William Barr's Move To Rid The DOJ Of Independence Shows One Of Many Reasons Josh Hawley's FTC Plan Is Dangerous

from the a-banana-republic-if-you-can-keep-it dept

Karl already took some time to highlight just one of the many absurdities in Senator Josh Hawley's "plan" to revamp the FTC by turning it into a sub-agency of the Justice Department, rather than an independent agency. First of all, the Justice Department is the law enforcement arm of the government, and the FTC is supposed to be engaged in protecting consumers from "unfair or deceptive acts" by businesses. It is a separate and different focus than straight law enforcement by the Justice Department.

But, even more telling is that at just about the same time as Hawley was making his pitch to dump the FTC's current five commissioner structure, in favor of a single director working directly for the Attorney General, we find out that the current Attorney General, William Barr, has broken with decades of tradition that had made it clear that the Justice Department was an independent agency, separate from the White House. As was widely reported, Barr has made it clear that he will step in and protect the President on matters that concern the President. As such, the DOJ is no longer an independent law enforcement agency, but it is now the state police, doing the bidding of the President.

That should concern just about everyone -- no matter which party you're in. And the idea that the FTC should take sole orders from what is now a political office, including in investigating companies and potentially fining or breaking them up, is hugely problematic. You would think that Republicans, like Hawley, would recognize this. However, Hawley -- who once pretended to be for smaller government and for "keeping government out of business" -- has long shown his true colors as someone who simply loves to use the government to get his own interests in place. And if that means enabling his vendetta against a group of companies he doesn't like, so be it.

We've had our concerns with both the DOJ and the FTC over the years, but putting the FTC into the Justice Department will make all of those concerns worse, not better. At a time when the Justice Department can no longer be considered an independent agency from the White House, it is especially concerning that someone would seek to shove the FTC into that setting.

Filed Under: doj, ftc, independent agencies, josh hawley, politicization, politics, william barr


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    Shel10 (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 10:22am

    And Barack Obama's Attorney Generals always had his back. They were far from independent. They politicized the DoJ.

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      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 10:30am

      Did Obama’s attorneys general investigate his political rivals on his orders? Did they do everything they could to keep Obama’s friends and associates from going to jail, or from going to jail for a significant amount of time?

      Please, feel free to cite the ways Obama’s DOJ had his back that Trump’s DOJ does not. From where I sit, the Trump DOJ has done more to protect Trump’s ass than Obama’s DOJ ever did to protect Obama’s.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 12:22pm

        Re:

        Apparently, you have never heard of Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

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          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:02pm

          Did Eric Holder interfere with a sentencing recommendation for a convicted Obama associate? Did Loretta Lynch release a misleading statement about an investigation into Obama’s activities that let Obama say he was completely exonerated even when he wasn’t?

          Unless you can come up with something Holder/Lynch did to help Obama in the same way Barr is appearing to help Trump, your whataboutism is even more pointless than usual.

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            Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:12pm

            Re:

            Now you are moving the goalposts and narrowing what can be said about AG misdeeds during Obama’s time as President.

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              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:16pm

              You can whine about Obama’s DOJ/AG all you want. But unless you can provide direct, on-point examples of Obama’s DOJ/AG acting to protect Obama in the exact same way that Trump’s DOJ/AG have acted to protect Trump, your whining has no power here.

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                Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:24pm

                Re:

                Yes, definitely an OD fanboy with no substantial understanding of the role of the US AG.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:26pm

                  You failed to post the citations for which I asked. That failure counts as an adverse inference against you.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:59pm

                    Re:

                    he's right, you moved the goalposts in an overly specific way (duh)

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:05pm

                      I don’t see how. Every one of my replies in this chain has asked for the same thing: proof that the Obama DOJ/AG acted to protect Obama in the exact same way that the Trump DOJ/AG has acted to protect Trump. You can’t claim I moved the goalposts when they’ve been in the same place all along.

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                        Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:58pm

                        Re:

                        the cases differ as simply as possible, for Obama there was a ready set of chicom collaborators, trump had zero allies going in. how simple things are. but anyway, the executive brqnch is not independent, obviously, and iy would be criminal to divorce from yhe vote the people.

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                    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:18pm

                    Re:

                    no, failure to provide evidence is no such thing. stalwell is one of the dumbest lawyers I've ever heard, right up there with the great nifong and schiff.

                    example:
                    joe: where is my slice of pizza, dog?
                    dog:( no answer)
                    joe: that's all the proof i need that you stole it, don't you dare try to shift the blame to my obese girlfriend, you misogynistic cur

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:32pm

                      failure to provide evidence is no such thing

                      Except it is. If someone makes a claim but refuses to back their claim with evidence (or citations thereof), I can make an adverse inference against them — that is, I can assume their claim is bullshit.

                      The implicit claim from the AC says Obama’s DOJ/AG acted in at least a similar way to Trump’s DOJ/AG vis-á-vis protecting the president. The AC’s refusal to back that claim by provding either a citation of existing evidence or wholly new evidence allows me to assume they can’t provide either of those things (i.e., make an adverse inference against them). That inference leaves me with no other choice but to believe their claim is bullshit.

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                        Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:56pm

                        Re:

                        I intended no such implicit claim. It is a creature of your imagination. I am not inclined to engage in a discussion with someone who seeks to unilaterally define its boundaries.

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                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 3:18pm

                          I intended no such implicit claim.

                          Let’s look back at your comments, then.

                          Apparently, you have never heard of Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

                          Here, you imply that Holder and Lynch acted with the kind of corrupt intent that Barr is accused of acting with, and that you can provide evidence that backs up your implicit claim.

                          you are moving the goalposts and narrowing what can be said about AG misdeeds during Obama’s time as President

                          Here, you imply that I somehow “moved the goalposts” of the argument to make sure no one can mention any potentially corrupt acts from the Obama DOJ/AG. All I did was ask for evidence of any such acts that are either exactly like or similar to the acts of corruption attributed to Barr.

                          definitely an OD fanboy with no substantial understanding of the role of the US AG

                          While I have no idea what “OD” means in this context, I can infer that you believe I would neither hear nor consider any evidence of corruption in the Obama DOJ/AG in comparison to the Trump DOJ/AG, even though I explicitly asked for such evidence.

                          “Intent follows the bullet”, as the saying goes. The implications of your comments say something you may not have meant to say. And I’ll note that for all your whining, neither you nor anyone else in this particular comment thread has yet provided a citation of evidence toward my original query.

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                            Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 4:24pm

                            Re:

                            That is because you have defined what you consider acceptable so narrowly that it is virtually impossible to provide you an answer. Your basic premise here is that the AG is a puppet, so to speak, of President Trump, something which anyone not burdened by partisanship and familiar with the role of the AG in our system of government would not readily conclude based on a superficial correlation.

                            Of course, I cannot discount the possibility that you believe the seniormost official within the DOJ has no business disagreeing with the opinions of his subordinates. I, however, believe it is his responsibility to monitor the work of his subordinates and speak up whenever he believes they have or are about to do something that is inappropriate.

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                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 6:19pm

                              That is because you have defined what you consider acceptable so narrowly that it is virtually impossible to provide you an answer.

                              I asked for a set of facts concerning similar behaviors between the DOJ/Attorneys General of two separate presidential administrations. If you consider such a request “virtually impossible” to fulfill, I have to wonder whether that is because you can’t find a set of facts that fit the query or you can’t make the facts you have on hand fit my query.

                              Your basic premise here is that the AG is a puppet, so to speak, of President Trump, something which anyone not burdened by partisanship and familiar with the role of the AG in our system of government would not readily conclude based on a superficial correlation.

                              William Barr decided to interfere with the sentencing of Roger Stone, a convicted Trump associate, after Donald Trump noted his displeasure with the initial sentencing recommendation from the DOJ prosecutors. Barr claims the timing was irrelevant, but it sure looks like Trump’s complaint led to the interference, even if Barr wasn’t following a direct order.

                              William Barr put out a misleading statement concerning the Mueller investigation that either downplayed or outright lied about the findings of that investigation (depending on who you ask). Trump used Barr’s statement to declare himself “exonerated”, even though he wasn’t.

                              Even if I accept the idea that Barr isn’t a puppet of Donald Trump, these two acts alone give me the idea that maybe Barr has a motive for those acts that isn’t fīat jūstitia ruat cælum¹.

                              I cannot discount the possibility that you believe the seniormost official within the DOJ has no business disagreeing with the opinions of his subordinates.

                              He can disagree with those opinions, sure, but he put those four prosecutors on the case for a reason. So…

                              I … believe it is his responsibility to monitor the work of his subordinates and speak up whenever he believes they have or are about to do something that is inappropriate.

                              …if he felt they had gone too far at any point before the sentencing, he should have pulled them before the sentencing. That he chose to undermine them when he did, in the way he did, implies that he did so specifically to make Donald Trump stop whining about his friend going to jail.


                              ¹ — “Let justice be done though the heavens fall”, which means “let justice be done regardless of the consequences”.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 6:56pm

                                Re:

                                Those prosecutors who were overridden began their prosecutorial efforts against Mr. Stone before Barr was appointed as AG.

                                First you alleged that Barr misrepresented Mueller’s report...which he most certainly did not. Now you are saying he made a misleading statement...and even this is wrong. Try reading what Mueller actually said in his report, and then compare what both Barr and Rodenstein had to say about it after their review. They said nothing that was contravened by the report, which you would realize if you had actually read it.

                                As for the timing, perhaps you missed Barr stating that he informed DOJ subordinates, well before Trump commented, that the sentencing memorandum was problematic and needed to be changed. Perhaps Barr is clairvoyant and can anticipate upcoming tweets, but I rather doubt this is the case.

                                As for presidents interfering with criminal matters, ponder the prior administration publicly opining on the actions of HRC during the conduct of an FBI investigation into her email practices while Secretary of State. This took place before WJC met with Loretta Lynch in private, and conclusion of the FBI investigation that was presented at a news conference by James Comey.

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                                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 7:31pm

                                  Those prosecutors who were overridden began their prosecutorial efforts against Mr. Stone before Barr was appointed as AG.

                                  So what?

                                  They said nothing that was contravened by the report

                                  …which is why the statement was misleading. Rather than state the facts of the report as a whole (including the ten or so instances in which Trump acted in a way that could be seen as obstruction of justice), the statement only talked about the findings that painted Trump as purely innocent of any possible crimes. Under the most charitable interpretation, the Barr statement misrepresented the report as exonerating Trump of any crimes.

                                  perhaps you missed Barr stating that he informed DOJ subordinates, well before Trump commented, that the sentencing memorandum was problematic and needed to be changed

                                  Has he provided proof of that? Has the claim been independently verified? The statement is self-serving; it has no value until and unless someone or something corroborates it.

                                  ponder the prior administration publicly opining on the actions of HRC during the conduct of an FBI investigation into her email practices while Secretary of State

                                  Did Obama order the Attorney General to do anything to cover up the results of the Clinton email investigation or mislead the public about that investigation in any way? Did Obama order the DOJ/Attorney General to shorten the sentence of any Obama or Clinton associate convicted of a crime? And if the answer to either or both of these questions is “yes”: Can you provide a citation of proof to back up your answer?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:28pm

                    Re:

                    If it makes you feel better being a political partisan, more power to you.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:34pm

                      If it makes you feel better to assume I’m being partisan by asking for evidence of Obama’s DOJ/AG acting in a similar way to Trump’s DOJ/AG — by asking for you to provide evidence that Obama’s DOJ/AG looks equally or at least similarly as corrupt as Trump’s — more power to you.

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                        Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 3:00pm

                        Re:

                        stone never even did anything. it's boring. it's only contested by fantasists if no grounding, eg clowns of npr, msnbc. stone pretended to be important, wasn't. and got crucified. pathetic. and yokels like you support the lynching.

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 10:34am

      Re:

      Shit, my Bingo card had "But Clinton", not "But Obama."

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        Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 3:09pm

        Re: Re:

        but trump, you say. silly talk.you can't talk about trump, he is on the bibgo card. ha ha you said trump, bingo!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 10:57am

      Re:

      What does that have to do with the topic at hand?

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    • identicon
      Bruce C., 14 Feb 2020 @ 11:51am

      Re:

      I see your "But Obama" and raise you a "but Nixon", and his attorney general John Mitchell.

      "After his tenure as U.S. Attorney General, he served as chairman of Nixon's 1972 presidential campaign. Due to multiple crimes he committed in the Watergate affair, Mitchell was sentenced to prison in 1977 and served 19 months"

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 8:57am

        Re: Re:

        Nixon did nothing wrong.

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        • identicon
          Chuck Sod, 15 Feb 2020 @ 1:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: I am not a crook

          "Nixon did nothing wrong."
          That's why he stepped down, because he was totally innocent of any and all charges - amirite? Certainly fellow republicans would have told him he did nothing wrong and did not have to step down - right?

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Feb 2020 @ 4:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Nixon did nothing wrong."

          Except for using government espionage in order to closely surveill his political adversaries - something which may or may not have been completely illegal at the time but certainly was enough to force even his most fanatical adherents to hold their noses.

          Today of course if trump were to do the same his closest adherents would simply say it was Donald just bein' Donald.

          When the aberrant and unacceptable becomes normalized, people stop thinking. If Clinton had tossed out less than 1% of the lies trump spouts on daily basis, he'd have been impeached so fast he'd have left skid marks on the white house lawn on his way out...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 12:31am

      Re:

      Whataboutobamas right of the bay?

      That’s the problem with you right wing nut jobs. That and being fascist shitheads.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 10:24am

    I give up trying to find something good to read about this government. It just isn't out there.. nada, Zip

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      Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:01pm

      Re:

      ikr he didn't even invade Poland like all the whole of the entirety of the left swore he would. major disappointment.

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    tz, 14 Feb 2020 @ 10:25am

    That is NOT what Barr did

    You could make an even better case about Comey protecting Hillary, and Holder and Lynch protecting Obama. Barr has not done or said anything indicating the DoJ is not independent, but elections and appointments matter. Just because the DoJ isn't actively attacking Trump, or that their out of control lawyers aren't allowed to run roughshod over his supporters, doesn't mean that they aren't independent. Otherwise Obama would have been similarly hounded and the Clintons, friends, donors, and Foundation would have been jailed and shut down "just to show the DoJ was independent of Obama". That is not a reasonable standard. I know, "but Orange Man Bad!!!" overrides everything. How about standing back and considering the whole story from all sides? We don't need a Tech version of Buzzfeed or CNN or MicroSoftNBC. Or Faux news for that matter. So if Trump came out in favor of preserving the FTC as it, would you then switch sides and say it must be part of the DoJ just because Trump tweeted it?

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 10:37am

      Barr has not done or said anything indicating the DoJ is not independent

      You mean other than interfering in the sentencing of a fairly-tried-and-convicted Trump associate hours after Trump tweeted his dissatisfaction with the DOJ’s sentencing recommendation? You know, the interference that caused four career prosecutors to leave the case, three of whom left the DOJ altogether? Is that “nothing” to you?

      How about his statement on the Mueller investigation that was an intentionally bullshit summary of the investigation’s findings meant to bolster Trump’s ego? Was that an act of an “independent” DOJ that doesn’t let “politics” get in the way of doing its job?

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        Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 12:25pm

        Re:

        I take it you are a founding member of Occupy Democrats. Nothing else explains how you could be so off the mark concerning the office of the AG and the current AG.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:00pm

          I have three yes-or-no questions. A refusal to directly answer any or all of them with “yes” or “no”, or any attempt to pull a “whataboutism” or other such deflection tactic in lieu of answering them, will be used as an adverse inference against you.

          1. Did William Barr/the U.S. Attorney General’s office say the sentence recommendation for Roger Stone would be reduced mere hours after Donald Trump tweeted his dissatisfaction with the original recommendation?

          2. Did William Barr personally release a summary of the Mueller investigation that misrepresented the investigation’s findings, such that Donald Trump claimed the investigation exonerated him of wrongdoing?

          3. During the Obama administration, did the Department of Justice/Attorney General do anything even remotely similar to either of those two acts, both of which come off as the department/the Attorney General aiding the personal agenda of the president?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:08pm

            Re:

            1. Yes, but correlation is not causation, especially given the timeline mentioned by the AG.

            2. No.

            3. Yes.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:14pm

              One answer at a time.

              correlation is not causation

              With Trump, it doesn’t have to be. He runs the presidency as if he were a mob boss; he doesn’t explicitly order illegal/questionable things be done for him, but he makes his wishes known and those who can do those things for him get to work. They’d hate to upset the godfather, after all.

              No

              The Barr statement on the Mueller investigation is largely considered to have been, at best, a misleading statement on the findings of the investigation. Mueller and his team found at least ten instances of Trump and his administration acting in a way that obstructed justice; the Barr statement made no such mention of those findings.

              Yes

              By all means, show me an example of the Obama-era DOJ/Attorney General making misleading statements to exonerate Obama of obstruction into a legal investigation or interfering with the sentencing of a convicted Obama associate.

              I’ll wait.

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                Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:12pm

                Re:

                the words of a little child who hasn't cut his teeth yet, yes correlation ain't causation. go back to school and torment with impetuous ignorance someone paid to take on such impossible cases!!!

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:03pm

            Re:

            whataboutism is a badge excessively for these intelligent people who know more than the leftist press is comfortable with you knowing.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:10pm

              whataboutism — noun — a tactic used to deflect and derail criticism of someone’s behavior/speech by pointing to wholly unrelated behavior/speech from other people in the hopes that the critics will ignore the original troublemaker and instead shift their attention to those other people

              EXAMPLE: Bringing up Barack Obama’s misdeeds to derail a discussion thread exclusively about Donald Trump’s misdeeds is a classic case of whataboutism.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:47pm

              Re: Re:

              Could you please repeat that in english? It made no sense the last time.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 3:04pm

              Re: Re:

              Iamadummyism is a badge exclusively for you

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 10:58am

      Re: That is NOT what Barr did

      Your logic is beyond flawed

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 11:17am

      Re: That is NOT what Barr did

      Oh, there's the "but Clinton."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:04pm

        Re: Re: That is NOT what Barr did

        do we not tire of that pompous hag?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 12:36am

          Re: Re: Re: That is NOT what Barr did

          We did ages so. Not sure why you right wing nutters are so I’m love with her.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 9:33am

      Re: That is NOT what Barr did

      This is a fair comment. The fact it is now hidden should make the principals of this site ashamed. As for those who contributed to hiding it, perhaps someday in the future you might ask yourselves what is it that makes you unable to tolerate opinions that differ from yours.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 1:39pm

        Re: Re: That is NOT what Barr did

        "This is a fair comment."
        Perhaps if you were to point out the items you consider to be fair and why.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 1:46pm

        Re: Re: That is NOT what Barr did

        That’s some A grade butthurt right there bro.

        Yeah it’s totally a dozen unrelated people from different walks of life who are the common denominator here. 🙄

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 9:38am

        Re: Re: That is NOT what Barr did

        The Flagging of comments here is pure pelosiism.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Feb 2020 @ 8:05am

        Re: Re: That is NOT what Barr did

        As for those who contributed to hiding it, perhaps someday in the future you might ask yourselves what is it that makes you unable to tolerate opinions that differ from yours.

        Well...

        White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Thursday that President Trump does not regret calling “Never Trump” Republicans “human scum” and said they “deserve strong language like that.”

        Speaking as some of that "human scum" I could give anything but a fuck about your opinion.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 11:23am

    And this is what should give everyone pause to empower the AG as to how tech companies SHOULD operate. If he is willing to step in and protect Trump what else will he do if given more power?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 12:44pm

    Trump is not business as usual. He openly admires dictators, talks about his 'third term,' says we should have a 'president for life' someday, fired an FBI directer for refusing a pledge of personal loyalty, tried to bully Ukraine into pushing dirt on a political rival using government authority, interfered with Stone's sentencing, and has turned the Republican party into a personality cult. He really could shoot people on 5th Avenue and nothing would come of it. His lawyers even openly argued presidential immunity would protect him. We don't have much time left.

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      Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:08pm

      Re:

      the worst genocide in history was by the Communists like aoc and Bernie, under that israeli karl marx's invention, by vile stalin's hands, 20 million Christians were slain, by exile, man made famine, and in the gulags.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:11pm

        Yes, yes, you’re an anti-Semite with hints of sexism tossed in for good measure. We get it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re:

        The way you evangelicals are willing to turn a blind eye to whats happening now doesn't exactly engender sympathy from the rest of us. I don't know that Trump is outright genocidal, but if Stalin's the best you can compare him with, we are all in seriously deep shit. But you are right of course. Bernie and AOC really do have secret gas chambers that float in the clouds when they are not diving like submarines. Btw, would you care to address any of the corruption that I mentioned?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:40pm

          I don't know that Trump is outright genocidal

          He isn’t, but a fair number of his followers are death cultists of a sort, seeing as how lots of conservative Christians (the biggest demographic in his voter base) believe in the Rapture prophecy and will do anything — which includes electing an adulterous oligarch with dreams of dictatorship and poor impulse control to the highest political office in the United States — to see that prophecy fulfilled. Trump claims to love Israel, and part of the Rapture prophecy calls for all the Jews to return there, since that will be the event that brings about the Second Coming of Christ. This is why evangelical Christians wholly supported Trump moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem: They see that as another step towards bringing about the Rapture.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 3:14pm

            Re:

            Man will have NOTHING to do about bringing on the Rapture Stone.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 3:24pm

              Re: Re:

              You do realize that you sound just like a demented Batman villain, right?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 5:51pm

              Re: Re:

              Explain that to all the Christian eschatological cultists for us, please.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2020 @ 9:40am

                Re: Re: Re:

                The flagging of comments at techdirt is Pure Pelosiism.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Feb 2020 @ 4:28am

              Re: Re:

              "Man will have NOTHING to do about bringing on the Rapture Stone."

              Rather than telling an agnostic or atheist about that you might be better served telling the US doomsday cultists that even if they DO manage to bring about the apocalypse it doesn't mean they'll successfully have forced a second coming.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Feb 2020 @ 8:44am

              Re: Re:

              Man will have NOTHING to do about bringing on the Rapture

              Neither will god as it doesn't exist.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 3:19pm

            Re:

            You have THAT mixed up with Bringing on the AntiChrist to sit at the head of all nations and Declare (himself) GOD.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Staffer, 16 Feb 2020 @ 9:32pm

            Re: "believe in the Rapture prophecy "

            Sir YOU DO NOT KNOW what any one believes, ever..... your rant belies your being PAID or Just narcissistic and I believe that, no I assert that you ARE trapped in your own projections, and feel a since of powerlessness, thus ACTING out on anyone you believe to have an opposing view blinder leading blind comes to mind.. good luck

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 1:42pm

      Re:

      "Trump is not business as usual."
      He also claims to be The Chosen One and is the King of Israel.
      He also asked, several times, about nuclear weapons and why could not use them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:11pm

    "from the a-banana-republic-if-you-can-keep-it dept"

    Very nice play on the famous Franklin quote. I like it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 2:14pm

      Re: "from the a-banana-republic-if-you-can-keep-it dept"

      stone didn't know or do anything. overzealous prosecution bad when convenient, good when convenient. lulz

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:22pm

    Stephen T. Stone you should get over yourself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 1:27pm

    Stephen Stone I am unaffected when you place your imaginary adverse inference against me. Your opinion matters to you alone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2020 @ 8:06pm

    So what? Read for comprehension your sentence beginning with “He can disagree...”. Note that Barr could not have assigned them as prosecutors because he because he was not the AG at that time.

    Re timeline, all we have right now is Barr’s statement. Do you have any reason other than TDS to believe he is not telling the truth? I don’t, and am reasonably confident it will soon come out if he is not being truthful.

    As for your fascination with the Mueller report, read carefully both it and what Barr and Rodenstein stated. Then come back with specific recitals to each supporting what you assert are misstatements or misrepresentations. While you are at it, also take a look at the DOJ IG report critical of the FBI’s actions at the inception of the investigation into Trump’s campaign associates. Maybe you will then understand Barr’s stated concerns about whether or not DOJ policies were being faithfully followed. The Durham investigation is being conducted precisely to address these concerns, and the just announced appointment of another DOJ prosecutor to investigate the Flynn case is another example illustrating Barr’s concerns. Frankly, it is to me a breath of fresh air to have as AG a person who places emphasis on the last word in the name of his agency.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 8:15pm

      Barr could not have assigned them as prosecutors because he because he was not the AG at that time.

      He could have reassigned them after he became Attorney General, though.

      Do you have any reason … to believe he is not telling the truth?

      Yes: His statement is both self-serving and uncorroborated by anyone with knowledge or evidence that proves the statement true.

      read carefully both it and what Barr and Rodenstein stated. Then come back with specific recitals to each supporting what you assert are misstatements or misrepresentations

      Did the statements from either Barr or Rosenstein mention the parts of the report that found instances where Trump allegedly acted to obstruct the Mueller investigation? If not, their statements on the report were unintentionally misleading at best, intentionally misrepresentative at worst.

      take a look at the DOJ IG report critical of the FBI’s actions at the inception of the investigation into Trump’s campaign associates

      The real question is, what does Barr have concerns about in that regard: how the investigations were carried out or that the investigations were carried out in the first place?

      The Durham investigation is being conducted precisely to address these concerns, and the just announced appointment of another DOJ prosecutor to investigate the Flynn case is another example illustrating Barr’s concerns.

      Similar to my point above: Are these investigations being done to ensure proper procedure at the DOJ, or are they being done to help Trump associates/Trump himself?

      it is to me a breath of fresh air to have as AG a person who places emphasis on the last word in the name of his agency

      Bless your heart, you actually believe this.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 14 Feb 2020 @ 9:07pm

        Re:

        Truth, Justice, and thenAmerican Way -- the GOP's three most-hated enemies.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Feb 2020 @ 4:33am

          Re: Re:

          "Truth, Justice, and thenAmerican Way -- the GOP's three most-hated enemies."

          Not really. Just that to an increasing degree they're using 17th-century definitions of those words.

          When a large proportion of a political party considers it a personal affront that they have to skip ethnic and gender-based slurs and derogatory language it's usually a good sign that said party has lost its shit completely.

          The party of Lincoln? Yes, before they adopted the KKK and the rest of the trailer trash which fled the democrats in the 50's...
          These days, not so much.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2020 @ 1:49pm

      Re: have you tried digging up lately?

      No matter how many times you try to reframe that bullshit bro, it’s still, obviously, bullshit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2020 @ 8:23am

    Is William related to Rosanne?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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