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Special Counsel Bob Mueller Convenes D.C. Grand Jury

Trump Russia

The investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign and its contacts with and connection to Russian officials entered a new phase yesterday with the report that special counsel Robert Mueller had convened a Grand Jury in Washington, D.C., and that his investigation was reported to be looking into areas that President Trump had previously identified as so-called “red lines” that Mueller shouldn’t cross:

WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s presidential election, has issued subpoenas from a Washington-based grand jury in recent weeks, according to several lawyers involved in the case.

At least some of the subpoenas were for documents related to the business dealings of Michael T. Flynn, the retired general who briefly served as President Trump’s national security adviser. Mr. Flynn is under investigation for foreign lobbying work, as well as for conversations he had during the transition with Sergey I. Kislyak, who was Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Mueller’s team is broadly investigating whether any Trump associates colluded with the Russian government in its attempts to disrupt the election. It is unclear whether the subpoenas issued in recent weeks relate to other members of Mr. Trump’s campaign who have been a focus of the Mueller investigation, including Paul J. Manafort, the former campaign chairman.

A grand jury based in Alexandria, Va., began issuing subpoenas in the Flynn case months ago. Mr. Mueller took over the investigation in May and assembled a team of prosecutors in an office in downtown Washington. Mr. Mueller has not impaneled a special grand jury, the lawyers involved in the case said, and has decided instead to use one of several grand juries that regularly sit in Washington.

Ty Cobb, special counsel to the president, said that he was not aware that Mr. Mueller had started using a new grand jury. “Grand jury matters are typically secret,” Mr. Cobb said. “The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly.”

He added, “The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported Mr. Mueller’s use of the grand jury in Washington.

Brandon Van Grack, a former Alexandria prosecutor now working for Mr. Mueller, signed the subpoenas and has been leading the investigation into Mr. Flynn. Those who described the subpoenas did so on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the case.

Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that the Grand Jury has issued subpoenas in connection with the meeting that took place in June 2016 between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and then campaign manager Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer purported to have ties to the Russian Government. As has been reported, that meeting was initially sold to Trump Jr. with the idea that the lawyer would have information damaging to Hillary Clinton, but when the meeting was first revealed it was dismissed as being about the issue of adoptions of Russian children by Americans in a statement we now know the President was personally involved in drafting that initial, and completely deceptive, White House response. Perhaps more significantly, CNN is reporting that the Mueller Grand Jury is also looking into Trump’s finances:

Federal investigators exploring whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian spies have seized on Trump and his associates’ financial ties to Russia as one of the most fertile avenues for moving their probe forward, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The web of financial ties could offer a more concrete path toward potential prosecution than the broader and murkier questions of collusion in the 2016 campaign, these sources said.

One year after the FBI opened an investigation, the probe is now managed by special counsel Robert Mueller. Sources described an investigation that has widened to focus on possible financial crimes, some unconnected to the 2016 elections, alongside the ongoing scrutiny of possible illegal coordination with Russian spy agencies and alleged attempts by President Donald Trump and others to obstruct the FBI investigation. Even investigative leads that have nothing to do with Russia but involve Trump associates are being referred to the special counsel to encourage subjects of the investigation to cooperate, according to two law enforcement sources.

The increased financial focus hasn’t gone unnoticed by Trump, who warned Mueller, via an interview with The New York Times, that his financial dealings were a red line that investigators shouldn’t cross. But the order establishing the special counsel makes clear Mueller is authorized to investigate any matters that “arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

In response to this CNN story, the President’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, said, “President’s outside counsel has not received any requests for documentation or information about this. Any inquiry from the special counsel that goes beyond the mandate specified in the appointment we would object to.”

In 2015, the FBI began investigating cyber breaches targeting US political organizations, including the Democratic National Committee.

In the summer of 2016, US intelligence agencies noticed a spate of curious contacts between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian intelligence, according to current and former US officials briefed on the investigation. James Comey, in his Senate testimony, said the FBI opened an investigation into Trump campaign-Russia connections in July 2016. The strands of the two investigations began to merge.

In the months that followed, investigators turned up intercepted communications appearing to show efforts by Russian operatives to coordinate with Trump associates on damaging Hillary Clinton’s election prospects, officials said. CNN has learned those communications included references to campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

In response to this CNN story, the President’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, said, “President’s outside counsel has not received any requests for documentation or information about this. Any inquiry from the special counsel that goes beyond the mandate specified in the appointment we would object to.”
In 2015, the FBI began investigating cyber breaches targeting US political organizations, including the Democratic National Committee.

In the summer of 2016, US intelligence agencies noticed a spate of curious contacts between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian intelligence, according to current and former US officials briefed on the investigation. James Comey, in his Senate testimony, said the FBI opened an investigation into Trump campaign-Russia connections in July 2016. The strands of the two investigations began to merge.

In the months that followed, investigators turned up intercepted communications appearing to show efforts by Russian operatives to coordinate with Trump associates on damaging Hillary Clinton’s election prospects, officials said. CNN has learned those communications included references to campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

A year later, the FBI is reviewing financial records related to the Trump Organization, as well as Trump, his family members, including Donald Trump Jr., and campaign associates. They’ve combed through the list of shell companies and buyers of Trump-branded real estate properties and scrutinized the roster of tenants at Trump Tower reaching back more than a half-dozen years. They’ve looked at the backgrounds of Russian business associates connected to Trump surrounding the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. CNN could not determine whether the review has included his tax returns.

n recent weeks, investigators have also started looking into the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower and how the White House responded to news of that meeting. The session included Trump Jr., Manafort, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and a Russian attorney.

Trump has denied any collusion and maintains that his business empire has “no involvement with Russia” and that he has “no loans, no nothing” from Russia. His lawyers have detailed a few exceptions, including the Miss Universe pageant he held in Moscow and the Florida mansion he sold to a Russian oligarch in 2008. Trump earned more than $100 million from those deals, according to his lawyers.

“This is like any investigation,” says one person briefed on the probe. “You start at the core and then move to the periphery. You have to explore the finances. Where this is going is no different from any investigation.”

(…)

The possible financial ties between Trump and Russia were part of the concerns for US intelligence and law enforcement officials from the beginning, according to one current law enforcement official and one former US intelligence official.

Over the decades, the Trump real estate business and its financial dealings have come under scrutiny by the FBI and the Justice Department multiple times.

In some cases, the FBI was pursuing others who did business with the Trump organization, including alleged mobsters who controlled key contractors used by many real estate developers in New York during the 1980s. The flow of Russian money in real estate — and concerns that some buyers were making the purchases to illegally launder money — had also drawn some attention by US authorities to the Trump business.

The international real estate business is a part of the global economy where foreigners can still use cash with fewer questions asked about the sources of money. Terrorism financing concerns long ago put more stringent rules on banking and other businesses. But the rules are looser in the business of buying and selling high-end real estate, US officials say.

Investigators are looking both at whether financial laws were broken and whether there are any dealings that could put the President or his associates in a compromising position.

As a preliminary matter, it ought to be noted that the convening of a Grand Jury does not mean that indictments are near or that we are anywhere near the end of the investigation. In fact, what one could really say is that this news is a strong indication that we’ve reached what could be called ‘the end of the beginning” in that Mueller and his team have likely completed the task of gathering the preliminary information they are able to obtain regarding all the relevant aspects of this story, that they’ve identified one or more central areas that they wish to focus on for now, and that they’re ready to move into a new stage of the investigation. It’s also possible that they’ve identified people who could become targets of the investigation, persons of interest who could become targets, and witnesses that would be needed for various purposes ranging from answering the ‘who, what, where, when, and how’ of the events that occurred to authenticating and identifying the documents that important to the investigation. Eventually, many if not all of these people will likely be interviewed by investigators and may be summoned to appear before the Grand Jury itself to answer questions in an effort to preserve their testimony and, in some cases, to lock them in by putting them under oath, meaning that they could potentially face perjury charges if they testify differently in another forum. For the time being, though, it appears that the main purpose of both this Washington, D.C. Grand Jury is to allow Mueller and his team to issue subpoenas to third parties. This could include anyone from business contacts to banks to people who have done business with Trump and people close to him. This part of the process is likely to take months at the very least and could include pushing back from those third parties and from Trump’s own legal team, who could seek to quash certain subpoenas in an effort to keep Mueller from opening that can of worms. Given the scope of Mueller’s mandate, though, it’s unlikely that they would be very successful in that effort.

The biggest question that these reports raise, of course, is what kind of reaction this might garner from the President himself. As previously noted, Trump has made clear that he would consider Mueller’s expanding his investigation to include Trump’s finances or the finances of his business empire to be a red line. In fact, it’s been this very prospect that has led to the not too subtle hints from Trump that he could consider trying to dismiss Mueller if he started going too far, a prospect that has been denounced by Democrats and Republicans, as has Trump’s simultaneous efforts to undermine his own Attorney General. In that regard, The Washington Post is reporting that Senators from both sides of the political aisle, including Lindsey Graham, Chris Coons, Cory Booker, and Thom Tillis, are working on legislation that would seek to protect Mueller in the event that Trump tried to remove him by requiring judicial review of any attempt to remove him. Right now, though, that legislation hasn’t even been written yet, never mind voted on, and it’s unclear just how much of a limitation Congress can place on a President trying to remove a special counsel appointed by his own Justice Department. More important, perhaps, is the fact that the empaneling of a Grand Jury makes it much harder for Trump to try to act to remove Mueller due to the fact that any such effort now is likely to be interpreted as yet another effort to obstruct justice.

So far at least, Trump has been silent about this news on his Twitter feed. Instead, his tweets so far this morning have been focused on a rally he held last night in West Virginia and this morning’s July Jobs Report. With the President headed off to New Jersey at the end of the day for an extended stay that will last three weeks due mainly to the fact that the West Wing will be undergoing extensive renovations of the HVAC system as well as other needed repairs and upgrades, though, it’s likely that he’ll have more than enough free time on his hands to find something to say about it. In the meantime, though, Trump did continue to denounce the investigation as “fake news” during his rally last night:

Donald Trump has sought to rally thousands of diehard supporters against the investigation into his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia – on the same day news emerged that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has convened a grand jury in the case.

“They’re trying to cheat you out of the leadership that you want with a fake story,” Trump told a rally in Huntington, West Virginia.

(…)

The concerted effort could be a sign that the White House is realising the full gravity of the situation. Mueller, appointed special counsel in May following the dismissal of the former FBI director James Comey, has recruited more than a dozen investigators, including current and former justice department prosecutors with experience in international bribery, organised crime and financial fraud.

In what might be seen as a bid to weaponise his populist base, Trump told the crowd in Huntington, a coal country stronghold where he beat Hillary Clinton by 42 percentage points: “Most people know there were no Russians in our campaign; there never were. We didn’t win because of Russia. We won because of you.”

The crowd, many with “Make America great again” hats or signs, erupted in vociferous cheers. Trump continued: “We won because we totally outworked the other side. We won because of millions of patriotic Americans voted to take back their country.”

The president asked mockingly: “Have you seen any Russians in West Virginia or Ohio or Pennsylvania? Are there any Russians here tonight, any Russians? They can’t beat us at the voting booths so they’re trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want. They’re trying to cheat you out of the leadership that you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us and most importantly demeaning to our country and demeaning to our constitution.”

This will likely be the position that Trump, his supporters in the media ranging from Fox News and Breitbart to conservatives online who still seem fine with making common cause with this President in the days or weeks to come. Despite this push back, though, Mueller seems intent on moving forward with his investigation undaunted. Where it heads from here is anyone’s guess.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Argon says:

    Let the Hunger Games begin!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. al-Alameda says:

    Great move by Mueller.
    All of a sudden firing Mueller becomes a lot more ‘problematic’ to say the least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  3. JKB says:

    As a preliminary matter, it ought to be noted that the convening of a Grand Jury does not mean that indictments are near or that we are anywhere near the end of the investigation.

    In this case, it doesn’t even mean that Mueller is able to articulate a reasonable suspicion of a violation of the law. They have their man and now they are looking for a crime.

    But trying to “get” Trump on trumped-up charges is unlikely to end well for the politicals. Amusing, the word play there. The DC denizens aren’t doing the groundwork and a removal of Trump without it will only result in the federal government unable to operate outside, ironically the secessionist sanctuary cities, except in force. And do they really want the rank and file to give serious review to what it means to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic?

    There was the hue and cry over the “lock her up” chant and Trump’s statements on prosecution in regards to jailing a political opponent, but now the ‘Deep State’ is seeking some reason, any reason to lock up the winner. Credibility is not being retained by the political class.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 41

  4. de stijl says:

    Mueller is covfefing a grand jury.

    Mind your verbs!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. Bob@Younsgtown says:

    Regarding the scope of Mueller’s investigation:

    Mueller doesn’t know what he doesn’t yet know.

    It seems to me to be appropriate to investigate ALL connections (financial and otherwise) to determine IF something is within the scope of the inquiry.

    It would seem irresponsible to not investigate everything before deciding what is pertinent and what is not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  6. al-Alameda says:

    @JKB:

    In this case, it doesn’t even mean that Mueller is able to articulate a reasonable suspicion of a violation of the law. They have their man and now they are looking for a crime.

    Gee, I don’t think that Mueller (a Republican) is as motivated to ‘get Trump’ as Starr was to ‘get Clinton,’ do you?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  7. teve tory says:

    Fox News’s ratings are down. MSNBC beats them routinely now. Why? 1) They have little fresh content of the GRRR! Hillary! Obama! category, and 2) they avoid breaking political news which is negative on Trump, which is most breaking news.

    A post I saw on FB a minute ago:

    Bill Sweeney
    3 hrs ·
    @HITEXECUTIVE

    CNN: Grand Jury
    MSNBC: Grand Jury
    Travel Channel: Grand Jury
    TruTv: Grand Jury
    Fox: Does it take 18 months for twins to be born?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  8. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    So much winning…I love all this winning!!! Please, please, keep winning!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  9. de stijl says:

    @JKB:

    “secessionist sanctuary cities”

    Nice allitetation. Serious. Good turn.

    “They have their man and now they are looking for the crime.”

    Overplayed. Too clever.

    “…trumped-up charges…”

    Don’t.

    It’s cheap and eminently mockable. {Look, I’m dissing you right now with these words.} That was amateurish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  10. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:
    The one in which JKB defends treason.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  11. teve tory says:

    “They have their man and now they are looking for the crime.”

    Overplayed. Too clever.

    I’m pretty sure JKB’s describing the Whitewater investigation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  12. Tyrell says:

    Dwayne Johnson 2020 t-shirts are a hot item.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Off topic…another genius gun-owner…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/texas-armadillo-shooting_us_59838ae2e4b08b75dcc5f622?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009
    I’ve got nothing against guns…but we should keep stupid people from having guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  14. James Pearce says:

    @JKB:

    Credibility is not being retained by the political class.

    You support a guy who may be a Russian stooge in exchange for a tax cut\ACA repeal you’re not going to get. Why should anyone listen to you on the subject of “credibility?”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  15. Modulo Myself says:

    There’s probably not any legal defenses left for Trump. He’s almost certainly a) a conduit to launder money and b) a willing participant in a scheme to use stolen material (the DNC emails) to influence an election. There’s also the GOP, which was probably conspiring with the groups hacking into state voting systems. Their intention, I assume, was to use this material after Hillary Clinton won in order to go after her illegitimate victory due to non-white people vote fraud.

    What’s going to happen is the ‘But that was in another country, and besides the wench is dead’ defense. The 2016 election and the President will be inscrutable foreign places, like El Salvador or Nicaragua in the Cold War. What’s right and wrong anyway? Who can tell?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  16. SenyorDave says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: I’ve got nothing against guns…but we should keep stupid people from having guns.

    If it were just them I’d say its Darwin at work, but unfortunately most of their oops moments affect innocent people.

    I would like to shake that armadillo’s hand (or tail, I suppose). My hero for the day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. reid says:

    @JKB: Your partisan turdmanship doesn’t work here, haven’t you learned?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    You’re settling into your ‘lost cause’ and ‘we wuz robbed’ narrative. Good. It means you know Trump is in deep trouble, which is progress in your case.

    You will of course never be prepared to admit the truth which is that Trump was utterly incapable of doing the job, and that anyone with any sense at all could see it. You’ll need to find the self-pitying, self-justifying solution to the question, “WTF happened?” Your conclusion will inevitably be to blame elites and minorities. You will absolutely never admit that the problem is people like you.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  19. dmhlt says:

    @JKB:
    This only proves that you have absolutely NO idea how a federal grand jury works.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  20. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    They have their man and now they are looking for a crime.

    Dude, he’s already confessed — twice, publicly — to obstruction of justice. All that’s left is to find out what else he’s guilty of, that motivated him to obstruct.

    Do try to keep up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  21. Jen says:

    @JKB:

    In this case, it doesn’t even mean that Mueller is able to articulate a reasonable suspicion of a violation of the law.

    You might want to look a bit further into how grand juries work, and under what circumstances a prosecutor will decide to advance to that particular option.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  22. Terrye Cravens says:

    @JKB: The thing about Trump and his supporters that never changes is they can dish it out, but turn into a bunch of sniveling hypocrites when it comes to taking it. Trump put himself in this position. He has no one else to blame. Certainly not Mueller.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  23. de stijl says:

    @Jen:

    JKB’s role here is to deflect. He failed.

    Then whataboutism. Then tu quoque.

    He actually had a decent first gambit. Well, kinda. Nice alliteration, anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  24. Mikey says:

    Only a Trumpist could put Robert Mueller–a man of unquestionable integrity, probably the best Director in the FBI’s 109-year history–up against Donald Trump, a man who lies as easily as he breathes, and choose to believe the latter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  25. Todd says:

    Living in Texas I kind of understand attitudes like JKB’s …. it’s literally all about where they choose to get their “news”. Last weekend I was hanging out around the pool in one of my neighbor’s backyards with a few other friends of theirs. This guy (and his friends) are not unintelligent, or unaccomplished … the neighbor whose house I was at is a retired military officer who currently works in healthcare. I like hanging out and drinking beers with him … unless and until the topic turns to politics, at which point I usually just keep quiet and listen.

    In the course of discussing world affairs two of the guys seemed to genuinely think that dealing with Iran and North Korea should be fairly simple … we just need to nuke em. They were not being facetious, and when I did try to object that “it would be just a bit (sarcasm) more complicated than that”, they simply nodded “well sure, but still … ”

    Then as it relates to this investigation, their take on it was that we (meaning they) haven’t really been hearing as much about Trump/Russia lately. To them this could only mean one thing: Mueller’s team had clearly found some dirt on Hillary Clinton and the Democrats and was now looking for the best way to bury it.

    If this was just an isolated incident I could try to blow it off and say that maybe my neighbor is a little crazy. However, over the years I can point to numerous people that I have known to be bright, articulate individuals who are now absolutely obsessed, almost to the point of derangement, with politics from a right-wing point of view. I have come to (silently) refer to the phenomena as “this is your brain on Breitbart.”

    p.s. there is a corollary on the left, but outside of hardcore Bernie Sanders/Jill Stein supporters there doesn’t appear to be quite as much willingness/stubbornness when it comes to accepting and arguing about things that are fairly easily shown to be untrue. In other words, liberals are just as susceptible to believing in partisan “facts”, but generally speaking are more open to changing their minds when presented with compelling contrary evidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  26. Mikey says:

    @Todd:

    If this was just an isolated incident I could try to blow it off and say that maybe my neighbor is a little crazy. However, over the years I can point to numerous people that I have known to be bright, articulate individuals who are now absolutely obsessed, almost to the point of derangement, with politics from a right-wing point of view.

    This mystifies me a bit, too. I mean, it’s easy to say “Trump supporters are stupid” but a lot of them really aren’t. I know several people–people I’ve known for many years, who I know are far from stupid, and who are educated and accomplished and successful–but who are also hard-right and Trump supporters. And honestly I don’t get it sometimes. How do they rationalize away the demonstrated incompetence and constant string of verifiable lies? How do they not see the enormous damage Trump is doing to America’s standing in the world, and if they see it, how do they square it with their own patriotism?

    There must be a way to break through the wall that separates their intellects from whatever part of their minds Trump occupies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  27. Modulo Myself says:

    @Todd: @Mikey:

    I’m sure in 1963 there were hordes of educated successful white people who had similar solutions for Dr. King and the civil rights movement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. Todd says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    hordes of educated successful white people ….

    What’s interesting about the situation I described above is that my wife is dark skinned of Panamanian/Puerto Rican descent. She’s been very good friends with these neighbors (despite also not sharing their political views) for much longer than I’ve even known them.

    I readily admit that the vast majority of Trump supporters are white, and often quite open and overt with their racism. But it certainly doesn’t apply across the board, and in many cases (at least in my personal experience) isn’t even a primary driving factor in shaping their views.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  29. CSK says:

    @Todd:
    @Mikey:

    Do the people you speak of actually adore Trump, the way some of his fans at places like Lucianne.com do, or is it more a case of “Well, he’s appalling, but at least he’s not Hillary Clinton”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Todd: I remember a story from my graduate school days. The school was in Kittitas County in Washington State. Ironically, my dad grew up there and many people knew my grandfather–particularly people in Roslyn (famous a few years back as the location for filming Cicily, AK, of “Northern Exposure” fame). I was up in Roslyn substitute teaching one day and we were having a discussion related to racism. The residents were trying to make the point that, while they didn’t wish to argue whether people there could hold racist views, it would be very hard to practice racism there because the entire population is white, there simply are no blacks or minorities and never have been any.

    I asked about a particular family by name who happen to actually be black and they responded “well, they’re not black they’ve lived here for 4 or 5 generations.”

    I expect that your friends think the same way about your wife and other minority people that they may know. It’s not about “colored” it’s about being “those people.” Malcolm X told a similar story about a black man that he knew who would put on a turban and claim to be a Nigerian tourist when he wanted to be seated at a segregated restaurant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. Mister Bluster says:

    @DrDaveT:..he’s already confessed — twice, publicly — to obstruction of justice.

    Republican President Pork Chop Pud has also confessed that he is an active sexual molester of women. He is obviously proud of it.
    Just like JKB is proud of his support for this pervert.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Joe says:

    @Todd:

    There is one brand of Trump supporter I come across regularly. This is not their explanation, but my evaluation: they believe supporting Trump is a small price to pay for not having Hillary. They have no problem looking at the current chaos in the White House and, while not condoning or liking it, believing that the Trump administration has a far better chance of transmitting democracy to the next generation that Hillary Clinton ever could. You may laugh at this notion, but for those with Clinton derangement syndrome, literally installing Putin in the White House for a term or two would have been a better path forward than a Clinton administration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  33. Tyrell says:

    Kid Rock running for US Senate !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  34. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    @Mikey: Only a Trumpist could put Robert Mueller–a man of unquestionable integrity, probably the best Director in the FBI’s 109-year history.

    It’s a good thing Mueller has such “unquestionable integrity,” because he sure needs every bit of it to overcome the stench of all the irregularities his investigation has demonstrated so far. Here are a few examples:

    1) Special counsels are supposed to be as objective as possible. Mueller has a very lengthy and very close relationship (both personal and professional) with James Comey, a key figure in the matter. It’s even more complicated by Comey having publicly admitted to having broken the law in regards to several of his leaks while Comey was FBI Director.

    2) The people hired by the Counsel should also be as objective as possible. Thus far, a very large percentage of Mueller’s hires have thoroughly-burnished Democratic credentials, including one lawyer who previously worked for the Clinton Foundation.

    3) The actions of the Special Counsel are supposed to be kept as confidential as possible during the investigatory stage. So far, barely a day goes by without another “leaked” story.

    My word, if it was anyone else besides Mueller and his “unquestionable integrity,” any one of these would be grounds for demanding the Counsel resign in disgrace. God certainly graced us when he gave us this Titan among men, this paragon of divine virtue, this saint incarnate.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 15

  35. al-Alameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    Kid Rock running for US Senate !

    The bar is set damned low these days, so why not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. Todd says:

    @Joe: This will not come as a surprise to the regular commenters here, but I remain of the opinion that the Democrat’s nomination of Hillary Clinton was a huge factor in Donald Trump being elected President. Without an opposing nominee as unpopular as Clinton was (and still is), the idea of Trump actually being elected would very likely have remained as implausible as it still seemed to be for most of the summer and fall.

    Note: I’m not talking about Sanders either. If Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or another “top tier” candidate had entered the primary race in early 2015, Bernie Sanders would still just be an obscure socialist from Vermont. While trying not to sound like a conspiracy theorist myself (I voted for Clinton in the general election), I think a case can be made that whatever promises were given to Hillary Clinton in the aftermath of the 2008 primary campaign contributed to laying the groundwork for Donald Trump’s election 8 years later.

    …. and even if Donald Trump does end up leaving office in disgrace, quite a bit of long-term damage (from a center left perspective) has already been done (and will continue) just in the area of judicial appointments.

    p.s. back during the campaign, I never argued that Hillary Clinton was a “bad” person, or even that her unpopularity was necessarily “fair”. Just that her unpopularity was an undeniable fact; one that Democrats would (and did) ignore at their own peril.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. teve tory says:

    @Tyrell:

    Kid Rock running for US Senate !

    yeah we discussed the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of that like 10 days ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. Todd says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier:

    God certainly graced us when he gave us this Titan among men, this paragon of divine virtue, this saint incarnate.

    Wait, what?

    lol, what’s sad is that I can never quite tell for sure if these type of commenters are serious, or just trying to take the piss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. Tyrell says:

    @al-Alameda: I personally am hoping Shelton decides to jump in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  40. Todd says:

    @Mikey:

    There must be a way to break through the wall that separates their intellects from whatever part of their minds Trump occupies.

    Sadly, I think it’s not likely.

    The right wing invested 30+ years convincing a significant segment of the population that mainstream sources of information were “biased” and could therefore not be trusted. It’s now paying dividends. For at least 1/3 (and maybe more) of the people in our country, “truth” is whatever the Sean Hannity’s, Matt Drudge’s and Rush Limbaugh’s of the world tell them it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  41. teve tory says:

    p.s. back during the campaign, I never argued that Hillary Clinton was a “bad” person, or even that her unpopularity was necessarily “fair”. Just that her unpopularity was an undeniable fact; one that Democrats would (and did) ignore at their own peril.

    30 years of angry idiots lying about her, combined with sexism and insecure anti-intellectualism, has created a situation where low info people (like many relatives of mine) are utterly convinced she’s similar to Stalin except distinctly worse. When analysis of her life and her campaign statements show that if anything, she’s a little more honest and trustworthy than the average politician. It’s not fair, but it’s reality. But she was so obviously overqualified that there was a collective action problem such that it would have been nearly impossible for her not to win the nomination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  42. Todd says:

    @teve tory:

    a situation where low info people

    See that was part of the problem … the accusation that anybody who opposed Clinton was somehow ignorant. It was a turnoff to a lot of people who didn’t like Donald Trump either. Most everything said about the attacks on Hillary Clinton over her time in the public eye were pretty much true. But in addition to that, the major problems that truly helped sink her 2016 campaign were mostly self inflicted wounds. The email “scandal” (the fact that she set up the server in the first place), and more importantly, the way she responded to it, were indicative of really bad political judgement.

    Some of the negative response to Hillary Clinton certainly was the result of the misogynistic tendencies in our society. But for a significant chunk of people it was also resentment to being told that if they didn’t support her it was ONLY due to misogyny.

    When Hillary Clinton’s book comes out, it will be interesting to see how much (if any) responsibility she accepts for her own failures … or whether it’s just another rant about all the outside forces that kept her from assuming the position she “rightly deserved”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  43. teve tory says:

    “See that was part of the problem … the accusation that anybody who opposed Clinton was somehow ignorant.”

    Except I never said that. I said low-info people hate Hillary. If I was being more careful and precise I would have said “lots of low-info people hate hillary”. You can never attach all the appropriate conditionals and caveats. But in no way does that imply the converse (“people who hate Hillary are low-info”).

    I live in the deep south. Over the last 30 years I’ve lived in NC, North FL, South GA, and TX, and most of my relatives are from rural Kentucky. In my experience, approximately 112% of the Hillary haters I’ve met have been nimrods who get their info from Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Natural News, CBN, The Power Hour,and various and sundry other Genesis Communications Network shows. Low-info they are, and low-info they will remain. There are other people who hate hillary, I’m sure, some of whom are quite educated. But the educated people I’ve run into over the years are nothing like the Hillary Haters I’ve known.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  44. Kari Q says:

    @Mikey:

    I know several people–people I’ve known for many years, who I know are far from stupid, and who are educated and accomplished and successful–but who are also hard-right and Trump supporters. And honestly I don’t get it sometimes.

    I have a friend who I would describe in similar fashion. She is a big Trump supporter, not just a “at least he’s not Hillary” voter. She has also lost money in three separate scams in two years. I think this explains a great deal about her support for Trump.

    @Todd:

    lol, what’s sad is that I can never quite tell for sure if these type of commenters are serious,

    Pretty sure this is intended as a serious criticism of Mueller., since I’ve heard right-wingers criticize the investigation in similar terms. They’re sure, for example, that Comey

    publicly admitted to having broken the law in regards to several of his leaks while Comey was FBI Director

    because he shared unclassified memos that he wrote himself. They honestly seem unable to comprehend that a single individual is capable of writing both classified and unclassified memos, knowing the difference between them, and releasing only information that it is legal for them to share. They don’t understand that Mueller might hire someone without regard to their political affiliations, because he is building “a powerhouse team of experienced professionals with sterling credentials who rank among the best in their field.”

    They’re ability to ignore reality is awe inspiring, in a way. Disturbing, but truly exceptional.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  45. teve tory says:

    And just looking around locally, We’ve got Tyrell, Jack, JKB, Bob the Dorqbuster, Guarneri…

    is there an educated, intelligent soul among them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. Modulo Myself says:

    Some of the negative response to Hillary Clinton certainly was the result of the misogynistic tendencies in our society. But for a significant chunk of people it was also resentment to being told that if they didn’t support her it was ONLY due to misogyny.

    You’re right (in retrospect) that Clinton was the worst option. However, there’s such a sleazy degree of disingenuousness with Trump supporters that it’s tough to believe anything…the bottom line is that anyone voted for a guy who is tired of mincing words and PC and yet who is offended when it is implied that they have anything to do with the candidate they are voting for is a POS and a liar. Plain and simple. Trump voters have proven again and again that their ‘outrage’ or ‘offense’ is simply manipulation or personal weakness. Nobody was angry about being called deplorable. Or if they were angry, it was like an abusive dad who slaps his wife when she doesn’t do the dishes. These traits would have carried over to other candidates. I think Bernie might have won, but then again he might have lost. The people who voted for Trump rode an arc of hatred, from Birther nonsense to paranoia about Obamacare to plain paranoia about Obama. Those on the fringes were cool with this too, which says a lot. Because if you were okay knowing people who were birthers, you were just as bad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  47. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    @teve tory: 30 years of angry idiots lying about her, combined with sexism and insecure anti-intellectualism, has created a situation where low info people (like many relatives of mine) are utterly convinced she’s similar to Stalin except distinctly worse. When analysis of her life and her campaign statements show that if anything, she’s a little more honest and trustworthy than the average politician. It’s not fair, but it’s reality. But she was so obviously overqualified that there was a collective action problem such that it would have been nearly impossible for her not to win the nomination.

    So, what’s your secret to blotting out all of Hillary’s negatives? Hypnosis? Lobotomy? “Congenital dishonesty?”

    –Her singular and astonishingly profitable venture into cattle futures

    –The Clinton Foundation’s pay for play schemes

    –Her ever-evolving story (that’s diplomatic speak for “a never-ending series of lies that kept falling apart”) on her email server, including the destruction of tens of thousands of emails under subpoena

    –The number of her classified documents that ended up in the possession of huge security risk and scumbag Anthony Weiner

    –The rumors about her health, capped off by her collapse on 9/11 and the video of her getting tossed into an SUV like a sack of potatoes

    –Bill and Loretta Lynch’s airport roundezvous

    –Keeping John Podesta as her campaign chair after he had the distinction of being BOTH bought and hacked by Russia

    –Walden University: after the for-profit school hires Bill as “honorary chancellor” for $16 million, the school gets $55 million from Hillary’s State Department — quite a nice return on that investment.

    Hillary was so dishonest, so corrupt, and so incompetent that she lost to Donald Trump. Even with the DNC kneecapping Bernie Sanders on her behalf and her worshipers in the media trying to drag her semiconscious body across the finish line.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  48. Kari Q says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier:

    See, now this is classic. It’s got the whole deal: conspiracy theories, outright lies, hoaxes, selective half-truths, and fact-free accusations, all of which are supposed to, some how, add up to proof of something or other.

    Nicely done, if it was parody. Sadly, it is not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  49. Mikey says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier: Oh, please, just shut the fvck up. There’s so much utter fatuous idiotic bullshit in your comment that it would take far more time than it’s even remotely worth to correct it all.

    How can you even exist in a place so devoid of truth? It’s incredibly sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  50. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    @Kari Q: The only one that isn’t thoroughly documented is the health one, and I labeled that one a rumor. And someone had to counter teve’s tongue bath.

    @Mikey: No, you can feel free to “shut the fvck up.” You have every right to shove your head in the sand, shout “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” and pretend Hillary was this perfect flower who was so wrongly wronged, but you don’t have the right to demand everyone else pretend to buy into your delusion.

    To steal a line from someone whose name I won’t repeat, Trump may have been the worst man to ever run for president — but Hillary was the worst person to run.

    Here are just a few details on one of the things you insist NEVER HAPPENED: John Podesta got hacked because he was stupid enough to “CLICK HERE” on a phishing spam. And as far as Russia goes, here’s a little something from Forbes:

    The media’s focus on Trump’s Russian connections ignores the much more extensive and lucrative business relationships of top Democrats with Kremlin-associated oligarchs and companies. Thanks to the Panama Papers, we know that the Podesta Group (founded by John Podesta’s brother, Tony) lobbied for Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank. “Sberbank is the Kremlin, they don’t do anything major without Putin’s go-ahead, and they don’t tell him ‘no’ either,” explained a retired senior U.S. intelligence official. According to a Reuters report, Tony Podesta was “among the high-profile lobbyists registered to represent organizations backing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.” Among these was the European Center, which paid Podesta $900,000 for his lobbying.

    But I’ll stop here for now. I’ll save yet another huge scandal you all seem to want to ignore because it makes the Democrats look bad for another time. That’ll give you the time to look up the name “Imran Awan” and figure out how you can spin THAT one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  51. Matt says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier: Where’s the quid quo pro? Or is the crime just some Democrats making money legally?

    Imran Awan is irrelevant. AN attempt at turning the crimes of a few IT staffers into something else. Calling her an aid is outright a falsehood… Unless now every single person employed is considered and aid. Would a waitress/waiter at the establishment she eats at be considered an aid too? It’s silly and desperate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. Mikey says:

    @Matt:

    It’s silly and desperate.

    The President “Bob” and his ilk support is already an utter failure, and may well be on the way to impeachment. His own aides are dropping like flies as he flails about in a vain attempt to right a ship he has no idea whatsoever how to captain.

    Silly and desperate is all they’ve got left.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  53. Mikey says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier: More stupid and irrelevant whataboutism, a way in which you yourself put your head up your…er, I mean in the sand and ignore the reality that your President is not only an incompetent dud, but very likely the head of a campaign that coordinated with a hostile foreign power in an attempt to advance a mutual objective.

    No wonder you bring up the right’s worn-out and debunked lies about the Clintons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  54. Mister Bluster says:

    @Blunderbuss Bob (it’s not as long as you think it is):
    Republican President Pork Chop Pud the self confessed active molester of women and sexual pervert appreciates your support.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  55. teve tory says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier:

    See, now this is classic. It’s got the whole deal: conspiracy theories, outright lies, hoaxes, selective half-truths, and fact-free accusations, all of which are supposed to, some how, add up to proof of something or other.

    Nicely done, if it was parody. Sadly, it is not.

    It would be an improvement if Bob was merely low-info. Then, he could just learn a buncha stuff and form better opinions. It’s worse than his head being empty and just needing to be filled: it’s already jam-packed with dumb, dishonest garbage. Try dislodging that–it won’t happen. And he’s been convinced by his manipulators not to even listen to the people who can tell him it’s garbage. They’re automatically dismissed as Fake News, Liberals, etc. Bob is stuck in a hopeless position he’ll likely never escape.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  56. al-Ameda says:

    @Todd:

    p.s. back during the campaign, I never argued that Hillary Clinton was a “bad” person, or even that her unpopularity was necessarily “fair”. Just that her unpopularity was an undeniable fact; one that Democrats would (and did) ignore at their own peril.

    Indeed, Hillary ‘ran the table’: She won the popular vote by 3M people and lost the Electoral College to a candidate who was and is, arguably, the most appalling person to run for, and win the presidency in the past 117 years.

    But, you’re right, the Democratic Party is ossified at the top. Hillary (and the rest of us) paid a big price for the 25 years of opposition research into and vilification of, the Clintons. Finally, the 9 (? I’ve lost track) Republican investigations of Benghazi/email since 2011 did to her as Republicans intended, she was extremely damaged.

    I voted for Hillary because there was no alternative, and because I care about who the next 3 nominations to the Supreme Court are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  57. teve tory says:

    First the Fox News line was “There was no collusion.”

    Then the line became “So what if there was collusion, that’s just politics.”

    The new line is “Who Cares if they committed crimes, things are fine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  58. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    @Matt: Where’s the quid quo pro? Or is the crime just some Democrats making money legally?

    I thought about calling you on the goalpost-shifting from “collusion” to “quid pro quo,” but it struck me as more entertaining to actually apply the quid pro quo standard. Just how have Trump’s policies so far helped Putin and Russia?

    1) His energy policy so far has been ruinous for Russia.

    A)Fracking, pipelines, and various other moves have kept the price of oil down. Since Russia exports a lot of oil, that low price has been very unpleasant for Putin.

    B) Trump’s willingness to allow the coal industry to continue and not try to kill it means we now can export more coal around the world. A lot of countries still use a lot of coal, and that gives us leverage. For example, China buys coal from North Korea, which helps prop up that communist dictatorship. We’ve started shipping coal to China, which could replace one of North Korea’s few profit centers.

    C) Russia has used natural gas as a leash on Eastern Europe. Under Trump, we’ve started shipping LNG to Poland and other former Soviet Bloc countries, helping them resist pressure from Russia.

    D) The lowered oil prices have also put a hurting on the economy of Iran, as well as reducing the threat to global stability they pose by threatening the Straits of Hormuz. When less of the world’s oil pass through that strait, the less disruption is caused should they start causing problems again.

    (It’s worth noting that each of these moves were previously blocked by Obama and supported by Hillary, which had the benefit of helping Russia.)

    2) In Syria, Putin’s lackey Assad was freely using poison gas on his opponents. The first time he did so after Trump took office, Trump spanked him so thoroughly he hasn’t dared use them since.

    3) Trump’s initial threat to withdraw the US from NATO (which Putin would welcome) as apparently a bargaining gambit, as the end result was our NATO allies making moves towards living up to their obligations under the defense pact — which results in a stronger NATO.

    4) At the UN, Ambassador Nikki Haley has been the strongest voice the US has had there in decades. And she has been quite blunt about taking on Putin and his allies’ various schemes and BS.

    So, even if we assume that Putin wanted Trump elected and helped engineer it, how’s that working out for him so far? When does he start to collect on his quid pro quo, and stop getting kicked in the nards?

    I’ll take your and @Mister Bluster‘s sub-juvenile personal attacks as an admission that that’s all you have to offer.

    And back on the Imran Awan story… the most favorable interpretation of events is that the House Democrats hired a family of con artists and grifters who were not only foreign nationals, but didn’t even have security clearances, to supply the IT for several members, and then (now former) DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz bent over backwards to protect them when their schemes fell apart and they tried to flee the country (several successfully), with plenty of alleged ill-gotten gains.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  59. grumpy realist says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier: Dude, coal is dying. Not because of the regulations, but because it can’t compete with natural gas. It particularly can’t compete with natural gas when you look at all the other toxic stuff associated with it (sulfur, mercury…)

    Of course, if you like having acid rain falling on your house and your kids suffering neurological damage due to mercury poisoning, be my guest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  60. Mister Bluster says:

    @Bob The Victim:..Your boyfriend Trump is a self confessed sexual molester of women. You don’t even try to deny it because you can not. He appreciates your support.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  61. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    @grumpy realist: So, much like the Charlie Gard case, if someone/something is dying, it’s our obligation to kill it quickly? Why not let things simply happen naturally? Since it’s not you that’s dying, why is it a moral imperative to make sure it dies?

    How positively anti-Darwinian of you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  62. al-Ameda says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier:

    @grumpy realist: So, much like the Charlie Gard case, if someone/something is dying, it’s our obligation to kill it quickly?

    Much like the George Zimmerman case, if someone is indefensible (like Trump), why defend him? To be fair, both George and Donald have the right …. etc.

    Seriously, the Coal Industry in America is receding, dying, as ‘Grumpy Realist’ indicated, a natural death – caused by a competing energy that is cleaner and less hazardous to extract and utilize, and automation has reduced the mining labor force too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  63. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier: For whatever reason, I avoided coming back to this post yesterday and I missed your entries. No problem–I have only one response available…

    Click

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  64. Mister Bluster says:

    @Bob Trump’s Toady:..Now you are comparing a human child born with a debilitating disease to a lump of coal.
    You and Republican President Pork Chop Pud the active sexual pervert deserve each other.
    Trump appreciates your fealty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  65. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Of course, if you like having acid rain falling on your house and your kids suffering neurological damage due to mercury poisoning, be my guest.

    If it were his own kids, it might be different, but exported coal will create the conditions you cite for other people’s children, so he’s fine with that.

    (Note: I am discounting the probability that Bob the Sockpuppet is actually an illegal alien and his children actually will be affected.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  66. Tyrell says:

    Are these grand jury sessions open to the public ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  67. DrDaveT says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier:

    The only one that isn’t thoroughly documented is the health one, and I labeled that one a rumor.

    Nice try. You’re overlooking (among many other things) the fact that the answer to the Jeopardy! question

    The number of her classified documents that ended up in the possession of huge security risk and scumbag Anthony Weiner

    is “What is zero, Alex.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  68. teve tory says:

    Dude, coal is dying. Not because of the regulations, but because it can’t compete with natural gas. It particularly can’t compete with natural gas when you look at all the other toxic stuff associated with it (sulfur, mercury…)

    Coal is pretty much the worst fuel known to man. We’ve been transitioning to natural gas for 10 years already.

    why natural gas is the future–not coal

    natural gas really is better than coal

    Coal gives off 2x the CO2 per BTU as natural gas

    And as far as jobs, there are now more solar workers in California alone than all the coal miners in the US put together. I’m in North Florida and I started trying to make contacts last month to get into the solar business. (If anybody has any Solar leads for a guy with a physics background, please look me up on FB or gimme an email address to contact you.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  69. teve tory says:

    Worrying about coal jobs while defunding renewable energy R&D is like if the government stopped funding semiconductor research in 1957 and put all its money into vacuum tubes. Just a maximally stupid idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  70. grumpy realist says:

    @teve tory: Have you contacted SEI? (Solar Energy International). They have all these workshops on the technology–I did a week-long course many years back on biodiesel. Magnificent. The best talk was from an economist pointing out how the raw materials for commercial production of biodiesel was soybean oil produced as a by-product of soybean mash and pointing out that was why commercial biodiesel was at the mercy of the relative costs/prices of soybean products.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  71. grumpy realist says:

    @teve tory: Especially stupid in light of the fact that countries like China are going gangbusters on technological development in this area AND they are located right next to the large chip manufacturers so there’s a virtuous circle going on.

    We have to get manufacturing back to the US…either that, or the equivalent of a Manhattan Project getting Solar Power Satellites developed and up.

    Heck, we could blanket the midwest with wind turbines, stop having to deal with oil from the Mideast completely, and let them stew in their own juices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  72. Mister Bluster says:

    @Tyrell:..Open to the public?

    I can only speak from my experience in Jackson County, Illinois in 1989. I sat on a Grand Jury at that time.
    No. The proceedings were not public.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  73. DrDaveT says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I can only speak from my experience in Jackson County, Illinois

    Homie! I lived my first 7 years (more or less) in Carbondale.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  74. Mister Bluster says:

    @DrDaveT:.. Came here in 1968 after two years of Jr. College in Chicago Heights to attend SIU. After several years of sex and drugs and rock and roll and attending a few classes I never did get a degree. Spent a year in San Francisco (74-75) and returned to Southern Illinois and still call it home.
    My trailer house sits in Makanda Township a few miles away from where “the moon will completely cover the sun for 2 minutes and 40.2 seconds the longest duration of the 2017 eclipse anywhere on Earth.”
    NASA is setting up in the Saluki Football Stadium for observation and 50,000 people are expected to be here. Come On Down!
    GB

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  75. Todd says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I voted for Hillary because there was no alternative, and because I care about who the next 3 nominations to the Supreme Court are.

    As did I.

    Currently, I feel like I have no real political “home” that I fit into. Modern day “conservatism” is antithetical to almost all of my beliefs, so I’ll never be a Republican. But on the flip side, I’m really disillusioned with the Democrats, and have absolutely no confidence that they won’t screw up the political “gift” that Republicans are currently handing them. At the risk of sounding like a bit of a self righteous a$$hole for saying this, I feel like both sides on the left didn’t think nearly enough about the big picture and the long-term implications when it came to the 2016 election. I’m disappointed in mainstream Democrats for falling so easily, and early in line behind a such a clearly damaged candidate as Clinton. But I still have barely restrained contempt for the idiot Sanders/Stein supporters who continued to work against her once she was the nominee.

    The thing is, even with Trump’s very real legal problems, and Congressional Republicans inability to accomplish anything legislatively, I’d say that the odds of Democrats making substantial gains in 2018 are actually pretty low. I’m not even all that confident that a Democratic President being sworn in in January 2021 is more likely than not. We are going to continue to see the same fight between “Bernie people” and “Clinton people” on the left … and I just don’t get a warm fuzzy that either side has learned any lessons from the 2016 disaster (which includes not taking control of the Senate).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  76. MarkedMan says:

    We have to get manufacturing back to the US

    Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/special-counsel-bob-mueller-convenes-d-c-grand-jury/#ixzz4ow5Asd8v

    FWIW, I think this is potentially one of the most serious problems facing us, where us = everybody. Not that manufacturing needs to get back to the US in particular, but that the modern world supply chain has so many potential choke points as to be unfathomable. As an example, some years back (7-10?) there was an earthquake that damaged the three manufacturing plants that made state of the art memory chips for the whole world. They were within a few dozen miles of each other. RAM prices for new computers doubled over the course of a few weeks after decades of ever decreasing prices. And there are certain rare metals that are vital for things like modern electric motors and batteries that come from literally one or two places on earth. After WWII, Western governments and the Soviets were very good at understanding the supply chain for critical industries and developing contingency plans, and contingency plans for the contingency plans. But with the last 30 years of blue tarp Republicans (“It’s too expensive to fix the roof, let’s just put a big ol’ blue tarp on it”) I think that skill has been lost. One of these days (TM) we are going to reap what we sowed.

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  77. Mikey says:

    @Todd:

    The thing is, even with Trump’s very real legal problems, and Congressional Republicans inability to accomplish anything legislatively, I’d say that the odds of Democrats making substantial gains in 2018 are actually pretty low.

    They’d be pretty low regardless. The Senate seats going into this election cycle are not at all favorable to the Dems, and gerrymandering takes care of most of the House for the Republicans. Unless there’s a true “wave” election, the Dems don’t have a lot to hope for either way.

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  78. teve tory says:

    @grumpy realist:

    @teve tory: Have you contacted SEI? (Solar Energy International). They have all these workshops on the technology–I did a week-long course many years back on biodiesel.

    Thanks for that. I’m checking it out right now. For various reasons, Solar, natural gas, and in a few years nuclear are going to be booming. My STEM degree has been idling for a decade, sadly. (I graduated right before the economy crashed and after losing my first engineering job have been stuck in retail and teaching since.)

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  79. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    Just a few more interesting factoids that tie back into the matter.

    1) Russia is very strongly suspected in financially backing the anti-fracking, anti-pipeline, and other green measures in the US. I, personally, strongly suspect that the majority of people here are also anti-fracking and anti-pipeline. As I noted above, these movements serve to help Russia’s economy and increase Putin’s power. Are you collecting Russian money, or are you helping Putin for free?

    2) The key factor in the creation of a special counsel was illegal leaks from James Comey. Will Mueller’s investigation look into his old, close friend’s and old, close colleague’s behavior?

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  80. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier:
    Click…

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  81. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: Longer Just:

    “Hey, you! You! You over there! Hey, I’m talking to you! Look at me when I’m talking at you! I said, LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU! OK, are you looking now?

    I’M IGNORING YOU!”

    What are you, six? Or is that just your emotional and intellectual age?

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  82. wr says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier: “What are you, six? Or is that just your emotional and intellectual age?”

    Hmm. He’s got the intellectual and emotional age of six and he still runs rings around you. Wonder what that suggests…

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  83. CB says:

    So, can we note what’s not being discussed here, buried under a pile of excrement?

    C’mon guys, why even give Mr. Idanian the time of day?

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