Monday, February 25, 2019

Russiagate's Dulcet Tones

From Stacy McCain: UNLEASH ‘THE TONE’!
In 2017, the Southern Poverty Law Center raised $132 million, David Montgomery of the Washington Post noted last November:
That’s a 164 percent increase over the $50 million it took in a year before. The SPLC’s endowment is up to $433 million. SPLC leaders explain the jump as a reaction to the tone unleashed by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and continued by the Trump administration.
So the unleashing of the tone explains why so many idiots gave so much money to the smear-merchants at the SPLC. As I remarked this week (“Fear and Loathing: Journalism in the Age of Trump Derangement Syndrome”), the problem is that the “Trump-is-Hitler-and-Republicans-are-latter-day-Nazis analogy just doesn’t function as a meaningful mechanism to understand the daily news,” but the media won’t let it go.

The depiction of Republicans as Nazis — a deliberate smear aimed at all 62.9 million Americans who voted for Trump — goes hand-in-hand with the “Russian collusion” narrative that Michael Tracey and Scott Adams discuss in the context of fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe’s book tour (hat-tip: Instapundit). There’s a sort of feedback loop in operation, an echo chamber of fear, where the voice of sanity is drowned out by shrieking paranoia. Pardon me for once again citing my own work (“McCabe’s Weird Anti-Russia Paranoia Reveals ‘Deep State’ Cult Mentality,” Feb. 14), but the obsession with Russia runs hand-in-hand with the belief that “the tone unleashed” has driven a surge of hate in America which, in turn, generates incidents like the Jussie Smollett hoax.
What’s going here? Why have so many people gone batshit crazy? . . .
Read on, McDuff. The New Yorkers Jeffrey Toobin in the throes of acute TDS, Andrew McCabe’s Countdown to the Mueller Report. We Hates Him! Althouse, on Toobin in "In 'Seven Days in May,' a popular novel from the early nineteen-sixties that became a movie, a cabal of military officers conspire to overthrow the President of the United States..." "I don't think Toobin meant to imply that "The Threat" is a work of fiction — and a cheesy one at that — a mere "popular novel," in the genre of "Cold War fantasies." But that's how it worked out. Also from Ann "I'm just trying to understand why David Crosby liked it." The drugs explain a lot.

Another appearance of the Mysterious Mr. Mifsud! Death Of Russiagate: Mueller Team Tied To Mifsud’s Network. Old news, but a tie in through Bruce Ohr's testimony. If someone succeeds in showing for sure that the FBI/CIA set Papadop up, they need to serve his sentence, and much more.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, Mueller’s Final Word On Manafort: No Open Mention Of Trump, Russia, Or Collusion
If the media and Democrats hoped to get a sense where Robert Mueller might be heading from the final required filing in the Paul Manafort case, they came up empty. Mueller ripped the man who briefly served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager as a “bold” career criminal and liar, but never mentions anything in the sentencing recommendation about the core special-counsel mission. In fact, the words “Trump,” “Russia,” “collusion,” and “intelligence” never once appear in the document — at least in the unredacted portion of it.

Politico’s Josh Gerstein noticed it too, although it’s not going to make Manafort any more comfortable. Mueller wants Judge Amy Berman Jackson to give him a sentence of as much as 22 years:
Adam Davidson at the New Yorker, Robert Mueller’s Nothing-Burger Sentencing Memo on Paul Manafort
This memo, Mueller’s longest, can be seen by avid followers of his investigation as not only an exquisitely built nothing burger but a commentary on our age and our expectations—at least as it relates to the question of collusion during the 2016 election. Andy Kaufman could have hardly done so good a job at tweaking our deepest hunger.

The sentencing memo does contain remarkably harsh language about Manafort, describing him as a “bold” criminal who continued his crimes even after pleading guilty and likely becoming one of the most actively surveilled human beings in history. To detail Manafort’s wrongdoing, Mueller went back in time. The vast bulk of the memo and the appendices is a dissection—sometimes day by day—of precisely how Manafort worked on behalf of Viktor Yanukovych, the former Prime Minister and President of Ukraine, between 2005 and 2014. It is a remarkable set of facts that provides a roadmap of how foreign governments seek to influence U.S. politicians. But what it isn’t is relevant to the central question of the investigation into the Trump campaign, nor is it news. We have long known that Manafort did most of these things, even if we didn’t know exactly what e-mails he was writing on a particular Wednesday in March, 2011.
I think DOJ/Rod Rosenstein has had a boner for Manafort as the big fish that got away, resented his being in with Trump, and saw the Special Counsel unlimited budget cover for a redo.

NYT  on Konstantin V. Kilimnik, Russian Spy or Hustling Political Operative? The Enigmatic Figure at the Heart of Mueller’s Inquiry. Still desperately trying to sell the Russia narrative. And speaking of which, Schiff: 'We will bring Bob Mueller in to testify' if report not made public (Politico). Yeah, OK. If you haven't noticed, DOJ officials have no problems saying no to Congress. It turns out that DOJ has to decide to act on Congress' claims of lies, or contempt. And they never do, at least for a fellow club member.

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