66 thoughts on “The Grittiest Nit of the Nitty Gritty”

  1. thanks, Jamie, for bringing up that op ed gist of which seems to me to be:

    Mr. Barr’s letter raises far more questions than it answers, both on the facts and the law.

    His letter says Mr. Mueller set “out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the special counsel views as ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the president’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.” Yet we don’t know what those “difficult issues” were, because Mr. Barr doesn’t say, or why Mr. Mueller, after deciding not to charge on conspiracy, let Mr. Barr make the decision on obstruction.

    On the facts, Mr. Barr says that the government would need to prove that Mr. Trump acted with “corrupt intent” and there were no such actions. But how would Mr. Barr know? Did he even attempt to interview Mr. Trump about his intentions?


  2. E. J. Dionne lists 6 takeaways from the Barr letter at WaPo today. The first:

    The letterfrom Attorney General William P. Barr makes clear that on the charge of obstruction of justice, Mueller offers material on both sides of the question. Barr quoted Mueller this way: “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” So what exactly did Mueller find? The public and Congress need to know.

    We’ll know when we see the report.

  3. “For each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.”

    “The Special Counsel . . . did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction.”

    thus, the musical theme for the day

  4. Yeah… I expect the Democrats to fight like hell to have the entire Mueller report released to them and the public.  But for right now, trump unfortunately does have the upper hand by being able to spin this his way.

    What I really want to see now is the Democratic presidential candidates come out swinging hard on the issues.  We have about 18 months before the 2020 election…  I want to see the Dem candidates using that time wisely and to give people reasons to vote for them.

    oh yeah…  I’m sad that Gronk retired…  he was a fun ride.

  5. Save a Turtle!  Send all plastic straws to DC and those that continue to suffer from TDS and are only politically motivated,  as they search for straws!

    HILLARY LOSSES AGAIN!  The attempt to overthrow POTUS and cover up for her failed campaign bears nothing.

    Now those Dems that participated fear the rebound investigations into the very dark attack on our country will  begin which is another reason for such lossers  as Nadler and  Schiff fear the truth.  They want to create continued distractions from the real truth behind the last few years. Schiff speaking of all your lies along with most the 4th estate,  where are your facts? Put up or RESIGN!

    Oh – Happy Monday!  Great weekend for our democracy!!

  6. Craig,

    You had also been attacked by the Hillary machine years ago when you did not jump out in full support.  Did you ever get this resolved?

  7. our day of indecisions

    Bloomberg on Brexit:

    • May to host Cabinet on Monday morning after weekend newspapers were filled with reports about ministers plotting to unseat her

    • House of Commons votes tonight on next steps for Brexit — including an attempt for Parliament to seize control of proceedings

    • EU steps up no-deal planning, including fact-sheets for citizens

    • DUP official predicts May has no chance of getting deal approved


    bewildering bracket bets,  WAPO  on March Madness: The Sweet 16 is set, and boy is it top-heavy


    whither democracy? NYTimesWill the Supreme Court End Gerrymandering? Arguments Begin This Week”


    new boy on the block? the guardianPete Buttigieg: 2020 Democratic candidate surges to third place in new poll”

    The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, won the backing of 11% of likely Iowa Democratic caucus voters in an Emerson poll released on Sunday.


    Joe Biden had 25% support, with Bernie Sanders in second place with 24%. But the performance of Buttigieg, who has impressed in a series of TV appearances, is likely to serve as a warning to his better-known rivals.

  8. mr. pong, funny, I don’t remember you yelling “where are your facts? Put up or RESIGN!” at the house committee kangaroo court jesters trying their best to pillory Hillary.

  9. Ping… if you were a true friend of Craig’s, you’d know he’s not here at the moment and you’d know why…

    gee… how come I’m not surprised…

  10. Anyone old enough to remember all white dance groups on TV variety shows.  At least that condition has changed and improved by a big splash of color.


  11. A series of below the fold stories are hitting hard right now.  So far two of the Parkland Florida murders have committed suicide, and just now the father of one of the Sandy Hook massacre killed himself.  Killing takes a heavy toll on survivors and their families.

  12. Reb

    Thank you for sharing, most of your comment.  I have been offline for a period for my own reasons.

    I wish you the best.

  13. bbronc, could those suicides, aside from survivors guilt and ptsd, partly be a reaction (extreme hopelessness and despair) to nothing being done about gun control laws they or their friends and family were working so hard to accomplish?

  14. bink, I do not think mr. pong is scum even though he has been known to spout some scummy stuff.  he just doesn’t seem to live on the same planet as I do.

  15. patd, Yes, I did watch the Duke – UCF game – what an effort by UCF.  Several times I though Duke was going to pull away, but UCF kept reeling them back in.  I don’t generally comment on officials’ calls, but in the last 2 minutes UCF got calls that were not commensurate with the calls Duke got – specifically, the UCF PF call  against Fall was not nearly as much of a foul (in fact, it was ticky-tacky) IMHO as the charge that occurred by Barrett on the play that resulted in the win for Duke.

    Good to see Ping back for a momentary gloat. But really, a republican is calling on anyone to resign for alleged lies that the backup facts are not apparent yet? Talk about glass houses…

    Harry Litman (not exactly a lightweight) has an opinion piece at WaPo about Three puzzling aspects of the Barr summary of the Mueller report that’s worth a read.  The last point he brings up is the most interesting one to me.

    The final unanswered question, and perhaps the most consequential: What was the nature of the analysis that Barr and Rosenstein applied in deciding that Mueller’s evidence was not sufficient to establish that the president committed obstruction? The consensus of many scholars and commentators, based just on the publicly available evidence, has been that the case for obstruction was strong. Did some additional confidential evidence sway Barr and Rosenstein? Was it some particular legal reading of the obstruction statute?

    This last possibility is unsettling. Barr’s letter says that he and Rosenstein consulted with the department’s Office of Legal Counsel before coming to their conclusion. This raises the possibility that the Barr analysis is premised on some controversial and expansive view of executive power that neither Congress nor the courts would endorse.

    We know that Barr wrote an unsolicited letter to department officials before he took office that could be read to embrace the view that the president cannot obstruct justice while exercising his enumerated powers, such as the pardon power, regardless of his motive for doing so. It would be an outrage if this were the basis for Barr’s and Rosenstein’s decision. That is not simply because the view is thoroughly wrong and discredited — which it is — but because it would effectively preempt, or sharply hamstring, the ability of both coordinate branches to decide the question.

    Sounds a bit like baked in the cake to me.

  16. Republicans are celebrating a Presidential administration so corrupt that 200+ years of American legal doctrine and precedents don’t even begin to address the numerous Constitutional crises created by it and its flagrant law-breaking.


    Good job, Republicans.

  17. Ping… all the best to you too.  Gloat all you want…  the only thing that’s been released is Barr’s letter and his conclusions on the report.  This will probably be a long and protracted fight…  but eventually, Mueller’s report will be known to Congress, reporters, and the public.  And of course there’s still the infamous SDNY investigation.  And… there’s all those indicted (and going to jail) trump associates.

    Not to mention, as I said in an earlier comment, once the dust settled from the mid-terms, there was indeed a big beautiful blue wave.  And all those voters aren’t going away.  Since trump will be the presumptive Republican nominee for 2020, the focus will be on primary and caucus battles on the Democratic side.  There’s still plenty for trump and his supporters to worry about.

  18. …once chided me for foisting my “inner horseradish” upon the community unnecessarily, which i always thought was a good expression.  He done got me good, that time.  RIP

  19. Mr. Horsedooty’s birthday was recently — I miss he and Patsi  and annon paranoid and Mr Ed too

  20. There’s a local, waxing harsh, contretemps brewing on the next island over.  All about using one’s land as one wishes and faction B fighting development.  Lots of slippery slopes and freedoms and such. 235 comments. Anger has begun to step lightly onto the stage.

    I fashioned a comment for them.  (To follow my initial comment of “Great Googley-woogley”. )

    As follows:

    This serves to push me along towards my all-encompassing supposition that the Natural State of Mankind, in groups large and small, is Civil War.  There will eternally be “Them”—–and there will just as  always be “Us” and never the twain shall hang out and barbecue and drink beer and shit.

    Remember: If you go to Court—EVERYBODY loses.

  21. Patd – it was the one year anniversary of Parkland when one woman killed herself, which in my non-professional view as someone with PTSD, triggered the second woman.  My guess is that the man took all that in and killed himself.  Living in the era of a criminal, illegal, con man, hate monger president has upset many people, and I would not rule it out as adding to the load of pain.

  22. Ain’t nothing to me, of course; my island is developing like a madman…..it’s goose was cooked decades ago……(which is why I have gainful self-employment which in turn enables me to maintain the illusion of being autonymous.) .sp

  23. Sturg, did I misunderstand – I thought you moved inland and abandoned the island life.

    Renee, yep – the DOW has dropped 600 points in the past month.  Not a good sign.

  24. It’s nice to see you back again, Mr Pong.  x-r

    Yeah always good to hear from the lying looney right — and straight from the horse’s well you know

  25. “. . . truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.” – Francis Bacon, Novum Organum

  26. X-R, but, but, but…coal is coming back…isn’t it?  Isn’t that what President SFB promised WV, KY and western PA?

  27. Pogue…….I moved inland but still on The Island, still on the creek.
    There is no leaving The Island……..(see THE PRINCE OF TIDES.)

    Were I to leave the Island it would be for New Mexico, Colorado, or the Catskills……not necessarily in that order.

  28. Or at this point, Canada…..as close as I could get to being halfway between Deeetroit and NYC.

  29. I eschew all and any form of birthday bullshit….but I am totally fucking amazed to wake up and find myself three score and eleven.


  30. Sturg, oh, inland but not to the mainland. I’m relieved. I thought maybe you’d gone crazy out there. How high above mean high tide are you now?

  31. What a fucking time it was…….the birth of TV out of radio coinciding with the birth of rock and roll out of big band.  Throw in birth control and penicillen and you got a plan right there.

  32. Sturgeone,

    The natural human inclination towards tribalism is fine when there is plenty of room for the various tribe to spread out and interact to mutual benefit when necessary.  Unfortunately, in today’s excess of humanity with climate change destroying the available space and resources is at the heart of virtually every current problem on the planet.  Everything else is just a symptom of the base problem and comes down to haves and have nots.  It seems this pisses off the have nots and increases the greed and lust for power of the haves.

  33. Po……let’s put it this way……..if you were to shovel-dig a hole, at about 3 maybe 4 feet in, you’d probably strike water…….there’s folks here with 15 foot Wells……..we’re looking at a substantial loss of property if sea levels rise like they’re saying

  34. These islands are not off the coast…..they’re basically mainland separated by creeks

    John’s island 2nd largest island on the East coast I was told growing up.  Poor Stephen Colbert had to be from James Island.  You know, that other island.

  35. Old pingus pongus trying to slip that old slippery goose shit by yet again?

    Yeah, ok.

  36. Happy Birthday, Mr Sturgeone. 71 is a pretty good year. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I did. Anywhatever, it’s a prime number, ergo you are in your prime again. Q.E.D., soda speak.

  37. New GOP line: Yeah, I know he’s an a-hole but blah blah blah Kavenaugh

    (For example)

  38. Sturg, John’s is a big one but it’s 4th on the East Coast according to the font of all knowledge.

    It is the fourth-largest island on the US east coast, surpassed only by Long IslandMount Desert Island and Martha’s Vineyard.  It’s highest point is 46′.  15 foot wells – that’s pretty shallow.  The last place I had with a well had a 200 footer – and it produced orange water.  And it was next to a lake (biggest freshwater lake in MD) and about 10 or so feet above lake level.

    Hell, you are on a real island – you’re separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway.  (Which truth be told, in parts of SC and NJ is kinda like a … creek, so what you said rings true.)  Put some serious mud on a 5’keel in NJ oncest upon a time on the Intracoastal.

  39. I’d like to know where the 46 feet is ……we’re lucky to get 20 on high ground

  40. And I told you I gotta really big eschew for that birthday crap……….heed my words because I pass this way but oncet.

  41. Me and me old man sank 60 feet of 4″ pipe with a pile driver he rigged which was powered by a rope going from the top of a tripod to 3 wheels welded together and mounted on a jacked up ’60 Bonneville in gear  and running, around which went the rope……pull in slack, up goes the pile driver, let ‘er loose and down it come.

  42. I think Dems should focus on the Russian interference and SFB’s denial and refusal to do anything

  43. My well out in the woods was 40′. The lake was +/- 200 ‘ away and 40′ – 60’ down. My water was a rich resource of iron ore.

  44. I think I was right the 1st time. 40-60 feet down to the lake. It started filling up in the winter of ’71 -’72. In ’73 it passed the 100 year mark. In ’74 it passed the 400 year mark. Fortunately, the slope above me brought my water down, and I never pumped up any lake water. The folks who bought my place didn’t like the taste of iron in their water, coffee and food, so they drilled down 200′. The water down there probably fell out of the sky before columbus was born.

  45. My dad was some kind of thinker. Usually you knock down a 2″ pipe .as deep as you can get it with the resources avalable for the outside casing, or whatever it’s called,

    So no.

    We gonna sink a 4″ pipe, with a 60 Bonneville for a  PTO for a home made pile driver.

  46. I’m sorry I was such a jerk about Manning the rope but now it’s quite comical


  47. Cause you know, the pony-yak’s idling, wheel spinning at idling rpm….you there and if you cut some slack too early you get a half-ass drop,,…..,cut the slack too late and you get the driver drawn up until it hits the top of the tripod and knocks it all asunder.

  48. …you know the locals driving by were thinking “what the fuck are them boys doing, now?”

  49. “Remember: If you go to Court—EVERYBODY loses.” – Mr Sturgeone

    ‘Ceptin’ Mr Pogo, Esq. a’course. He makes out in court better than I made out in the back seat of my poor old ’53 New Yorker Deluxe. And, I made out okay. Okay ?


    Now don’t y’all go tellin’ Sweetie ’bout whut I wrotten here, hear ?

  50. All this Sudden die leck dun put me in a mood to read summa Erskine Caldwell. I think a dose of Georgia Boy would really hit the spot righta ’bout now. And a’corse, things awlus go bedder wi’ coke. Howsomever, I ackshul don’t like gettin’ all fruzz. Sews I’ll jus’ take me a 5/325 tablet of oxycodone apap instead. Maybe I’ll have that with a jar a’ nice chianti and some fava beans. Y’all are wutcha eat, y’knows. Who wants to be coke and end up in summons snotty nose, y’knows ? Well hell, that’ll give all y’all nightmares, woe knit ? ‘Twill me. I’m gunna hafta go wash my brain now, or aisle never getta sleep.

    G’night, an’ Swede reams, y’all. An’ I means it.

  51. XR, yep, I,too, loves me my edit button. It’s the last hope for sloppy writers like myself, PLUS, it  provides a nice end run around the “you’re posting to quickly” police.  The only thing I wish it had is the link button. But then again, I wish I could change the way the “select“ button works on the Apple platform and make it simply a copy function. So like the old saying goes if wishes were horses beggars would ride.

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