Bill Barr haltingly admits campaigns offered stolen dirt by foreign enemies should maybe call FBI

I’m currently very pleased with Mazie Hirono. Note to legislators: don’t assume that women are going to take being dissed lightly.
“If you get captured, don’t let them give you to the women.”


As Barr helped pardon the Iran contra conspirators and took the AG job knowing full well that this shit is what he was being hired for, my guess is that this is just who he is.
And yes, he has to go


Barr is and always has been openly supportive of an “imperial presidency,” at least when Repubs are in the office. Notably silent on the matter when Dems are, though. Funny how that works. Also Chris Hayes on MSNBC has been doing a sort-of running gag on 1990’s Lindsey Graham vs. 2019 Lindsey Graham in regards to what qualifies as “impeachment level offenses.” He has a rather different set of standards for Clinton vs. Trump. I would love to see someone present him with his own statements and ask him to explain. That’s probably why you will only see him on Fox.


There, I fixed it for you.


Just a reminder: when Al Gore’s campaign was faced with a similar quandary (they were given a stolen copy of George W. Bush’s debate prep notebook) they immediately contacted the FBI instead of using the material. And that wasn’t even a crime involving foreign adversaries.

So screw anybody who claims this is the kind of thing any campaign would do when given the chance.


I heard some people talk about this recently. One of the considerations was that they really didn’t know if it was an actual debate prep notebook or if it was some kind of trap. It could have been made intentionally to mislead them, it could be political opponents trying to make them look bad by revealing that they were willing to be underhanded. They thought that people who stole things might also be untrustworthy.

So when Al Gore’s team was offered an opportunity to use something stolen, they got nervous. The idea of stealing and breaking the rules made feel worried. People who don’t have that instinct should be kept away from positions of power as much as possible.


There’s also a huge distinction between them.

Al Gore wasn’t an accomplice to the theft of the notebook.


Nor did Gore go on live TV saying how much he loved notebook thieves and how great it would be if they brought him more stuff.


That gets to the core of the matter: the intent to mislead. This is what we should be mad about, not the means by which they did this. People who try to mislead you are bad and we should crack down on them directly, not on the various techniques they employ in their deception.

It’s true that one can mislead with the truth through selective manipulation of timing, context, etc. But the fix for that is not discouraging exposure of selective truths to the public, it’s putting even more information and tools in the hands of the public so we have the power to make smart evaluations.


The intent to mislead here is inextricably linked to the means by which it was done. I feel like this is beating a dead horse at this point, but do you genuinely not recognize any difference between things like leaks or whistle blowing and foreign espionage providing damaging information regarding one candidate to benefit another?

Indeed, and one of the most important tools the public should have is being able to understand how a hostile foreign intelligence service committed espionage to benefit a particular candidate for President. That’s relatively important information, no?


How do you differentiate that from the DNC using both Ukrainian and Russian espionage to benefit their candidate and damage their opponent? Either both should be an equal cause of concern, or neither.

“when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.”
-Isaac Asimov
from The Relativity of Wrong


That’s a nice quote, but some modicum of explanation as to why I’m wrong would have been more to the point. Again: why is expressing a willingness to hear out information from the Russian government a subject of grave national concern, but paying an apparently unscrupulous foreign espionage agent to gather information from the Russian government par for the course?

OK a modicum of explanation.
Fusion GPS was hired on behalf of Clinton’s campaign to dig up dirt on Trump, and used a former British intelligence officer to contact Russian agents in that pursuit. The most lurid thing they found was the pee tape story, which the DNC chose not to release because they thought that would be an improper way to influence the election. On the other hand, Russia conducted a massive coordinated attack to illegally gain and disseminate both real and fictional info damaging to Clinton while Trump helped them systematically lie about and cover up where that info was coming from.

The Asimov quote was a response to:


Because it was private information belonging to American citizens which was stolen by a hostile foreign government, for starters. It was basically the equivalent of the Nixon Watergate break-in, except conducted by Russian agents. Sure, no biggie.


"BARR: “I’m not in the business of determining when lies are told to the American people. I’m in the business of determining when a crime has been committed.”

That is about as damning a statement from a career justice official as I can imagine.

In context it might literally be true technically but there is just no way that looks honest.

This sack of festering lard is the United States Attorney General?

There really are no standards for decency when some people are in office.

Christ what a feckless asshole


I accidentally started both these vids at more or less the same time. The effect is surealistic horror. Really, give it a try!

When I think of my father [long gone], who fought the Nazis and won, this image comes to mind, and that’s what he’d want us to do to tRumps losers.



well, to be fair it was originally hired by a conservative group. after trump became the nominee the clinton campaign agreed to pick up the tab to continue what was started.

i haven’t heard they broke any laws doing the research.

did trump pay the gsr when they broke the law and hacked clinton’s emails? [ edit: it’s bad enough they took the info, wanted more, and encouraged them publicly to do so ] but god i hope there’s a paper trail.