Disbar Barr

Over this past week, I’ve been collecting articles about William Barr and the work he’s been doing post-impeachment to help reward Donald Trump’s friends, and punish his perceived enemies. My intention was to write something truly brilliant – something that would explain everything in such a way that people, once they read it, would not only feel compelled to share it with everyone they’d ever known, but also take to the streets and demand Barr’s immediate removal from office. That, at least, was the plan. Then, however, my son pointed out to me that Curt Siodmak’s 1951 Bride of the Gorilla was streaming online for free. So, now, I’m just going to share the following with you. This in an excerpt from a letter posted today by over 1,100 former Justice Department officials calling for William Barr to resign. “Mr. Barr’s actions in doing the President’s personal bidding unfortunately speak louder than his words,” the authors, who have served both Republican and Democratic presidents, said. “Those actions, and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law, require Mr. Barr to resign.”

It’s worth noting that the authors of the letter don’t just ask Barr to step down. Conceding that the Attorney General, given what we know him to be like, would never do that, the authors of the letter also ask those still working within the Department of Justice to make a stand and defend the rule of law. “(B)ecause we have little expectation (Barr will step down), it falls to the Department’s career officials to take appropriate action to uphold their oaths of office and defend nonpartisan, apolitical justice,” the former officials wrote in a statement… While I’ve yet to hear of large-scale protests within the Department of Justice, news did break late last week that all four career prosecutors who brought the case against Roger Stone have stepped down from their positions in apparent protest of Barr’s decision to overrule their sentencing recommendation. [Stone, for those of you who don’t remember, was found guilty by a grand jury of all seven counts that had brought against him by the Justice Department.]

There’s a hell of a lot more I could say here, about Trump’s tweets, and Barr’s ridiculous claim that he didn’t weigh in on Stone’s sentencing because of pressure from the White House, but I’m going to have to call it a night, as the Bride of the Gorilla is waiting. I would, however, like to share one more thing with you. The following excerpt is from an op-ed that ran a few days ago in the Washington Post by former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman.

…The action runs counter not only to standard practice but also to the standard that the Justice Department is supposed to embody: the administration of justice without fear or favor.

It is hard to overstate the irregularity and impropriety of the department’s rollback of Stone’s sentence.

Stone was convicted of serious crimes: lying to Congress and witness tampering. His recommended sentence was by the book — literally. Federal prosecutors go by a manual from the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Commission that lays out appropriate sentences for specific offenses. The seven- to nine-year sentence that prosecutors had sought was precisely what equal justice mandated. That’s far from the “miscarriage of justice” that Trump called it in a tweet.

…The Justice Department updated its sentencing recommendation Tuesday in a filing that said the initial guidance “could be considered excessive and unwarranted under the circumstances.” The department’s leadership had been “shocked” at the initial recommendation, an official reportedly told The Post.

Keep in mind, however, that Stone chose to go to trial. He also sought to vilify the prosecution and engage in circus maneuvers designed to suggest his prosecution was a joke. Federal defendants who engage in such tactics virtually never receive sentences lighter than the guidelines stipulate. The system would break down were it otherwise.

But that anomaly is the least of the outrages in this situation. More worrisome is the naked countermand of the recommendation of career prosecutors in favor of a sweetheart recommendation for a political ally of the president. This is indefensible in the U.S. justice system for any reason, least of all raw political favoritism.

..I have never experienced or even heard of a situation in which a career prosecutor had been ordered to withdraw a sentencing memorandum within the guidelines’ range…

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62 Comments

  1. EOS
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    McCabe lies to Congress and isn’t even charged. Stone lies and gets 9 years. Barr looks into the anomaly and the Dems are apoplectic.

    It’s obvious why the Dems are terrified of Barr. Panic in DC – shoes about to drop. Boom.

  2. Lynne
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    They aren’t even trying to hide their corruption. Let’s just hope decent Americans who are not OK with this sort of thing get out and vote in November!

  3. Anonymous
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    https://www.michigandaily.com/section/community-affairs/pseudo-local-news-sites-michigan-reveal-nationally-expanding-network

  4. iRobert
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    So EOS, Barr looked into the anomaly but isn’t proceeding with any prosecutorial action? We are over three years into this administration. When are we going to see some actual follow-through? Shouldn’t all sorts of stuff happen before the election? It looks increasingly like a lot of bullshit talk from Trumpsters.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    EOS– McCabe has not been charged yet, much less tried and convicted. If he were, then I would assume his sentence would follow sentencing guidelines, as Stone’s did.

    Another false equivalency from you.

    Please note other members of the GOP signed on to this letter. It’s not a Dem set up. They have the integrity to acknowledge institutional failure. You do not.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/02/book-review-the-lost-soul-of-the-american-presidency/

  7. Anonymous
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2020/02/24/has-the-presidency-become-impossible/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=river&utm_content=featured-content-issue&utm_term=first

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    No shoes are dropping. Durham is the last investigation standing. You expect an entire collapse of ‘the deep state,’ that has not even been hinted of anywhere else. No shoes will drop. What will you do then, EOS? Declare it was rigged, no doubt. This must feel a lot like all those Benghazi investigations to you. Did you watch all 14 hours of HRC’s testimony. How could you spend so much time thinking about these things and still be so wrong?

    The most amazing thing about conspiracy theorists to me is how much time and energy they invest in accumulating information and then padding and twisting reality to suit their far-fetched narratuve. They generally do know more about this stuff than we do– whether vaccinations or climate, 9-11 or Benghazi. They also have a lot more false information and deductions. Loads of information + logic produces false conclusions when there is no capacity or willingness to discern between facts and fake news. Because reason and logic are really really fallible.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Nostalgic old films are MM.com’s squirrel nemesis.

  10. EOS
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    You need to step outside of your echo chamber on occasion. Everyone involved with the illegal FISA warrants will be charged and this would include all the rabbit trails that investigation opened. It will be big and if you heard it here first, you need to take your head out of the sand.

    HRC is scrambling to be considered a VP candidate thinking she’ll be safe from investigation since she would again be considered a political opponent. Laughable.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    No way HRC would take VP, EOS. It’s amazing the way you speak with great certainty about things that are pure speculation. But then that’s your whole deal, isn’t it?

    I find the idea of Christianity without the sense of wonder inherent in not knowing really dismal and spiritually bankrupt.

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Here’s a really good article on the failure of traditional conservatives to reign in Trumpism which is both an existential threat to our democracy and conservativism.

    “If you wanted to boil down conservatism to a single anodyne formula, it might be “reverence for the past.” But reverence, as opposed to respect or understanding, often requires a selective memory: Inspect an image too closely, and flaws that seemed accidental might appear pervasive, even essential. While we usually think of writers and intellectuals as transmitting knowledge, the role of conservative intellectuals is just as often to enable those selective forgettings that make the persistence of their movement possible. From this need comes the birth of something perhaps new in the history of human folly: a knowledge class whose very existence comes from its ability to not-know.

    It’s to this kind of return to this haze or amnesia that Ross Douthat almost calls the nation in The New York Times. In one representative column published last fall, “Can the Right Escape Racism?,” Douthat fondly recalls that the conservatism of the second Bush managed to “partially suppress” the “racially polarizing controversies” of the early 1990s and hopes for a return to that better era.

    The premise here is clearly flawed: What was suppressed, or forgotten, has returned with a fury. “

    https://newrepublic.com/article/156368/finding-neverland-conservative-quest-rid-trumpism

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I would suggest that in local politics, especially around housing supply issues, the above quote about selective forgetting also applies.

    It seems nostalgia for the past is something very close to a human evil. At minimum, it’s a clear case of selective forgetting and preservation of the status quo.

  14. Meta
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Annie L. Owens in the Washington Post: “We knew what Barr would do. Now it’s too late to stop him.”

    Last week, Attorney General William P. Barr overruled the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for President Trump’s ally Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress, after the president tweeted that the original recommendation was “horrible” and “very unfair.” Barr also ordered a review of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s prosecution — which, like Stone’s, was initiated by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and conducted by career Justice Department attorneys.

    These developments are the latest evidence that Barr’s loyalty to Trump threatens the Justice Department’s independence, and they have shaken the public’s faith in the rule of law. But Barr’s attempts to politicize the Justice Department could have been stopped before they began: during his Senate confirmation. Even then, it was clear that Barr’s radical pro-executive branch worldview was contrary to Congress’s institutional interests and made Barr a dangerous pick for a president who, as Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) warned, “views the Justice Department as an extension of his political power.”

    A little over a year ago, I was serving as a senior counsel on the minority staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, helping Democrats sound the alarm about Barr’s troubling record. A former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (an office in which I also later served), Barr had espoused an extreme view of executive power that exalted the presidency to a position of inviolability rather than treating Congress as a coequal branch. This theory, which the Supreme Court has never endorsed, grants the president virtually unchecked authority while seriously hamstringing Congress’s ability to hold the president accountable, including its ability to guard against political interference in law enforcement.

    Barr had recently reaffirmed these views as a private citizen when, in June 2018, he sent an unsolicited memo to the deputy attorney general arguing that Mueller could not investigate whether Trump obstructed justice by attempting to thwart the Justice Department’s Russia investigation. In a particularly chilling line, Barr wrote that the president has “illimitable” constitutional powers that preclude investigations like the special counsel’s, because “he alone is the Executive branch.”

    At his confirmation hearing, Barr defended this view. He also refused to give senators unqualified assurances that he would prevent political interference in the special counsel’s investigation and the related criminal prosecutions being handled by U.S. attorney’s offices. Barr pledged only that he would not tolerate political interference in “bona fide” law enforcement matters and left that term open to interpretation. After Barr’s hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) reflected many Democratic senators’ sentiments when she concluded that “the situation in which we find ourselves — and the manner in which Mr. Barr has chosen to interpret the law — leaves too many questions about whether he can be an impartial attorney general.” But the Senate voted to confirm him anyway, largely along party lines.

    Since then, Barr has facilitated some of Trump’s most authoritarian instincts. He defended the president’s raid on taxpayer money to pay for a border wall — even though Congress had appropriated that money for military construction, refused the president’s funding request for the wall and passed resolutions to block the president’s action. Barr proclaimed the president had the authority to order the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani without congressional approval, providing shifting legal justifications for the decision. Barr defied congressional subpoenas and backed the White House’s hard-line position that the president has no obligation to comply with congressional inquiries at all, including impeachment.

    Read more:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/02/17/we-knew-what-barr-would-do-could-have-stopped-him-now-its-too-late/

  15. Lynne
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    HRC is the most investigated person in government I can think of. If she were guilty of any crimes they would have been discovered by now OR the Republicans are seriously incompetent. Either way, HRC has little to fear in terms of prosecution from them in our current system. But re-elect Trump and who knows? He likely would make things more corrupt perhaps to the point of prosecuting his enemies on Trumped-up charges (Haw!). We already know he is vindictive AF. Again, my hope is that those Americans who care about such corruption will get out to the polls in November!

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    A reminder here from a circa 1992 Village Voice article that Barr has long been an advocate for unfettered executive power and, critically to the theories of FF and HW, an apologist for CIA disinformation and political complicity with the executive branch under HW Bush. Durham also has offered political cover for presidents and the CIA via disinformation re ‘enhanced interrogation’ under GW Bush.

    So the people they expect to uncover deep state political corruption leading to mass arrests have already shown themselves to be apologists for both intelligence agency over-reach (that’s being kind) and disinformation providing political cover for executive branch over-reach.

    These are not people who seek the truth and operate on moral conviction— They are apologists for power.

    https://www.villagevoice.com/2019/04/18/attorney-general-william-barr-is-the-best-reason-to-vote-for-clinton/

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    That FISA abuse occurred is a fact not a theory.

  18. Lynne
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    FF, I don’t think that has been established yet but hopefully, we can get some honest people in place to conduct such an investigation.

  19. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    FISA abuse has definitely been established but we don’t know the extent, intent, or ultimate motivation. Additionally, there are a lot of red flags that suggest it probably was “intentional” abuse, widespread, and coordinated.

    1) Clinesmith fabricated an email. Fact.
    2) The Court determined 2 of the 4 apps on Page were “invalid”. Fact.

  20. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    They don’t learn, Flakes. They have been wrong about everything. What are they talking about? Eric Holder anyone? The President’s Wingman? Barr is doing everything right. There is a mountain of illegal activity their pols are about to get busted for.

    It’s all lining up according to a plan I championed as legitimate open source intelligence drops associated with the President of the USA. I don’t think they are being honest with theirselves because here we are with a monster investigation sorting out their peeps. Kind of seems to go with what I have said for years.

  21. EOS
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Lynne,

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/secret-fisa-court-issues-highly-unusual-rebuke-fbi-mistakes-n1103451

    That is, unless you join Jean in refuting logic and reason and fact.

  22. Lynne
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    FF, I agree that there is enough evidence to support a continued investigation, hopefully by an agency that is not part of the executive branch such as the GAO. That is a different thing than it already being established that widespread abuse has occurred. I wouldn’t be surprised if abuse has occurred by the way. Considering the corruption of our president, I would actually be surprised if it didn’t occur. The thing we probably really need to do is abolish the idea of secret courts altogether.

    EOS, ah thanks. I somehow missed that DOJ report. I certainly can see a need for continued investigation but it should be conducted by a part of the government not in the executive branch since the executive branch is so corrupt these days. Also, really, YOU are going to say that I have a problem with refuting facts, reason, and logic. YOU who still think after all of this time that HRC is a criminal. You have no credibility on that subject I am afraid in the same way HW has no credibility on that subject. Well, he is worse than you are and just bleats accusations and then declares himself right even the facts show otherwise. But you get the idea. You, HW, and FF can accuse people of not understanding facts or reason or logic all you wish but until you show an understanding of those subjects yourselves, you just make yourselves look even more stupid than you might otherwise.

    Jean actually does have an understanding of such things but is more skeptical of them than I am but I do understand where she is coming from. You can have perfect logic/reason but if you begin with a false premise, you will still end up with a wrong conclusion. It happens all of the time. Here on MM.com even although both FF and HW seem to be suffering from the Dunning-Kreuger effect as evidenced by their misunderstandings of many common logical fallacies. *shrug*

    Anyways, as I said, let us hope that good decent people, who aren’t ok with corruption when it comes from an authority figure, get out to the polls to cancel out your votes in favor of it!

  23. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Name one fallacy I have supposedly misidentified and I I will gladly discuss it, Lynne.

  24. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I agree that it has not been “established” that the FISA abuse was widespread and coordinated. However, it is established that it happened (at least on a small scale) and there is a mountain of red flags —and denying the red flags is at this point a function of people living in denial or being under informed.

  25. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    “You can have perfect logic/reason but if you begin with a false premise, you will still end up with a wrong conclusion.”—Lynne

    We have seen various formulations of this statement on MM. LOL. Is this supposed to be some kind of deep insight? Jesus. You think you get points for understanding something that is so basic and obviously true that most people would not even mention it? The only reason that statement could be thought of as a deep insight by anyone-ever, would be if a person already had a false notion of logic and reason in the first place.

    Nobody is claiming that you plugging-in false premises will lead to true conclusions. Nobody. What is the name of the fallacy you are committing just now?

  26. EOS
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Lynne,

    https://www.fisc.uscourts.gov/about-foreign-intelligence-surveillance-court

    The FISA court is the judicial branch of government, not executive. Of course the executive branch won’t investigate the FBI, CIA, and other executive branch offices. That’s why the IG was appointed. They are investigating Obama’s executive branch, which was apparently corrupt as hell. Wait and see.

  27. Lynne
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    FF, I have recently pointed out such a mistake (like within the past month or so) but it quickly became clear that you didn’t understand my reasoning about why you were mistaken and you just doubled down and declared yourself correct. Since I don’t care too much about what you think and don’t particularly enjoy teaching people how to be logical, it ended there. I have no interest in convincing you that you are wrong but do occasionally like to point it out for the benefit of any lurkers.

    One more recent example of your faulty logic = “The only reason that statement could be thought of as a deep insight by anyone-ever, would be if a person already had a false notion of logic and reason in the first place.” That seems to be a good example of a false dichotomy. There are lots of reasons why someone might form the opinion that I have deep insights into things (or not as the case may be). Granted, I don’t think you are deliberately using a false dichotomy here as I don’t think you are knowledgeable enough to employ such tactics but who knows? All I know is that from my POV, I seem to know more about such things than you so your criticisms don’t mean much to me.

    I bring the false premise up because it is so common here but especially from you and HW and occasionally but less so, EOS. It is a reason why even if you guys were always perfectly logical, you often would come to a bad conclusion. You start with a false premise often or you fail to recognize that everyone is arguing from a premise that is more opinion than fact and again, it is a scenario where logic and reason can fail.

  28. Lynne
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    EOS, Yes, but it was a Dept of Justice investigation that turned up the issues at the FBI was it not? If the FISA court has the means to conduct their own investigation, that is probably appropriate but more appropriate would be to just eliminate the FISA court altogether.

  29. Lynne
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t seen any real evidence that the Obama administration was corrupt.

  30. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    What good is it to claim someone argues with a busted premise if you can’t even give an example? If I wanted to prove that point I would just give an example of you doing it.

  31. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Lynne,

    I am sorry but you truly are a crazy psychotic butcher of all things having to do with reason.

    What in the world do you think you are proving when you say: “There are lots of reasons why someone might form the opinion that [Lynne has] deep insights into things”? You are identifying a False dichotomy on my part? WTF are you talking about? I never made a statement about Lynne’s general ability to offer insights did I? I said that finding your obviously true statement about premises, to be a deep insight, would require some kind of major misunderstanding about what logic and reason is in the first place. …I was saying that your specific statement, although obviously true, is not insightful at all, although it has been repeated, in various iterations, on MM.com, over the years , as if it is some sort of critique of logic. It’s not at all a critique of logic at all . When Lynne and Jean repeat it they are merely pointing out an obvious truth about the relationship between true conclusions and true premises—and yet somehow we are supposed to think they are making an insightful statement? What you are saying is only controversial if you are severely lacking in understanding. It’s so looney.

  32. Jean Henry
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    FF– I never said FISA abuse didn’t happen. See, kernel of truth visa vi broader conspiracy theories.

    That you are fixated on FISA abuse while ignoring all other Trumpian abuses of power, is telling that you are seeking a particular result an this is not about conscience and fact-finding. Many many conservatives are not apologists for Trump. You are. And it all seems to rest on some idea of him as a person who will uncover mass corruption, which is, on its face, just ridiculous.

  33. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Jean and Lynne,

    I am so fascinated by your vague sort of criticisms of logic and reason. I am curious if you could share some books on the subject that have led you to your perspectives. I would promise to read those books if you gave me titles. I want to figure out what is going on with you guys and your vague criticisms. It feels almost like you are part of a cult. I want to know more.

    I will be honest with you though, I strongly suspect your vague criticism of logic are based upon misunderstandings of some critical theory you read in college—race theory and/ or gender studies courses….I suspect you wrote a few papers with a bong in one hand and a pencil in the other and that you were given good grades. I further suspect you are using the esoteric experience you had while writing those papers as some sort of alibi for your current confusion.

    I will be your student though. Just tell me where you think you are getting your “interesting” ideas about logic and reason. I am highly interested.

  34. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Jean,

    It sounds like we all agree that FISA abuse happened. Cool! I can’t wait to find out the motivation behind taking out invalid FISA warrants on Carter Page. My fixation on FISA abuse has a lot to do with all of the redflags. I mean, for example, why would Clinesmith change an email to hide that Carter Page was working with the CIA to catch bad Russian actors? Why!? Don’t you want to know the answer to that little question? What is the appropriate amount of interest in FISA abuse Jean?

  35. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 17, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    At some point labeling everything a conspiracy theory can ,in itself, be construed as a sort of conspiracy to cover up genuine inquiry about reasonable questions. It is strange that Jean would, so often, offer her opinion on how interested we should be in a subject that she admits warrants some interest.

  36. iRobert
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Jean thinks it makes her look less crazy when she labels everything as conspiracy theories. It’s like when Trump calls himself a stable genius. It’s just obvious there’s a mental disability there.

    Remaining willfully uninformed on a topic while pretending to be in a position to dismiss it all as conspiracy theory is so weak, lazy and cowardly. As if it’s so difficult to inform oneself and discern between conjecture and established fact. It’s not that hard.

    Jean likes to shoot her mouth off on every subject, no matter how little she knows about any particular one. Sane people don’t do that. A sane person only feels comfortable shooting their mouth off on subjects about which they have some actual knowledge. They know to shut up and consider doing some learning on subjects about which they know little or nothing.

  37. Sad
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    This Mike Bloomberg looks like he might be the candidate the Democrats have been looking for.

    Finally!

  38. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Aloha, just as an aside it is important to remember that Barr is AG thanks to the three Democrats (Jones, Manchen, Sinema) who provided the 51 votes necessary for confirmation.
    Is blue no matter who really a worthwhile strategy?

  39. Sad
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Bloomberg is more of a purple.

    It’s a nice, winning color.

  40. EOS
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Bloomberg is Soros’ choice. Lots of candidates showing a good deal of diversity, but now the show is over and the deal is set. Good to see that you have accepted it Sad, but he’s true blue and not at all purple. Another losing proposition.

  41. Sad
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Does Soros like him because he’s Jewish and a capitalist?

    I thought he was just a Republican?

    He has a lot of ads.

  42. EOS
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I think we should leave his religion out of it. He likes him because he is worth 52 billion and can be used.

  43. Sad
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Bloomberg is a benevolent billionaire.

    He’ll wow us tomorrow night at the debate.

    Your days are numbered Trumpsters.

  44. EOS
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    What’s he going to reveal? New limits on sugary drink sizes?

  45. Sad
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    If he had only spent more money they could have banned assault weapons in Virginia.

    Luckily to get elected president he’ll spend everything he has.

    Why did those democrats in Virginia betray the party? Turn coats!

    Sugary drinks are yucky .

  46. iRobert
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Sad,

    Are you abandoning Mayo Pete?

  47. Sad
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I’m playing the field.

    I’m still only giving money to Pete.

    I’m trying to see if I could stomach Bloomberg. I know I could vote for Bernie if I had to.

  48. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Aloha interesting math. If you have $500 in savings and you spend 2.50 ona bus ride, you are spending the same percentage of your savings as Bloomberg (65 billion) with his 350 million dollar investment in becoming President.

  49. Sad
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    He’s already spent over $400 million. Do you think he’s done?

    If money buys votes isn’t he the guaranteed to win?

  50. Lynne
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I hope I don’t have to vote for Bloomberg but I will! I have major issues with the guy but he is still WAY better than Trump.

  51. Sad
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    According to some people’s political philosophy he’s a shoe in. If our presidency goes to whoever spends the most Bloomberg is the guy. It’s worked thus far. He’s already polling near the top.

    I like him because he makes Mayor Pete look down to earth, more of an underdog and tall.

  52. Jean Henry
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    My suspicion of logic and reason as paths to the truth is deeply seated in the intellectual history of the 20th century, especially studying the rise of totalitarian movements within free societies. All of those movements were very rigid in their belief in the logic of their belief systems and morally certain– all of which led them to some really bad conclusions. My grandfather was a racist who found confirmation in his study of anthropology at Yale after WW1. It was logical! He was extremely well-educated! He had left his racist rural hometown and hobnobbed with the Luce’s and the Yale Record. He had proof of white racial superiority– brain measurements and whatnot! Logic and reason are structures that can be built to re-enforce compelling false narratives as much as true ones. Confirmation bias is what they call it now. Look ‘er up. I could tell you more reasons but you, FF, are very committed to the idea of your own reason and truthfulness and rightness. But studies of confirmation bias would indicate any effort to dissuade you of your correctness with facts will only cause you to dig your heels in deeper into your fallacies and further re-enforce the logic structure of your self-delusion.

    It has nothing to do with social justice movements at all, FF. And I don’t smoke pot and never drank much. I rarely went to parties. I had my head in books and the clouds, not a bong, for most of my young life. You are speaking to a bookish woman. If you asked any of my friends at any point in my life, that’s how they would describe me. I read 20% of the books I used to, because of the stupid internet. I read a lot more short-form journalism.

    I’m not sure why I bother to have conversations with people who believe across the board in conspiracy theories debunked by subject area experts, over and over again. I never claimed expertise. I simply respect it. And none of you have it regarding anything we discuss here.

  53. Jean Henry
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh my word, the Buddhists are all about delusion too. and the Greeks talk about the fallibility of logic. This shit is ancient. Do I dare bring up Diogenes the cynic again? That was a disaster last time. No, he was not a cynic in common understanding (our use derives from him); He was a miscreant. Cynic means dog. Diogenes the dog. He was the ultimate subversive and societal drop out. He respected no authority. And he was an acute reader of individual and collective human failing. He didn’t respect logic or reason or civility either. He was punk rock.

  54. Jean Henry
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I forgot to mention Diogenes belief in self-agency at any cost. Even if it means you live in an oil drum and eat scraps. I smile just knowing he existed and was recorded as existing and that his legacy endures 3000 years later. Doesn’t mean he was right about everything but he certainly provoked something real.

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    MLive just announced it’s shutting down its comments section on Thursday.
    Smart move. Hint Hint.

    PS conservative commentators are saying it’s part of a conspiracy to suppress the truth from getting out. If the “truth” is racist, bigoted churn and bat shit crazy conspiracy theories, that may be true.

  56. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 18, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    So part of what you seem to be saying is “logic sucks,/punk rock!” I really don’t know what I am supposed to learn from stories of a guy who impoverished himself , lives in a barrel, and who barked at pedestrians. A homeless guy who lived thousands of years ago was suspicious of logic? Who cares? What does that prove? Where is the criticism?

    The other part of what you seem to be saying is “logic sucks” because your grandfather used pseudoscience to support his own awful racism. Ok. Who cares. It sounds like your grandfather used bad logic and bad science to arrive at wrong conclusions. Don’t we judge your grandfather as a disaster through the lens of good logic and actual science? So how does that serve as a criticism of logic?

    The other part seems to have to do with Arendt. Is that correct? You did not name her but you have in the past. I am vaguely familiar with the idea that there is a chasm between reason and living (being) according to her. Is that the sort of thing you think I should research to understand what you and Lynne are talking about? I highly doubt I am going to find Arendt advocating for evidence free assertions that seem to be the very thing that you and Lynne advocate for.

    Could it be that you and Lynne are just not good at evidence based reasoning? Could it be that you use a flawed/ vague understanding/ misunderstanding of someone like Arendt, and her attempt to locate the proper and improper usage of reason within our lives, as a smokescreen for your own misunderstandings? I mean, I saw value in Arendt ( it has been awhile) but I don’t think she is simply offering a phony criticism of syllogisms and informal fallacies—as you and Lynne try to do when you are getting destroyed in arguments. Maybe I am wrong. Can you give me a chapter? If Arendt is not the author you are alluding to let me know…

  57. Jean Henry
    Posted February 19, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Arendt is a great place to start.

    And let’s be clear, the comment that got everyone here so worked up was that It don’t believe in reason or logic.’ Please note the intentional use of the word ‘believe’. It means I don’t put faith in it. Not that I don’t believe it exists not that I think it never leads to accurate conclusions. What it’s failed employment too often leads to however is a delusional sense of certainty about what is true. That’s dangerous. And it’s much in evidence in this forum.

    So my point is we should not trust logic, especially when formed in a political or ideological vacuum.

    I’m surprised you object to that conclusion in any way, FF.

    Ps I actually pretty skilled at deductive reasoning and analytical by nature, so my suspicion of logic structures is, in part, a check on my own authority/certainty. You should try it some time.

  58. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 19, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Jean,

    I have said many times that you (and Lynne) should feel very suspicious of logic *because* of your own similar impulses to mis-use logic. Your unbalanced approach does seem to be overly reliant on deductive reasoning. Similarly, your grandfather probably had the same issues. He apparently used pseudoscience to artificially prop up his incorrect principal assumptions from which he deduced a set of racist applications, no doubt.

    There is normally a natural and normal circle between induction-deduction and back and forth. It becomes a “vicious” circle when misassumptions are used to fuel inductive reasoning on its way “up” toward “establishing” the principals of deduction from which deductive judgments are misapplied on their way down from generalizations back “down” to particulars.

    I have tried many times to communicate that you and Lynne seem all too willing to argue from within that vicious circle. Apparently it is the kind of vicious circle from which your grandfather made his career.

    (I know this probably sounds convoluted to many but I do not have time to be more clear right now.)

  59. Lynne
    Posted February 19, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I don’t even really read what you have to say anymore FF because I consider it to be mostly idiotic bullshit with little value. So no need to keep trying to bring me into this conversation. Just sayin’

  60. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 19, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    You might want re-read what you wrote above, Lynne. You are the one who brought me and Jean into a conversation about logic in this thread. You can dip-out if you want. I am just responding to your baseless assertions that you initiated.

  61. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 19, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    (I apologize if a duplicate message occurs.)

    You are a disaster Lynne. You really lack the ability to keep things organized in your mind. Re-read the thread above. It is fine if you don’t want to participate in a conversation but don’t pretend like I am trying to drag you into a conversation when you are the one who initiated the conversation about logic as it pertains to yourself, FF and Jean.

    Strive for greater accuracy, please.

  62. iRobert
    Posted May 13, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Roseanne Barr would have made a better AG.

    Way less corrupt.

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