.” And Republican Bob Corker told the press that it would be “inappropriate” for Trump to fire either Mueller or Rosenstein. “I think it would be a massive mistake for the president to do anything to interfere with this investigation,” the Senator said, adding, “he knows most every Republican senator feels that way.” And the President’s golfing buddy, Lindsey Graham, even though he did propose legislation to protect Mueller, doesn’t seem to be pushing very hard for it. When asked about it today, Graham said Trump wouldn’t likely move to fire Mueller, as doing so “would be the beginning of the end of his presidency.”

So I guess we wait… and hope that these Republicans are right when they say that Trump wouldn’t possibly follow in Nixon’s footsteps, attempting a Saturday Night Massacre-like purge at the Department of Justice in hopes of killing the investigation against him. Because, really, what else can we do, seeing as how the Republicans currently possess all the levers of power? We can call their offices and demand the they pass legislation to protect Mueller. And we can plan to descend on D.C. en masse if our unstable, and increasingly paranoid President attempts to kill the investigation. But, otherwise, I guess we just have to wait to see whether or not anyone left within the Republican Party has the strength of character to actually stand up against Donald Trump, do the right thing, and act to preserve the rule of law. Given what they’ve both tacitly and explicitly accepted thus far, I don’t have much faith, but we’ll see…. In the meantime, please register everyone you know to vote, and give what you can to Democratic candidates running in November. If the Republicans won’t stand up in defense of America, it’s up to us to defeat them in November and do what has to be done.

update: I guess some decent Republicans still remain. Tomorrow morning, the following ad, produced by a group calling itself Republicans for the Rule of Law, will begin airing on Fox and Friends and Morning Joe in the DC market.

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85 Comments

  1. Jean Henry
    Posted April 10, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    They’ll fire Trump if he does.

    Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley told CNN, “I think it would be suicide for the President to fire him. I think the less the President says about this whole thing, the better off he will be. And I think Mueller is a person of stature and respected and I respect him.”

    At least Mueller. We’ll see about Rosenstein.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/10/politics/republican-reactions-trump-mueller-cohen-raid/index.html

  2. Ann Coulter by proxy
    Posted April 10, 2018 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    The raid on Michael Cohen’s office was intended to push Trump over the edge & provoke him to fire Mueller.

  3. Demetrius
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    If Trump moves to fire Rosenstein, Mueller, and/or Sessions, it will be the clearest, starkest test of our democracy in several generations.

    I appreciate the words from Graham, Grassley, and others – but when it finally happens, I hope they’ll be prepared to do more than just finger-wag, scold, and issue write sternly-worded memos. Instead … I fear many of them will weight their big-money patrons’ desire for additional tax cuts, business deregulation, and the next next Supreme Court appointment … ahead of upholding the Constitution and the rule of law.

  4. M
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    CNN: “President Trump warns Russia that it should ‘get ready’ for a missile strike on Syria, vowing to thwart any missile defenses” https://cnn.it/2GRRtt4 pic.twitter.com/Y1kBdmbzOi

    What are the chances that he fires Sessions, Rosenstein, and Mueller just as he pushes the button?

  5. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6022894/donald-trump-twitter-russia-syria-airstrike/
    ‘GET READY RUSSIA!’ Donald Trump warns Putin his missiles are coming ‘fast and smart’ after Russia vowed to bomb US sites if it strikes Assad

    ………………………………

    Congratulations to Rachel Maddow, Mark Maynard, and the many other highly-PROGRESSIVE Russia-haters and Putin-demonizers, who have done their part to whip up feverish anti-Russia passion for the past 1.5 years. You created a hostile environment in which diplomatic relations were bound to break down (as they have), and in which belligerent rhetoric and gestures were much more likely, and in which proxy-wars were much more likely, and in which proxy-wars culminating in all-out direct wars were also much more likely. I take that back: not “direct warS”, plural, since if there is a “direct war” there will be only one, and it will be over in 45 minutes, and we won’t be communicating over the internet for a long time afterward, if ever. We could now be hours away from that. Highest risk in decades. PRAY. JUST PRAY.

  6. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Comment thread, useful as long as the internet is still up (no guarantee):
    http://thesaker.is/trump-tries-to-tweet-russia-into-submission/

  7. Meta
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Washington Post: “Just in time: A new Republican group seeks to protect Mueller”

    Their timing could not be better. A day after reports surfaced that President Trump wanted to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in December (in addition to an earlier effort in June), five veteran Republicans have formed a new organization, Republicans for the Rule of Law, seeking to restrain the president from doing exactly that. Bill Kristol (editor at large for the Weekly Standard), Mona Charen (a veteran of the Ronald Reagan administration who recently made a splash at the Conservative Political Action Conference), Linda Chavez (another Reagan administration veteran), Sarah Longwell (a longtime GOP consultant and chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans) and Andy Zwick (executive director of the Foundation for Constitutional Government) launched the group. The following ad touting Mueller’s background and GOP ties aired on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe“.

    The group also released a Web ad quoting President Ronald Reagan extolling the rule of law.

    The group is concerned about protecting Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, too. Trump reportedly was ruminating about firing him, a move that would be just as alarming as firing Mueller. Rosenstein’s replacement, at the behest of Trump, might seek to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation or force it to wrap up prematurely. Longwell tells me, “Any attempt to interfere in the special counsel’s investigation by firing a key official —whether Mueller, Rosenstein, or [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions — would be extremely damaging and not only to the rule of law, but also to the Republican Party and to Trump’s presidency.” She adds, “Such a move would further imperil vulnerable Republicans in November and completely derail the Republican policy agenda for the rest of 2018.”

    Read more:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/04/11/just-in-time-a-new-republican-group-seeks-to-protect-mueller/

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Proton– When we all face nuclear destruction in the next week, I’m sure everyone in the know will point to MarkMaynard.com and Rachel Maddow as the cause…

    Diplomatic relations eroding with Russia have nothing whatsoever to do with their cultivating assets within the Trump campaign and disseminating misinformation to the public, undermining faith in the fundamental institutions of our democracy.

    Diplomatic capacity has only been enhanced by Trump’s soft-peddling with Russia WHILE dismantling the State Department and focussing on hard power influence abroad.

    It’s all the fault of progressives who hurt Putin’s and Trump’s feelings. Everyone knows hard questions and criticism create the scenario for mass extinction events.

    Say nice things about Putin! Maybe he won’t use chemical agents on us; He’ll just dismantle our democracy via his own form of soft power. We should totally just submit to save ourselves.

  9. Demetrius
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    It is a slippery slope from ball shaving to thermonuclear armageddon.

    Thanks a lot, Mark!

  10. Dangerous Times
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Did you see Trump’s most recent tweet?

    “Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter). No Collusion, so they go crazy!”

    We are in a constitutional crisis.

  11. wobblie
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I have some used Iraqi mobile chemical labs and aluminum tubing for sale.

  12. wobblie
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    One of the best things Obama did was not bomb Syria after the fake chemical attack in 2013. The MSM is salivating over the prospect of bombing Syria. Russia has bluntly stated they will attack the ship(s) that launch cruise missiles at Syria. Our Government was willing to ignore the intelligence that warned of the World Trade Center attack (what is a couple thousand American dead if it solidifies support for war). They will not care in the least if a destroyer or cruiser gets obliterated by the Russians if it gets everyone behind the war. They are probably waiting for the Truman battle group to get to the Mediterranean (as near as I can tell we currently do not have a carrier battle group there yet) which could be later today or tomorrow.

    Trump has repeatedly stated that he is leaving the decision making up to his Generals. He has replaced the “moderate hawks” with Bolton and Pompeo (neo-con extremist). Everyone is talking about going into the streets if Mueller gets fired, but no one seems to think that fumble fucking are way into a shooting war with a nuclear armed adversary is all that important.

  13. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    JH: “Diplomatic relations eroding with Russia have nothing whatsoever to do with their cultivating assets within the Trump campaign and disseminating misinformation to the public”

    Perhaps they did, perhaps they didn’t, but the equivalence you are attempting to create is a fail. There is nothing happening in Russia, or from the Russian side, that is even remotely like the firestorm of vicious Russia-hatred that has prevailed here for many months, totally incommensurate with anything that SOME Russians (maybe, kinda, putatively) did. Meanwhile, you ignore persistent U.S. provocations. This is consistent with a pattern: most of your posts come off as informed by CIA/neocon sources (most of the MSM) on which you apparently rely for “news” and “analysis”. You probably think that the neocon maniac Nikki Halley is just a wonderful gal.

    “It’s all the fault of progressives who hurt Putin’s and Trump’s feelings. Everyone knows hard questions and criticism create the scenario for mass extinction events.”

    It is the fault of all of us, but some more than others. Some of us have not spent a lot of time actively creating an environment of hatred, suspicion and enmity, as you have. Indeed, decent, civilized and humane Americans and human beings — and there are many of us, you might be surprised to learn — have spent no time AT ALL creating an environment of hatred, suspicion and enmity. You are free to join us at any time, and you will be welcome. We are far from perfect, but at least we have moral sense.

    The very idea that Russia is our “enemy” is ridiculous — but is nevertheless persistently promoted by people like you, and Mark, and Rachel, and on and on. So strange, because a few years ago that idea was rightly the butt of a joke. In Obama’s debate with Romney, Romney made a comment to the effect of “Russia is our enemy”. Obama’s brilliant response was: “The 1980s called. They want their foreign policy back”. Brilliant, and spot on. It was an archaic idea which deserved to be mocked. And yet, just a few years later, that has all been forgotten, and now “progressives” like you (and Mark, and Rachel, and on and on) are objectively-jingoist/fascist neocons, or at least are spouting rhetoric that is indistinguishable from same. You seem to be incapable of identifying CIA/neocon bullshit and the way it which it is now leading you by the nose.

  14. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    That Obama statement was 2012, Proton. A lot changed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014. And a lot has changed since then. It’s you who is living in the past.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    That Obama statement was 2012, Proton. A lot changed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014. And a lot has changed since then. It’s you who is living in the past.

  16. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Some of us were quite bothered at the Obama admins lack of action in Syria, which was mostly due to his Democratic base who didn’t really have much of a grasp on how dire the situation was then, or how dire the situation would become.

    Americans are quite poor at understanding the rest of the world. Some are under the very flawed impression that the world will be a peaceful place without the US. The annexation of Crimea should be proof that states are, in fact, autonomous entities that will do what they like with or without the US and that many world leaders have only their own personal interests at heart. There is a long history of despots and oppressive regimes that arose on their own and many more will.

    Aside from facts, I also think that Americans are quite poor at understanding the connections between countries in the Old World, given that countries in the New World are mostly disconnected from one another. People who live in the Old World have a better grasp on what it means to be at odds with ones immediate neighbors and how they are at odds with their own neighbors and how tribes can be at odds with other tribes and how that can translate to internal violence, oppression and authoritarianism.

    Just an observation.

    Regardless, the Trump reaction to the news from Syria was beyond embarrassing and no, Rachel Maddow has little to do with Putin’s Russia or anything else internationally.

  17. Wobblie
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I was wrong. The Truman won’t be in position for about a week. If you have loved ones you have not seen for awhile I would see them now you probably will not have another chance.
    Iron lung and jean Henry will be squarely behind Trump for the few minutes the war last.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion, Obama’s laissez-faire approach in Syria was his greatest failure as president. He agreed if obliquely, pointing to the rise of ISIL and the refugee crisis to follow as something about which he feels great personal grief and internal turmoil.

    That does not mean I support what Trump is about to do… at all. Whatever it is. We are so far from a reasonable foreign policy at this point, that there is little hope of effective action. The best we can hope for is that the Russians shy away from escalation. We have almost zero capacity to mediate any kind of stalemate at this point, despite Trump having kissed Russia’s ass at every possible opportunity.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Just listened to a long interview about globalism and the threat to democracy it represents and was astounded that the only economic impacts the interviewee mentioned were domestic. And even that was more about voter perception or individual temporary outcomes than real overall impact. Zero consideration of the impact to workers abroad, except again, the perception that they were overall more harmed than helped.

    We are assholes in the world, but more for our consistent myopia (and sense of entitlement) across political perspectives than because we are engaged with the world at large.

    Now I’m going to pay my taxes…

  20. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    “Iron lung and jean Henry will be squarely behind Trump for the few minutes the war last.”

    I pointed out that I think that Trump’s reaction to the incidents in Syria was embarrassing. I am confident that Trump and his team will handle things in an irresponsible and undisciplined manner.

    I’m not sure what else you need from me.

  21. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    JH: “A lot changed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014.”

    So you buy the CIA/neocon propaganda? No surprise there.

    Mearsheimer:
    http://mearsheimer.uchicago.edu/pdfs/Ukraine%20Article%20in%20Foreign%20Affairs.pdf
    Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault
    The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin
    John J. Mearsheimer

    Easy-listen Mearsheimer vid:
    http://worldbeyondwar.org/west-responsible-escalation-ukraine-professor-john-mearsheimer-usa-berlin/

    Excellent commentary on Mearsheimer:
    https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2014/09/07/mearsheimer-pins-blame-for-ukraine-crisis-on-us-but/
    Mearsheimer Pins Blame for Ukraine Crisis on US, But…
    John V. Walsh Posted on September 7, 2014
    snippet: concluding paragraph:
    “in the end Mearsheimer, helpful though he is on exposing the West’s lies and culpability for the events in Ukraine, remains well within the bounds of a hegemonic imperial mentality. We should welcome the assistance he gives in the current moment; and if you have a friend who doubts the criminal actions of the West in Ukraine, have them read Mearsheimer’s tidy little piece. But in the end he is far from conceiving of a multipolar world or a win-win relationship among nations. So long as his philosophy stays away from that, he will be kept around by the imperial elite and allowed access to its journals. But in the end his philosophy, like that of Hillary Clinton or Dick Cheney, is a threat to world peace.”

    Right! And, sadly, Jean Henry and other corrupted, Russia-hating “progressives” are immersed in an unquestioning “hegemonic imperial mentality” — chauvinistic, jingoistic, fascistic, and ugly as sin. They are now, by virtue of the hatred and chauvinism that they have allowed to run rampant in their minds and hearts, at least temporarily (I would LOVE to think of them as retrievable!) incapable of meaningfully supporting a “multipolar world or a win-win relationship among nations”. And it is just such a multipolar, win-win world that is the key to future sanity, peace and authentic prosperity for all.

    JH: “a lot has changed since then.”

    Yes, a lot has changed. The CIA/neocon contingent has shifted the narrative; we’re not so much at war against terrorism and muslim radicalism anymore; instead, it is back to GODLESS RED RUSSIA — an old favorite, and highly effective with the booboisie in its time. And you fell for it!

    A bizarre new alliance of “progressives” and neocons has developed. The evil empire remains on the warpath, and Jean et al carry water for it. But as I say, all are welcome to cease doing so, and to join the ranks — in America, in Russia, in China, and everywhere — of decent, civilized, morally-aware human beings who do not buy the fascist war-pig lies. The deck is stacked against us, but you never know!

    ………………….

    Trump’s attempt to exit Syria provoked huge reaction from neocons and “liberal interventionists of the DP” (i.e. jingoist/fascist “progressives”):
    https://youtu.be/R4PiSoOJ17o?t=394

  22. Citywatch
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    First, it is clear to me that Trump still thinks he is on a reality TV show and he can run the US presidency just like “The Apprentice” hiring and firing whomever he likes without regard to the principles of a democratic society that both hears and values opposing input. His idea of clearing the swamp is getting rid of anyone that does not agree with his opinions (and narcissistic opinions they are, not structured strategies that have been studied and considered). That smacks of a dictatorship.
    Second, Trumps motives are transparent when his sudden tough boy stance against Putin is concerned. He wants to make it look like there could not possibly be collusion between Russia and the Trump presidency so he can look innocent and fire Mueller as he comes closer and closer to the facts, much of them contained in the financial dealings of Trump and his lawyers and his family. You see, to Trump, the presidency is just another financial deal, but on the biggest of stages. If it does not work out? Well we the people will pay the price for his folly. That is the art of this deal ; Trump’s latest production.

  23. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I have waited my whole life to be legitimate enough to be well and properly corrupted.
    Thank you, Proton!
    I have never been asked to sell out, or I most certainly would have leapt at the opportunity. Apparently, I can do so just by thinking stuff! Fantastic. Being responsible every day is truly wearisome.

  24. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    As water-carrier for the elite, party-establishment 1% and the military-industrial complex, I sure hope I see a big paycheck soon.
    PS I have nothing against Russia or Russians; I simply loathe Putin, as do many progressive Russian citizens and every human rights organization on earth.

  25. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    IL: “Rachel Maddow has little to do with Putin’s Russia or anything else internationally.”

    You can’t possibly be that blind, if you are intelligent. Are you?

    Yes, OF COURSE Maddow’s ravings have to do with the international situation. She has tens of millions of admiring listeners, most of them swallowing her shit without question. She has perhaps done more than any other single living individual to whip-up Russia-distrust and hatred. And, as a result, to push the world toward war. The pen is mightier than the sword, and the live video-stream is still mightier than the pen. Rachel has rendered great service to the evil empire, I think sufficient to justify her $30,000-per-day salary.

    ………………………………………..

    Very nice analysis, below, giving historical context: the deep roots of Russophobia in racism and Orientalism, continuing with the Nazis (biggest Russia-haters of all time!), and continuing to today’s Clinton/corporate Democratic Party and its execrable shills like Rachel Maddow. It is all of a piece, all part of the fascist chauvinist Western project to which we are all, here, party, but not all equally! Some of us object, while others (Jean, Mark, Iron Lung, et al) carry water for it — while strangely calling themselves “progressives”. It is a fine “progressive” that buys-in to and advances the cause of toxic and fundamentally racist and fascist memes.

    http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/russophobia-logic-of-imperialism.html
    Russophobia and the Logic of Imperialism
    Ava Lipatti I Geopolitics I Analysis I June 8th, 2017
    snip
    If Cold War conspiracies were a tragedy, the contemporary anti-Russian conspiracies of the Democratic Party are a farce. It is obvious, and thus has been widely noted, that the smear campaign against Russia reeks of McCarthyism and Cold War hysteria. This hysteria is in no way limited to the Democratic Party elite. Rachel Maddow spent over half of March [author is talking about 2017, but could equally apply to March 2018, or any other month — proton] talking about Russia. Newt Gingrich has even called for the establishment of a new House Un-American Activities Committee. The bourgeois T.V. news has gone as far as to “accidentally” refer to the Russian Federation as the Soviet Union. While the Soviet Union has been gone for over 25 years, the spectre of “Asiatic despotism” continues to haunt the paranoid Western powers.
    snip
    The red scare is being replayed through a broken projector; while the original McCarthyist witch hunts were an ascendant imperialist power’s expression of fear of socialism, today’s Russophobia is the desperate sigh of U.S. imperialism in utter decay. Russia is threatening to U.S. imperial interests because the U.S. is failing. Recent U.S. imperial conquests, especially in Syria, have been largely unsuccessful, and all the oppressed of the world continue to fight as the economic and political crisis of imperialism only deepens.

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Worth a read for a Russian perspective, v the Kremlin’s. Gessen has been critical of our focus on Russian interference in the election, while always holding Putin’s feet to the flames. Maybe that qualifies her as more than a water-carrier. https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/for-trump-and-putin-syria-is-a-battle-of-competing-realities

  27. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Jean Henry: “As water-carrier for the elite, party-establishment 1% and the military-industrial complex, I sure hope I see a big paycheck soon.”

    Once again, and as usual, you reveal your blindness to the reality in which you live. You ARE seeing paychecks, right now. Just as we all are. We are all parties to this horror, and we all collect “paychecks” — sometimes literal direct ones, sometimes indirect ones. There are only few well-paid (“BIG paychecks”, and direct ones) liars and shills for empire like Rachel Maddow; but there are millions of us minnows, collecting our “paychecks” in a hundred different ways, every day.

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    “[Rachel Maddow] has perhaps done more than any other single living individual to whip-up Russia-distrust and hatred. ”

    Let’s just let that ripe bit of bullshittery marinate.

  29. Lynne
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I have been startled a bit by how so many Trump supporters and so-called liberal white men have adopted the language of domestic abusers in relation to this situation. It is all “you MADE Trump do this with your constant harping about his relationship to Russia”

    Very interesting (to steal a phrase from IL)

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I have never claimed intelligence, Proton. Ever.

    Anyone who does is invariably ignorant.

    I try to be informed and prudent in my assessments. I know what I don’t know. I read and listen to people who are more informed than I. I especially try to listen to i formed people with whom I disagree. But not so much to those who scream hysterically. Outrage is addictive. Did you know that? The Buddhists see it as pridefulness. As such, it is always delusion.

  31. Demetrius
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Rachel Maddow should be ashamed of herself for engaging in reporting, analysis, and commentary related to national politics and current events.

    If President Trump ends up starting World War III, I plan to hold her personally responsible.

  32. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    “It is all “you MADE Trump do this with your constant harping about his relationship to Russia””

    Yeah, it is kinda creepy.

    Kind of like blaming racism on people who talk about racism.

    The “sit down and shut up” approach doesn’t make much sense in any context.

  33. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    JH: regarding Gessen’s celebration of Hannah Arendt, see the discussion in the article I just linked:
    http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/russophobia-logic-of-imperialism.html

  34. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    JH: if you can think of some other single living individual who has done more to promote Russia-distrust and hatred, then please mention who. I ask sincerely. I’d like to know. Maybe I am overlooking someone. There are of course lots of politicians and other commentators who’ve participated, but I don’t think any SINGLE one is more influential than Maddow, with tens of millions of followers.

  35. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Putin?

  36. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Demetrius: “Rachel Maddow should be ashamed of herself for engaging in reporting, analysis, and commentary related to national politics and current events.”

    No, she should be ashamed of herself for being a mouthpiece for the CIA and the neocons, and a shill for empire. Demetrious, do you understand the foregoing sentence? If not, which part do you not understand? I will explain further.

  37. Jim Monsoon
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible that these very comments have been infiltrated by Russian trolls?
    I’m only half kidding. Reddit recently announced that 900 accounts were linked to the Russian internet research agency.
    Can anyone confirm that Proton is in fact an American?

  38. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I can only speak for myself. I know nothing at all about Rachel Maddow. I have not read, heard or seen anything by her.

  39. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    IL: what is “creepy” is people who have little idea of what it means to take responsibility for their acts. Acts have consequences. And of course, in this situation (as in so many others), it is not a simple-ass matter of someone being MADE (forced) to do something, and hence having no responsibility themselves. OF COURSE Trump is responsible for his own actions. AND, OF COURSE, everything happens within a context, and Trump does not exist and act in a vacuum. Is it really necessary to explain this? How old are you?

  40. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Where was Proton when HW was hanging around this space? That would have been a good time.
    Those more paranoid than I might ask why they are never seen together…

    I heard Maddow herself poisoned those Russian ex-pats, the Syrians and invaded Ukraine AND threw the election to Trump– all in her relentless quest to consolidate her media empire, serve the deep state and make her 30k a day.

  41. anonymous
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Comrade Proton, what’t the weather like where you are?

  42. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    “IL: what is “creepy” is people who have little idea of what it means to take responsibility for their acts. Acts have consequences. ”

    So what news sources would you suggest that people pay attention to instead?

  43. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Inevitably, the rhetoric of the righteous turns to calls for personal responsibility and accountability, declarations of mortal sins and demands for penance. Fucking moralistic autocrats. All of them. The radical left might as well be the Christian right. They are, at base, all the same.

  44. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Comrade Andrei Protonovitch here, reporting from St Petersburg, with a fake domestic USA IP address! But I can’t stay for long. Vlad and I are meeting for breakfast tomorrow morning in Moscow. (We’re on a first-name basis.)

    YES, Jean, the Russians have infiltrated markmaynard.com. They are also in that black van that keeps showing up outside your house.

  45. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    “calls for personal responsibility and accountability”

    Oh my GOD, how AWFUL! What can we do to STOP this outrage?!

  46. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    FWIW, I find Rachel Maddow hella annoying and rarely as informative as her hours of commentary would seem to indicate. She mostly sums up daily what those of us who follow the news already know. She teases out a lot of pundit-like sensational analysis and innuendo. Most of it is either obvious or too far-fetched and never comes to fruition. Occasionally, like all of us, she is right. I prefer reading to get my analysis. And arguing on local blogs.

  47. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    There is the possibility, Proton, that your idea of being a responsible citizen and mine do not align.

  48. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Proton– I never suggested the Russians had infiltrated this blog. That was someone else. I’m a lot less worried about surveillance than most people here. I’m sure that’s naive. I don’t believe it’s anything I can control, and I cant live in such a way as to try to.

  49. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    IL: “what news sources would you suggest that people pay attention to instead?”

    That’s a GREAT question, and there is no simple answer, because all sources are polluted, more or less, some more than others. In every case you have to remain skeptical, and use your own horse-sense and your best analytic skills (with, hopefully, good memory, which will reveal many contradictions and lies).

    I should spend a lot longer on that question, and perhaps I will, but for right now I have to shower and go to work. My boss, Vlad, insists that I show up on time. Darn slave-driver! He kills journalists, too! After all, the NYT said he does, and they must be right! Right?

  50. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I am very concerned about surveillance. What this country has become should horrify everyone.

  51. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    “How old are you?”
    “You are intelligent, aren’t you?”
    ALL CAPS
    invective
    personal insults
    righteous indignation
    finger-wagging scolding
    Moral certainty
    Absolute faith the rhetoric of alternative press and social media site conspiracy theories.
    Condemnation of any informed but opposing position.

    Looks like we caught another live one. Let’s see how long he runs out the line.

    Proton seems like a very mature, reasonable and personally responsible fella.

  52. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    “He kills journalists, too”

    I don’t think that disappearances and killings of journalists and the lack of a free press in Russia are things to joke about. The situation in Russia is dire.

    Believe it or not, there is a real world out there.

  53. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    “use your own horse-sense ” — That’s a good one.

  54. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Jim Monsoon: “Can anyone confirm that Proton is in fact an American?”

    Can anyone confirm that Jim Monsoon is in fact a reincarnated John Bircher from 1956?

  55. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    IL: “I don’t think that disappearances and killings of journalists and the lack of a free press in Russia are things to joke about.”

    I was not joking. I was pointing out the importance of verification, and of skepticism about ALL sources. In particular, but not exclusively, bourgeois Western ones. That there have been disappearances and killings of journalists in Russia is not in doubt. Who/what is to blame for them, a different matter. Perhaps Putin directly ordered them. But we don’t know that, do we?

  56. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    JH: “Absolute faith the rhetoric of alternative press and social media site conspiracy theories.”

    ?!? Christ. I just finished posting about the absolute importance of being skeptical about ALL sources. I would ask: “can you read?”, which would be a valid question under the circumstances, but you would take that to be another of my tewwible tewwible insults.

  57. Proton
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Jean: have you read Mearsheimer’s paper, and the antiwar.com critique of it? Important stuff:
    http://markmaynard.com/2018/04/if-you-believe-the-chatter-trump-is-getting-ready-to-make-his-move-against-the-justice-department/#comment-926448

  58. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    We double posted on that Proton. Mine just showed up after yours, which I hadn’t read. I see you are skeptical of all sources but your own ‘horse sense.’ That’s comforting.

    Maybe someone needs to tell the Russians about Maddow, since they are saying they have been at war with the US for 4 years. They’re blaming Russian Oligarchs not the US media elite though. https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/983853513255071744

  59. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    The trouble with conspiracy theorists is that they are quick to disregard or minimize real conspiracies, that lack a sexy byline but still impact real people on a daily basis.

    The world out there is real. It’s not some fabrication by Rachel Maddow (who I know nothing about) or the New York Times or whichever media outlet one wants to demonize for whatever contrived reason.

    If one doubts those outlets, there are plenty others out there, but it is far more productive to take the world seriously than to present it as some massive joke wrapped in a context of US politics.

  60. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Must be something in the water in Russia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

  61. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    It’s impossible to say for sure (‘prove’) who killed all the journalists and activists in Russia or even how many were murdered, because it’s impossible to get accurate information out of Russia, or apparently even out of Russian Doctors treating the poisoned. Or their families. Because they don’t want to be poisoned. We only know that people who openly resist or expose Putin’s corruption die. And the people of Russia know it too, clearly. When they say it’s all bullshit, I’ll start questioning the NYT coverage of these events. http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/02/21/total-catastrophe-of-the-body-kara-murza-poisoning/

  62. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Human Rights Watch is making the statement that restrictions of free speech and the press are worse now than even in the Soviet era. It’s a travesty.

    But people like Mr. Proton (and Mr. Trump) are so worried about Rachel Maddow that they don’t have time to worry about things like that.

  63. Posted April 11, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate what Bill Kristol and the other “Republicans for the Rule of Law” are doing, but one wonders why they didn’t fight harder when the malignancy that gave us Trump actually started? And maybe they did speak up. Maybe they protested birtherism, the Tea Party, and all of the racist articles on Breitbart. One suspects, however, they were willing to accept it all, just so long as their side kept winning. One suspects it made them feel a bit uneasy, but they probably didn’t fight back too hard when the lies about John Kerry were circulating, or the Willie Horton ads were running. No, it’s just now that the party reached the end of the road that they seem to have found their moral centers. Again, I’m glad for it. I like that they’re fighting over what’s left of their party. I just can’t help by wonder why they had to wait until the GOP started losing races.

  64. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Dems are no better, Mark.
    Can’t piss off the base or the Money guys.
    Talk of principles is meaningless— It’s political. Sure some people in congress have principles, but it’s not unique to any party. Most of them are actors who win popularity contests in a manner not different that the prom queen or king. They don’t mean most of what they say.

  65. Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Agreed. We all put up with things that we don’t like if we feel as though the up-side is greater. I’d just like to think that, if the shoe were on the other foot, and Trump had run as a Democrat, I would have sounded the alarm before now. I mean, I know that Kristol has been speaking out lately, and this isn’t exactly new for him, but I think that someone in his position probably saw the warning signs years ago. Trump isn’t an aberration. We had Sarah Palin. We had birtherism. We had all of the racism surrounding the Obama presidency. Again, I’d like to think that, had I been on the other side, I would have jumped from the car way before it approached the cliff. (Lots of metaphors tonight.)

  66. Jean Henry
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    You might have, regular voters might have, journalists might have but most politicians wouldn’t have.

  67. Lynne
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Last night, I had a really nice dinner of halupki that was leftover from the Russian Easter celebration on Sunday. It got me thinking about the power of soft power. If Russia wants to control us, imho, they should start feeding us yummy Russian food to make us like them more. laugh all you want, but Thailand has done this with great success :)

    https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/paxadz/the-surprising-reason-that-there-are-so-many-thai-restaurants-in-america

  68. wobblie
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Lynne, I think you are right. The Capitalist should love them. What with their different calendar, all the holiday shopping seasons could be extended another week.

    Saw this, made me laugh.
    Furious Koch Brothers Sell Paul Ryan on eBay

    By Andy Borowitz 11:28 A.M.

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a fit of pique, David and Charles Koch have unceremoniously listed House Speaker Paul Ryan for sale on the auction site eBay.

    The Kochs, who reportedly had purchased Ryan for a sum estimated in the tens of millions, now seem likely to lose their entire investment.

    According to Ryan’s listing on the auction site, the Kochs set a five-hundred-dollar asking price for the used congressman, a figure that, in light of the tepid bidding for him, seems optimistic.

    “Granted, owning Paul Ryan doesn’t have the benefits that it’s had for David and Charles for all of these years, but the status of owning a former Speaker of the House has to be worth something,” one Koch associate said. “Certainly more than the current high bid of seventeen dollars.”

    The eBay listing suggested several possible uses for the former House Speaker, including as a Halloween ornament or garden gnome.

    On a similar note, for those who remember the last Speaker, Boehner, I see he was just purchased by Acreage Holdings, the nations largest(?) marijuana grower. Kinda reminds me of Dr. Dean becoming a lobbyist for the health care industry.

  69. Lynne
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Yes. Capitalists love Russia except for one thing. They have highly controlled markets which pretty much benefit Putin and those whom he allows to have economic success. There is reason people are always referring to powerful Russians as oligarchs

  70. Proton
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Iron Lung: “Human Rights Watch is making the statement that restrictions of free speech and the press are worse now than even in the Soviet era.”

    And who could possibly disagree with Human Rights Watch, eh? Only Putin-puppets and pinkos, right?

    Have you ever investigated HRW, Iron Lung? Do you know anything about them? I’m betting not, but surprise me.

  71. Proton
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    JH: “[when] the people of Russia…say it’s all bullshit, I’ll start questioning the NYT coverage of these events.”

    Wow. And how are the people of Russia going to “say its all bullshit”?

  72. Proton
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    JH: “Maybe someone needs to tell the Russians about Maddow, since they are saying they have been at war with the US for 4 years.”

    A tweet from Julia Davis! My favorite Russophobe/neocon! And an UNIMPEACHABLE source!

    Yes, of course they’ve been “at war” in the sense of trying, unsuccessfully, to make sense of DC’s insanity and provocations.

  73. Proton
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Iron Lung: “The world out there is real. It’s not some fabrication by Rachel Maddow (who I know nothing about) or the New York Times or whichever media outlet one wants to demonize for whatever contrived reason.”

    All righty then. I henceforth will accept without question the immutable truths handed me by R Maddow and the NYT — since to question them would render me a contrived-reason-based demonizer.

  74. Proton
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Some think we are sleepwalking toward nuclear war. But they are just whacked-out conspiracy theorists who can be safely ignored.

    http://www.unz.com/article/ukraine-syria-russiagate-the-media-and-the-risk-of-nuclear-war/
    Former Australian diplomat Tony Kevin sums up the situation:
    “Under the false and demonizing imagery of ‘Putin’s Russia’ which has now taken hold in the United States and NATO world, the West is truly ‘sleepwalking’, as Kissinger, Gorbachev, [University of Kent professor Richard] Sakwa, [Princeton emeritus professor Stephen F.] Cohen and others have urgently warned, into a potential nuclear war with Russia. It is the Cuban missile crisis all over again, but actually worse now … [in part] because American policy under recent U.S. presidents has been so lacking in statesmanship, consistency or historical perspective where Russia is concerned.” (Return to Moscow, University of Western Australia, 2017, p. 255).

  75. Proton
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    http://www.unz.com/article/ukraine-syria-russiagate-the-media-and-the-risk-of-nuclear-war/
    as investigative journalist Robert Parry observes,
    “The demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia is … where the neocons and the liberal interventionists most significantly come together. The U.S. media’s approach to Russia is now virtually 100 percent propaganda. … For instance, the full story of the infamous Magnitsky case cannot be told in the West, nor can the objective reality of the Ukrane coup in 2014. The American people and the West in general are carefully shielded from hearing the “other side of the story.” Indeed to even suggest that there is another side to the story makes you a “Putin apologist” or “Kremlin stooge.”
    Western journalists now apparently see it as their patriotic duty to hide key facts that otherwise would undermine the demonizing of Putin and Russia. Ironically, many “liberals” who cut their teeth on skepticism about the Cold War and the bogus justifications for the Vietnam War now insist that we must all accept whatever the U.S. intelligence community feeds us”

    Yep. The “liberals” and “progressives” are now solidly in the CIA/neocon pro-war axis. Funny how that happened.

  76. Jean Henry
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Proton is actually Oliver Stone.
    Just relying on my ‘horse-sense’ for that one.

  77. CNN's Kaitlan Collins
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    WH official says, “Rod Rosenstein met with the President at the White House regarding routine Department business.”

  78. CNN
    Posted April 12, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    The White House is preparing to cast Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as too conflicted to fairly oversee the Russia probe https://cnn.it/2GShhcB

  79. Proton
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Jean, I don’t know why you are so obsessed with that “horse-sense” comment of mine. In context, I said you need that — common sense — along with careful reading and analytic skills, etc. It is something no one could possibly disagree with. Except, I guess, you? That would be a first: someone objecting to the notion using one’s own common sense.

  80. Proton
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Jean: have you read Mearsheimer’s paper, and the antiwar.com critique of it? Important stuff:
    http://markmaynard.com/2018/04/if-you-believe-the-chatter-trump-is-getting-ready-to-make-his-move-against-the-justice-department/#comment-926448

    It goes to your comment that “everything has changed” since Obama made that remark about Russia. No, everything has not changed — except that the propaganda machine has been on even more-intense overdrive, sucking-in people like you, who now believe nonsense like “Russia is our enemy!” because Ukraine. No. Wrong.

  81. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Excellent critique from the Antifa left of white leftist anti-war and anti-imperialist sentiment. This has never been more evident than today on social media, where the fear of a proxy war with Russia has morphed overnight (and a few tons of explosives) into condemnation of Trump’s generals for revealing to Russia our planned attack so they would warn Syria and clear the civilians out of the way. I don’t know if this was the most effective move, but absent a functional State Department, I’m not sure what the options were, but it also wasn’t the end of the world as our alarmist friends have assured us. In fact, we US citizens are insulated from the consequences we so fear for our actions abroad, both aggressive and negligent. And it’s extremely clear that we don’t care enough about citizens abroad to seriously consider what may or may not be in their best interests and the incredibly complicated web of alliances and enmities that provide us with the security we clearly don’t value or trust.

    https://leilashami.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/the-anti-imperialism-of-idiots/

  82. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    An adjacent but also informed perspective: https://www.juancole.com/2018/04/reality-violence-striking.html

  83. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Re ‘horse sense’ it’s a more apt phrase than ‘common sense,’ which is always brought up just at the point when facts become inconvenient to one’s prevailing narrative. Don’t bother worrying about that gap in your understanding, fall back on your gut, your common sense, your horse sense, and you will see the… limits of your ability to understand a situation. Yes, I’m saying falling back on common sense in any realm but the deeply philosophical is simply another phrase for caving to one’s cognitive biases.

    Our common sense is reliably wrong. Do you sense that you are now sitting in your chair spinning round the globe at 1000 mph and the sun at 70,000 mph? No you do not. You believe in stillness. But in stillness, we would fall apart. We are always in motion.

  84. Proton
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Jean Henry: “Re ‘horse sense’ it’s a more apt phrase than ‘common sense,’ which is always brought up just at the point when facts become inconvenient to one’s prevailing narrative.”

    The dangers of relying too much on common sense are not in question, are are why I carefully placed “horse-sense” IN CONTEXT which apparently you missed, or deliberately ignored. The context included careful research, rational vetting, etc. That said, however, it is also true that one cannot survive and find one’s way without common sense, because it is impossible to know all of the facts and vet all sources to the point of absolute certainty, especially these days when lies (even in established “reliable” sources) are routine. You are lost with over-reliance on common sense, but also lost with under-reliance. Further, one can vet one’s own common sense by testing it. I’ve done this repeatedly. I can often smell a lie within moments of exposure to it, before I’ve done any investigation. Then, I investigate (as exhaustively as I am able, and it is never completely to my satisfaction), and find out, usually, that… yes, indeed, it was a lie. This has happened so many times now, over many years, that I am inclined to give more credence to my “common sense”, or “nose”, or whatever it is, than I might otherwise be. A recent example would be the Skripal hoax, which instantaneously hit me as a lie, a manufactured incident. It would be only days and weeks later, as dozens of contradictions and inconsistencies piled up, that my initial impression was verified. It does not always work out that way. Sometimes I am wrong. I love to be proved wrong; it sharpens me up, keeps me on my toes. How about you?

  85. Proton
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    JH: Your leilashami link was amusing. She writes such as: “The first thing to note from the three major mobilisations of the western ‘anti-war’ left is that they have little to do with ending the war” — apparently not noticing that THERE IS NO anti-war left, or indeed any left at all, nor any anti-war/peace movement, in the U.S. at least. What an incredibly idiotic thing to write! It sounded like the retarded right-wing press that refers endlessly to “the left” — again not noticing that there exists no left (or, in their benighted state, not even knowing what a left might consist of if it DID exist). I persisted for a few more paragraphs, but it got worse. Is this where you get your “analysis”, Jean? No wonder we’re doomed.

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