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21 February 2020

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turcopolier

mikee

You are right and I have done that for 12 years, but my patience is at an end. pl

turcopolier

jsn

The more "means" the government has, the mpre the temptation for them to use them is ever present. Think Section 702 of the Patriot Act. pl

turcopolier

stephanie

I retract the last sentence. pl

blowback
What's the point of having a Secretary of State in your cabinet that you never agree with?

To show that you value independence of mind and that you aren't surrounded by sycophants. Tillerson is a person who clearly speaks his mind and works in a role (SoS) where the president has the most impact because he decides what the foreign policy of the United States is, a fact seemingly forgotten by the self-identifying liberals/left/progressives and others who oppose him. Congress only gets a say when they're asked to ratify treaties.

So, we're led to believe that Trump and Tillerson don't see eye to eye, but how can anybody be sure of that, and Trump seems pretty happy with what is going on around except for the Russia nonsense, and if he's confidant that nobody around him did anything wrong there, it's a perfect topic to distract people with, particularly the self-identifying liberals/left/progressives who can't get enough of it.

BTW, The Guardian just had an article where the author of the report on alleged collusion between Trump and the Kremlin, Christopher Steele, admits that up to almost a third is made up though that is not The Guardian's headline:

Christopher Steele believes his dossier on Trump-Russia is 70-90% accurate

Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who compiled an explosive dossier of allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, believes it to be 70% to 90% accurate, according to a new book on the covert Russian intervention in the 2016 US election.

The book, Collusion: How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win, by the Guardian journalist Luke Harding, quotes Steele as telling friends that he believes his reports – based on sources cultivated over three decades of intelligence work – will be vindicated as the US special counsel investigation digs deeper into contacts between Trump, his associates and Moscow.

“I’ve been dealing with this country for 30 years. Why would I invent this stuff?” Steele is quoted as saying.

Well since he believes it to be "70% to 90% accurate", somebody obviously did "invent this stuff" and why shouldn't it be Christopher Steele? Perhaps he should now clarify which parts aren't accurate and until he does the report should be ignored. But of course it won't because of the moral turpitude of the western MSM and the Clintonists (aka self-identifying liberals/left/progressives.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/15/christopher-steele-trump-russia-dossier-accurate

aleksandar

Off topic, but maybe a glimpse on US today.
« But still: we don't know. We don't know what Washington was trying to do in Syria. We don't know whether all Washington was agreed on what it was trying to do in Syria. We don't know if any agency in Washington had a plan in Syria. We don't know who was making decisions in Washington then. We don't know who's making decisions in Washington now. We don't know whether there is any unified position in Washington on Syria. Or anything else. We don't know what Trump wants. We don't know what Trump can do. We don't know who's running the place. Or whether anyone is.
» We don't know. »
Patrick Armstrong, Strategic-Culture.org .

jsn

Agreed.

Any power should come with responsibilities and public, institutional checks to ensure the former serves the latter.

turcopolier

Paul

There is no "tradition" that prevents the president from firing the AG or anyone else in the Executive branch's serried ranks of poltical appointees. Civil servants and the military would be more difficult but it could be managed. If you want the Justice Departmentd to be like the Fed the Congress could do that. With regard to power and how it should be used you appear to agree with Robert E. Lee.
"The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman.

The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly--the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light

The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others." pl

Matthew

DJT's election made manifest what many long suspected. Lots of people in Washington view elections as small annoyances that interfere with the "adults" who are trying to run the country.

DJT's common sense on Russia exposed how little "service" the bureaucrats are actually providing to the country. The Turf-Protectors will literally risk a nuclear holocaust to protect their fiefdoms. Yes, they are "serious people" indeed.

If DJT accomplishes nothing else, engendering enormous skepticism of Establishment is a profoundly positive contribution to American life.

Stephanie

mikee,

I don't know of any previous examples of a president's subordinates so concerned about their boss' judgment and abilities that they fear to leave him alone at the helm of state, barring some physical illness or other such incapacity. If you can point to one, I would welcome the information.

Trump's public behavior is often childish - he pouts, he throws tantrums, he calls people names. If anything, I was probably unfair to the nation's toddlers. I think it's a fair cop, but if it offends you I have no problem withdrawing it.

Stephanie

Col.,

I don't think the observation was out of line. Reports of Trump's taste for conflict and disorder, with the attendant stress on the White House, are widespread. If it were not so, he would probably have had greater success in his apparent desire to cancel out, in effect, the initiatives of the previous administration.

I generally come here for instruction and as a place where you can talk about the WBS without people comparing Jefferson Davis to Hitler. You do get called names from time to time, but the internet ain't beanbag.

turcopolier

Stephanie

I sm unaware of being called names on the internet. Examples? pl

The Porkchop Express

Spiteful drives a good deal of politics in the US--and around the world. Human condition.

TV

"I assume that most people commenting here would not like to see a Department of Justice entirely subservient to, say, a President Hillary Clinton."
They were - and apparently still are - subservient to Obama and the Democrats.
The Department of "Justice" and the FBI (Famous But Incompetent) have become the politicized defenders of the ruling "establishment."
One set of laws for them, another for America (the rest of us).
We are not governed....we are ruled.

turcopolier

TV et al

It appeared to me that Obama sent Holder to Ferguson to find enough "evidence" to force the City government into a consent agreement. This, in spite of a lack of evidence to support charges against the cop. pl

Richard

Opposing views are very welcome if and only if they are well thought-out and argued. If I want to read formulaic groupthink opinion posts about a "toddler-in-chief", I go to Buzzfeed or similar outlets.

Richard

How would you establish and run a Justice *Department*, i.e a part of the executive, that is independent of the executive?

dilbert dogbert

Small Government?
I have pondered this and think we have to return to the America of the time of the writers of the constitution. Small farmers and small single owner businesses or partnerships. No corporations. No large differences in wealth and incomes. Low population density and few large cities. Maybe an America limited to east of the Appalachian Mountains. Maybe an America of sovereign states.

Babak Makkinejad

A horrible fantasy.

mikee

jamesL It is not working out. Only people of honor and integrity can make this work. They are in short supply.

ked

It takes awhile on an imperfect path to disassemble the Imperial / Unitary Presidency. Sometimes one’s ox is gored... sometimes one’s adversaries take the hit. Tough hit. Power concentrated and manufactured in the Executive Branch and Office of the Pres is an engine of the Borg. If you want to decrease its influence, you must do so at its source, regardless of who occupies the WH. It took a long time to build it, it will take awhile to shrink our over-concentrated, over-institutionalized power. So, I wouldn’t over-personalize or over-politicize what’s happening... that’s a micro view of the shift to correct our damaged social contract.
I like libertarianism as an idea that illuminates the centrality of the individual human soul in political terms - the individual human’s rights in tension with the power of the infinite, or collective. It’s a touchstone for ideas like freedom and responsibility. But that’s about it ... it is a weak foundation for organizing collective action. A tool, but not a viable system of governance.

Bandit

Brilliant! Thanks for a good laugh this morning.

dilbert dogbert

Here is a little wiki history:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismissal_of_U.S._attorneys_controversy
This will save you the trouble of going to wiki:
:By tradition, U.S. Attorneys are replaced only at the start of a new White House administration. U.S. Attorneys hold a "political" office, and therefore they are considered to "serve at the pleasure of the President." At the beginning of a new presidential administration, it is traditional for all 93 U.S. Attorneys to submit a letter of resignation."

Matt

The right-wing pays lip service to the Constitution but what they really worship is the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution made the Federal Government considerably stronger and more flexible in dealing with crisis when there are competent people in place. Unlike the present situation.

Earthrise

Dear Host,
Sorry for the OT. Do you now agree that the decision to leave Idlib after the liberation of Aleppo was correct?

Barbara Ann

An excellent post Colonel. I wholeheartedly agree with yourself & Mr. Jefferson re the desirable scale of government. We do not all choose to live like a hermit by a pond, so government at some scale is necessary, if only to prevent bellum omnium contra omnes.

All forms of government tend towards tyranny over time. Government attracts the power-hungry and Robert E. Lee’s gentlemen are in short supply as presidential candidates (Major Gabbard appears to be a notable exception, if the definition is widened to include women). The Framers understood this well and an attitude towards government as something of a necessary evil is a healthy one. Freedoms are those things the people manage to wrestle from their government. Not, as many on the Left seem to believe, things a benign State bestows upon the governed.

Many Trump voters seem to have believed Trump's promise that he would "drain the swamp". But replacing institutional swamp creatures with your own is a far cry from that. IMO, if Trump truly wants to MAGA he will root out the seditionists mercilessly and reform or abolish the corrupted institutions which shelter them. I cannot, for example, see how a CIA heavily implicated in the attempted putsch, is "necessary" for good governance.

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