Trump Plans To Pardon Scooter Libby

Out of the blue, President Trump plans to pardon Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff, but the move seems to have more to do with James Comey than it does Scooter Libby.

Reports are indicating that President Trump intends to pardon I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former Chief of Staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney who was convicted of lying to the F.B.I. and other crimes in connection with the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity as an undercover C.I.A. agent:

WASHINGTON — President Trump plans to pardon I. Lewis Libby Jr., who as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney was convicted of perjury in connection with the leak of a C.I.A. officer’s identity, a person familiar with the decision said on Thursday.

Mr. Libby’s case has long been a cause for conservatives who maintained that he was a victim of a special prosecutor run amok, an argument that may have resonated with the president. Mr. Trump has repeatedly complained that the special counsel investigation into possible cooperation between his campaign and Russia in 2016 has gone too far and amounts to an unfair “witch hunt.”

Mr. Libby, who goes by Scooter, was convicted of four felonies in 2007 for perjury before a grand jury, lying to F.B.I. investigators and obstruction of justice during an investigation into the disclosure of the work of Valerie Plame Wilson, a C.I.A. officer. President George W. Bush commuted Mr. Libby’s 30-month prison sentence but refused to grant him a full pardon despite the strenuous requests of Mr. Cheney, a decision that soured the relationship between the two men.

A pardon of Mr. Libby would paradoxically put Mr. Trump in the position of absolving one of the chief architects of the Iraq war, which Mr. Trump has denounced as a catastrophic miscalculation. It would also mean he was forgiving a former official who was convicted in a case involving leaks despite Mr. Trump’s repeated inveighing against those who disclose information to reporters.

Critics of Mr. Trump quickly interpreted the prospective pardon as a signal by the president that he would protect those who refuse to turn on their bosses, as Mr. Libby was presumed not to have betrayed Mr. Cheney. Mr. Trump has not ruled out pardons in the Russia investigation.

Mr. Trump has shown no particular interest in Mr. Libby’s case before. In 2015, during his campaign for the White House, Mr. Trump was asked if he would pardon Mr. Libby and declined to say, calling it an irrelevant issue. It was unclear when Mr. Trump would issue the pardon, which was first reported by ABC News.

Mr. Libby was not charged with the leak itself and has long argued that his conviction rested on an innocent difference in memories between him and several witnesses, not an intent to deceive investigators. Although Mr. Bush’s clemency order kept him from going to prison, Mr. Libby’s conviction nonetheless remained intact and he was disbarred as a lawyer as a result. He was not reinstated to the bar until 2016.

Among the allies from the Bush administration who have argued that he was treated unfairly is John R. Bolton, an ally of Mr. Cheney’s who served as Mr. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations and started this week as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. Other allies of Mr. Libby’s include Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, a husband-and-wife team of lawyers who recently talked about going to work for Mr. Trump before deciding against it because of a client conflict.

A pardon by Mr. Trump would amount to official forgiveness, not exoneration. A pardon does not signify innocence but does eliminate many consequences of a conviction, such as any effect on the right to vote, hold elective office or sit on a jury. As a practical matter, those seeking pardons hope it will erase or ease the stigma of a criminal conviction.

Mr. Libby’s prosecution became a symbol of the polarizing politics of the Iraq war during the Bush administration. Ms. Wilson’s husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, was a former diplomat who wrote an op-ed article in The New York Times in 2003 implying that Mr. Cheney ignored evidence that argued against the conclusion that Iraq was actively seeking to build nuclear weapons.

To undercut Mr. Wilson’s criticism, administration officials told reporters that he had been sent on a fact-finding mission to Niger because his wife worked for the C.I.A., not at the behest of Mr. Cheney. But federal law bars the disclosure of the identities of C.I.A. officials in certain circumstances and the leak prompted a special prosecutor investigation.

Charged with lying to investigators about his interactions with journalists, Mr. Libby insisted he simply remembered events differently. But his version of events clashed with the testimony of eight other people, including fellow administration officials, and a jury convicted him. Mr. Bush decided that the prison sentence was “excessive,” but he said he would not substitute his judgment for that of the jury when it came to the question of Mr. Libby’s guilt.

Mr. Libby’s advocates argued that Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, went too far because he had already discovered that the first administration official to disclose Ms. Wilson’s identity to a journalist was Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state in Mr. Bush’s first term, who was not charged. They also argued that Ms. Wilson was not undercover at the time and her employment was well known. Ms. Wilson has denied that she recommended her husband for the mission to Niger and said her career as a C.I.A. official was ”over in an instant” once her identity was leaked.

The case tested the limits of journalistic independence. Judith Miller, then a reporter for The Times, went to prison for 85 days rather than disclose that Mr. Libby had discussed Ms. Wilson with her. She was freed after Mr. Libby released her from any promise of confidentiality.

The issue became a major point of contention between Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney in the last days of the administration in late 2008 and early 2009. Mr. Cheney repeatedly pressed Mr. Bush to go beyond his commutation and issue a full pardon, bringing it up so often that the president grew irritated by the matter.

Mr. Bush assigned White House lawyers to examine the case, but they advised him the jury had ample reason to convict Mr. Libby and the president rebuffed Mr. Cheney’s request. Mr. Bush told aides that he suspected that Mr. Libby had thought he was protecting Mr. Cheney, the real target of the investigation.

Mr. Cheney snapped at Mr. Bush. “You are leaving a good man wounded on the field of battle,” he told him when informed of the decision.

Mr. Bush was taken aback. It was probably the harshest thing Mr. Cheney ever said to him during their eight years in office together and was meant to attack Mr. Bush’s sense of loyalty to his own troops in a time of war.

“The comment stung,” Mr. Bush wrote in his memoir. “In eight years, I had never seen Dick like this, or even close to it. I worried that the friendship we had built was about to be severely strained, at best.”

Assuming it’s true this report, which is also being reported by The Washington Post, ABC News, and Axios, this would be the fourth pardon or commutation that Trump has issued during his time in office. The first three include a pardon issued to Kristian Saucier, a Navy sailor who had been convicted of mishandling classified information and a commutation issued to a man named Shalom Rubashkin, who had been convicted of bank fraud in 2009 and had served eight years of a 27-year prison sentence. The third, of course, was the pardoning of former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was a strong supporter of Trump’s in the campaign and who is now running for the Senate in Arizona. Arpaio had been convicted of contempt of court for refusing to comply with the orders of a Federal District Court Judge regarding the operation of his department.

As noted, Trump has not expressed any particular interest in Libby’s case in the past and even many conservatives who were outraged by Libby’s conviction and Bush 43’s failure to fully pardon him at the end of his term seem to have largely forgotten the case. Additionally, it’s not clear that Libby or anyone connected to him had pursued a pardon on his behalf so in some sense this appears to have come totally out of the blue. One possible motivation for the pardon could lie in the fact that the news this weekend and during the course of the coming week is likely to be taken up by the revelations in the new book written by former F.B.I. Director James Comey, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, which is set to be released next Tuesday, with a media tour by Comey beginning Sunday with interviews on ABC and NBC that will be followed up by a media tour that is likely to keep the book, some details of which have already been reported by the media, and Comey in the news for the foreseeable future. As it turns out, Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel who prosecuted Libby as part of his leak investigation, was appointed by Comey when he was Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush. In some sense, then, it’s possible that Trump sees this pardon as a way to take a slap at Comey while gaining points with some on the right who still care about the Libby case.

As for the merits of the pardon itself, I can’t say I feel strongly about it one way or the other. There was no question that Libby lied to prosecutors, F.B.I. agents, and the Grand Jury during the course of the Plame investigation and his conviction for those offenses seemed at the time, and seem now, to be entirely proper. I wasn’t really bothered by President Bush’s decision to commute his sentence either, and the fact that he stood up against the apparently relentless pressure from his Vice-President to grant a full pardon was admirable in retrospect. At this point, the pardon seems to be entirely an afterthought that, as I noted above, may have more to do with the President’s war against James Comey and the broader Russia investigation, which continued again this morning with another Trump Twitter tirade. Where it all ends is anyone’s guess.

 

 

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    Trump sure picks winners.




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  2. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Squirrel!




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  3. HarvardLaw92 says:

    That having been said, I think this may have more to do with Bolton talking Trump into helping out a longtime friend of Bolton’s. The timing (Bolton just assumed his position this week) seems to me to argue in that direction.




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  4. teve tory says:

    @HarvardLaw92: WaPo is reporting that Cohen had a habit of surreptitiously recording his conversations with people. Like, All his conversations with people.

    What is the legal status of those conversations? Under what circumstances could the Feds get access to them?




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  5. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    That, and Trump is testing the waters for further pardons.




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  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    Because he’s so deeply deeply concerned with the proper handling of classified documents.




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  7. Inhumans99 says:

    You mentioned his Twitter tirade…yeesh, our President is hurling childish insults like calling Comey a lying slime ball, and I am a bit surprised that his new handler (Bolton) is not embarrassed by such outbursts. I am waiting for a tweet from President Trump directed to Comey that says I am rubber and you are glue and anything you call me bounces off of me and sticks to you.




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  8. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @teve tory:

    They’d be protected by privilege no differently than written communications, attorney notes, work product, etc. Any such privileged communications would require a court order to pierce privilege & render them admissible, which would almost certainly be subjected to appeal. If the information on the recordings isn’t subject to privilege, it would just be a question of admissibility within the normal terms of a 4th amendment search. The short answer to your question is: when a court of law says it’s allowable.

    Depending on where the conversations took place, Cohen could also find himself on the wrong side of wiretapping laws. NY, however, is a one party consent state in that regard.




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  9. Kathy says:

    I bet most people will say Scooter Libby is some kind of Segway, if they happen to remember what a Segway is.




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  10. SKI says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    They’d be protected by privilege no differently than written communications, attorney notes, work product, etc.

    Or not protected – depending on the role Cohen was fulfilling and who is on the tapes.




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  11. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @SKI:

    Right. The point I suspect I didn’t make clearly enough is that the fact that the communications are on tape, rather than written, doesn’t in itself change the nature of privilege that’s afforded. If the information would be privileged in written form, it’s privileged in spoken / recorded form as well. Sorry for the unclear statement.




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  12. de stijl says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Is it possible to shoot a SQUIRREL! across the bows?

    Cuz this feels like that. (And no way Trump thought this up himself; that would be like Trump doing algebra.) Who in the Trumposhere thought this up?

    It may not even be just a SQUIRREL!

    From Doug’s piece:

    As it turns out, Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel who prosecuted Libby as part of his leak investigation, was appointed by Comey when he was Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush. In some sense, then, it’s possible that Trump sees this pardon as a way to take a slap at Comey while gaining points with some on the right who still care about the Libby case.

    It’s a fairly genius tactic given the context of the Comey book release.

    Is this Bannon?




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  13. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @de stijl:

    Honestly, the connection is so obscure that, IMO, the average viewer / reader wouldn’t begin to pick up on it. From a PR / messaging standpoint it’s meaningless.

    From a legal standpoint, he’s limited with regard to who he can pardon without walking further down the road to impeachment.

    I honestly think it’s just Bolton manipulating Trump into helping out his buddy. Could be wrong about that, though. I have been before.




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  14. MarkedMan says:

    I hope there are some Dems who are bright enough to call for Scooter Libby to be brought in front of the appropriate committees to testify about what really happened. Now that he is no longer in danger of self incrimination, he can be compelled to testify. Dems should make it clear that a pardon is a double edged sword.

    I’ve been thinking about Trump’s pardoning power like this: It is valuable insofar as he doesn’t actually use it on someone who know’s about his crimes, but rather just implies that he will use it. Look at it this way – anyone involved in Trump’s criminal activities probably was involved and is therefore culpable themselves. If Trump can convince them that he will pardon them, they have every incentive to not cooperate. But if Trump actually pardons them, they are not only free to spill the beans on everything they know, but would actually incur further legal risk by not coming clean.

    With Scooter Libby, the statute of limitations has no doubt expired on his criminal actions, so Federal Investigators have no reason to pursue. But Congress can compel him to testify and incarcerate him if he refuses. I believe they even have a little jail on Capitol Hill for such purposes.




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  15. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    I’m kinda bummed the Segway bombed because of perceived dorkishness. It was a useful gadget. I’d argue it was a good gadget that got killed by bad PR – it was initially pushed as THE BIGGEST THING EVAR! and two years after intro it was almost universally derided as THE DORKIEST THING EVAR!

    I’m an urban person who uses my car like two times a month. I live ~1.5 miles to the grocery store, so I usually walk.

    I coulda really used one of those.

    The upside is that if I want to buy a cheap Segway, I can. And if I want to be that neighborhood weirdo who scoots his dorky Segway about to and fro totin’ his nutritious groceries so fancy free, that dude could be me.

    (Ach, fvck me! Now I have to buy a gently used one-owner Segway and be the neighborhood weirdo. Thanks a bunch, Kathy! Now I’m ever dorkier than I was yesterday!)

    Fvck social anti-approbation. I’ll own it. You know how Vespas got cool? Same sh!t, new decade.




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  16. de stijl says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Honestly, the connection is so obscure that, IMO, the average viewer / reader wouldn’t begin to pick up on it.

    Then why Scooter Libby of all people?

    I read Libby as a symbol and a game piece in this context.




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  17. teve tory says:

    I used to have a great scooter, a Honda Metro II, wonderful for tooling around chapel hill. One day someone threw it in the back of their truck and split, and my $1500 scooter was no more.

    The segway was like if my scooter was much less road-worthy, and simultaneously much easier to steal.

    Not hard to see why it failed.




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  18. Mikey says:

    Trump called Comey a “leaker and liar” and is now preparing to pardon Libby, who was convicted of…leaking and lying.

    Everything Trump accuses others of doing, he himself does or permits. It’s the most incredible level of projection I’ve ever seen.




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  19. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @de stijl:

    Bolton and Libby are longtime friends, and Bolton has been (and was at the time) very outspoken about what he inexplicably regards as Libby having been mistreated. Given that and the timing (Bolton just assumed office on Monday, and here we are five days later with his old pal being discussed for a pardon), it just seems the most logical conclusion. I’m a fan of Ockham.




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  20. teve tory says:

    Avi

    @AviAhvee
    Follow Follow @AviAhvee
    More
    The @washingtonpost report that Cohen may have had damning recordings picked up in the FBI raid isn’t especially surprising in light of how meek he’s been. When Cohen thinks he has the upper hand, he acts aggressive and threatens others. This uncharacteristic quiet is telling.




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  21. de stijl says:

    @teve tory:

    One day, fairly soon, an artisanal retro Segway shop will open in Brooklyn that will do custom re-fit Segway jobs. Guaranteed. Then Minneapolis, then Portland, then Cleveland.

    (I own a scooter too. Old school early ’90s Honda with electrical problems I can’t decipher so it just sits in the basement.)

    But mark my words: there will be hipster Segway shops in Mpls / Bklyn / Prtlnd / Austin very soon.

    Here’s the impetus. Fools like me want a Vespa 1963 Standard 150 GL in sky blue because they are bad-ass. I imagine fine, cultured women hyperventilating with amorous overload as I tool by them on that ‘lil bastard. Never happens, never gonna happen, but I still covet that scoot, anyway.




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  22. de stijl says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I don’t know Ockham. But, I have heard of this fella called Occam. Same guy, maybe?




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  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @de stijl:

    If you’re referring to William of Ockham, to whom the bit is attributed, then yes, it’s the same guy. 🙂




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  24. Mike in Arlington says:

    @de stijl: Maybe the throngs of women are so overcome by emotion that they cannot express their delight! I’m thinking you’re misreading their intentions!




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  25. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I don’t know Ockham. But, I have heard of this fella called Occam. Same guy, maybe?

    I apologize for this. It was a dickish thing to say. Apparently, when I’m not paying attention sometimes I like being clever more than being decent. I need to suppress that urge. Sorry.




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  26. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    1. Ockham is a place, not a person. The razor is named after William of Ockham.
    2. Both spellings are correct, one is the actual English name of the place, the other is the Latinized version of the name.




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  27. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Arthur C. Clarke in “Profiles of the Future” relates a story about the early days of the telephone. A British official claimed the American may have need of such a device, but Britons did not, because “we have plenty of messenger boys.”

    He relates another where an American official is very impressed by the telephone, and says “I can imagine the day when every city will have one!”

    When the Segway came out, I didn’t know what to make of it. But I think it falls between one of Clarke’s anecdotes above.




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  28. de stijl says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    I’m thinking you’re misreading their intentions!

    What?! Are you telling me that I’ve utterly mismanaged my romantic signifiers? A bad-ass Vespa is not romantically fetching? Crap! I’ve wasted my life!

    Yeah, it’s a dope scoot, but it is essentially stupid. No matter what anyone says, it’s not really about how others react to *whatever it is – scooter, Segway, Lamborghini, etc.*

    It is how we feel about that object that we want. We justify it.

    We want things we fancy to be perceived as cool because then we transitively obtain that same status.

    Why do we want these baubles? Who knows? The human brain is slippery AF.




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  29. de stijl says:

    Can we not make Ockham / Occam an intelligence / education attainment signifier, please? I promise not to correct your pronunciation when you say Van Gogh.




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  30. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @teve tory: In the cities I’ve lived in, the sidewalks were too crowded to ride a Segway on. Bike lanes generally, too.




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  31. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    There’s a rather good movie, The Name of the Rose, featuring William of Ockham* (played by Sean Connery), based on the novel by Umberto Eco.

    * – Renamed William of Baskerville due to the plot being largely fictional




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  32. de stijl says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Sorry, this was from a long time ago, but I just saw this:

    Honestly, the connection is so obscure that, IMO, the average viewer / reader wouldn’t begin to pick up on it.

    I really wasn’t thinking about the general public when I made my remark, but rather an intra-institutional message.

    No one knows who Scooter Libby is anymore outside of people like us: political weirdos. Hence, my initial “SQUIRREL! across the bows” comment. The scent and the threat of the Libby pardon is not directed at the public, but at the professional establishment. And there is an expectation that the trial balloon of what a Libby pardon signifies will be heard and understood within a commonly agreed-upon context.

    The Libby pardon gambit is a threat or a pushback.




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  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @de stijl:

    I bought that Ferrari (worst mistake of my life, and one of the more expensive) because I have this thing where I like to go very fast. The only notoriety it ever provided was being snickered at by guys passing by in Hondas while it sat motionless on the side of the Cross Bronx 😐




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  34. Gustopher says:

    Trump really needs to up his pardoning game.

    Aren’t there people implicated in Watergate that need pardons? And some posthumous pardons for everyone involved in the Teapot Dome scandal?

    (I actually have no memory of the Teapot Dome scandal other than it was a long time ago, and was blatant corruption… did anyone get convicted?)




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  35. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Gustopher:

    Only one person got convicted, the rather ironically named Albert Fall




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  36. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Also a really young, extraordinarily miscast Chritian Slater. How ever did it come to be that that Umberto Eco work was made into a movie? A “thriller” mystery, even?




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  37. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    I thought Christian Slater was perfect for that part. De gustibus es non disputandum, I guess.




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  38. de stijl says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I bought that Ferrari…because I have this thing where I like to go very fast.

    This is not a personal attack, but an observation about all of us…

    Perhaps you consciously wanted to be known as and thought of as “a person who likes to go fast” but an unruly fragment of your subconsciousness really, really wanted to go fast specifically in a Ferrari. Because of reasons that makes sense to your subconscious.

    Nine tenths of our desires occur outside of the realm of rational thought and conscious understanding. I want a ’63 Vespa that I can make as near as possible to factory fresh. I can’t tell you why, because I don’t know why. I just want that because it feels like I will be a better person if I do that.

    Rationally, that is stupid, why waste time and money on a foolish bauble. Retirement before entertainment, fool! But rationality is a relatively tiny fragment of what drives us.




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  39. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @de stijl:

    Who can say? I’m not a psychologist. I just like driving very fast. I replaced the Italian disaster with an M760i. Utterly boring to look at (how many BMW sedans are there in the world?) but 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds and it tops out around 185mph.




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  40. de stijl says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Apparently, you do really like to go fast. Good on you.




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  41. gVOR08 says:

    Mr. Cheney snapped at Mr. Bush. “You are leaving a good man wounded on the field of battle,”

    Leaving one to wonder what Cheney regarded as the battle and who he regarded as the enemy.




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  42. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: FWIW, and completely tangentially, I had searched for years looking for the original of what we now call “Occam’s Razor” just because I was curious as to why he referred to a “razor”. And then a year or so ago I discovered that “razor” is a term in philosophy describing a precept that is used to “shave off” the untruths and distractions from something.




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  43. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl:

    I promise not to correct your pronunciation when you say Van Gogh.

    Having spent some time in the Netherlands and collecting a fair number of Dutch friends, I feel confident in saying that no one pronounces “Van Gogh” like a Dutchman. The first time I heard it I thought the speaker was going to hock a loogie on me.




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  44. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Ferraris are a car for a very specific type of person at a very specific stage in their life. The only car that is more Ferrari than Ferrari is a Lamborghini.

    If I was ever going to go the “fast car that spends more time in the shop than the road” route it would be a Maserati or maybe an Aston Martin. I know it’s fast, and so do people who know cars, but no one else thinks it’s anything more than an oddly sporty looking Lexus.




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  45. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I just like driving very fast. I replaced the Italian disaster with an M760i.

    There’s driving fast, and driving in control. The fastest car I was ever in was my high school buddy’s custom Baracuda (He built it as a perk from his job at a junkyard, and the Judge told him he could get his license back after only three months if he sold it outside the town limits, after he had been clocked at 140 in a 45mph zone.) But I learned that I got much more enjoyment form cars that could corner like a slot car. First car I ever bought myself was a used Fiat 134 Mirafiori which, although it was more or less a family sedan, drove so well that I finally understood what bucket seats and a non-self tensioning shoulder harness meant for your ability to take a corner. I actually had to have a friend drive it home from the lot because I didn’t know how to drive a manual.

    I suspect your M760i could leave the ‘Cuda in the dust and hold a decreasing radius turn with more animal grace than the Fiat. But the ‘Cuda was metallic purple, so you probably can’t top that.




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  46. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I suspect your M760i could leave the ‘Cuda in the dust and hold a decreasing radius turn with more animal grace than the Fiat. But the ‘Cuda was metallic purple, so you probably can’t top that.

    It’s honestly scary fast, especially for a sleeper sedan- twin turbo V-12 pumping out 602hp through an 8 speed automatic with all wheel drive. It’s still in the US and I am not, however. I now have a nice elderly gentleman named Jean Henri who drives me back and forth to the office in a thoroughly boring, sanitized Mercedes, with all of the excitement of sitting Shiva for your great aunt Gertrude … 🙁

    Truth though – it will never be as cool as a metallic purple ‘Cuda. Not even close …




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  47. teve tory says:

    HarvardLaw92 says:
    Friday, April 13, 2018 at 13:42
    @de stijl:

    I bought that Ferrari (worst mistake of my life, and one of the more expensive) because I have this thing where I like to go very fast. The only notoriety it ever provided was being snickered at by guys passing by in Hondas while it sat motionless on the side of the Cross Bronx

    Back when I was young and dumb and had money, my Porsche Mechanic (yes, I had a specialist) told me one time, “Porsches are pretty reliable, as far as supercars go. Don’t buy a Ferrari or a Maserati. And the only reason anybody buys a Lamborghini is so they can bitch to their friends at the country club, ‘Goddam Lamborghini’s in the shop again.'”

    I still like going fast, but I’m smarter and frugal now, so one day I’ll have a Flyin’ Miata. It’s basically a normal miata with a Corvette engine and a camaro rear end.




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  48. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @teve tory:

    The thing was a rolling (or, more often than not, non-rolling) disaster, with a penchant for going back to the dealer in Greenwich from whence it came (I think it was homesick) and an appetite for OwnerCash that defies description. The fricking clutch is DESIGNED to fail around 25,000 miles, and when it does, that sleek, electromechanical F1 inspired gearbox just shifts into neutral and refuses henceforth to budge. All told, they wanted like 10 grand to replace it once it got towed back to CT by a towdriver who I swear didn’t stop laughing the entire way. I sold it back to them at a loss we won’t talk about, went home to endure my wife silently grinning from ear to ear for days afterward, and chalked it up to lessons learned about mid-life crises. Anything my behind pilots from now on will be German.

    It’s basically a normal miata with a Corvette engine and a camaro rear end.

    Jesus! (is a Jew allowed to say “Jesus!”?)

    Hell, I’ll say it anyway. Jesus! … 😮




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  49. teve tory says:

    When my Porsche clutch went out it was $1,600, and I thought that was rough. (That was ~20 years ago).




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  50. teve tory says:

    It’s basically a normal miata with a Corvette engine and a camaro rear end.

    Jesus! (is a Jew allowed to say “Jesus!”?)

    I know! Miatas weigh about 2300 lbs and have ~160 hp and I find normal miatas nice and zippy. That LS1 engine probly puts out 350-400 horsies. I bet that car is Stupid. I will have one someday :-p




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  51. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: @teve tory:

    I had an F430. The clutch died around 19,000 miles. On the expressway … In the Bronx … 😐

    I had to have the car towed back to Greenwich, where they politely informed me that 1) this failure is considered to be normal wear and tear (i.e. no warranty coverage), 2) would – in and of itself, cost me $7,500 – and 3) would also require that the rear alignment and such, along with several others systems, be realigned / recalibrated. All told, it came out quoted to around 10 grand.

    Assuming they didn’t find anything else wrong once they got in there. It sounded for all the world like a doctor telling my kid might have asthma, or might have stage 4 liver cancer, no way to tell until they opened her up, but either way, insurance wasn’t going to cover it, so get your checkbook ready.

    I was also informed that I should probably expect to repeat this experience in another 20 to 25 thousand miles (also not under warranty). The clutch is basically a consumable. I sold the car back to them on the spot. I’m sure it’s probably still out there somewhere, gleefully bleeding some other sucker dry …




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  52. Sleeping Dog says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    A friend has had several Ferraris, one being an F430. He said it was the worst car he’d ever owned. He had it for a year and it spent nearly 4 months in the shop. Today he sticks with Porsches.




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  53. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Somewhat back on topic: Trump actually pardoned Libby. This shitbucket has no bottom.




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  54. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I feel his pain. That F430 was, and remains hands down, the worst car I have ever owned – of any make. $500 oil changes, constant breakdowns, it’s just a litany of woes and cash flying out of the door.

    It was a neat experience – for about a week – then the trouble began and never ended …




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  55. An Interested Party says:

    “You are leaving a good man wounded on the field of battle,”

    Oh that’s funny coming from someone who got five deferments to avoid going to Vietnam…although he was Secretary of Defense at one point, he has no clue what it’s like to fight on an actual field of battle…much like the person who he directed that comment at…




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  56. RGardner says:

    I did a search on this thread, only one occurrence of “Richard Armitage” the guy who was the one responsible for what Scoooter Libby was accused of doing. It was in the base post (in Doug’s quoted material), not in any of the comments, and only once. Made up offence, guilty until proven innocent.




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  57. JohnMcC says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Sign on the wall of a locally-recommended bicycle shop in Marsh Harbour, Abacos: “If it’s got wheels or testicles, sooner or later it’ll give you trouble”

    @teve tory: You definitely need to look at the Formula Five Racing website. You have been warned.




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  58. teve tory says:

    @JohnMcC: If I ever become wealthy, I’m just going to get the most gorgeous shell I can find, and have a racing engine/brakes/transmission underneath.

    AC Cobra? Benz 300SL? 60’s Jag e-type? Old timey 911? Decisions, decisions….




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