When an open minded reporter receives new information

Back in February, Matthew Continetti wrote an article complaining that the Washington establishment (both parties) was attempting to thwart the populist change that Trump was trying to bring to Washington.  Here is the conclusion:

So unlikely did the election of Donald Trump seem to Washington and its denizens that the reality of it still has not sunk in. All of the city’s worst traits—the self-regard, the group think, the obsessions with trivia, the worship of credentials, the virtue signaling, the imperiousness, the ignorance of perspectives and people from outside major metropolitan centers and college towns—not only persist. They have been magnified with Trump’s arrival. There is so much negative energy coursing through the city that circuits are overloaded. That the president still draws support from the coalition that brought him to office, that a fair number of people see his policies as commonsensical, seems not to affect any of Trump’s critics in the least. They will press on until Trump behaves like they want him to behave.

Which means the war between the president and the Washington establishment may last a very, very long time.

Many of my commenters made the same complaint.

Today anyone with half a brain can see that Trump is an incompetent buffoon.  So Continetti has a new piece in the National Review, which trashes Trump for incompetence, paragraph after paragraph after paragraph.  I’d like to excerpt the whole thing, but here’s the conclusion:

No staff shakeup that leaves unresolved or unmanaged the flaws of the principal, that does not address Donald Trump’s penchant for self-immolation, will have any positive effect on this White House. You cannot blame your communications staff for flawed messaging when they are afraid to leave you alone in a room with visitors and shake in their boots when they see you walk toward the residence at the end of the day. You cannot lament the disorganization of the West Wing when you refuse to establish and adhere to clear lines of authority. You cannot bemoan the lack of recognition you receive for your achievements when you create distractions for the media to latch on to. Until someone in the White House is willing or able to tell the president no, until the president listens to that person and respects them to such a degree that he does not turn against them within 24 hours, the atmosphere of paranoia and hysteria that has enveloped Washington will not subside.

Note to commenters: I love it when people have an open mind.

Today I read that Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia was quite dignified.  If he keeps this up I may be defending him a few months from now.  Let’s hope so.

Meanwhile, David Brooks points out that qualified people are not going to want to serve in the madhouse on Pennsylvania Avenue:

Few people of any quality or experience are going to want to join a team that is toxic. Nobody is going to want to become the next H.R. McMaster, a formerly respected figure who is now permanently tainted because he threw his lot in with Donald Trump. Nobody is going to want to join a self-cannibalizing piranha squad whose main activity is lawyering up. . . .

[O]ver the past 10 days the atmosphere has become extraordinary. Senior members of the White House staff have trained their sights on the man they serve. Every day now there are stories in The Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere in which unnamed White House officials express disdain, exasperation, anger and disrespect for their boss. . . .

Trump, for his part, is resentfully returning fire, blaming his underlings for his own mistakes, complaining that McMaster is a pain, speculating about firing and demoting people. This is a White House in which the internal nickname for the chief of staff is Rancid.

The organizational culture is about to get worse. People who have served in administrations under investigation speak eloquently about how miserable it is. You never know which of your friends is about to rat you out. No personal communication is really secure. You never know which of your colleagues is going to break ranks and write the tell-all memoir, and you think that maybe it should be you. . . .

As current staff leaves or gets pushed out, look for Trump to try to fill the jobs with business colleagues who also have no experience in government. It’s striking that the only person who this week seems excited to take a Trump administration job is Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, who made his name as a TV performance artist calling the Black Lives Matter movement “black slime,” and who now claims he has been hired to serve in the Department of Homeland Security.

I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see how this ends well for the GOP.

As usual, if you want non-Trump material you need to read my Econlog posts.

PS.  I will have a big announcement tomorrow about an NGDP prediction market.



63 Responses to “When an open minded reporter receives new information”

  1. Gravatar of Mark Mark
    21. May 2017 at 13:57

    Hypermind already sent out the email!

  2. Gravatar of Jeff Jeff
    21. May 2017 at 14:31

    I read somewhere that people who’ve worked for Trump before say that his management style is to keep underlings worried that they might be fired any minute, and to set them against each other. Doesn’t sound like a place most people would want to work, but in private industry Trump could offer enough compensation that sharp people would take the job anyway. Government salaries are much more limited, so you can’t mistreat your employees or they’ll walk.

    It certainly seems that by not letting his communications people do their jobs without undue interference, Trump is hurting himself a lot. It’s true that tweets provide a way to get stuff out there that the partisan press would rather not report on, but the tweets would be more effective if Trump would at least have his communications people review them before he sent them. The White House has got to speak with one voice, i.e., whatever messaging it’s doing has to be consistent across outlets. Trump is not paying attention to what his own people put out, presumably with his approval, and he keeps contradicting it.

    But while this is incompetent messaging, it’s not criminal behavior. It can be fixed pretty easily.

  3. Gravatar of JG JG
    21. May 2017 at 14:32

    I love Scott’s contradictions. He doesn’t believe in moral absolutes – only probabilities of right and wrong or put in another way his faith is in happenstance. But as long you agree with Scott you are ABSOLUTELY open minded. And if you don’t agree with him you are not open minded. That’s what I call ABSOLUTELY open minded!

  4. Gravatar of BC BC
    21. May 2017 at 14:43

    Why do you think this is going to end poorly for the GOP? The party will be just as happy, probably happier, with a President Pence than with Trump. In terms of Trump’s negatives rubbing off on the GOP, most Trump critics say he is uniquely bad. That implies that his negative characteristics are uniquely personal rather than reflective of his nominal party. While there are still Trump defenders, there are many outright conservative critics as well as GOP party members that distance themselves from Trump through silence or other refusals to defend him. Probably, the worst outcome for the GOP would be if Trump manages to just barely avoid enough scandal to run for re-election in 2020, thus shutting out the possibility of a different candidate. (In that case, probably the only thing that could save him and the GOP would be if Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren wins the Democratic nomination.)

    The GOP has the advantage of being a party built around ideology rather than personalities and interest groups. (That does not mean that the GOP adheres to their professed ideology perfectly — Trump is a perfect example. But, the GOP is united and identified by ideology.) That’s not just a GOP characterization; even liberals like Ezra Klein characterize the parties that way [https://www.vox.com/2014/9/15/6131919/democrats-and-republicans-really-are-different]. Ideology transcends individuals and, thus, helps the GOP insulate themselves from Trump fallout.

  5. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    21. May 2017 at 15:50

    From Continetti:

    ‘Imagine another president whose administration comes under investigation. It’s not hard to do. How does he act? He does not mention the proceedings in speeches, he tries to avoid the topic altogether, he pursues his agenda to the best of his ability, and when asked about the matter in interviews he deflects the question by saying he won’t comment on an ongoing investigation, or by reminding the journalist that the truth will vindicate his people.’

    Yeah, that really worked for Nixon. Continetti comes across as…how to put it…

    ‘…the self-regard, the group think, the obsessions with trivia, the worship of credentials, the virtue signaling, the imperiousness, the ignorance of perspectives and people from outside major metropolitan centers and college towns….’

  6. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    21. May 2017 at 17:48

    So which is worse—Trumpian hypocrisy and dystopia, or GOP-establishment hypocrisy and dystopia?

    And yes, the Donks are just as bad.

    Bush jr. and the establishment got us into Iraq-Afghanistan, for cool $6 trillion and counting, for counter-prouctive results. Tar-baby wars. Read the “expert” or establishment foreign policy blogs. They are recommending we double down on Iraqistan.

    Real wages for young men in the U.S. are down 31% since 1969, or so cites Tyler Cowen.

    Property zoning and tight money are suffocating U.S. economic growth.

    Add trade deficits to property zoning, and you get exploding house prices.

    Dudes, you can drink the red kool-aid, the blue kool-aid or the Trumpian Royal Purple Deluxe kool-aid.

    Query: Trump bombs five nations in his first 100 days in office, with barely a quibble for the establishment, and some accolades (he showed “strength and resolve.”)

    I guess bombing multiple nations at any time is the new norm.

    Trump fires Comey and it is a firestorm.

    Do you think D.C. is becoming a self-reverential cocoon? Oh, maybe….

  7. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    21. May 2017 at 19:00

    But the media was just as hard and unfair on Obama!


  8. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    21. May 2017 at 19:02

    My God, we have actually gotten to the point where unnamed, unverifiable sources can literally say anything and the Media treats it as fact?


  9. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    21. May 2017 at 19:03

    DC Bar Manager says Police did NOT ask for Video and did NOT Interview Staff regarding SETH RICH!


  10. Gravatar of DG DG
    21. May 2017 at 19:27

    I think this ends badly for everybody except Alex Jones. In an era of the deep-state coup, the paranoid thrive. The GOP splinters (Neocon/TEA/SocialCon), the Dems splinter (Union/SJW/globalists), the Libertarians will continue to organize on a platform of anarchy, and media will continue to fracture into non-intersecting bubbles. Worst case scenario is #Resist being taken up by the nation’s gun owners and law enforcement instead of the Snowflakes. Again, good for Alex Jones and other purveyors of heritage seeds.

  11. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    22. May 2017 at 02:32

    I have an open mind. So let’s assume Trump is incompetent and got the intelligence of a child. It might be true. But if this is really true then removing him from office should be easier than taking candy from a baby. Or not?

    Two questions arise at this point: 1) Why didn’t it happen already? 2) How could an incompetent guy with the intelligence of a child become POTUS in the first place? The mainstream theory might be true but it implies that the GOP, Hillary, the Donks, and the media basically lost to a guy who is too stupid to tie his own shoelaces.

  12. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    22. May 2017 at 04:27


    The Revenge of the Buffoons?

    Tuesday’s budget will be more significant, because it will seek changes to entitlements — programs that are essentially on auto­pilot and don’t need annual authorization from Congress. The people describing the proposals spoke on the condition of anonymity because the budget had not been released publicly and the White House is closely guarding details.

    The proposed changes include the big cuts to Medicaid. The White House also is expected to propose changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, though precise details couldn’t be learned. SNAP is the modern version of food stamps, and it swelled following the financial crisis as the Obama administration eased policies to make it easier for people to qualify for benefits. As the economy has improved, enrollment in the program hasn’t changed as much as many had forecast.

    An average of 44 million people received SNAP benefits in 2016, down from a peak of 47 million in 2013. Just 28 million people received the benefits in 2008.

    SNAP could be one of numerous programs impacted by changes in work requirements.

    Josh Archambault, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability, a conservative think tank, said that giving states the flexibility to impose work requirements could lead to a raft of changes to programs ranging from Medicaid to public housing assistance.

    “One of the encouraging things about putting this in the budget is that states will see if it works,” he said. “States will try it.”

  13. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    22. May 2017 at 04:46

    What happens when an open minded blogger receives new information;


    The president’s flight from Riyadh to Tel Aviv on Monday was believed to be the first direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

    Trump landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport for a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories as part of his first trip abroad since taking office.

    An Israel Airport Authority spokesman said he was not aware of any direct flights ever having landed in Israel from the kingdom.

    Saudi Arabia doesn’t recognize Israel and the two states don’t have diplomatic relations. There are no direct flights between the two countries and flights from either country bypass the other’s airspace.

    After Trump landed in Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed “hope that one day an Israeli prime minister will be able to fly from Tel Aviv to Riyadh.”

    While neither country is in a position to dictate to Trump where to fly, his arrival nonetheless reflects the warming relationship between them.

  14. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 07:39

    The National Review is a globalist/CIA shill rag. The author writes that Trump “cannot bemoan the lack of recognition you receive for your achievements when you create distractions for the media to latch on to.”

    That is hilarious, when it is the media such as the NR that is itself creating fake stories and creating controversy. There is documented proof of this occurring again and again.

    “Until someone in the White House is willing or able to tell the president no”

    Where is the proof this isn’t occurring? Citations of “Anonymous sources” and “US officials” do not count.

    Then Sumner cites a David Brooks *opinion* piece, which is not news at all.

  15. Gravatar of Bob Murphy Bob Murphy
    22. May 2017 at 07:39

    Here’s another open-minded reporter. He hates Trump’s policies with a passion and yet doesn’t assume every anonymous source quoted in the Washington Post is telling the truth.

  16. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 07:42

    Come on Sumner, where is the evidence based claims?

    How about this: Someone managed to get on video actual collusion between Russia and the US president:


  17. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 08:09

    Somebody has edited Seth Rich’s gmail account in the last 3 days, since the story of his suspicious murder hit the mainstream:


    (His Twitter and Reddit accounts may have also been edited)

    There is apparently no no CCTV footage of him on the night despite there being cameras around the area, it was a burglary gone wrong when nothing was stolen, he was apparently conscious upon the officers arrival however the bodycam footage is nowhere to be seen, Julian Assange has essentially all but confirmed Seth was the leaker (without confirming it), and the media is ignoring this and focusing on Trump having 2 scoops of ice cream instead of 1

    Now read this:


  18. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 08:12

    Brad Bauman, crisis manager and DNC operative, who works for the Pastorum Group, is PANICKING over people investigating Seth Rich’s murder:


  19. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 08:14

    Why would the “spokesman” of a family whose son was murdered be so rabidly against people who may have information about his assassination coming forward?

    Does he have additional information he is not letting on?

  20. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 08:17

    Panick is spreading throughout DC


  21. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 08:25

    The media is quiet these past couple of days.

    My guess is that they are in talks with their Democrat handlers to see which way to distort the Seth Rich revelations to fit their narrative.

    Expect an onslaught of coordinated fake news with similar talking points from many different media outlets in the coming days

  22. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 08:32

    I would not be surprised if in the coming days a lone, crazy, “Trump supporter”, is MKULTRA’d into looking for Seth Rich’s murderer, and do something drastic with a gun

  23. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 08:47

    Or, Seth Rich will be portrayed as a Russian spy working for Putin and Trump, and he was murdered to be kept quiet

  24. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 08:58

    The NYT is in full propaganda mode:


    They are using an unconfirmed, unproved, “anonymous source” statement and attributing it to Trump

    This is fake news

    Sloppy too, because whoever made that quote up, forgot to change Russia to the first person in their mind, the guy kept Russia in the third person as it would be in his own mind

    Saying “I faced great pressure because of Russia” to Russia?

    This is hilarious to behold ladies and gentlemen

  25. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 10:07

    Class action lawsuit against the DNC, for rigging the primaries, is going ahead


    Of course not one peep of this from CNN (who themselves have had a class action suit brought against them), NYT, WaPo, or any of the other deep state propaganda outlets.

  26. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    22. May 2017 at 12:09

    In the end it’s just about policy.

    This explains perfectly why the media, the Donks, and the “Moderates/Independents” hate Trump so much: They pretty much completely disagree with his policy.

    This also explains nearly perfectly why the GOP and its base still stick with him: They see his flaws but so far they are in agreement with his core policy about tax cuts, deregulation, immigration, foreign policy, welfare cuts, and really big government in other fields.

  27. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 12:37

    NYT is so fake they are now claiming their fake news is not their fault, it’s the fault of the people they are writing negative fake news about all the time:


  28. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 12:52

    This is how you can know for yourself that the WaPo is proven fake news:

    Look at how they describe the theory that the DNC murdered Seth Rich for among other reasons leaking the DNC emails to Wikileaks:


    They so eagerly and urgently call the theory “discredited”, despite the fact that the murderers have not even been found yet, and even if they were found, there would have to be an investigation, etc

    The WaPo has absolutely no business whatsoever calling this a “discredited conspiracy theory”, unless they are purposefully trying to spread a narrative for political purposes, period, end of story

    The WaPo is a propaganda mouthpiece for the deep-state/DNC, there is no other rational explanation for their behavior

  29. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 12:55

    Lois Lerner, Loretta Lynch, and Brian Pagliano plead the 5th Amendment – and the media protected them.

    Michael Flynn pleads the 5th – and he’s branded a criminal.

    See how the MSM operates?

    It’s psyops

  30. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 13:01

    The law firm that issued the cease & desist letter, Kutak Rock, apparently was joined by several high profile lawyers from the Rose Law Firm in 1998. Guess who was the first female partner at the Rose Law Firm? Hillary Clinton.

    This story also includes the name of the lawyers who left the firm. Kutak Rock has also given significantly to the DNC in the Obama and Clinton campaigns.

    What are the odds the law firm connected directly to the same law firm Hillary Clinton was a partner at are the ones working on behalf of a killed DNC staffer?


  31. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 15:51

    SEIU is the group that actually assassinated Seth Rich.

    Of note, Brad Bauman, the Rich family “spokesman”, previously worked for the SEIU. SEIU are the hired “thugs” of the Democrat criminal organization (Republicans likely have a group like that as well, still researching…) to do their dirty political work http://archive.is/6xZg1

    Many top DNC henchmen are in full panic mode right now, they know they are going to be exposed eventually, they cannot stop it

  32. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 16:04

    The “source” behind the NYT memo story is married to a woman who worked for Hillary’s campaign. Her name is Tamara Wittes: Foreign policy adviser to the 2016 Clinton campaign. She was also Deputy Assistant Secretary under Clinton when she was secretary of state. Apparently Tamara “was central to organizing the U.S. government’s response to the Arab awakening.”

    The “source” himself is also a Democrat shill. He tweeted that Trump voters are racist and should be deported: https://i.imgur.com/U07AmhF.jpg

  33. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 16:07

    The NYT “journalist” behind the obviously fake Comey memo story admits he never even saw the memo:


    Schmidt stumbled over his words as he commented to Williams, “Someone that had seen [the memo] had recounted details to me.”

  34. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    22. May 2017 at 20:47

    Seth Rich’s cousin said he did not delete his comment from Twitter, but it was deleted.


    “It’s not hard to understand, I did not delete that Tweet. Move along.”


  35. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    23. May 2017 at 04:43

    World to End Tomorrow: Women, Children, Poor, Druggies to Suffer Most


    “We need people to go to work,” Mulvaney said. “If you are on food stamps and you are able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you are on disability insurance and you are not supposed to be, you are not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work. We need everybody pulling in the same direction.”

    Democrats and anti-poverty advocates decried the changes, saying that Trump is seeking to strip support for the most vulnerable Americans while cutting taxes for the wealthiest.

    “This would pull the rug out from so many Americans who need help: those suffering from opioid and heroin addiction, people in nursing homes and their families who care for them, the elderly, the disabled and children,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.

  36. Gravatar of Floccina Floccina
    23. May 2017 at 05:57

    That first excerpt reminds me of one of your points, that is that polls are not so a good a measure of what people want. Blue collar people tend to be very anti-international trade, but they know so little about it that explaining some things to them will often get them to switch sides. I have a blue collar, low income friend who was complaining about Mexican immigrants to me in quite an emotional way. I told him that immigrants rent and buy homes and food and stuff and how much poorer poor Mexicans are than low income Americans like him and that they were just trying to improve their prospects and those of their children. He softened and said “yeah I would probably do the same in their situation.” That was all it took.

    Pro-Trump people think that they want to cut off trade until they hear about the costs and they are anti-immigrant until they think of immigrants as people.

  37. Gravatar of Bob Murphy Bob Murphy
    23. May 2017 at 06:37

    Whoops, just an FYI on that Glenn Greenwald article I linked above–it ran in mid-March 2017. So it’s still valid but I thought it was recent when I posted it.

  38. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    23. May 2017 at 09:10

    Not surprised at all to see Bob Murphy and cap’n troll shill for Trump. Scratch a “libertarian” long enough and you find an old fashioned conservative.

  39. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. May 2017 at 10:26

    BC, The GOP is built around ideology? Really? What ideology is that?

    Bob, I read that post you linked to without knowing the date, and was going to completely trash your argument, as that article would have been completely false if written in the past few days. The fact that you thought it was written in the past few days and still linked to it speaks volumes. MSNBC, CNN, the NYT, the WaPo, etc., etc., state over and over and over again that there is as yet no evidence showing collusion between Trump and the Russians. This “scandal” is about a completely different issue—obstruction of justice.

    The 4 liberal news outlets I just cited have been far too easy on Trump over the past week. Even if there was no Russia collusion, Trump needs to be impeached right now.

  40. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    23. May 2017 at 12:21

    O/T: Fox News retracts hoax about Seth Rich they helped propagate: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/fox-seth-rich/527850/?utm_source=atltw

  41. Gravatar of Postkey Postkey
    23. May 2017 at 13:22

    “Trump needs to be impeached right now.”

    For this?

    “Trump just signed a $460 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. . . .

    In 2011 Trump says Saudi is “the world’s biggest funder of terrorism.”


  42. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    23. May 2017 at 14:26

    “Trump needs to be impeached right now.”

    I think that’s up to the Members of Congress. They didn’t impeach him so far so I assume that the majority sees no need to impeach him right now at all.

  43. Gravatar of Postkey Postkey
    23. May 2017 at 23:04

    Or for this?

    ‘On Thursday, a group of scientists, including three working for the U.S. Geological Survey, published a paper that highlighted the link between sea-level rise and global climate change, arguing that previously studies may have underestimated the risk flooding poses to coastal communities.
    However, three of the study’s authors say the Department of Interior, under which USGS is housed, deleted a line from the news release on the study that discussed the role climate change played in raising Earth’s oceans.

    “While we were approving the news release, they had an issue with one or two of the lines,” said Sean Vitousek, a research assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It had to do with climate change and sea-level rise.”
    “We did end up removing a line,” he added.’

  44. Gravatar of Bob Murphy Bob Murphy
    24. May 2017 at 08:40

    “Bob you fool, the media dropped their evidence-free narrative about Trump’s collusion with the Russians a month ago. Now they are pushing their evidence-free narrative about Trump trying to stop the investigation of the non-collusion.”

    — Very close to an actual Scott Sumner comment

  45. Gravatar of J Mann J Mann
    24. May 2017 at 09:15

    Yeah, as a guy sympathetic to many of Trump’s stated goals, and even to Trump himself as larger than life 80s New York personality/Billy Flynn style American huckster, I have to say that Trump’s administation is worse than a crime – it’s a mistake.

  46. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    24. May 2017 at 16:04

    “MSNBC, CNN, the NYT, the WaPo, etc., etc., state over and over and over again that there is as yet no evidence showing collusion between Trump and the Russians.”

    Sumner the fact you cannot see the forest for the trees speaks volumes

    These outlets keep pushing the NARRATIVE that there MAY have been collusion, and yes, they have done this “over and over and over again”, and not only that, but “over and over and over again” they did not correct democratic guests and other propagandists who claimed outright there was collusion, they just let the narrative go unchallenged

    This was all on purpose, not to discredit the theory, not to ensure their viewers have the facts, but to continue to push the narrative there has been collusion, and it is just a matter of time before the evidence comes to light.

    They’ve been doing this since the election!

    Now you’re pushing a narrative of “obstruction of justice”, when just like the Russia collusion narrative, there is no credible evidence at all of that either

    Comey under oath to Congress said there has been zero obstruction,
    acting FBI Director McCabe testified under oath there has been zero obstruction, and yet the media kept pushing the narrative that there MAY have been obstruction, again to convince their viewers that there was and it is only a matter of time before the evidence proves it.

    Then after Comey was fired all of a sudden we’re told there was obstruction again? Say what?

    Don’t you see that Comey would have been legally obligated to disclose obstruction as soon as it happened, lest he be charged with a felony, and possibly disbarred? Are you claiming Comey broke the law back when he was Director? Did the acting Director break the law?


    Is the Russia collusion story fake news?

    Now you are saying obstruction? Of what? Of investigating something that did not even happen and has been claimed by the parties involved did not happen?

    Your approach to all this, speaks mountains of volumes

    Speaking of obstruction: what is erasing emails, hammering phones and bleaching your server? What is attacking and covering up research of Seth Rich’s murder?

    See, the real issue here is that you already have a prejudiced set of beliefs, and you WANT to believe the fake news to be real news.


    Julian Assange: “Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material, often very significant risks. There’s a 27-year-old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back, murdered, just two weeks ago, for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.”

  47. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    24. May 2017 at 17:47

    Bob, No evidence that Trump is trying to stop the investigation? First he asks Comey for “loyalty”. Then he asks him to stop the investigation. When Comey refuses he fires him. Then he brags about the firing to the Russians, saying it takes the pressure off on the Russian investigation.

    So, Inspector Clouseau, er, I mean Bob, you still don’t see any evidence of obstruction of justice.

  48. Gravatar of Bob Murphy Bob Murphy
    25. May 2017 at 07:15


    Everything you are claiming as “fact” there comes from anonymous sources. This was the situation we were in a few months, when people were so sure that Trump’s team had colluded with the Russians that talking heads all confidently ran with that narrative (as illustrated in the March Glenn Greenwald story I linked above).

    It’s amazing to me that you just slough all that off like it was nothing, and now move on the obstruction of justice stuff, again with the same foundation. It’s like Fox News guys who had no regret over the WMD claims in Iraq, and then seamlessly went into saying we should bomb Iran because they’re stockpiling WMDs–I mean, the intelligence community says so!

  49. Gravatar of Bob Murphy Bob Murphy
    25. May 2017 at 07:19

    Last one and I’ll move on: Scott, don’t you think it’s weird that the NYT would apparently run a story about the alleged Comey memo(s), when the anonymous sources giving the info to the NYT wouldn’t even provide the reporter with a (possibly redacted) copy of the memo? They weren’t claiming that the memo got burned up in a fire, the claim is that the memo still exists. That doesn’t in the least bit set of your spidey sense that something is odd about this situation?

    You don’t think there was anything weird about Comey’s behavior before the election (remember, when Democrats were outraged and ended up calling for his resignation / firing), and then he says nothing about being pressured in his Senate testimony, but then *after* he gets fired he suddenly brings up how Trump committed a crime back in February?

    You really think the proper thing here is to just assume the NYT / WaPo version of history is the full truth, and that anybody who questions all of this should be sarcastically mocked?

  50. Gravatar of Massimo Heitor Massimo Heitor
    25. May 2017 at 07:21

    @Sumner, you should change and support Trump’s advocacy for a more Canadian style immigration system that tries to select for people who will contribute to the host society. That should be the mainstream common sense position and it is considered some fringe extremist view. You have said that Trump lies, but you can at least say that his claimed intent of Canadian style merit immigration should be the reasonable mainstream view and is not some extremist viewpoint. The debate on immigration is toxic and absurd and Trump is absolutely not the worst or primary offender there. The entire public discourse on race/ethnicity/immigration is deeply dishonest.

    The unselective open immigration model of Caplan seems horrific. I’m writing this from Italy that has recently imported large number of Sub-Saharan Africans and people from North Africa to the horror of most of the existing population of Italy. Seeing the country first hand, that looks like a terrible idea. I agree with free-trade, and the rest of free market ideology. And Italy needs more of that and more modern competitive industry and to attract more globalist employment. The cab drivers I talked to hate Uber/Lyft and apparently successfully got those services booted out. That’s bad.

  51. Gravatar of Potpourri Potpourri
    25. May 2017 at 07:25

    […] Speaking of Trump and anonymous sources for major media outlets, I continue my valiant efforts (here and here) to troll Scott […]

  52. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    25. May 2017 at 15:21

    To add just a tidbit to Murphy’s post:


    Now the FBI refuses to even provide the House with a copy of this memo

    Now surely, the only plausible reason for that decision, is that the memo is fake

    With this “new information”, will Sumner be “open minded”?

    Ha, fat chance

  53. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    25. May 2017 at 15:28

    Can you imagine what the media would say if the Trump administration refused to hand over evidence? Sumner would lose his mind again

  54. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    25. May 2017 at 16:57

    Dr. at hospital where Seth Rich was taken is on a John Podesta e-mail guest list:


    The Dr.s wife also has ties to the Uranium One deal


  55. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    25. May 2017 at 19:58

    In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked.”

    However, a ruling declassified this month by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) chronicles nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules that occurred on Comey’s watch:


    Sumner silent

  56. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    25. May 2017 at 20:00


  57. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    26. May 2017 at 11:24

    Bob, It not true that everything I said came from anonymous sources. And the White House isn’t even denying the claim that Trump told the Russia that firing Comey took the pressure off. Instead they are defending his comment. Do you really think they’d defend it if the transcript showed it didn’t happen? You need to accept the fact that Trump tried to obstruct justice. Not wanting it to be true because you like Trump doesn’t make it false. Dozens of people in the White House were given transcripts of the meeting—and none of them are deny that it’s in the transcript.

    Look, some people have a nose for reading between the lines on news stories, and some don’t. I’m pretty good at telling which new stories should be believed. (The Seth Rich story is obviously just for tinfoil hat loonies, for instance.) I’m not right 100% of the time about which are correct, but almost all the time. And my nose tells me that Trump fired Comey because he was upset about the Russia investigation. There’s way too much smoke here for this all to be made up.

    My subjective probability of being wrong on this point is less than a tenth of my subjective probability about being wrong about market monetarism.

  58. Gravatar of Patrick Szar Patrick Szar
    27. May 2017 at 08:16

    Wow that was arrogant. Apparently we have found a source for truth in the world of debate. Sounds a bit like a circus act. Maybe you can get a retirement job with the local carnival, solving all the worlds problems.

    Just to be clear, the above comment references being “pretty good at telling which new(sic) stories should be believed” is damn near discrediting for an intellectual. Clearly the case of an ivory tower guy who believes himself superior to the average person as well as his own contemporaries. Laughable.

  59. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    27. May 2017 at 09:56

    “It not true that everything I said came from anonymous sources.”

    Almost all of what you have written about Trump has come from anonymous sources, let that sink in.

    “And the White House isn’t even denying the claim that Trump told the Russia that firing Comey took the pressure off.”

    They aren’t denying many accusations, and even if this particular point of the pressure being taken off is true, it doesn’t actually imply any guilt, but depressurization from the lying deep state.

    “You need to accept the fact that Trump tried to obstruct justice.”

    Comey already cleared Trump before he was fired

    Destroying a false Russia collusion narrative cannot be obstructing justice, but would in fact be in the interest of justice.

    You don’t want to accept the fact that the Russia collusion narrative is a lie, created by the democrats to excuse their loss, and to undermine Trump.

    Now they’re trying the same thing with Kushner, and oh that too just got demolished:


    Anonymous sources yet again! Podesta works for the WaPo now and he is using that newspaper to push his false narrative.

    And as with all liars, they often can’t keep their lies consistent.

    For example:

    1. Trump’s allegations of being wiretapped were completely unfounded – yet, the wiretapping revealed the gigantic collusion between his campaign and Russia!

    2. Kushner tried to establish a confidential channel between the US and Russia – yet, as we all know, the Russians had been involved with Trump’s campaign for years and years, leading to him being elected.

    3. The Russians hacked the elections so profoundly because of their terrible collusion with Trump and his campaign, that the unspeakable happened and the people voted for the wrong guy – yet, you have to keep in mind, that, in fact, Hillary was elected because she won the popular vote.

    “Not wanting it to be true because you like Trump doesn’t make it false.”


    Look in the mirror.

    Neither Murphy nor I nor many others against the deep state “like Trump”. You’re thinking like a 12 year old. Just because someone doesn’t irrationally hate a person, it doesn’t mean they like them.

    “Look, some people have a nose for reading between the lines on news stories, and some don’t. I’m pretty good at telling which new stories should be believed.”

    One needs a working brain to have a working nose.

    You are not very good at all at determining which stories should be believed and which should not, because the stories you are implying your readers should believe, have been proved false, over and over again by the news sources you don’t read, for obvious reasons.

    “The Seth Rich story is obviously just for tinfoil hat loonies, for instance.”

    That’s where you’re wrong kiddo. In fact, the story of Seth Rich being murdered by the DNC has more evidence of being true than the story of Trump colluding with Russia.

    Not only that, but there is also more evidence the Democrats rigged both the primary and national elections. You seem to have no clue that democrat voter fraud was uncovered, in many places across the country. Millions of votes on favor of Hillary were likely invalid, but counted anyway against Trump, and Hillary still lost.

    You just don’t want to accept the fact that a person you hate, by all evidence was legitimately elected.

    “I’m not right 100% of the time about which are correct”

    Yet you never specifically admit which ones are, and you don’t even ask how they could be false, why, the motivations, and then a week later you’re citing the same sources as credible once again

    “but almost all the time. And my nose tells me that Trump fired Comey because he was upset about the Russia investigation.”

    The Russia investigation was over by the time Comey was fired. And you have to ask why would Comey keep failing to charge Clinton, and if you research more, which you don’t do, then you would find collusion between Comey and Clinton that dates back years. Look up HSBC and Comey. Look up how a person without any law enforcement experience, with heavy ties to Clinton, would become head of the FBI.

    There is collusion alright, but you don’t know about it

    “There’s way too much smoke here for this all to be made up.”

    That’s where you’re wrong again kiddo! All that smoke is part of a well financed, disinformation campaign.

    “My subjective probability of being wrong on this point is less than a tenth of my subjective probability about being wrong about market monetarism.”

    Both are false.

    One tenth of 0 is still 0.

  60. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    27. May 2017 at 15:52

    And another individual investigating the Clintons/DNC for criminal activity, ends up dead


    Oh but this is just another “conspiracy theory”

  61. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    28. May 2017 at 05:52

    Given that this blog’s author openly admitted that he rejects forensic and scientific evidence, and instead favors “his nose”, is sufficient to identify this blog as a propaganda outlet.

  62. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    28. May 2017 at 05:54

    Wikileaks has a 100% accuracy track record, and according to their scientific analysis of the recent Seth Rich “memo” that allegedly circulated as real within the FBI, it is fake:


  63. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    29. May 2017 at 15:01

    Seth Rich’s girlfriend:

    Seth killed bc he discov huge scam: DNC duplicated polling places, voting machines, & votes to cheat Sandrs in primaries.


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