Flynn Out

I just stepped off a plane in Brisbane and have had very little sleep. But the news this morning is that Mike Flynn has resigned as Trump’s NSC due to his contact with the Russians about sanctions and his deceptions regarding said communications.

There is an instinct among Republicans to be defensive, but this is a good thing. Mike Flynn was part of what I call Camp Crazy Trump, the people who come up with ill-considered crackpot ideas like barring green card holders from entering the country. He’s a conspiracy theorist, cozy with the Russians and, apparently a liar. Good riddance.

One theme I’ve been hitting on Twitter is that we should be trying to keep Trump surrounded by good people. I’m disappointed when I see people pressuring Musk or Kalanik to refuse to work with the Administration. Because, like it or not, Trump is going to be President for the next four years. And we should want the people advising him to be smart and of good character. I realize that a lot of Trump opponents want his Administration to be a flaming disaster. But is this about what’s best for the country? Or is this just about getting Democrats elected? Because if it’s the former, you should be encouraging good people to work with Trump. And if it’s the latter, go get stuffed because the country is more important than Team Blue.

47 comments:

  1. CM

    Did Flynn act alone or was he carrying out White House orders? Is it not important to know? It seems very strange, given what we know already, that he wouldn’t been acting within the knowledge of Trump. Possibly, but how likely?

    Have a great time in Aussie. The whole country is a BBQ. Much cooler over this side of the ditch, although we do have our own fires to deal with at the moment.

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  2. stogy

    Yeah, and all to protect the worst president in this country’s history’s legacy

    You are increasingly isolated in thinking that. Obama’s numbers just keep on the up and up. He’s looking like a model of decorum and good management now, whatever you thought of him then.

    The current administration knew Flynn had likely broken the law several weeks ago and were explicitly warned that he was a potential Russian blackmail candidate. But the WH chose to do nothing… Their continued deflections and prevarications actually have dragged progressively more and more of them into it.

    There is no way to sugar coat this Alex. And you’d be all over it if it had happened under a Clinton admin. I’m looking forward to your defense of Kelly-Anne Conway next. Clearly her little “commercial” was also Obama’s fault. An Obama/Nordstrom conspiracy, perhaps?

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  3. InsipiD

    He’s looking like a model of decorum

    Never is, was, or will be as long as he thinks it appropriate to occupy Washington and criticize his successor’s every move.  You want to see decorum?  43.

     

    Flynn had to go for what he did, no doubt, and he’s gone before anyone could even say much.  I hope that his replacement is honest.

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  4. CM

    Yeah, and all to protect the worst president in this country’s history’s legacy

    Worst living organism in the history of the universe I think. Stupid Obama.

    Anyway, good to see you’re still on exact equivalent of the BLAME BOOSH! bandwagon.

    There are too many holdovers from the Obama era who could do stuff like this. 

    Stuff like what exactly? All three that have had to resign so far are all Trump people. The one who warned Trump about Flynn was the Obama holdover. You know, Trump fired her.

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  5. CM

    Obama’s numbers just keep on the up and up. He’s looking like a model of decorum and good management now, whatever you thought of him then.

    So true.

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  6. Aussiesmurf

    Welcome to Australia, Hal.  I hope that we can be, collectively, hospitable and gracious.

    Are you travelling to any other cities, eg. my home of Melbourne?

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  7. richtaylor365

    Gee, no mention here anywhere as to the illegality of the Flynn take down. An American citizen had his phone calls recorded illegally by the CIA and no one has batted an eye. Then another law was broken by the leaking of the transcripts to the media. Now these “criminals” are being hailed as heroes for taking down a Trump appointee. This interference into domestic politics (the illegal taping and leaking) should worry any lover of liberty(and opponent of the NSA’s illegal phone ease dropping program) but to the Trump haters it’s all about sticking it to the president, the end justifies the means.

     Un-elected intelligence analysts work for the president, not vice versa. The Trump haters are so pleased with the result, they ignore the fact that  highly sensitive information was leaked by these intelligence agents.

     Where was the subpoena to the FICA court to conduct such surveillance on an American citizen? How come the  “minimization” procedures (the protections of both the identity and content of the American being taped)were not followed? Why was the head of the CIA not informed of this surveillance while it was being conducted?

     Other intelligence leaks of similar nature have revealed Trump’s private discussions with heads of state (Mexico and Australia ) recently yet the only outcry has been how awful he talked to them.

     Trump needs to do some serious housecleaning here. There are too many holdovers from the Obama era who could do stuff like this.

    House cleaning is needed but this is Trump’s own fault , not the leaking but the disloyalty. He ran on “drain the swamp”, he targeted Washington and everyone in it. He belittled and be besmirched the CIA when he did not recognize their Russia findings in our election process. Loyalty has to be earned and he went in with a scorched earth mentality from the get go.

    Flynn has said he “crossed no lines” in his phone call with the Russian ambassador, until proof is presented I will take him at his word. He just had the misfortune of working for a Republican president;

     Former intelligence and military officers told TheDCNF they agree Flynn was the victim of a highly orchestrated “disinformation campaign” generated by current and former intelligence officers, many with loyalties to former President Obama.

    Intelligence officials are supposed to use their expertise in psychological warfare and disinformation campaigns against enemy states, but never against an occupant of the Oval Office.

    “Who pulled the NSA tapes on Mike Flynn?” asked retired Col. James Waurishuk, a 30-year intelligence officer who once served in the National Security Council. “Who compiled it? Who released it?” the retired Special Forces veteran asked in an interview with TheDCNF.

    Waurishuk argued the many leaks meant the public is seeing the politicization of intelligence. “There are those in the intelligence community that are more concerned with their agendas than with national security,” he said.

    “Notice how the intelligence community can leak Flynn’s conversation, but there are no leaks on Hillary Clinton and Benghazi,” he added.

     

    Another former intelligence official, retired Col. James Williamson, told TheDCNF, “What is illegal is that Flynn has his conversations eavesdropped on. Who at NSA leaked the transcript?”

     

     

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  8. ilovecress

    I was going to type up a response, (I don’t necessarily disagree) but I couldn’t get past the headline of your link….

    Curious How Flynn’s Conversation Was Released, But Nothing Ever Got Leaked on Hillary’s Crimes

    I mean…. c’mon dude. We’ve spent the last 12 months reading Hillarys emails. Via WikiLEAKS.

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  9. stogy

    Gee, no mention here anywhere as to the illegality of the Flynn take down. An American citizen had his phone calls recorded illegally by the CIA

    Just to put that statement into perspective: during the election campaign, Trump actually called on people to do this to the Hillary campaign and the DNC. And now it’s suddenly not all right that people are doing the same to him. I am not disputing the problems of leaks from federal agencies here, but there is an element of pot-kettle-black here. He can’t have it both ways.

    Also remember that the Trump administration kept supporting Flynn and including him in situation room talks for three weeks after they had been warned by the Attorney General’s department that he might have been compromised and could be blackmailed by Russian intelligence. They continue to conduct foreign policy on the fly, and conduct themselves as though secrecy and confidentiality don’t apply to them – one page summaries of the daily intelligence briefings, mobile situation room dinners, the pic on Facebook of the guy holding the nuclear codes football at Mar el Lago are just more examples. They somehow think the rules don’t apply to them and keep falling over themselves in the rush to self-aggrandize, and then have to lie to cover up.

    The latest story in the “failing” New York Times is just going to make things that much worse, and we’re not even a month in…

     

     

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  10. stogy

    An American citizen had his phone calls recorded illegally by the CIA

    Also, my understanding is that calls to embassies, particularly in sensitive places, are routinely recorded and transcribed by federal agencies. It isn’t like they were bugging his phone – although if he were under investigation regarding earlier contacts with Russia, this is definitely a possibility.

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  11. Hal_10000 *

    Stretching a bit there, aren’t you Rich? The CIA was not spying on Flynn but on his Russian contacts.  You know … those foreign powers they’re supposed to keep track of? We’ve known for years about Flynn’s ties with Russia. It came up the very day he was selected as NSC.

     Un-elected intelligence analysts work for the president, not vice versa. 

    Bullshit.  Like everyone else in their government, their duty is to the Constitution. If someone in our Administration, no matter how close they are to the President, is fucking us over on behalf of another country, finding him out is their job.  You can try to coat this all you like as someone out to get a Republican President, but Flynn is well known mouthpiece for Russia, a crackpot and a fucking liar who was fired from the DIA for gross incompetence. If he was discussing how to dismantle the policy of a sitting President, he’s also a criminal. Trump should never have appointed him in the first place.

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  12. richtaylor365

     Bullshit.  Like everyone else in their government, their duty is to the Constitution.

    Spare me your sanctimony, and stick to the issues. Tell me, what was unconstitutional about that phone call, specifically? But at least now we have you on record, you think it is perfectly acceptable for any government official to leak whatever they hear or read to the press, anything, good to know. And even sensitive classified information (I’d say  a discussion with a Russian ambassador qualifies) now matter how compromising or how damaging to our surveillance apparatus, it’s OK, because freedom of the press and all.

    Flynn did not violate the Constitution, or any laws of the land, in that phone call, no matter what was discussed. It is counter to the “one president at a time policy” but was not criminal, he was fired for not being honest.

    If someone in our Administration, no matter how close they are to the President, is fucking us over on behalf of another country, finding him out is their job. 

    Bold claims, now back them up, how exactly was he ,”Fucking us over on behalf of another country”?

     who was fired from the DIA for gross incompetence

    Yes, that is the leftest talking point, others, including himself, would tell you that he was pushed out because he held (and voiced publicly) tougher views than his boss about Islamic extremism.

     

     

     

     

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  13. stogy

    Flynn did not violate the Constitution, or any laws of the land, in that phone call, no matter what was discussed.

    Technically, he may have violated the Logan Act of 1799, which says that only the President and his emissaries can negotiate with a foreign power.  Unless we see the actual transcripts we are unlikely to know. If nothing was said, then why not release them? However, for as long as Trump continues to hold them without releasing them, this will prompt all kinds of conspiracy theories about what was actually said.

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  14. richtaylor365

    However, for as long as Trump continues to hold them without releasing them, this will prompt all kinds of conspiracy theories about what was actually said.

    Yep, the cats out of the bag now, have to release them. But stogy, doesn’t this bother you? Hal seems to have no problem with it, their Constitutional duty and all, intelligence analysts release classified info to the press?

    According to this, The FBI “routinely monitors” (does that mean all calls recorded, or only the juicy one’s) the Russian ambassador’s communication’s, why was this particular one (out of many) leaked to the press? You honestly can’t fathom a nefarious effort by intelligence guys to embarrass or discomfort Trump as a possible motive?

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  15. stogy

    You honestly can’t fathom a nefarious effort by intelligence guys to embarrass or discomfort Trump as a possible motive?

    Hmmm… yes, certainly. But this is THREE weeks after the administration sat on its hands and did nothing about someone very senior who had by all accounts might have been compromised. If you were working for the federal government in the intelligence sector, and you had this information and it wasn’t being acted on, what would you have done? Their allegiance is not to the President but to the US constitution. This is the way that it is supposed to work – otherwise presidents only get the intelligence that they want to hear.

    The bigger questions for me are whether Trump knew or ordered the calls, whether Flynn or other members of the administration lied to investigators, and the extent to which Russia has a hold over the current administration. I have no idea about the first question, but the latter two are not looking good for the WH now.

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  16. Hal_10000 *

    But at least now we have you on record, you think it is perfectly acceptable for any government official to leak whatever they hear or read to the press, anything, good to know.

    If there evidence is that the NSC is an ethically-compromised potentially traitorous piece of garbage and the President has no intention of doing anything about it, possibly.  You spare me the sanctimony. You never objected to this stuff when Obama was President.

    And even sensitive classified information (I’d say  a discussion with a Russian ambassador qualifies) now matter how compromising or how damaging to our surveillance apparatus

    Russian operatives in this country know their public phones are likely tapped, just as ours do. Only Flynn would be stupid enough not to know this or to think it didn’t matter.

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  17. Hal_10000 *

    Here is Glenn Greenwald on the subject. If the IC has evidence that a critical member of the President’s team is not only communicating with a foreign power, but lying to his superiors about that communication and the Administration has no intention of doing anything about it, is breaking the law justified? Greenwald think it is. I lean toward his position but am not 100% convinced.   I do know that if Nancy Pelosi were in secret communication with Iran and telling them the sanctions would be eased once Warren was elected in 2020, you guys would be going fucking apeshit.

    FWIW: I do think an investigation into Trump’s Russia ties should also include an investigation into the leaks. Although I’m sympathetic to the idea that the leaks were justified, I do worry about the IC acting like a shadow govt.

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  18. Hal_10000 *

    Remember: Flynn was already suspicious. He’d made many appearance on RT, Russia’s official propaganda channel.  He was paid by the Russians to give a speech on foreign policy. There are concerns about his business ties.

    If, in 2009, Obama had a staffer who had significant ties to the Iranian regime and turned out to be secretly communicating with them about lifting Iran’s sanctions, would you not think this was problem? If Obama has sat on these revelations for weeks, would you not have thought this was a problem?

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  19. richtaylor365

    But this is THREE weeks after the administration sat on its hands and did nothing about someone very senior who had by all accounts might have been compromised.

    What were the “hands” supposed to do? They knew about the phone call, Flynn was questioned about it, nothing “compromising” was revealed at that time. It was only after the intelligence spooks leaked it to the press, then Flynn admitted to discussing sanctions, he was then fired. I don’t know what else they were supposed to do.

    If you were working for the federal government in the intelligence sector, and you had this information and it wasn’t being acted on, what would you have done? 

    What information are you talking about? That there was a phone conversation? We know about that, what else do you know that either 1) compromised Flynn, or 2) compromised national security.

    Their allegiance is not to the President but to the US constitution.

    Yes, Hal parroted that same trope, but tell me, what was different about this conversation as opposed to the hundreds they hear every day and why was it necessary to leak it to the press? What made this call unconstitutional?

    If there evidence is that the NSC is an ethically-compromised potentially traitorous piece of garbage and the President has no intention of doing anything about it, possibly.

    Way to move the goalposts into the next galaxy. Do you have any proof whatsoever that this particular phone call revealed any traitorous actions, anything at all?

    You never objected to this stuff when Obama was President.

    Really, prove it. See I  seem to remember never defending the NSA Prism program (under any president) or their mass data collection on citizens.

    Only Flynn would be stupid enough not to know this or to think it didn’t matter.

    But he did have an expectation that his own government intelligence spooks would not leak it to the press, silly guy.

     If the IC has evidence that a critical member of the President’s team is not only communicating with a foreign power, but lying to his superiors about that communication and the Administration has no intention of doing anything about it, is breaking the law justified? 

    Again, presenting facts not in evidence. How do these intelligence analysts know what Flynn told Trump regarding this conversation, where they in the room? How do they know he lied , about anything to his boss? And is there a specific time limit for “His boss doing nothing” before they act on their own and leak what they got to the press? At least someone is acknowledging that laws were broken when they leaked it to the press.

    Look, if evidence surfaces that Flynn committed treasonous acts or compromised national security in any way, then I will gladly retract any outrage so far demonstrated, but so far you got nothing, yet nobody here except me is just the least bit uncomfortable with intelligence folks going to the press with stuff they read, even highly classified info.

     

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  20. ilovecress

    I think it’s worth looking at what’s smoke and what’s fire. That’s not to say that the smoke isn’t worrying – but I think Rich’s point is that he’s not going to make judgements on the smoke. So:

    Fire:

    • What we know as fact right now is that Flynn had several calls with the Russian ambassador prior to Trump taking office, while he was not accountable for US foreign policy. (This isn’t unusual)
    • Flynn told the administration (well at least Pence) that he didn’t discuss sanctions on his call with Russia.
    • After leaks called that into question, Flynn later admitted that he ‘inadvertently misled’ Pence.
    • The FBI and the Justice department say that they told the Trump administration about the contents of the conversation several weeks ago. This may or may not be true, but the multiple reports would suggest that there’s more than some validity to the claim. Spicer himself said that Trump knew about this for ‘weeks’.
    • It’s worth noting that the FBI and Justice department weren’t talking about Flynn doing anything illegal, but that he had lied publicly about it – meaning possible blackmail opportunities.
    • Flynn (the guy you hire to sift through all the intelligence and give you the best and most accurate information possible) lied to the president – he had to go.

    Now for the smoke. 

    • It was Russia. You’ve got to admit that these guys keep coming up like a bad turd? Especially as Flynn has, let’s say, close connections with the Kremlin.
    • The calls in question were on the day when Obama introduced sanctions. The next day, Putin announces his (non) response. Weird huh?
    • Flynn ‘inadvertently’ didn’t mention the discussion of sanctions to Pence. Which you’d think was a pretty important detail. So he’s either not so smart, or he had something to hide.
    • It looks like Trump knew for ‘weeks’ that Flynn talked about the sanctions on the call. But his administration still denied it. Why lie?
    • It’s pretty well established that the Kremlin had a policy to undermine the US election with hacking and disinformation. Trump benefitted from this.
    • There are reports (not confirmed) that the trump campaign had contact with Russian Intelligence before the election. Again, nothing about what they were, and nothing 100% confirmed. They are corroborated by the Russian foreign minister – but then again, they have motive to lie. Also confirmed by the Brits.

    Rich I do admire your scepticism (honestly) and I find it really useful to look at things outside my twitter bubble. But there’s a lot of questions here that at least warrant some sort of investigation isn’t there?

    I don’t think the left is doing itself any favours with the hysteria over this – and it probably isn’t a full scale invasion of the body snatchers style takeover of the US Government by the KGB. But wouldn’t it be great to be 100% sure that your President and the Kremlin aren’t in cahoots? Since when did your side trust the Government more than us nanny State Liberals?

    Just quickly on Richs point about the leaks – yes, it is worrying. It doesn’t mean the other questions go away, and I’d say an investigation of the entire situation would be a good idea.

     

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  21. Hal_10000 *

    Cress, that was a fantastic summary, thank you.

    I really hope it turns out that Trump isn’t compromised. Because the blow to the public’s faith would be incredibly damaging. It would be a scandal of historic proportions.  I’m unwilling to call Trump a “traitor” (you should how the liberal blogs are lighting up; crazienss).  But a full Congressional investigation is warranted.

    One thing I will say: this ends any debate over disclosure.  Congress should pass a law immediately requiring Presidential candidates to disclose health, tax returns, financial statements, everything.  The world is too flat for it to be an option anymore.

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  22. richtaylor365

    Re: the administration sat on their hands, lets look at the time line;

    Dec. 29- Obama issues Russian sanctions and Flynn calls Ambassador Kisljak, he says to persuade not to overreact to the sanctions, the phone call was intercepted by our intel. analysts.

    Jan. 12- The Washington Post reports the phone call (here is where the leak surfaces, all that crap about they did it because Flynn lied to Trump or they thought the WH was not going to do anything, pure garbage because events had not played out yet).

    Jan.15- VP Pence tells CBS that Flynn never discussed the sanctions with the Russian ambassador. Obviously after the Wapo leak Pence had a chat with Flynn as to what was discussed, Flynn indicated only logistical information was ddiscussed so at this date the WH is not worried because nothing really happened (or so they think). The analysts that first intercepted the phone call hears Pense tell CBS that the sanctions were not discussed, they are concerned because they know better so they go to their boss, acting AG Sally Yates. She does not go to the WH with this info., no, she discusses it first with Comey, probably asking ,”What do I do with this?”. Comey tells her that he has his own investigation going so just sit on it for now, all the while the WH has no clue that something improper took place. A full week after the Pence interview the WSJ runs an article that the US intelligence agencies are investigating the phone call.

    Jan. 23- Spicer reiterates what Flynn told Pence, namely that logistical information only was discussed, nothing about the sanctions. FBI agents interview Flynn the same day.

    Jan.26- Yates finally notifies the WH that intel. analysts intercepted the original phone call and that information exists on the transcript that contradict Flynn’s earlier assertions. Now the WH is worried so they re interview Flynn and now comes clean, admitting that sanctions were discussed (the degree of which and the exact quid pro quo if there was any, we don’t know at this point).

    Feb.14- Flynn asked to resign.

    Do I think the WH dragged their feet on this, yes, but it wasn’t 3 weeks. I imagine the decision to dump Flynn was made immediately but, them all being new at this, took took them a while to figure out the process.  After the Yates contact on Jan. 26, they had the facts pretty much in hand. Should Yates have informed the WH sooner of her findings, you bet.

     

     

     

     

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  23. richtaylor365

    But there’s a lot of questions here that at least warrant some sort of investigation isn’t there?

    Of course, who would not want full disclosure? As Howard Baker said ,”What did the president know and when did he know it?”. It should all be investigated.

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  24. richtaylor365

    It wasn’t three weeks, you’re right. It was 19 days. Or 2.7 weeks.

    Several sources, including this one indicate the decision was made on Monday, the day before. But we don’t know if the method of his departure was discussed sooner, maybe giving him time to decide if he wanted to resign on his own.

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  25. AlexInCT

    As I suspected, a few days end up collapsing the narrative, and I was going to get to joy ride the idiots here. let’s start.

    You are increasingly isolated in thinking that. Obama’s numbers just keep on the up and up. 

    In fake polls? Sure. In the real world? You get differences like this and this.

    He’s looking like a model of decorum and good management now, whatever you thought of him then.

    That’s beyond laughable. What a low bar to set. Despite an orchestrated media campaign to make him look dignified and intelligent, we have plenty of proof the guy was an idiot and a moron. More importantly, he actively sabotaged the country on numerous occasions. Let’s not even talk of the destruction he wrought to the demcoratic party, which is the real indicator of how successful and great this douchebag was. Also note that the DNC operatives with bylines that protected Obama are in full pants-shitting mode trying to destroy Trump. Must be why even in negatively biased polls, he keeps going up with the people that see the corruption of the left. You sir, have fallen for dumb propaganda, but then again, what’s new.

    The current administration knew Flynn had likely broken the law several weeks ago and were explicitly warned that he was a potential Russian blackmail candidate. But the WH chose to do nothing…

    Yeah, sure Stogy. Keep harping on that and ignore reality. This was a hit job, started under Obama, indicating we now truly have a shadow government serving tyrannical leftist interests at work. I am not excusing Flynn lying, but what happened here should be frighting to people that value the rule of democracy. It’s one thing to do this sort of stuff to foreign entities that are harming US interests, and then when ordered, but it is a firefighting thing when done because of political reasons (and yes, Obama ordered this, and these people kept at it).

    Enjoy!

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  26. AlexInCT

    It was Russia. You’ve got to admit that these guys keep coming up like a bad turd? 

    What we should focus on IMO, is how the left that spent now going on a century defending and excusing the USSR, and then Russia, making fun of people that pointed out the real and dangerous red scare when it existed, suddenly has embraced the red scare at a level that is all but frightening, but then, only after it really turned into something not really worth worrying about.

    I guess if I wanted to be comical I would say better late than never. Ask for the mea culpas they now owe the people that correctly identified the red scare when it really existed. And an admission that the only reason they finally saw the light was because now they hope to turn it into something advantageous to  their corrupt ideology (and then, also sure to go back cozying up to real murderous reds and other tyrants, right after).

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  27. richtaylor365

     

    Alex, did you read this entire thread?

    Astoundingly nobody here has a copy of the transcript or knows the contents of  the phone discussion, yet such lengths gone to paint Flynn as a traitor, using words like “treason”, phony platitudes of ,”They have a duty to uphold the Constitution [yet my challenge to provide proof of unconstitutional acts goes unanswered]” all these made up excuses as to why rogue IC agents leaked highly classified intel to the press, yet it’s Flynn who they target.

    I posed the question before, why was this phone conversion, out of the hundreds of phone conversation intercepted that day by the IC community, why was this one leaked to the press? The only plausible explanation so far, and the one I put forth with the usual feigned incredulity from our resident leftests, was that this leak was meant to embarrass Trump and his NSA appointee. We know that logistical information was discussed and we know that Flynn did talk about the sanctions, in the manner of Obama to Medvedev ,”After the election I will have more flexibility”, that’s it, no grand schemes of colluding with the Russian on anything, yet hoops are jumped through,  stepping on every rake in a 300 square mile radius in the process, to defend an actual legitimate and serious breach of national security be leaking classified intelligence to the press. But yeah, Flynn……phone call……Russian ambassador, let’s not look any farther than that.

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  28. ilovecress

    What we should focus on IMO, is how the left that spent now going on a century defending and excusing the USSR, and then Russia, making fun of people that pointed out the real and dangerous red scare when it existed, suddenly has embraced the red scare at a level that is all but frightening, but then, only after it really turned into something not really worth worrying about.

    Exactly. Why focus on the national interest, when we should be focusing on bashing the other side.

    Astoundingly nobody here has a copy of the transcript or knows the contents of  the phone discussion

    I’m with you here. In terms of ‘fire’ we’re talking about Flynn lying to the administration, and possibly being a blackmail risk.

    I posed the question before, why was this phone conversion, out of the hundreds of phone conversation intercepted that day by the IC community, why was this one leaked to the press? The only plausible explanation so far, and the one I put forth with the usual feigned incredulity from our resident leftests, was that this leak was meant to embarrass Trump and his NSA appointee.

    Obviously we don’t actually know. The other plausible explanation is that the national security advisor was lying to the public about something that he could be blackmailed about, and Trump, despite knowing about it, didn’t do anything. There’s a scenario where whistleblowers went up the chain of command (Yates and the FBI) but their concerns seemed ignored. They leaked information that they thought was in the national interest.

    Maybe it was for fame and notoriety.

    I guess it could be a huge left wing conspiracy involving parts of the executive Branch, Obama and the media. Jeez there are a lot of those at the moment aren’t there?

    I agree this needs to be looked into. Maybe it is some malevolent actors. I don’t think that’s likely, but sure, let’s look into it. Whistleblowing of any type has consequences, and you can’t dodge those.

    How and why the leak happened, however, is an entirely different issue from what the leak showed. You can look at both.

    I’m genuinely interested, because obviously you know my point of view and with that goes my usual ‘bubble’ on twitter etc – but does none of this Russia ‘smoke’ worry you at all? I’m absolutely sure that the left is overreacting to pretty much everything that’s gone on in the past month. But if the left’s worry is dialled up to 100, is yours even at 50? 20?

     

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  29. richtaylor365

     possibly being a blackmail risk

    How might that play out exactly, speculation is welcome. If the worry is that the Russians could blackmail Flynn over the contents of the phones call, how would the IC spooks who leaked it to Wapo, they didn’t know if Flynn acted on his own or was directed by Trump, so there would be nothing to have over him to blackmail him with.

    The other plausible explanation is that the national security advisor was lying to the public about something that he could be blackmailed about, and Trump, despite knowing about it, didn’t do anything.

    The timeline shoots that down. The phone call happened on Dec. 29 and Wapo , with info leaked to them by someone in the IC, broke story on Jan 12, between those 2 dates Flynn made no public comments about the phone call, not knowing at the time that it was intercepted and ultimately leaked to the press.

     There’s a scenario where whistleblowers went up the chain of command (Yates and the FBI) but their concerns seemed ignored. 

    That didn’t happen either. The first leak occurred prior to the Wapo article on Jan. 12. Yates first hears about the intercepted phone call on Jan. 15, after her analysts heard VP Pence tells CBS that Flynn did not discuss sanctions (what Flynn told him), the analysts know better because they have the transcript so they tell their boss, Yates.

     They leaked information that they thought was in the national interest.

    Remotely possible, but it would have to be a bombshell, something like ,”Don’t worry, when my boss gets into office he is going to lift all sanctions”, or ,”We used all the information you guys provided and it was beneficial on our election victory”.

    I guess it could be a huge left wing conspiracy involving parts of the executive Branch, Obama and the media.

    Funny you should ask;

     But if the left’s worry is dialled up to 100, is yours even at 50? 20?

    TBH, mine is about a 30, this low basically because he has only been on the job less then a month and he still does not have all his cabinet members approved yet because of the opponent’s stall tactics. All this opposition chortling over WH chaos, empty noise as far as I’m concerned. The SCOTUS pick was 1 of about 4 things I want him to do this year.

    but does none of this Russia ‘smoke’ worry you at all?

    It absolutely does worry me. Trump views himself as some big time negotiator and he ignores what Russia is and what they have done. Although I am encouraged by this, to ignore Russian revanchism or equate US past actions with that of Russia, what a dope.

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  30. blameme

    I’m basically with Rich. I think in the true conservative mold, we should all have a HEALTHY distrust of government. I don’t care if the person has an R or a D in front of their name, they should never be worshipped. At this point I am much more worried about the leaks than I am with Flynn and Russia. Much as Obama told Putin, as referenced by Rich above when he whispered, “I’ll have more flexibility after the elections,” I didn’t like the looks or tone of that, but it doesn’t mean that Obama has given the Russians a pass to invade Tennessee (much as I would like them to).  The leaks undermine the ability for our elected officials to have frank conversations with world leaders without those leaders being worried that the conversation will be on twitter when they hang up.

    But this brings me to a major disagreement with the left – the left always tend toward more big government, more government oversight and more centralized government power. But, when a republican wins the office, suddenly they’re on high alert for any possible issue.

    If power were more localized and the Federal Government was truly limited as the founders intended, they could worry much less. The powers would derive from the states, which can be controlled more easily in local elections.

    I’ll never understand wanting the federal government to control so much, then shake in fear when your party isn’t in power. That’s the risk you take with a highly centralized and all powerful government.

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  31. CM

    Ask for the mea culpas they now owe the people that correctly identified the red scare when it really existed.

    You’re suggesting it doesn’t exist under Putin?

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  32. stogy

    At this point I am much more worried about the leaks than I am with Flynn and Russia. 

    I have seen quite a few reports today in the media saying that the leaks are coming from different factions within Trumps various teams as they compete against each other for power and influence. Trump’s “well-oiled machine” (Bwahahahaha btw) is perhaps overly oiled? It’s dripping all over the body politic. Even the toughest of detergents will struggle to get that out.

    But this brings me to a major disagreement with the left – the left always tend toward more big government, more government oversight and more centralized government power.

    I live in a country where there is a big right-wing government, and people are very very very trusting that the government will look after them. And they repeatedly get screwed over. It drives me nuts.

    I want medium-sized government with reasonable regulations to protect the public and the environment, and to ensure that there is an even playing field in the marketplace (no monopolies, no shonky share trading, companies having to follow proper accounting rules, pay taxes etc). The natural inclination of the market is to minimize regulations to maximize profits (that’s not evil or anything like that – it’s a result of the system. It’s what companies should do). But simply cutting government out doesn’t fix the problem, as it leads to ever-greater abuses in order to maximize profit. Jump back 120 years to when the public regularly suffered from food poisoning, or over to India, where a million people a year die from environmental pollution. This is what an unregulated market looks like. The only reason it looks good now is because people have forgotten what it looks like.

    Unfortunately, both sides of politics tend towards “bought” government and rent-seeking for their own lobby groups and interests. So no, governments should not be trusted. Just because it is a Republican or a Democrat in power doesn’t make it smell any less.

    The powers would derive from the states, which can be controlled more easily in local elections.

    How’s Kansas doing these days?

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  33. stogy

    Here’s a question for Rich or Blameme, Hal, Alex, CM or anyone else that wants to take it on. I’m really interested to know.

    There is a widespread belief that our current employment model is about to come to an end, that about 50% of existing jobs will likely come to an end in the next few decades, and while there are likely to be some new jobs resulting from that process, this won’t nearly be enough to offset the imbalance.

    How do you think society should deal with this, remembering that:

    Will there be a lot of people who are “surplus” to global capitalism,
    How do we keep incentive in society when money no longer works as it has until now?
     If people are not engaged in production, then who will pay the wages, and how will people be able to buy anything? What will keep markets afloat?
    What will happen to society if there will be a lot of people with nothing to do; people (particularly young men) with nothing to do is very likely to lead to violence, revolution, war (this is one reason given for the civil war in Syria, following a ten year drought leading to high unemployment in the cities).

    So how should society cope? Should there be a basic minimum wage, paid by the government, to ensure there is a limit on consumption and that no-one starves? Or a kind of social Darwinism, leading to impoverishment and perhaps death for many?

    Or do you think that this will not happen at all?

    (Sorry if there are typos – need to post this and run!)

     

     

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  34. blameme

    Thanks Stogy! The Kansas example is a great representation of what I am speaking about. While it may suck for Kansas, did  Brownback screw Oklahoma? Oregon? Delaware? No? Because his power was LIMITED to only affecting Kansas.

    It mentions in the article I believe that he was a failed presidential candidate. What is we remove “failed” and replaced it with “successful” and with the now near limitless power of the federal government his experiments no longer only affect Kansas but all of us?

    That’s the deal – if you want a more powerful federal government, be prepared to have the trust you’ve put into that omniscient entity to screw you over when your party isn’t in power.

    Giving power back to the states allows each state to be it’s own incubator of ideas – and the ones that work can flow up to the federal government AFTER we have learned of the repercussions. We no longer have that. And we suffer for it.

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  35. richtaylor365

    I live in a country where there is a big right-wing government, and people are very very very trusting that the government will look after them. And they repeatedly get screwed over. It drives me nuts.

    Our nation is different (not a comparison or even a criticism) in that we have a Constitution written be men who foresaw the dangers of big out of control government and put safeguards in to check that. The 10th Amendment can’t be any clearer;

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    I want medium-sized government with reasonable regulations to protect the public and the environment, and to ensure that there is an even playing field in the marketplace (no monopolies, no shonky share trading, companies having to follow proper accounting rules, pay taxes etc).

    As usual stogy (again, not a criticism) you paint a sensible picture, forgetting the part that the devil is always in the details. Using words like “medium” and “reasonable” really gets us nowhere. Compared to what we have now, I would love a medium size government and who would be against anything reasonable? What we have now with Dodd-Frank, the EPA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (why wasn’t Cordray fired on day one?) is nothing resembling “reasonable”.

    The natural inclination of the market is to minimize regulations to maximize profits 

    The “market” is not just Wall Street and big business, it is investors that grease the gears that make business work. Without investor capital we would not have Wall Street. Of course we want investors protected from rapacious commerce, an effective vigilant SEC, and approve accounting procedures followed by all.

    But simply cutting government out doesn’t fix the problem, as it leads to ever-greater abuses in order to maximize profit.

    If the problem was caused by governmental interference in the first place, then, yes, it does.

     Jump back 120 years to when the public regularly suffered from food poisoning, or over to India, where a million people a year die from environmental pollution. This is what an unregulated market looks like. The only reason it looks good now is because people have forgotten what it looks like.

    Not sure it looks all that great now with big governmental regulations and oversight, but I get your drift. A hundred years ago, with no child labor laws, no workers rights, 14 hour work days, no paid vacation or sick leave, there was a need for unions to effect change, Nowadays we don’t need them anymore, except maybe to fund Democrat election campaigns.

     

     

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  36. Santino

    I don’t think there is a problem with regulation per se, but rather the problem is over regulation.  Government seems to be interested in ensuring nothing bad ever happens, and most measures are reactive and not proactive.  Inevitably things will slip through cracks, and rather than patching up the hole in the dam, they end up building a whole new dam in front of the old one.

    So rather than use existing laws to prosecute criminal activity you get an alphabet soup of regulations SOX, DFAST, CCAR, etc. that institutions pay great sums of money to navigate.  When financial institutions have to pour money into control functions (that ostensibly don’t grow the business) you get “cost containment” (i.e. hiring freezes/downsizing and longer hours for existing employees – I have experienced both) or you need to find investments that have greater return (i.e. are more risky).  Which, I think, are unintended consequences.

    Maybe regulations such as CCAR will ensure financial institutions are well capitalized, but I don’t think it means it will prevent poor and risky decision making in the future.  Somewhere down the road another crises will happen, and a bunch of politicians will compose thousands of words to ensure nothing bad ever happens again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

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  37. AlexInCT

    Astoundingly nobody here has a copy of the transcript or knows the contents of  the phone discussion, yet such lengths gone to paint Flynn as a traitor, using words like “treason”, phony platitudes of

    And you are surprised that people which constantly made excuses  for Obama and Clinton’s real criminal activities now suddenly want to crucify someone they dislike on innuendo, Rich? I kind of expect it from the pants shitting brigade which after 8 years of disaster still make excuses for the contemptible crooks and douchebags.

    how would the IC spooks who leaked it to Wapo,

    Wait, you mean this WaPo? These clowns just can’t get out of their own way. Now they are all pissed off that the only people that take them seriously are the usual idiots – like our resident moron brigade – while everyone else makes fun of them.

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  38. AlexInCT

    I don’t think there is a problem with regulation per se, but rather the problem is over regulation.  Government seems to be interested in ensuring nothing bad ever happens, and most measures are reactive and not proactive.

    I disagree Santino. What we have is the credentialed elitist leftards using government to pick whom is allowed to win and making sure that the yucky types they dislike lose.

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  39. AlexInCT

    But simply cutting government out doesn’t fix the problem, as it leads to ever-greater abuses in order to maximize profit. Jump back 120 years to when the public regularly suffered from food poisoning,

    And here I was, totally misinformed, that what really changed that were the advancements in medicine, hygiene, science & tech, and the opportunities provided by growth and wealth! Thanks for letting me know that what really mattered was government regulation!

    After all, as a business owner, what I really care about isn’t staying in business – something I surmise would be impossible if my customers realized I could give a rats ass that my product was poisoning them – but to fleece them for all it is worth! These days it is obvious why the left thinks others think that way: its projection.

    or over to India, where a million people a year die from environmental pollution.

    Yeah, again, because after 200 years of data and history concluding that as these nations and states grew wealthy and prosperous, with people living in real poverty not having to choose between dying of starvation or finding a means to get food on the table despite the impact on the environment anymore, they were able to care more about environment in general. Instead, we should credit that all to government regulations! After all, we know those evil rich people have their own air, water, food, and pristine land supplies, and they don’t have to deal with the shit we do!

    The left replaced the old time religions with collectivism. So big government replaced an all powerful benevolent god. Capitalism became the devil. And idiots actually think that giving government the power to decide whom/what wins, and whom/what loses, now will produce heaven on earth. That government is staffed by the worst sort of incompetent and petty people (like we are seeing right now from the “noble resistance against Trump” types) and that these people could do harm on a scale unprecedented because of the power government now has, never sinks in until the other side has power. Then, what the left want’s isn’t for government power to be reduced, but for them to be put back in power. Because when team blue types are in power and use government to abuse us all, it is always for noble reasons. Or something.

    There is a reason that “I am from the government and I am here to help you” are the scariest words to people that know better…

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