Here at the incomparable Howler...

MONDAY, MAY 11, 2020

...we wonder as we wander:
Here at the incomparable Howler, we wonder as we wander. We've especially wondered, of late, at the different stories the warring tribes hear concerning the prosecution of Michael Flynn.

That said, we continue to struggle with a sprawling yet uncooperative computer system. For that reason, we think we won't post today.

The reds are told one thing about Flynn. The blues hear different allegations and facts.

It's a terrible way to play the game. But this is the world we all live in.

For a primer in the way we humans are wired to escape uncertainty, we'll recommend Christina Cauterucci's new essay at Slate. But please don't ask us to give you a link. True belief is human and easy, our computers today are hard.

At least in theory, a new computer arrives tomorrow. How will we ever tell HAL?

Special bonus submission: Here's that missing link.

58 comments:

  1. The reds are told one thing...The blues hear different allegations and facts.

    Bob has it backwards. Republicans are told the facts, including the Justice Dept investigator who recoimmended dropping the charges, the way the FBI set Flynn up by telling him he didn't need a lawyer, modification of the 302's, asking questions about what was said on a phone call, even though they had a transcript, hoping to find a mistake that could be called a lie, etc. Democrats are spared all these details. Instead, they're told analogies and purple prose.

    Meanwhile Barack Obama inaccurately proclaimed that Flynn was charged with perjury. Surely Mr. Obama knows the difference between lying to investigators and lying under oath.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In dystopian totalitarian states, the people are all told one version and they must accept it as truth or face consequences.

      Of course the people who believe the red versions will believe they have the truth, as will those who believe the blue versions. But science, facts, reality doesn't care what you believe because the world has an existence separate from what humans choose to think about it. To the extent that you live in congruence with what is real, the more effective your plans will be, the more successful your endeavors, the fewer ugly surprises, and the better your life will be. So it is a good idea to live as congruently with reality as possible. That is why we have an area in our frontal lobes that is devoted to reality monitoring -- judgments about what is real, how trustworthy sources of info, whether to believe or not.

      Republicans are in the midst of a calamitous failure brought on by belief in unreal, unreliable, mistaken information. The problem is that they have not yet connected their own suffering to their mistaken beliefs. There needs to be that reckoning. It may come with the election, as Republicans are thrown out of office and lose control of the Senate and the presidency. It may come when they or their family catch Covid-19 and someone they love dies. Or it may come with a major depression and the realization that it didn't have to happen. But there is already a shift among Republicans as people wake up and move away from their past beliefs. And we see this on the right, not the left.

      Flynn is irrelevant now, a distraction. What matters are the lies Trump has been telling about the virus. Flynn isn't going to affect any Republican in a way that hurts on a personal level. Thus pandemic is.

      We cannot force red voters to believe what we believe. If we did that, we would live in that kind of dystopian society. But we don't have to agree with them or elect them when they say and do idiotic things. The Republican party should be learning that it matters what they say, because sooner or later voters will figure out that they are lying.

      Delete
    2. https://www.lawfareblog.com/ugly-day-justice-department

      Delete
    3. https://www.lawfareblog.com/justice-departments-faulty-arguments-flynn-case

      Delete
    4. Hardlinr - the Flynn arguments may be faulty but the left is not even told about them or they are grossly misrepresented. The left doesn't even know about the justice department transcripts that were released or what they said Iand how they contradict statements made by Democratic leaders. all of that ends up on Fox news. We are not even told about it. I agree with Somerby so much on this that by denying them this information, even if it's faulty, really hurts them. It can make them look dumb and can end up having Tucker Carlson go on TV and accurately criticize them. Also not being aware that Trump's supporters have this information, faulty or not, leads the people on the left to wonder why the hell they support him, which leads to blanket accusations of racism, which further hurts the Democratic party's chances to gain voters.

      What Somerby mentions here is such an important topic and the information the left is given by leaders in the media is insane. Insane and pathetic. On this Flynn issue and Russia in particular. I mean absolutely insane.

      I agree with the other poster that Flynn is not important and Trump's bumbling malfeasance in handling the corona is the biggest story of our lifetimes and will play out enormously in the next six months transcending both parties as the country, irreparably damaged by his malfeasance, morphs in to its post covid-19 reality which is not going to be pretty. Not at all.

      Delete
    5. DinC: "Obama, Obama, Obama!!!".
      Shall I wash your dick Sir"
      Scumbag.

      Delete
    6. Bracket, some of know that Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, fucking fired the traitor Flynn.

      Delete
    7. Republicans are in the midst of a calamitous failure brought on by belief in unreal, unreliable, mistaken information.

      Another calamitous failure, but OK.

      The problem is that they have not yet connected their own suffering to their mistaken beliefs.

      Is that a problem? Many of them belong to a death cult that reveres suffering.

      There needs to be that reckoning.

      For the country to survive? Sure.

      It may come with the election, as Republicans are thrown out of office and lose control of the Senate and the presidency.

      It’s possible. Also possible, Trump is re-elected.

      It may come when they or their family catch Covid-19 and someone they love dies.

      It’s possible, but remember that so many more of the people they hate are dying.

      Or it may come with a major depression and the realization that it didn't have to happen.

      The major depression is here. The realization is possible.

      But there is already a shift among Republicans as people wake up and move away from their past beliefs. And we see this on the right, not the left.

      I’d like to believe so, but do you have any evidence of this?

      Delete
    8. One example is the Lincoln Project group now running ads against Trump. Another is the increasing number of letters to my local paper expressing remorse over Trump's election and vowing to vote differently in the next election (hard for you to verify, I know). Polls are reflecting decreased support for Trump -- those people are going somewhere else. Support is especially down among women and independents. Every few days in the news there is a former Trump this or that who is expressing an opinion critical of Trump.

      "It’s possible. Also possible, Trump is re-elected."

      Somerby says anything is possible. Don't deal in what's possible -- think about what is likely.

      Older people are dying and old people are more likely to be Republicans, so the likelihood they will know someone who dies of Covid-19 is higher. I agree they are unlikely to be concerned about immigrants, prisoners and racial minorities who are dying, but they are not entirely insulated from the effects of the virus. We all have parents and grandparents (or friends, is we are older) in the high risk category.

      https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-05-10/trump-gop-critics-lincoln-project-mourning-in-america

      Delete
    9. "Republican party should be learning that it matters what they say, because sooner or later voters will figure out that they are lying."

      Democrats need to learn that too. Just look at Tucker Carlson this weekend who showed Adam Schiff to be a unhinged red baiting liar on his show. Documents released last week show that we never had proof that Russia stole Hillary's emails. Did you know that? Were you told that? This is the kind of information that is totally kept from us. Obviously, this is very bad for Democrats. Schiff knew about it the whole time and mistated or overstated or really didn't tell the truth about it. He kept you in the dark about it. This kind of crap makes us look like fools. Basically the entire Russia Trump collusion story was a lie which will shock the hell out of you because you're told the exact opposite. You're lied to. Again and again and again for years and years and years.

      This is I think what Somerby wants to discuss. When our politicians and information leaders misinform us or don't inform us, it ends up helping Trump so much.

      We'll see what Somerbrey writes.

      Delete
    10. Watches Tucker Carlson = troll outed

      "unhinged red baiting liar" = outed YouTube troll

      Delete
    11. 4:40

      I'm sorry to see you react that way. May I ask you, did you know that we never had proof that Russia stole Hillary's emails? Were you made aware of that anytime over the last week? Because you are just offering an ad hominem which really means nothing but is an indicator that you don't have a substantial response to what I said.

      I'm sorry to say the devil is in the details. It's safe for you too not research these things, not uncover rocks but unfortunately, the highest truths are messy and complicated and hard to stomach. Taking the comic book view is easier and very human. I get it. do what you have to do. But I'm not a Fox news watcher. I don't even have a TV. but it's a huge mistake for liberals not to watch those Fox news clips on YouTube to see what the other side is being told. In a simple way of opposition research.

      Is Schiff shown to be telling the truth and answering Carlson's questions directly? Lucky for you, you don't have to answer, research it or even think about it because the world is one big comic book and I'm a troll! ;)

      Delete
    12. Bracket,

      Nobody stole Hillary's emails, jackass.

      Delete
    13. Sorry mm, That's true. I meant the DNC emails. From the beginning, we never had any proof that they were stolen by Russia according to recently released House Intelligence Committee testimony.

      Delete
    14. Who's "we", Bracket? The Special Counsel concluded differently.

      Delete
    15. The Special Counsel conclusion to which you refer was based on allegations that were previously thought to be proof of Russians stealing the emails. This is how Schiff was found to be lying and foolish. He said over and over they had proof. But the testimony released shows that it was not proof, just circumstantial evidence. So the Special Counsel conclusion to which you refer is not based on any proof.

      You'll have to research it further yourself to understand. Or you can not research it at all and stay inside where it's safe and warm. ;)

      Delete
    16. Saying that circumstantial evidence is not "proof" sounds like weasel words to me. You can convict someone using circumstantial evidence, especially when there is so much of it that no other conclusion is possible besides guilt.

      Delete
    17. Maybe. Read the released transcripts and decide for yourself.

      But I should be saying "evidence" not proof.

      The point is Schiff heard this testimony way back when (he was the one asking the questions) and then went on to tell the world there was evidence Russia stole the emails. Then Fox News viewers are shown clips of him saying there is evidence and then are read the transcript where
      he is told point blank "there is not evidence." which makes Democrats look bad. (Carlson made him look like a fool because instead of directly answering his question, Schiff accused him of working for the Kremlin. It was a taped interview from a few months ago.)

      And it's also interesting in and of itself that the Russia-stole-the- emails story was never backed by evidence.

      Actually using the term circumstantial evidence may have been the weasel words.

      I just think it's notable and interesting that this kind of thing is never even reported on our side.

      Delete
    18. Bracket you are all wet.

      The DNC emails were hacked and provided to WikiLeaks.

      The level of evidence uncovered by CrowdStrike was sufficient for their determination. This same level of evidence is routinely accepted in many venues, such as a court of law. Additionally, other entities found convincing evidence of Russian hacking. Only a stooge would think the evidence did not indicate Russian hacking. The evidence even indicates what street in Moscow the hackers worked from.

      Here's The Evidence Russia Hacked The Democratic National Committee

      Yes, the Russians Hacked the DNC Servers

      Hunting the DNC hackers: how Crowdstrike found proof Russia hacked the Democrats

      Delete
    19. Why didn't Somerby describe this situation accurately: the facts that available to both the right and left are denied and disbelieved by the right but accepted by the left.

      Delete
    20. I'm not talking about evidence of Russian hacking, I'm talking about evidence of Russia stealing the emails.

      I didn't read the articles to which you linked but they
      appear to be about Russia hacking servers, not stealing emails. There's no proof that they stole the emails.

      Also, Assange always said that he did not get the emails from Russia. The Mueller report worded the connection between Russia and Assange in a way that indicates he doesn't have proof that happened.

      But my point is these issues, even of they are bs, should in the very least be talked about in liberal media. And I also think is really a bad idea to demonize anyone who watches Fox News. Because it's opposition research. You should know your enemy.

      People love comic book stories. Large media institutions love comic book stories. The stories are easy to tell and easy to consume. Black versus white, good versus bad, cops versus robbers, cowboys versus Indians. It's the oldest story in the book. I just think at this point for the left, the comfort that brings has been disempowering and we are capable of doing better.

      The world is not a comic book. It's full of contradictions and truths frozen in equipoise between them. It's harder to understand and it's harder to report.

      That's the wildest thing about this Russiagate. Yes it is the easiest comic book story to tell, black versus white but there's so many other things to be outraged about that are unequivocally true that are rarely discussed.

      But the earlier poster is also correct, now that Trump has failed so incredibly and so massively on the coronavirus, finally in a way, you will have a real story that is black and white and easy to consume which properly demonizes the villain of your comic book worldviews on contemporary politics.

      Delete
    21. Again Bracket you are all wet.

      Trump's campaign did collude with Russia. Trump did extort Ukraine for personal gain. These are serous and high levels of corruption. Covid-19 is a failure of competency combined with corruption, and due to the deaths, is worse.

      The emails were hacked and then provided to WikiLeaks. The emails were hacked by the Russians. The only source of the emails was through hacking, the only hacking done was by the Russians. There may have been an intermediary agent (Stone) between Russia and WikiLeaks. That is the evidence. It is you that wants it black and white, video or photographs, but really the evidence is not that hard to understand. The evidence is beyond reasonable suspicion, beyond probable cause, it is a preponderance of evidence, it is clear and convincing, it is beyond a reasonable doubt. Do some reading outside your bubble.

      Roger Stone’s Secret Messages with WikiLeaks

      This issue needs to be talked about in all media. We need to have a discourse about how easy it is for people like you to get conned. You tout how you watch Fox News while admitting you will not read more reputable sources that conflict with your Republican talking points.

      Delete
    22. But my point is these issues, even of they are bs, should in the very least be talked about in liberal media.

      But we are talking about it. In your case you are expressing your hardon for Rep. Schiff and telling us about what a "red baiter" he is. And then you accuse Chairman Schiff of lying and being a fool. All for the sake of clearing the air and helping us comic book readers I suppose.

      Delete
    23. 8:28

      I wish it was easy for me to understand.

      It's not about me though. You should read the transcripts that were released from Schiffs intelligence committee. Susan Rice, Samantha power, James Clapper, Loretta Lynch are all asked if they had seen any evidence of collusion and all of them said no. The Attorney General said she saw no evidence of collusion.

      The CEO of Crowdstrike was the one who said "there is no concrete evidence" regarding Russia stealing the emails.

      Assange always said this was a mistake that people were making, conflating the hacking and the theft of the emails. And there's a timing issue also with the stealing of the emails that conflicts with the Russian theft narrative.

      If you can, please provide evidence of collusion, the emails being stolen by Russia and Russia providing the emails to WikiLeaks. (You can't. There isn't any) If that is what you believe, I'm fine to leave it at that. I'm just a deluded fool in a bubble who temporarily violated the golden tabernacle of truth and evidence about Russiagate. We can leave it there. Sadly!!! Somerby is so dead on right.

      mm - yes, that is the way I saw Schiff's performance. Take a look and see what you think. Do you feel like he's answering the questions directly? He accused the guy of working for the Kremlin when he was asked if he had evidence that Russia stole the emails. He was literally red-baiting but he was also avoiding answering the question. I didn't think he did great all.

      Delete
    24. "evidence of collusion"

      Moo-moo's cousin - just another Putin butt-caddy.

      Delete
    25. Bracket, you are wrong on all counts.

      You have not read the transcripts as your description of them is inaccurate. For example, what the Attorney General said was:

      "I was not asked to draw that conclusion, and so I would not have done that level of analysis. But at that time, you know, you would not have been looking to draw a legal conclusion at that point in time because you were still seeing things happen."

      and

      "Well, certainly l agreed with the Intelligence Community assessment. Based on everything that had been presented to me, l agreed with the assessment that came out in October, I agreed with the assessment that was released in I think early January. I agreed with those conclusions, and they were - they were based on things that had been presented to me in the PCs, and I thought that they were well founded conclusions and concerns."

      You are just wrong.

      You can read the Mueller indictments and his later report that details all of the evidence of collusion. It is damning, and there is a lot of it.

      "Concrete" evidence is not needed, as the facts indicate the only way WikiLeaks got the emails was from Russia. You are willfully ignoring evidence that provides the conclusion. You argue in bad faith. Assange also argues in bad faith, he claimed to have not been in contact with Stone, but he was in fact in contact with Stone, the texts were leaked. Assange lies to suit his needs. You appear to have the same intent.

      Delete
    26. If concrete evidence is not needed, why have there been no indictments?

      Concrete evidence is not needed for media innuendo? Not needed for what?

      Delete
    27. "facts indicate the only way WikiLeaks got the emails was from Russia."

      Please share these facts with me. Thanks

      Delete
    28. Regardless, you can see "the reds are told one thing about Flynn. The blues hear different allegations and facts." About Flynn but also about a bunch of other stuff like the Meuller Report and Russiagate which liberals are dead wrong about or now about Trump's mishandling of the crisis which the right is dead wrong about.

      It's very interesting. It's a fascinating insight into our natures.

      Delete
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    30. Bracket you continue to be wrong on all counts.

      The evidence that Russia hacked the DNC is the same as fingerprints on a gun. No one else procured the emails, they are the single source. This is trivial, you are being disingenuous.

      There were indictments! I encourage you to read the indictments.

      Multiple US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia gave the emails to WikiLeaks. This is also trivial and uncontroversial. Here is a Time article about it, this is no secret:

      U.S. Intelligence Report Identifies Russians Who Gave DNC Emails to Wikileaks


      Assange lied, you lied. You are wrong about Flynn as well, you are demonstrably wrong on all your nonsense assertions.

      Delete
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  2. What does Somerby think the colonists were told about King George III and the old country, that would cause them to be loyalists rather than joining the revolution? Polarization was so extreme that the choice of rebellion or loyalty to the King resulted in blood feuds between colonists that lasted until the Civil War and beyond, and resulted in fractures within communities that followed the same lines as that earlier revolutionary conflict as people chose sides, blue or gray. But Somerby thinks polarization is a new phenomenon.

    The polarity determines the lies, the choice of facts, the stories told, not vice versa.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the links hardindr. I am glad to see the other side of the argument. I would quibble with a couple of points
    1. It's not implausible that Flynn would plead guilty to avoid further prosecution. The prosecution IS the punishment. He was being bankrupted. He had been forced to sell his house.
    2. The reason William Shea signed the government brief is because he was the one chosen to investigate the entire case. Lawfare finds it striking that someone who had worked on the case wasn't chosen to investigate. I think it was reasonable for Barr to choose an outside person to review how the case had been handled. Under Lawfare's approach, the investigator would have been investigating him/herself.

    Nevertheless, I'm glad to know that there are two sides to dropping the Flynn prosecution.

    However, there are not two side to the fact that the FBI behaved abominably. They misled Flynn by telling him he didn't need a lawyer. They asked what he remembered a phone conversation, even though they had the complete transcript. This was a perjury trap, and it worked.

    BTW I have read that this sort of ugly behavior is not uncommon. That's the horrifying part. Some experts recommend that under no circumstance should you ever answer questions from law enforcement people without a lawyer. It's sad if this is the world we live in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be a perjury trap if they had no basis otherwise to bring a case against Flynn, that was not the case:

      https://slate.com/podcasts/amicus/2020/05/the-justice-department-under-trump-its-not-whether-you-lied-its-who-you-lied-for

      Delete
    2. Why would he lie, David? I know it's a quaint concept for you trumpbots like you, but I was always taught to tell the truth. Yeah, newsflash, cops ask questions of suspects all the fucking time when they already know the answer.

      Delete
    3. "I'm glad to see the other side of the argument" = lie.

      "I have read that this sort of ugly behavior is not uncommon." = trumpbot liar.

      Delete
    4. mm - Flynn was not being questioned as a suspect. At least, that's what the FBI told him. That's why they explicitly told him he did NOT need a lawyer.

      Delete
    5. It is against the law to lie to the FBI whether you are a suspect or not, with or without a lawyer.

      Delete
    6. That's a lie, David.

      ***
      McCabe said that he told Flynn he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” to discuss his contacts with Russian officials.



      “I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Flynn] and the agents only," McCabe wrote. "I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House Counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [General Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants."
      ****

      You just love the traitorous bastard.

      Delete
    7. "At least, that's what the FBI told him."

      Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731 (1969)

      Delete
    8. It is against the law to lie to the FBI whether you are a suspect or not, with or without a lawyer.

      That's almost true. However, it's only against the law to lie to the FBI if the lies are material.

      Delete
    9. Explain how Flynn's lie is not material and why he didn't raise the defense. He copped a plea you trump-addled cipher.

      Somebody has to move those goalposts, and it IS one of your favorite fallacies.

      Delete
  4. Somerby engages in "bothsidesism" when he suggests that both red and blue contingents in politics have their own sets of facts, as if both sides were equally divorced from reality. I doubt that is true. Conservatives not only emphasize facts that liberals consider irrelevant, distracting, specious, but they also tie those facts together with made up conspiracy theories that are outrageously inconsistent with any objective reality. I don't see the left (except the lunatic fringe) doing that. On the right, it isn't just fringe dwellers but mainstream that makes ridiculous things up.

    Here is Josh Marshall's take on things with respect to Flynn:

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/bothsidesism-stalks-the-new-york-times

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Without any doubt at all, it's true. You can simply look at Russiagate as an example of the left with one set of facts totally divorced from reality.

      You have to look at the bothsiderism of the New York Times as the media doing what they do which is protect the powerful. The both sides is an illusion, a mcguffin. There's only one side. Power.

      Delete
    2. COVID-19 must be devastating the troll farms in Russia.

      You complain that the Times says that both sides do the same things and then complain that both sides are the same - in the same freakin' sentence.

      Has it stopped snowing in Smolensk yet, Yuri?

      Delete
    3. It's funny you should mention troll farms. Did you know there's no evidence that the troll farms who put ads on Facebook we're connected to the Kremlin?

      If there is, please provide it.

      Delete
    4. You're funny.

      Delete
    5. Bracket you sound like one of those ads for Epoch Times.

      Yes there is evidence, indeed one of the outfits was being funded by the Kremlin to the tune of $1.25 million per month.

      Your trolling does not work here, go troll the Jimmy Dore fanboys, that is more your level.

      Delete
    6. " ... go troll Jimmy Dore fanboys, ..."

      SCORE!

      Delete
  5. "I wonder as I wander" is a beautiful Christmas carol. It has nothing to do with anything Somerby has written today.

    ReplyDelete
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  11. I want to thank Dr Emu a very powerful spell caster who help me to bring my husband back to me, few month ago i have a serious problem with my husband, to the extend that he left the house, and he started dating another woman and he stayed with the woman, i tried all i can to bring him back, but all my effort was useless until the day my friend came to my house and i told her every thing that had happened between me and my husband, then she told me of a powerful spell caster who help her when she was in the same problem I then contact Dr Emu and told him every thing and he told me not to worry my self again that my husband will come back to me after he has cast a spell on him, i thought it was a joke, after he had finish casting the spell, he told me that he had just finish casting the spell, to my greatest surprise within 48 hours, my husband really came back begging me to forgive him, if you need his help you can contact him with via email: Emutemple@gmail.com or add him up on his whatsapp +2347012841542 is willing to help any body that need his help.
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