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AG Barr and Michael Lewis: these things go together

If you are reading about the possibility that AG Barr has already divulged the contents of the Mueller Report to Trump (which would explain the 50 tweet storm he did the week before the summary), then you are probably already feeling that in today’s America “The authority of its referees is under attack”.

That last quote is from Michael Lewis’s new podcast, Against The Rules. Lewis is the author of best selling books The Big Short, Flash Boys and Moneyball. The first episode is about the NBA replay center in Seacaucus, NJ where every disputed play in professional basketball is analyzed within an inch of its life to keep the game fair and who disputes them anyway.

The metaphor takes awhile to get to the point but it gets to that point a lot more quickly today because Barr is a shining example of a bought ref who is dedicated to keep the game in Republican favor.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Trump chose him for AG. He has a whole lifetime of picking his own refs. He’s richer than us and he’s had a lot of practice avoiding accountability.

Now, let’s go back and read those tweets from the week before Barr’s summary, shall we? I have a hunch that we will learn exactly what’s in Mueller’s report from them.

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17 Responses

  1. This is obviously not the central theme of your post, but I am so tired of this relentless move to send every disputed call to instant replay. The games are supposed to be fun; and these interminable delays ruin it. They might as well send videotapes of all games to a compute lab, and announce the “true score” a week later, subject to appellate review.

    What is it the Russians say about it’s not who votes, but who counts the votes? Rather chilling concept. Not only for the totalitarian premise, but because it connotes that there is no reality, just the biased opinions of partisans. Imagine that in sports, where the goal is to buy the referee, and then out of bounds becomes in bounds. What Mueller actually wrote is not crucial, it is what the bought referee says he said, and expurgates. The concept of “fake news” is along that line. Nothing is real unless you want it to be. If you say here is a chair I sold you; and I say it is an avocado, no one is objectively right; and if I can choose the judge, who rules it is an avocado, then you still owe me a chair. And Mueller exonerated Trump, and we are not supposed to ever see what he actually said, because some other man is going to tell us what he wants us to know about it. And this is not democracy, it is not objective reality, it is a con show.

  2. We need for some patriot to leak the report.

    • I can’t imagine that not happening at this point.
      But if there are leaks, the Trumpers will say they are fakes. And the only way to resolve that issue is for Barr to release the entire unredacted report, which he doesn’t seem inclined to do.
      I think we have to look to the SDNY or EDVA to break the next bit of news.

      • Who cares what the Trumpers think? Even if the entire report is released they would not believe it.

        • You may be right. I think it would take the report and a hearing with Mueller to kinda maybe get their attention.

          And if Barr tried to prevent that, it would start to look suspicious.

          What I want a definite answer to is has the president or his lawyers seen the report and when did they see it?

          • I think that is why there are going to be a lot of hearings. Mostly to get the facts out there to the Trumpers not that they’ll believe it but hopefully it will cause them to stop short of mass murder or bombings.

  3. There better be a leak or we aren’t going to see the document and the Leaker can take heart that maybe the next non republican President could to pardon them too.
    Ok normally I agree with Hillary Clinton but when asked, what one piece of advice would she give to the current nominees in their run against individual one, she in my view blew the response. In fact, it made me wonder if she read her own book, she answered policy and not taking individual one’s bate, naive at best. But… my advice early on is to establish a working adviser over-site committee populated with former FBI, CIA, ICE, DONJ, US Attorney’s, Voter Systems, Cyber Military experts and lots of Attorney’s that the nominee can engage. Hillary didn’t lose because of individual one attacks, nor her policies’ she lost because Republicans will do anything to win and keep their power, for some that’s white power. Continuing to view Republicans as just a political party is a mistake, they are a political syndicate with individual one as their current puppet a distraction, the Wizards are behind that facade crumbly our democracy for their gains. And individual one has already promised to pardon any of them for crimes committed to further their political agenda. Democrats need to realistically embrace this threat and change their 2020 strategies fast.

  4. I hope that everyone was able to see Hillary’s almost hour-long interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN today. I never watch CNN, except that I knew that the interview would be on. Not much more to say beyond that Hillary once again showed that she is head and shoulders and feet above any other political figure in this country, in breadth and depth of knowledge about all issues, and their interconnectedness.. She has a complete world view; while virtually every one of the rest of them, has one or two issues, talking points, and vague promises. This of course is why the Republicans spent 25 years trying to destroy her,, because she would have been the biggest threat to them since FDR. This not some kind of cult fandom on my part, it is reality. She is the best that we have, and she really should run again, because I am not sure that anyone else can effectively fight the forces arrayed against them. Obama tried in his way, but those evil entities got stronger and bolder. They’re in every cranny now; Tennessee is actually about to enact a bill to jail people who register new voters. I don’t see any reasonable expectation that any of our candidates has the same capacity and reservoir of knowledge and experience that Hillary could bring to bear on all of this, but I guess we will have to pick one of them.

  5. I watched Nancy Pelosi on “60 Minutes,” and one feels encouraged by her intelligence and toughness. We need more like her, at any age.

    It occurred to me that Hillary would actually have the best chance to defeat Trump, simply because everyone who voted for her last time, would do so again, and she would easily get a few million more votes from people who realized that Trump lied to them. I really don’t see how she wouldn’t win. But of course the problem is that she might well not get the nomination,, because a bunch of people would say dumb things like “She lost twice” (actually she got more votes than Obama and then Trump), or “Give someone else a chance.” (why then, is Sanders running again, and BIden, who ran twice before, wants to run again?)

    And of course the media would attack her by reflex. But I’d actually feel a lot better about her chances to win the national election, than in taking a chance on a relatively new face, someone who does not know as much, is not as skilled a debater, and will be subject to strenuous vetting,and the typical Republican relentless personal attacks. Not many seem to consider this , though, in their eagerness for the shiny new object,. I want to win this election, or I will have to try very hard to move to another country. As Pelosi said tonight, the institutions are strong, and can stand up, but not for another Trump term. With those stakes, Hillary is by far the best bet, but the media doesn’t want it, and too many Democrats act like it is elementary school, and time for someone else to get their turn.

  6. My thought of this morning is that far too many Democratic voters seem engaged in warfare against various Democratic candidates. I’ve seen women write that they won’t support any white male. I’ve seen people of color demand that the candidate not be white. Now, these could all be Russian trolls, or just idiots, but I do think that the Democratic Party is going to face a great test, as to whether enough people are going to strongly get behind our nominee. There are plenty of candidates whom I don’t want to be the nominee, but someone is going to be. I doubt that there will be any deus ex machina surprises, where some amazing person drops in, and everyone can get behind him or her. What we see out there, is what we are going to get; with the only remaining questions being the Abrams or Biden candidacy.

    It is possible that the Far Left is going to sabotage what may be our last chance to save democracy, by various purity tests. I really don’t love any of these candidates, but I would want the one who is most likely to beat Trump. This is going to be more difficult than I thought a few months ago. You’re going to have a Republican party, dedicated to winning at all costs, ready to mislead, scare, and demonize; with billions of dollars in ready funds to do so, plus with a media which seems to like the idea of four more years of a psychotic and sociopathic nightmare person in the White House. And then a Democratic Party which is already complaining about “white males,” and ‘people who don’t support Medicare for All. All it takes is for 5% of Democrats to decide not to vote, or to write in Sanders, or to vote for Schulz or another stooge third party candidate, and we lose. The rather ironic thing is, that since I don’t think that any of these candidates is close to the level of Hillary, I could accept any of them, since there are no standouts. I don’t like Biden much, but if someone convinced me that he had the best chance to win, I’d accept that. Same with anyone except Sanders, who is a spiteful demagogue grifter who cost us the last election.

    The innocence of 2018, where Democrats rose up and voted in record midterm numbers, to elect Democrats of various political degrees in Republican districts,, has even now seemed to have given way to some people drawing lines in the sand about whom they will never support. Ashley Judd, who always seemed like a good liberal, made some speech about how Biden touching or kissing women’s necks was simply not acceptable, and thus a complete disqualifier. Again, I don’t want Biden, but if we eliminate a few more candidates like that (Beto for DUIs, Warren for claiming Native American heritage, or at least the danger of Republicans destroying her over it), we won’t have much left. I do remember the horror of seeing the very decent McGovern flail around, and make an easy target for Republican demonization about socialism, in a campaign which was hopeless from the start. He got the nomination mostly because the activists had taken control of the machinery of the party for one brief shining moment after the nightmare of 1968, but then used that to push through.their favorite fringe candidate. Maybe no one would have beaten Nixon in 1972, but the Democrats lost the game in the first minute. “Anyone could beat Trump,” is not at all correct. “Hillary blew it,” is completely false. The same forces are arrayed to defeat the Democrats again. And which Democratic candidate is best equipped to handle a grueling and vicious campaign, where the evil powers will do anything to keep their vise grip on the world? A sobering question, indeed. I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but obviously many do. I read a piece on it last night, and apparently the good people keep losing on that show? Probably the ending will be more optimistic, if not definitively so, but TV writers have that power, whereas voters must use all of theirs to insure that evil does not prevail.

    I hope that you are doing all right, RD, and enjoying your favorite show!

  7. William,

    I am one of those women who said that I wasn’t supporting a white male, at least during the primary. I’m not attacking them, just not impressed with them and choosing to focus on the women running instead. I believe my reasons for not being enamored with the men so far are valid and primarily because already the men are getting far more attention from the media than any of the women are getting and are also being treated like they are all something special, particularly Mayor Pete, Biden and Beto, while the women are criticized for the slightest thing.

    I suspect white males cannot understand how that feels because they assume entitlement whether they deserve it or not, are not held to the same standard they eagerly impose on women because they know the media will go right along with the double standard. Throughout the primary season, I am focusing on the women to see how they handle the debates, what they propose and how they intend to achieve their proposals, and, of course, how well they stand up to the double standard. So far, I have not seen any of the men coming across as head and shoulders above the women. I am not voting for cute or charismatic as the primary qualifications for the candidate to beat trump.

    Moreover, I refuse to support a white guy simply because the media still pushes the meme that only a white guy should be president and only a white guy can beat trump. I just don’t agree.

    • Kathleen, I appreciate your thoughts on this. It does seem true that the males are getting most of the coverage so far. As I wrote my longish post above, I was thinking that perhaps Amy Klobuchar is best suited for taking on Trump in a long battle, but she has been unable to gain any traction at all so far. Some part of all of this is that with Butttigieg and Beto. there is the appeal of new faces. If Abrams were to enter, she might capture some of that. Many people seem to yearn for the new thing, the “shiny new object,” as even Obama later admitted he was in ’08. Trump had that, of course. As politics merges into entertainment, there seems to be more of an appetite for this newness, which is rather unfortunate.

      I would vastly prefer a candidate, and hopefully then President, who was knowledgeable, experienced, reflective and sober, than some burst of excitement which dissipates with the realization that this person is running the country for four years or more. I wish more people saw it that way, because Hillary would have won in a landslide. Who knows what we’re going to get now. But we at least know that any actual Democrat is far better than Trump, so I hope we can pick someone who will beat him. We need more than that, we need someone who can effectively move the country away from the radical Right policies, court-stacking, destruction of environment, and burying of the middle class, that we are seeing. It’s not an easy task. I hope somebody will so impress in the debates and discussions, that it will be obvious as to who the best candidate is. But I doubt that, so some kind of leap of faith will be needed. I couldn’t even tell you whom I might vote for in the primary in my state. I guess part of it would depend on that person’s chances to get the nomination, so as not to waste my vote; and then on who I thought would both win, and do the best job. In that order, because you first have to win.

  8. William,

    The women aren’t getting traction because all of the attention has been on the men! If there were a level playing field with the coverage of all the candidates instead of that ever present male bias in the media which always favors the men running (no matter how mediocre or unqualified they may be), then we would have an easier time choosing the best and most qualified candidate of those running. But it hasn’t been about qualifications for quite some time. No, it’s about TV ratings and the reality show mentality of the electorate in how they choose a candidate. Hopefully, women will still be pissed off enough about how Hillary was treated with such overwhelming disrespect while a mysogninist like trump was treated with undeserved respect and therefore, will support one of the women running all hte way to the end!

    Once the debates begin, we will have a better idea who the candiates really are and who has the stamina and gravitas to take on trump and the corrupt republican party. Women have been fighting against unfair odds for a long time and I think would fare better than most of these guys would when it comes to taking on trump.

    BTW, Hillary did win by a landslide! She won the popular vote by almost 3,000,000. No one else has gotten more popular votes except when Reagan won against Fritz Mondale in 84. Of course, Fritz was the first male candidate to choose a female running mate and I’m sure that really upset the apple cart in ’84 and hurt Fritz’s chances more than if he had chosen a male running mate. Back then, women were NEVER EVER considered viable candidates to run for such a high office as VP! Despite having to face that prejudice, Ferraro actually did a better job in the debates against G.H.W Bush than Fritz did against Reagan.

    Thank you, Fritz for being the first. You never got the appreciation you deserved for choosing a women to be your running mate!

  9. Whether they know it or not, I do not see how any of the Democratic primary candidates can win without the Hillary voters. Just because we are quiet and do not make a lot of toxic noise and grab press headlines, doesn’t mean we are not a reliable, steadfast, large voting block.

    • Lucyk, I think that you are right. That is why I cannot believe that Sanders could get the nomination, or Gillibrand. I think that Buttigieg cost himself many Hillary voters by his disparaging comments about her campaign in 2016. The media has never credited Hillary voters, always underestimated their numbers. I don’t know where they might go in this primary campaign. Many of the candidates, in one way or another, ignore or dismiss Hillary, and say, “well, this is what was done wrong last time,” which is utterly presumptuous and foolish.I saw Buttigieg interviewed by Maddow last night, and while he is impressive in some regards, he is preternaturally sure of himself, which the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has no legitimate reason to be. In fact, none of them impresses me, which is too bad. Slogans and niche marketing will only get one so far, you have to have a depth of knowledge about the issues. Of course, I suppose that Trump has shown that you don’t need to have any knowledge. But that’s Republicans. My father long ago told me that Republicans do not need to have any qualifications to be able to win,, they can nominate anybody; something which history has proven to us.

  10. William – Well, I cannot imagine Hillary voters getting at all excited by the so-called leading white men contenders. And you are right. To the media we are still invisible and therefore in their estimation inconsequential.

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