Have we liberals been propagandized?

MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2019

The pain of the Mueller report:
At this point, what should we think of William Barr's account of the Mueller report?

We largely agree with Kevin Drum. People should think Barr's account is extremely sketchy. Click here, but also click this.

A great deal remains unexplained about the Mueller report. That includes the question of why Robert Mueller didn't state an opinion as to whether Donald J. Trump committed obstruction of justice.

(Full disclosure: as a political matter, we regard that as an arcane, essentially insignificant point.)

Why didn't Mueller state a view regarding obstruction? Is it because of Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president?

Presumably, we'll get the answer to that question if Mueller's report is ever released. For now, we're amazed, yet not amazed, to see cable pundits discussing this question without this possibility being raised.

Presumably, more information about Mueller's report will become available at some point. That said, it's also true that the principal message from the report is this:
Read his lips. No new indictments!
No new indictments of anyone! No indictment of Donald Trump, Jr. No indictment of Jared Kushner. People, not even Ivanka!

No indictments regarding collusion at all. No indictments involving the endlessly ballyhooed Trump Tower meeting. No indictments regarding perjury during congressional hearings, as we liberals were promised.

No indictments involving the "lies" about the Trump Tower meeting, the "lies" which were spawned on the plane. Carter Page still walking the streets! Perfidy by Cohen in Prague? Long gone, disappeared and forgotten!

Drum is one of those very odd ducks who sits around reading books at night when he could be watching "cable news" instead. For that reason, he may not grasp the extent to which liberals have been assured that more indictments were surely coming—that members of Trump's family and team would all be frog-marched away.

"Cable news" has focused on little except this true crime drama. In this way, this mindless industry has kept displaying its empty corporate soul.

Especially on MSNBC, every guest is required to agree with every other guest. No discouraging words will be heard from (good God!) "our favorite reporters and friends."

Rachel Maddow has been especially crazy in the way she's turned her program into a political version of the true crime program, Dateline. It's been Manafort's sentence and little else, night after night after night.

Climate, health care, public schools? Nobody cares about bullshit like that! On this grinning narcissist's self-absorbed show, it's been Manafort all the way down.

This has been stupid, ugly work. Liberals have been propagandized in the process. Beyond that, we'll guess that Donald J. Trump has been helped toward re-election. Despite what we're constantly telling ourselves, our tribe just ain't real sharp.

In this morning's Washington Post: In this morning's Washington Post, Paul Farhi discusses emerging criticisms of the way this topic has been flogged in the past two years by mainstream and liberal orgs, including MSNBC.

Jonathan Chait and Rachel Maddow get hit especially hard. In our independent view, the work of each has been strikingly poor. Could they be Donald J. Trump's best friends, re-election-wise?

All in all, we liberals don't know how to speak to The Others; we only know how to pleasure ourselves. On the brighter side, the endless ladling of tribal porridge has been extremely good for business in the extremely high-salaried lands where tribal True Belief dwells.

Big stars agree all the way to the bank. Mister Trump gains a new shouting-point:

No new indictments of anyone! In our view, that looks like the biggest news here.


  1. A point that's been made elsewhere. We should all be happy and relieved to learn that the country is not being run by a Putin puppet. Democrats and journalists (I repeat myself) are not even bothering to pay lip service to this non-partisan aspect of Mueller's report. (Conservatives are also responding in a partisan way, but they never believed the collusion charges, so they're not relieved in the same way.)

    1. Interesting view you have: there are no Republican journalists.

    2. Journalists, including the "liberal" NYTimes keep referring to the Mueller report, yet not a single fucking one of these journalists have actually seen a report written by Mueller.

      Quick: how many pages are in it?

      What they of course are referring to is a 3 1/2" summary by a right wing political hack who had a large role in covering up Iran Contra and issuing pardons to the criminals involved. Of course that was because they happened to be "republican" criminals.

    3. Exactly, mm. And in his zeal to blame parts of the media for their previous coverage of Mueller, Somerby simply accepts the version of events being promulgated by other parts of the media at face value now, when it confirms his own narrative. And in so doing, he is missing an important bit of misconduct by the press.

    4. Eh, dear dead-enders demots, all juicy 'bombshells' and 'beginnings of the ends' have already been leaked.

      Of course it won't stop you from regurgitating them over and over, but you're right for not sounding too enthusiastic.

    5. No reason to question authority. That Deep State stuff was either all true or a lie, just like Mueller. And we can be certain that Barr is just as trustworthy as Lynch. Also, the press is all fake news, except when it isn’t, and can’t be trusted, except when it can. Good motto.

    6. mm - two problems with your talking point
      1. One a few partisans think that Barr's summary was unfair to Mueller's report.

      2. Barr said he would be releasing more of the report as they are able to separate which parts are legal to release. Subsequent releases are not going to change Barr's original summary.

    7. ******
      David in CalMarch 23, 2019 at 10:07 PM

      This is the new Democratic talking point, but it won't last long. First of all, just about nobody opposes releasing the Mueller Report - not even Trump.

      "Well, that would not be a position that I would want, to just make a statement where we would release confidential communications that took place between the President of the United States and the Department of Justice or the special counsel's office," Sekulow told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day."

      Stick your lists and your talking points up your lying treasonous ass, Comrade.

  2. "It's been Manafort's sentence and little else, night after night after night."

    I hope Mr Manafort is pardoned, asap.

    Justice would be served AND it'll allow liberals to masturbate some more. A win-win for everyone.

  3. So Somerby agrees with Drum, that Barr’s account is “extremely sketchy.” That should be cause for concern, that our AG might be engaged in some sort of whitewashing of facts. It is a matter of truthfulness, but it is also a political matter, and not an insignificant one. (One might recall Barr’s history here of protecting his own).

    Could this be related to the lack of new indictments? We don’t know. And we may never know, if Barr succeeds in hiding the report. In which case, his decision will have been “right.”

    And yet, given all this, Somerby reverts to his usual takeaway, that this is a bad look for journalists/liberals. If he actually agrees with Drum, then he should think about the implications of Drum’s views.

    Barr may have moved the goal posts, but Somerby’s complaint stays the same.

  4. “Carter Page still walking the streets! Perfidy by Cohen in Prague? Long gone, disappeared and forgotten!”

    Yeah, about that...

    Apparently, the GOP want to make sure Carter Page stays in the news.

    Nice try, Bob.

    1. "Apparently, the GOP want to make sure Carter Page stays in the news. "

      Outrageous. Don't they know that everything that could embarrass liberals MUST be expunged from history?

    2. Off topic. Somerby’s error is the topic. Try to keep up.

    3. Error? Why, Bob only follows liberal propaganda, and obviously in his world Carter Page is disappeared and forgotten. Expunged from the news, memories, and history books...

    4. You are right. That’s why Bob Somerby is a joke.

    5. The joke's on liberal Ministry of Truth.

    6. At least you’ll be happy, with one hand down your pants.

    7. Faggot Jap pencil dixk Mao sucks his mother's cock. Friendless idiot loner bitch.

    8. Thank you Mao. You are obviously hitting the right buttons.

  5. “Mister Trump gains a new shouting-point:”

    Well, he is certainly shouting.

    But the mainstream press is helping him do just that by screaming “no collusion”, etc, without having read a word of Mueller’s report or hearing from our AG.

    You too, Bob.

  6. Bob wrote, "Why didn't Mueller state a view regarding obstruction? Is it because of Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president?"

    Sorry, Bob. That's just wishful thinking. There's nothing secret about this charge. We know what Trump did: he fired Comey. As many have pointed out, this act did not constitute o of j, because
    1. Firing Comey was within the President's normal powers
    2. Comey deserved to be fired
    3. Firing Comey did not obstruct the investigation Trump/Russia collusion
    4. Since there was no such collusion, there was no crime to cover up.

    I don't know why the Mueller report said this was an open question. After all, it was his job to answer this question. My guess FWIW is that it was just a bit of gratuitous nastiness, possibly designed to punish Trump for refusing to testify.

    1. Russia was never the reason Trump won the election. It was always his bigotry. The corporate-owned media wasn't trying to make Trump look bad. They were trying to make the American public look good.
      You are correct about their failure, though.

  7. mm - Mueller was supposed to resolve this question, not punt. Would you have been satisfied with Mueller's work if he had two main conclusions
    -- We don't know if Trump committed obstruction of Jusice
    -- We don't know if Trump colluded with Russia.

    If that's what Mueller came up with, would you feel the country got its $30 million worth? Of course not. These are the questions Mueller was supposed to answer.

    1. You are an idiot, David, you treasonous bastard. You act like what we just witnessed is normal. Who the fuck gave Barr the authority to make the decision? A man who auditioned for the job by writing an unsolicited memo arguing a president cannot be found to have committed obstruction. In point of fact, Barr is now obstructing the obstruction of justice investigation.

      Past precedent in Nixon and Clinton was that the evidence was given to Congress. Neither one of the special prosecutors in those instances made the call either.

      Firing Comey was just one small piece of the obstruction of justice committed by this miserable bastard. He didn't want the report to go to Rosenstein and was supremely pissed that Sessions had recused so he had to fire Sessions and install his handpicked flunky to clean up the dirty work. If you don't see how outrageous that was you really are an idiot.

      And by the way, you miserable jackass, the seized assets from Manafort alone more than paid for the costs of the SC office.

      David in CalMarch 23, 2019 at 10:07 PM

      This is the new Democratic talking point, but it won't last long. First of all, just about nobody opposes releasing the Mueller Report - not even Trump.

      McConnell blocks resolution calling for Mueller report to be released publicly

    2. What's interesting, dembot, is that obviously the deep state spooks can fabricate and present 'undeniable proof' of anything.

      Of a 'collusion' with space aliens, if the want to.

      But this time they decided it wasn't in their best interests. And, quite likely, they made a deal with the other side.

      In any case, they fucked you, dembot. Hung you out to dry. Oh well.

  8. To no-one’s surprise (except perhaps Bob Somerby’s):

    New York Times 4/3/19: Some on Mueller’s Team Say Report Was More Damaging Than Barr Revealed
    “Some of Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated....”

    Or as one Rachel M. put it, “Who could have guessed?”