Our comical flight from information!


Weintraub makes everything clear:
Since you probably didn't know it last week, Ellen Weintraub is chair of the utterly toothless, strongly Potemkin Federal Election Commission.

How toothless, and how Potemkin, is this ersatz federal agency? Consider this:

Weintraub's term on the FEC expired in 2007! She continues to "serve" because no president has bothered to replace her and because, under terms of federal law, a commissioner continues to serve until such time as she is replaced.

Please understand! The failure to replace Commissioner Weintraub shouldn't be seen as an endorsement of her meritorious service. At present, two seats are vacant on the six-member FEC because no president has bothered to attempt to fill them.

Comically, the terms of all four current commissioners have long since expired. For a background report, click here.

This is a Potemkin agency down to the bone. In fact, no one cares what the FEC does—even when it was at full strength, that had long been virtually nothing—and nobody gives a flying fig about what its dwindling band of aging commissioners might, on occasion, still tweet.

The FEC is the kind of joke which makes some citizens think it's time to ignore the federal government altogether. That said, Commissioner Weintraub made a comical statement this week—a comical statement which had Nicolle Wallace's favorite munchkins and elves quivering with delight.

In what was way the expired commissioner's statement comical? It was comical because she thought she was settling a current question, when she plainly wasn't.

Her statement involved the latest red scare, the one which has the munchkins chattering. Comically but familiarly, the statement by the expired pseudo-commissioner started exactly like this:
Statement by Commissar Weintraub

Let me make something 100% clear to the American public
and anyone running for public office. It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept...
"I would not have thought that I needed to say this," the weary commissar wearily wrote as she tweeted her sacred ruling to the waiting world.

We've shown you the part of Weintraub's statement which has been most widely quoted. The comedy involves Weintraub's apparent belief that she has made the state of play just amazingly clear.

Comically, she hasn't. To start to see why we tell you that, let's examine the full text of her declaration, which she wouldn't have thought she needed to say:
Full statement by Commissar Weintraub

Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office. It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept. Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation, Our Founding Fathers sounded the alarm about "foreign Interference, Intrigue and Influence." They knew that when foreign governments seek to influence American politics, it is always to advance their own interests, not America's. Anyone who solicits or accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong side of a federal investigation. And political campaign that receives an offer of prohibited donations from a foreign source should report that offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
You'll note that the expired commissioner immediately conflated "foreign nationals" (i.e., people who aren't United States citizens) with "foreign governments" (i.e., foreign governments). Just that quickly, her absurdly pompous statement ceased to be "100% clear."

In fact, her statement, just that quickly, ceased to be clear at all. But so it goes within the American discourse on a daily basis. (This explains the name we chose for this site in late 1997.)

A "foreign national" is not the same thing as a "foreign government!" But that conflation only begins to explain why the lapsed commissioner's statement is comically unclear.

This is why we say that:

As she makes her weary statement, Weintraub blows right past a basic question—what counts as "anything of value" within the legal frameworks to which she murkily refers?

What constitutes a "thing of value?" In some respects, the answer is perfectly clear.

It's perfectly clear, within the relevant federal laws, that a foreign person (or foreign government) can't give money to a candidate or a campaign. It's also clear that a foreign person or government can't donate material goods of certain obvious kinds.

For example, a foreign national can't donate a jet plane to a campaign, thereby eliminating a major travel expense for the campaign. This is all perfectly clear.

What isn't obvious is the question of how the transfer of information fits into this legal regime. Can a foreign national—a Russkie, a Brit or perhaps a Norwegian—simply tell a candidate something? Or is that prohibited too?

By normal standards, it's somewhat odd to establish laws which make it illegal for tell a person something. Within the context of political campaigns, does federal law say, for example, that a British citizen can't tell an American candidate something which is true about the American's opponent?

Is that what federal law says? If so, then why was it OK for Christopher Steele, a foreign national, to gather information from other foreign nationals and pass it on to entities which were being funded by the Clinton campaign?

We take it as obvious that there was nothing wrong with Steele's attempt to gather information about Candidate Trump. Indeed, it's hard to imagine that liberals would think someone was breaking the law when Steele, a Brit, spoke to Russkies in search of negative information about Trump.

Why in the world would anyone think there was anything wrong with that? Indeed, why wouldn't we want to gain information about the people who are running for high office?

It seems obvious to us that nothing was wrong with Steele's attempt to gather information within the context of the 2016 campaign. But Christopher Steele was a foreign national! In what way is it "100% clear" from the commissar's statement that his conduct was A-OK?

Within the context of our current pseudo-discussions, Weintraub's statement comes close to being the opposite of "100% clear." But the munchkins and elves on Wallace's show all took turns praising Weintraub for her brilliant act of elucidation, failing to see that her statement actually leaves us groping about in the dark.

At issue is a basic question—what sorts of things do we want to avoid in our upcoming election campaign? Putting it a different way, what sorts of behavior by foreign entities might we sensibly want to avoid—even declare illegal?

None of this is clear in any way from the clownish discussions we've seen on cable in the past few days. Wallace is clearly the worst of them all, but Don Lemon is also present with his reliably scattershot pundit gangs. We don't think we've seen a clear discussion of this murky topic yet.

How unclear is the state of the law? How unclear are the actual merits of the various matters at hand? Just consider this:

It isn't clear in the Mueller Report that Mueller and his team felt sure that the Russkie lawyer's transmission of information to Donald Trump Junior constituted a violation of the relevant federal laws.

Was the information she transmitted a "thing of value" under terms of the relevant laws? Below, you see some of what the gumshoes said:
MUELLER REPORT (Vol. I, pages 186-187): There are reasonable arguments that the offered information would constitute a “thing of value” within the meaning of these provisions, but the Office determined that the government would not be likely to obtain and sustain a conviction for two other reasons: first, the Office did not obtain admissible evidence likely to meet the government’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these individuals acted “willfully,” i.e., with general knowledge of the illegality of their conduct; and, second, the government would likely encounter difficulty in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the value of the promised information exceeded the threshold for a criminal violation.


These [legal holdings] would support the view that candidate-related opposition research given to a campaign for the purpose of influencing an election could constitute a contribution to which the foreign-source ban could apply. A campaign can be assisted not only by the provision of funds, but also by the provision of derogatory information about an opponent. Political campaigns frequently conduct and pay for opposition research. A foreign entity that engaged in such research and provided resulting information to a campaign could exert a greater effect on an election, and a greater tendency to ingratiate the donor to the candidate, than a gift of money or tangible things of value. At the same time, no judicial decision has treated the voluntary provision of uncompensated opposition research or similar information as a thing of value that could amount to a contribution under campaign-finance law. Such an interpretation could have implications beyond the foreign-source ban, see 52 U.S.C. § 30116(a) (imposing monetary limits on campaign contributions), and raise First Amendment questions. Those questions could be especially difficult where the information consisted simply of the recounting of historically accurate facts. It is uncertain how courts would resolve those issues.
Wallace's favorite jerk-offs and clowns frequently complain that we rubes haven't read the Mueller Report, as they so infallibly have.

We'd direct them to those passages, in which the gumshoes say that the courts might not seek to stop the flow of "historically accurate facts," even under terms of the federal laws Weintraub has comically failed to make clear.

"[N]o judicial decision has treated the voluntary provision of uncompensated opposition research or similar information as a thing of value that could amount to a contribution under campaign-finance law," the Mueller team rather clearly said.

They said that there are "reasonable arguments that the offered information would constitute a 'thing of value' within the meaning of these provisions," but they also said that it isn't clear that these arguments, even though "reasonable," would be sustained by the courts.

Can a foreign citizen give information to a campaign, even the kind that a 6-year-old will rush to describe as "dirt?" Under federal law, is it illegal for a foreign citizen to commit such an act>

Mueller's team didn't seem sure about that. That's because the answer to this central question is anything but clear, even after Commissar Weintraub's pompous, ridiculous statement.

We started this site in 1998 because we couldn't watch another day of this utterly dim-witted blather, even way back then. Today, it's Wallace and Weintraub and favorites and friends and corporate entertainment oh my.

Weintraub thought her comical diktat made things "100% clear." It's clear that Wallace, grinning and laughing, has never had so much fun in her life as she has each afternoon with her favorite collection of yes men.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. Future scholars say this ludicrous clowning led on to Mister Trump's War.

Who is Ellen Weintraub? Commissioner Weintraub went to Yale, then to Harvard Law School. This might seem to suggest that she was once much smarter than this.

It might also suggest that she always agreed with whatever her professors, and then her bosses, were saying around her. It may further suggest that 12 years in suspended animation may eventually dull the senses of a Harvard Law School grad.

Cable news is heavily peopled by climbers, agreers and pleasers. To see how bad their culture can get, just watch Wallace's sing-along at 4 PM Eastern each weekday.

Each friend will agree with everyone else. Judging from appearances, these idiots actually like it that way. They don't seem to notice when their pleasing group tales don't seem to make actual sense.


  1. The fact that the president has not bothered to fill seats on the FEC or reappoint the Chair does not make it a Potemkin agency. Trump has not bothered to fill many seats in his government, across many agencies. This is more due to Trump himself than to any failing of those agencies or to a lack of importance. For example, did not bother to appoint a permanent Secretary of Defense for nearly 6 months, but that is hardly an unimportant position. Many other positions have been vacant for years.

  2. Today Somerby defends Trump by maligning Weintraub, calling her a suck up (in so many words) and rule-follower in "suspended animation." This despite her continued activities to monitor and fine candidates who have broken FEC rules, witness fines levied against Bernie Sanders who nearly set records with his campaign violations.

    Trump said something stupid so Somerby goes after the woman who clarified what is legal and what is not, embarrassing Trump. An actual liberal would decry what Trump said, not the existence of the FEC and the need for someone to oversee campaigns and keep them honest.

    1. As per usual, Somerby seemingly presents a worldview where confronted with something difficult the response is to fold up tents and go home. He seems so angry at his lack of influence, he sees his readers as feeble minded Baltimore fifth graders.

      It seems like Somerby wants you to think that Weintraub has muddied the waters throwing out the phrase "foreign national" too casually. This is not the case, indeed the FEC has reams of rules about foreign nationals on their website:

      FEC Record: Outreach Foreign nationals

      Somerby seems to think he is cleverly manipulating liberals into defending Trump, but no. Indeed, it would be wrong for the Clinton campaign to pay for the Steele Dossier. Contrary to some media reports, it is not clear that they did, or knowingly did, or that they even received the document, so the non partisan Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the FEC. If Clinton did directly pay for and receive the Steele Dossier, that would be a violation of federal law.

      Steele is not a foreign national. The phrase has a specific meaning:

      Wikipedia Foreign national

      Trump's MAGA hats are made in America; however, this does not mitigate Trump's multitude of misdeeds.


    2. The hats were initially made in China then they quickly switched to America when the campaign realized it mattered. Of course Trump's people would deny making them in China.

    3. … Somerby seemingly presents …. He seems so angry … he sees his readers as feeble minded…. It seems like Somerby wants …. Somerby seems to think ….

      You apparently spend a lot of time in Somerby’s head. Either that, or your perception of him spends a lot of time in yours.

      [I]t would be wrong for the Clinton campaign to pay for the Steele Dossier. If Clinton did directly pay for and receive the Steele Dossier, that would be a violation of federal law.

      Which law is that? Federal election laws prohibit foreigners from donating to or managing US election campaigns. Paying foreigners for goods and services is not prohibited.

      Steele is not a foreign national.

      He’s not?

      The phrase has a specific meaning:

      Yes, it does. It’s anyone who’s not a US national or a US permanent resident (a.k.a. a green card holder). (All US citizens are US nationals, but god help us, not the other way around) What makes you think Steele is not a foreign national?

      In any case, the Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS, a domestic investigative company, for the Steele information.

    4. A foreign national is any person who is not a national of the country in which he or she is residing.

      Steele, a UK national, resides in the UK, has done so most of his life. He has not resided in the US, if he did, then he would be a foreign national.

      The rest of your comment is, unsurprisingly, equally weak and inaccurate. I suspected you were baited.

    5. @2:30 AM
      My dear dembot. You know, after all these years, I didn't think any dembot stupidity could ever surprise me anymore. But you - you did manage. Quite an achievement.

    6. AnonymousJune 16, 2019 at 5:53 PM

      Yeah and the sky is blue, thanks.

    7. 'You apparently spend a lot of time in Somerby’s head."

      Cool. Tell Sean Hannity I said "Hello".

  3. Somerby's comment about Weintraub being a kiss-ass because she went to Harvard is very revealing. I'll bet Somerby excuses his bad grades at Harvard by thinking it was because he didn't say what his professors wanted to hear, didn't repeat their own statements back to them.

    This is an interesting point. Many professors assume that when a student disagrees with them, it is because they are not understanding the material. In that case, they will give bad grades to students who don't say the right things. However, most arrogant 20-somethings will not listen and will cling to mistaken beliefs because they are not open to considering things from the professor's perspective (or the perspective of the authors that are assigned as reading). Such students are making mistakes, not bravely diverging from dogma.

    When you write criticism, you must first summarize what the author (or professor) has said, then explain the point of criticism. That way it is clear that the author's message was understood and is being critiqued, not that the student has misunderstood what the author/professor was saying in the first place.

    If Somerby never learned to do that, he would get bad grades. But it is unjust of him to blame his professors for imposing orthodoxy. Critical thinking is highly valued in academia, but it needs to show respect for the views being critiqued.

    Somerby shows no respect for anything he critiques, and I'll bet money that has been a pattern since his youth, which would put him in conflict with his professors and anyone else he came into contact with. So now he is a frustrated, bitter old man who takes every opportunity to spew bile at the Ivy Leagues. Maybe it was their fault for not teaching him how to express his ideas, but I'll bet money that they tried and he didn't listen.

    1. I worked in academia as a full professor. I never indoctrinated students, nor did anyone else I knew, nor was it part of our training to teach students, nor was it anyone's conception of what education was all about.

      This is another reason why I dislike Chomsky. He says this stuff without any evidence and all his young followers nod and sing "Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone, school's out forever!" because it is part of overthrowing figures of authority in their lives.

      Apparently Somerby never outgrew that juvenile attitude toward learning. That's a shame because learning is what all people must do throughout their lives in order to survive in a changing world.

      Rote learning went out with John Dewey back around the turn of the 19th century. Chomsky is attacking a model of education that was outdated at the time he said this stuff.

      If this is what you think Somerby is reacting to, he is very out of touch. I guarantee Harvard wasn't teaching classes this way in the 1960s when Somerby was there. Many professors were as radical, or more so, as the students were in those days. It is why professors are the first ones attacked by an authoritarian regime.

      Given Somerby's position on so many issues these days, I would place his motives in the authoritarian suppression of academic dissent category, not the education reform movement for whom this is stale bread.

    2. If you say so, Anonymous.

    3. I'll bet Somerby excuses his bad grades at Harvard….

      Don’t bet anything you’d miss. No one has received “bad grades” at Harvard since the second Mayflower went missing and was presumed lost at sea.

    4. Nice cull Cmike. Apparently, 7:08 didn't watch it, or at least, his eyes glazed over whilst doing so.

      “…nor was it part of our training to teach students…”

      That was written by a “full” (wetf that means) professor? Dog help our next generation.


    5. I almost pooped in my pants but I made it to the kitchen sink.

    6. Chomsky was a linguistics professor. There is no opportunity to indoctrinate in a linguistics class, although I'm sure he agitated for acceptance of his idea of universal transformational grammar. If he did that, maybe he assumes other professors do the same. Most of us "teach the controversy" instead of telling students what to think.

      "wetf that means" is an anti-intellectual slur, unsurprising coming from the right.

      A full professor is someone at the top of their field, the highest rank for a professor. It is voted by the department based on evaluations of research, service to the university, and teaching. It is a job title, just like Head Librarian or Top Chef or Chief Executive Officer.

    7. Anyone who has the least experience with academia, especially we Ivy alumni, choke with laughter at any assertion that dissent is accepted much less encouraged, or that indoctrination has not replaced education, or that critical reasoning is valued over ideology. We all knew how to play the game that must be played with our highly sensitive and extremely ideological professors. The view that this criticism represents a rebellion against authority is absurd, since students do not view professors as authorities on anything these days, if they ever did. Perhaps it was once different but not over the last quarter century. Traditional higher education institutions will and should go the way of the dodo. They serve no positive purpose in the modern world in developing the minds and perspective of citizens, and students emerge with diminished critical reasoning skills.

      They do serve a purpose as safe space sleepaway camp for your 18-year-old infant.

    8. Out of curiosity, what was your gpa?

    9. My grade poop average? It was shitty.

  4. "Is that what federal law says? If so, then why was it OK for Christopher Steele, a foreign national, to gather information from other foreign nationals and pass it on to entities which were being funded by the Clinton campaign?"

    If Somerby read his comments, he would know the answer to this and other questions he poses. Steele was paid for his efforts (by the DNC). It is contributions that are illegal, not paid work.

    Trump bought MAGA hats from China. The campaign paid for them. That makes them OK. If those hats were a gift from China, they would be illegal.

    1. A bunch of police who provided security at Trump's San Antonio rally haven't been paid yet by the campaign. Is that a contribution in kind? If some of those police are not citizens, does that make it an illegal contribution?

    2. @4:10,

      Doubtful. A contribution is something valuable "given, loaned, or advanced" to a campaign to influence an election. If the cops were stiffed (as they should have known they'd be given Trump's history), that doesn't turn their services into a gift. Even assuming that standing around pretending to help the Secret Service at a domestic nuremburg rally counts as influencing an election.

    3. Wasn't their security work "advanced" to the campaign? Denigrating that work of security cops is petty. They protect journalists from Trump's mob during his rallies, and that is an important job. The secret service is only required to protect Trump himself and his family, not the press.

      Read Katy Tur's biography of her time embedded in Trump's campaign.

    4. Probably not. I think advance is a legal term of art meaning pre-payment. Suppose you agree to buy 10,000 MAGA hats from the Trump campaign for $25 each. That's $250,000 for the campaign. Let's say that the campaign buys them for $5.00 apiece because they're using Chinese child-slave labor. That's a cost of $50,000. So the campaign clears $200,000. The whole $250,000 counts as a contribution, but if you pay the bill a year in advance, that's essentially a $50,000 interest-free loan for a year.

      Now, I suppose if the police agreed to provide their services on the understanding that they wouldn't bill the campaign or wouldn't contest nonpayment, that could be an in-kind contribution, but I don't think that would turn them into an advancing party. They're still receivers, not payers.

      Conspiring to provide illegal contributions is a crime, but like most crimes, it requires mens rea, which can’t be attributed to you by another (deadbeat) party.

      But -- Warning! -- I'm not a lawyer.

      I was assuming that the cops were a vanity display. If the cops were on duty, it's possible that the Trump campaign would agree to reimburse (and then stiff) the jurisdiction the cops worked for. But I'd guess that's enough distance that non-citizen cops wouldn't be a problem even if their services could be viewed as a contribution.

      But see warning above.

      I have a hard time believing that the Trumpsters would pay private security to protect journalists.

    5. Newsweek says: "Invoices from ten cities — including El Paso, Texas; Mesa, Arizona; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Green Bay, Wisconsin — show that the president and his campaign still owe local police and fire departments large sums of money for providing him with protection during his various rallies over the last three years." Add Lebanon Ohio to that list.

      Apparently the secret service requested local services in some cases.

      Aside from protecting the press, security breaks up fights (plentiful pictures of violent encounters are all over the internet) and keeps protesters separate from Trump rally attendees. I assume the secret service keeps supporters and others from rushing the stage.

      According to Tur, at one point they were putting the journalists in cages during the rallies.

  5. It does not strengthen Somerby’s case that he feels the need to denigrate the Federal Election Commission for problems not of its its own making, or that he remains willfully obtuse about the difference between paid oppo research (Steele) and a voluntary campaign contribution, or that he reads Weintraub’s statement as “pompous”, Somerby’s attempt at assessing her state of mind when she wrote it.

    The Mueller report is far from exculpatory about the Trump Tower meeting. After citing numerous legal decisions (one ironically written by Brett Kavanaugh), the report states:

    “These authorities would support the view that candidate-related opposition research given to a campaign for the purpose of influencing an election could constitute a contribution to which the foreign-source ban could apply.”

    The Mueller team ultimately decided against charging anyone, but it is clear they felt that “negative information” could reasonably be considered a “thing of value.”

    1. Have you seen the film "My Name is Nobody"? It is very entertaining, a parody by Sergio Leone of spagetti westerns, starring Terence Hughes and Henry Fonda.

    2. A fine film, not especially noteworthy, the lead is played by Terence Hill.

    3. Sorry, that's what happens when you don't look things up.

  6. It is never illegal under the constitution to accept and hear information, including ILLEGALLY OBTAINED information and it is never illegal under the constitution to disseminate information, including ILLEGALLY OBTAINED information if the knowledge of which has value to the public interest, which all such information on a political candidate does.

    Trump did nothing wrong and would do nothing illegal by disseminating Wikileaks information and if he continued to accept such information from foreign sources and inform the public he would not be doing anything illegal or wrong.

    You can always count on today's Democrats to be on the side of censorship and control of information, and punishment for the wrong words or thoughts.

    1. I urge Elizabeth Warren to say, publicly, “China, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find Trump’s tax returns”, and then, 5 hours later, we learn that China did, indeed, obtain Trump’s tax returns, and that, over the course of the campaign, a Warren surrogate, let’s say his name is Stoger Rone, works with an entity called “LikiWeaks” to strategically release the returns, one return at a time. It would be even more entertaining to watch the Republicans defend Warren’s free speech rights and her utter lack of collusion with the Chinese. Of course, you and I both know that they would scream bloody murder.

      Also, check out the Bluman case against the FEC. Leftist radical Brett Kavanaugh denied that Bluman had any 1st amendment rights in that case.

    2. There is no difference between China illegally obtaining the tax returns and informing the Warren campaign and the New York Times obtaining the tax returns illegally obtained by China and informing the Warren campaign. In either case Warren would and should be free to discuss, disseminate, and exploit the information therein.

      There isn't and shouldn't be any penalty for the reception and discussion of information about a political candidate, no matter what its source and who is disclosing it. The only exception to penalties for disclosing true information should be related to insider trading.

    3. This isn't about "information" of any kind. It is about foreign governments and individuals attempting to manipulate our elections.

    4. @anon 4:22:

      We’re glad you take such a broad, fair-minded view of the situation.

      Now, you may have trouble, given your non-partisan view, defending all of this:

      Trump: I hope Barr will 'do what's fair' with regards to investigating Hillary Clinton.

      ‘Trump as well as his top White House aides nevertheless appeared to have settled on the strategy of equating his use of material stolen by Russian intelligence in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign to Democrats’ use of former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to research Trump’s ties to Russia.

      “This information was gotten by the crooked Hillary campaign,” Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News, using the term Trump invented for his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton. “They’re the ones who solicited and paid for information from a foreign entity and Christopher Steele.”’


      Soliciting and paying for info isn’t even a crime!

      I eagerly await your condemnation of Trump and Barr in this.........

    5. It is never illegal under the constitution to accept and hear information, including ILLEGALLY OBTAINED information and it is never illegal under the constitution to disseminate information, including ILLEGALLY OBTAINED information

      I’m not sure what difference the phrase “under the constitution” makes or whether “accept and hear” means more than just “accept” or if “ILLEGALLY OBTAINED” information is different from “illegally obtained” information. Perhaps the latter is illegally obtained information that’s shouted at someone who’s hard of hearing.

      Whatever. I’ll bet you can think of numerous exceptions to your “never illegal” rule if you put your mind to it.

      Trump did nothing wrong….

      Trump is always doing something wrong. I don’t think that given what we know, releasing Wikileaks info is a crime. Given what we know.

      You can always count on today's Democrats to be on the side of censorship and control of information, and punishment for the wrong words or thoughts.

      Remember that projection rules: every right-wing accusation is a confession.

  7. 12:08

    "Weintraub's term on the FEC expired in 2007!"

    So spaketh Bob. If you weren't aware, Chimpy McDumbfuck was President at the time. It's been that long. Perhaps Bob should have used the term "toothless" rather than "Potemkin", but they amount to the same thing. I have no doubt, you would argue that the FEC is just "peachy" keen if the term toothless had been used. Sigh.

    Good post by Bob today, learned some stuff I didn't know. But that's usually the case, since he peruses media from which I would normally avert my eyes.


    1. It just isn’t clear how the FEC being “toothless” is relevant to Weintraub’s statement, or calls its validity into question.

    2. Bob doesn't like what she said, or that anyone is taking it seriously, so he must diminish her.

    3. When a professor stops teaching and becomes a professor emeritus, they stop being an expert. Everyone knows this.

    4. Emeritus status continues a university affiliation after retirement from teaching, so that a professor can continue research and participation in their field. You don't stop being an expert. Emeritus status is earned based on achievements before retirement and is voted by the academic department, like tenure.

    5. @Anonymous June 16, 2019 at 9:51 AM

      Blah blah blah. Toothless qualifications from expired academics.

    6. Or maybe expired qualifications from toothless academics. Anyway, they're no good, and Bob doesn't like them. Or they're no good because Bob doesn't like them. Whatever the case, when they say things Bob doesn't want said, they're bad.

  8. "In fact, her statement, just that quickly, ceased to be clear at all."

    What is so confusing to you, Bob? Liberal Zombie Cult Gospel is perfectly clear:

    1. any bullshit that benefits the establishment, obtained from any source (or appeared out of thin air) is welcome, and

    2. any true information that may harm the establishment is forbidden. Your 'social media' accounts will be banned, and you'll be blacklisted and possibly prosecuted.

    100% clear.

  9. Under the First Amendment, a defendant may not be held liable for a disclosure of stolen information if (1) the disclosure deals with “a matter of public concern” and (2) the speaker was not “involved” in the theft. Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514, 529, 535 (2001). Similarly, under tort law, a defendant is not liable for a disclosure if the disclosure is “newsworthy.” Wolf v. Regardie, 553 A.2d 1213, 1220 n.12 (D.C. 1989).

    1. There are limitations on free speech. Protecting elections from foreign interference seems like a reasonable limit.

    2. Protecting elections by making sure votes are counted properly is a reasonable objective.

      Criminalizing the receipt and dissemination of information to voters who will decide what they think about the information is not, but is the kind of issue that separates liberals from authoritarians.

    3. @anon 3:31
      Perhaps. But...what if the information is a lie?

      Also, you seem to forget that the information is perfectly ok to get and disseminate. The campaign is required to *pay* for it, if the source is a foreign national. How is that a free speech violation, or equal to authoritarianism?

    4. Also, it isn't "criminalized" but against campaign finance rules. Your campaign gets fined; you do not get put in jail.

    5. "the kind of issue that separates liberals from authoritarians"

      Meh. This has little to do with "authoritarians", imo.

      The hysteria about subversive (foreign!) propaganda, demands for censorship and so on is just a symptom of a terminal lack of support, unpopularity of the establishment. It's an agony, basically.

    6. Huh? Mao Cheng Ji mentioned "terminal lack of support" ?!? call your IT person... Mao, may I make a Great Leap Forward... English is NOT your 1st language... even though you grew up, maybe in Wassilla, AK? Like your former MAYOR and GOV...

    7. Greeting Gamaroc

      I learn now English too. I have joke for you. Who is so much fat that belt size is equator? Your momma!

  10. I preferred it when Somerby wrote exclusively about squid meat

    1. Hey guy, I've been posting here for 27 years.

      I'm deadrat. I'm known for the most brilliant posts.

    2. OK, I'm not the real deadrat, and I'm not known for anything brilliant.

      But why won't the real deadrat acknowledge me? Would it kill him to toss a comment my way? Nothing big, just a few lines.

      Is it so wrong to crave his attention?

    3. I am deadrat. And I seek Gordon Jump.

    4. I am not the real deadrat either, but I am in his head.

    5. I went to the Ivy League bro. That's why my posts have such ebullience. Such ebullient flavor

      The school of tone bro.

      I have the ability bud.

  11. Hello, ALL! it has been a minute. Bob still watches TOO MUCH MSNBC, failed people keep failing upward and THE HUCKSTER'S DAUGHTER is gliding her way to destroying my home state of Arkansas, as Governor... just like Asa, just like her father, just like all the people that vote Republican in Arkansas... I am HAPPY for the State of Arkansas... just like I am happy for all the people that post EXCELLENT COMMENTS here [pronounced HUR] rhymes with her I know I know. I should not leave ANGRY. I should just Leaf[sic] like a methane producing TREE.

  12. I am so happy, i never believe i will be this happy again in life, I was working as an air-hoster ( cabby crew ) for 3years but early this year, i loose my job because of this deadly disease called Herpes virus (HSV), I never felt sick or have any symptom, till all workers were ask to bring their doctors report, that was how i got tested and i found out that am HSV positive that make me loose my job, because it was consider as an STD and is incurable disease, i was so depress was thinking of committing suicide, till i explain to a friend of mine, who always said to me a problem share is a problem solved, that was how she directed me to Dr Isibor, that was how i contacted him and get the medication from this doctor and i got cured for real, I just went back to my work and they also carry out the test to be real sure and i was negative. Please contact this doctor if you are herpes positive diseases his email is: drisiborspellhome@gmail.com. or you can call or whatsApp his mobile number +2348107855231.

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