Thursday, May 30, 2019

The thing that is odd about Mueller's statement is that when he says, "If we had had confidence that the president had clearly not committed a crime we would have said so," he is not only answering a question that no one has asked, he is answering a different question. 

In the first place, no one cares if you 'have confidence' that someone didn't commit a crime. You either think someone committed a crime and press charges or you don't. Having suspicions or lacking confidence in someone's innocence is not something that lawyers get to talk about. Representatives of the state get to accuse or not accuse, they don't get to assign innocence ratings on a scale from 1 to 10. No one asked what you think of him as a person. They asked if he committed a crime. If you don't have the evidence to say yes then you say nothing.

But Mueller also makes it sound like there is some question about the president's actions. But what the president did is not really in question. It is what constitutes the crime of obstruction of justice that is in question. The president's actions are not in question, the law is in question. So Trump tried to have Mueller fired as he did have Comey fired. That is one of the bases of the obstruction charges. Note that the actions aren't really in question, it is the law. The law in question is so amorphous and vague that it could be made to apply to anything. 

It is an inquisition instead of an investigation. In an investigation you look for who committed the crime. In an inquisition you look for crimes the target committed. In one you start with the crime, in the other you start with the target. 

Friday, April 05, 2019

One thing that strikes me as strange about the Biden touching scandal is that the incidents all took place in public. These inappropriate touchings were all out there for everyone to see. There is not even for the most part a he said she said, it is a plain we saw.

Now at the very least this means that something the public saw and let pass without comment at the time is now considered scandalous.

The retroactive application of new standards to old behavior is problematic for a number of reasons.

Cultures change over time. Standards evolve. The standard for what is considered appropriate touching are cultural standards. We would have no trouble with the notion that the boundaries of personal space, the rules about where you can place your hands on another, the degree of deference owed to women and what is considered appropriate affection can differ from one country to another. Different countries, different cultures. What is normal in Italy, say, may be considered an assault in Norway. The same may be said of different parts of the same country. What my be considered appropriate in the North may not be in the South and so on.

The past is like a different country. Just as it can be unfair to apply the standards of one country to another it can be unfair to apply the standards of one time to another.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Democrats Angered that Russian Meddling Exposes Democrat Meddling

So we are supposed to lecture the Russians about meddling in our elections, but that meddling was publicizing emails from Hillary's campaign that exposed the DNC's meddling in the primaries to sabotage Bernie Sanders and the media's (particularly CNN's) efforts to meddle in the Election Debates on behalf of Hillary. How dare your meddling expose our meddling! Imagine if the Russians were funneling money illegally to the Hillary campaign as the DNC was exposed doing in the DNC emails.

Trump is accused of going too easy on the Russians. He is being harder on them than Obama after the 'meddling' was exposed but before the election results were in. Before the election Obama dismissed it as amateurish hacking, afterwards, the same acts were an act of war?

Thursday, August 04, 2016

From Andrew McCarthy at National Review:

to topple Qaddafi on behalf of the Islamists, the Obama administration — which did not seek congressional authorization for its offensive war (and preposterously maintained that bombing another country’s government was not really “war” anyway) — had to flout a United Nations resolution. The U.N. had agreed only to military operations for the purpose of protecting civilians, not offensive operations against the regime. Besides arming jihadists, the administration took no meaningful steps to make sure that Qaddafi’s military arsenals did not fall into terrorist hands.

Read more at:

This is one of the over looked drawbacks to the reliance on international law in international relations. It forces nations to be dishonest about what they are doing and so do it less well. Part of the reason that there was no plan for what came after Qaddafi was that to make a plan for what came after we over threw Qaddafi would have been to admit that we were over throwing Qaddafi. The Obama administration combines an insolent contempt for our domestic constitution and a slavish adherence to the forms of International institutions. The Libyans are still paying the cost. 

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The Establishment Defends Its Own

Hillary Exonerated

One of the things that has bothered me about Republican response to Hillary's exoneration is the focus on whether the 'fix' was in. This is the concern behind the attention given to the meeting between Clinton and the AG and the focus on the question of whether there was some sort of specific quid pro quo with any official.

I think this is a mistake.

What we are dealing with is not so much a contest between parties but a contest between classes, in this case, the ruling class and the rest of us. It is less a narrow party machine and more a class or quasi aristocracy. The thing about a ruling class is that there does not have to be message or specific instruction. It is a good ol' boys club. You know what you are supposed to do. You know there are some people you are not supposed to touch.

The email server was known to be insecure by anyone that got an email from Hillary. Everyone could see there was a private server as the address rather than the .gov address that all other government officials used, but no one said anything. They knew they were supposed to keep their mouths shut, that there are certain people that you cannot tell to follow the rules.

By they way, when is someone going to ask how much money was spent on this two year investigation employing so many attorneys/agents? Shouldn't the Democrats be out there complaining about the time wasted on this investigation when no one ever believed that Hillary actually wanted to reveal secrets to America's adversaries? Since no one ever suggested that she wanted the Chinese or the Russian to be able to read her emails and the fact that it was not an intentional betrayal of the US why was there an investigation at all? 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"... a punk, trying to sew discord."

Our Attorney General called the person that tried to assassinate two police officers "a punk, trying to sew discord."

The description could apply to the Attorney General himself. The Justice Department's own report on the Brown shooting shows the narrative of events behind the Ferguson protests to have been false: Brown attacked the officer, was not surrendering but charging the police officer and that his body was left on the ground for four hours not because of racist indifference but because the protesters and thugs kept the detectives from doing their job. And yet, the President and the Administration withheld these facts and even encouraged the protesters through months of chaos culminating in the destruction, at the hands of these same protesters, of a large part of the town.

We have witnessed something like a legal assault on a city. The President meets with the ring-leader of the protests--Al Sharpton--in the White House who then goes out and whips up more protests based on claims that the Administration itself knows is false. It is an Alinsky-ite dream. And when, finally, the career officials' report comes out potentially exposing the whole scam, you put out a parallel 'report' claiming 'systemic' racism, meaning a grab-bag of policies that great and the good do not like and the consequences of which fall more heavily on black people.

Of course, what really falls more heavily on black people are the consequences of the Administration's and Al Sharpton's thuggery. The burned out neighborhoods produced by the 'protesters' (punks and thieves would be more appropriate) will be destroying lives long after the rabble-rousers of the community organizer White House have moved on.