A quick voyage around the puppy seas to look at the Mueller report

I haven’t written much about the Mueller report prior to this post (indeed pretty much nothing https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/?s=Mueller ) and I liked Alexandra Erin’s analysis of all such investigation and thoughts about impeachment: the best option for getting rid of Trump is the next election and always has been. That doesn’t mean investigations or even possible impeachment proceedings shouldn’t occur — they are a key part of the checks and balances in America’s system of government and they slowdown and interrupt the full scope of the harm the current administration might cause.

The reaction from the Whitehouse to the as yet unreleased report has been one of claiming that it vindicates or exonerates Trump. You don’t need to be particularly anti-Trump or even particularly anti-conservative to regard that analysis with some scepticism. The investigation already result in action against key figures in Trump’s campaign that anybody, regardless of their politics, should find concerning. Politician’s spin.

So it is fascinating to see Larry Correia’s and Brad Torgersen’s reaction to the report — which note, they haven’t read or seen. Brad and Larry are of particular interest as they were ostensibly anti-Trump at the time of the nomination and were far more reluctant to be seen as endorsing him, presenting their positions as more anti-left or anti-Hillary Clinton than pro-Trump. So. swallowing a politician’s narrative hook, line and sinker is an interesting shift for both of them. Here’s Brad on Facebook:

“Hate Trump for being a loud, uncouth, ill-prepared, boastful, otherwise un-Presidential oaf. Fine. But he was never in Russia’s pocket. In fact, the big red arrows kept aiming back at Clinton, Inc. and also Obama, Inc.”

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And a similar sentiment from Larry Correia:

“Oh well. That’s what you get for pinning all your hopes and dreams on something that was obviously a crock of shit to anybody who gave it a few seconds of critical thinking. There’s plenty of legitimate reasons to hate any politician without straw grasping for silly made up ones.”

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Both Brad and Larry talk a lot about narratives when it comes to politics but in that special projection/reversal of position way where they say their opponents are doing the thing that they are trying very hard to do. In this case attempting to frame a conclusion about the report before they have any idea what the actual content of the report is. It’s interesting because in both cases they are committing strongly to a pro-Trump framing i.e. accepting the uncritically the spin from the Whitehouse without engaging any critical gears at all. Heck even waiting a few days might have been a bit smarter given they still don’t know what is actually in the report.

It’s weird because I’m now a bit more interested in what the report says. Again, it was unlikely to ever have a smoking gun of, say, live video of Vladimir Putin handing wads of money to a pre-election Trump and Trump saying “Gee thanks for the money Vlad, I’ll spend this on doing all the crimes.” However, given there has already been, what, seven (?) prosecutions and four guilty pleas as a consequence of the investigation, it’s an already established fact that the Trump campaign was mired in criminal behaviour.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this pans out. Both Larry and Brad adopt a stance of being different from the more overtly nationalist and pro-Trump right but often repeat and advance talking points and propaganda from the nationalist right uncritically. I’ll be interested to see to what extent they’ll back pedal on this topic as the story shifts.

18 thoughts on “A quick voyage around the puppy seas to look at the Mueller report

  1. I have been mostly irritated at this red herring of Trump and Russia. It has been clear from the beginning that there haven’t been much collusion and that Russia and Trump has been in direct conflict against each other (see Venezuela and Syria) at the same time as propagandists have claimed that Trump would be in Putins pocket.

    As I see it, americans try to find a scapegoat for having elected Trump. They can’t admitt that he is a natural continuation of american politics, there must be outsiders who put him in place. And still every democrat politician, every newspaper, runs to Trumps defense as long as he promises more money to the military, a new coup, more sanctions. Everytime he promises to be a true hawk and destroy a country. And they gnash their teeth every time he tries to deescalate conflicts that have lasted decades with no promise of progress.

    No american has been convicted for collusion with Russia. They have for a lot of other things, but not for collusion with Russia. It has been a campaign of the same type that typically has been used against the left or against the peace movement. I was quite surprised to see “the left” and “the resistance” in US becoming raving nationalists, trying to get a new cold war going. Or hopefully a new hot war. Depressing. Like the neocons are back and everyone forgott about the Iraq war. Even George W Bush is popular again.

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    1. I don’t doubt that Putin helps nationalist movements in other countries but yeah, whatever his part in the mess that is Trump it is small compared to the big structural issues that made a Trump presidency possible.

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    2. There was never going to be anyone convicted of “collusion with Russia”. “Collusion” isn’t a crime. But it’s been an open secret for decades that Trump is in deep with the Russian mob.

      The Mueller investigation until this point looked just like a roll-up of an organized crime cartel. And a lot of things were spun off to other jurisdictions that the new US Attorney General, a man with LOTS of experience covering up scandals, can’t touch.

      Putin’s part in the Trump mess is lots of money laundered through certain political action committees and psyops/hacking expertise. Armies of fake social media accounts to boost certain narratives. They pretty much took what Rupert Murdoch has been building for decades, modernized it, and applied just the right leverage in the right place.

      Who is reporting that Democratic politicians are running to Trump’s defense for anything? I’m seriously curious here. There are a couple of conserva-Dems who have voted with the Rs in the Senate on a couple of things, some noises made by some misogynistic idiots who thought they could take Pelosi’s job (and will likely be primaried as a result), but that’s all I can think of that would even come close.

      What in the world do you think that Trump is trying to “deescalate”? North Korea? Israel? He’s undoubtedly going to make things worse. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that he is in any way competent or that he’s surrounding himself with competent people.

      Would love to know who “the left” and “the resistance” actually are. I suspect it’s the Jacobin/Justice Democrats/”Rose Twitter” Democratic-Socialist crowd. The real Resistance in the US is focused more on voter suppression. Ignore Rose Twitter. The people you want to keep an eye on are Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum. David Hogg and the other Parkland kids. Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Jerrold Nadler and the other people on the blacklist the Trump campaign sent to the media companies. Any people Trump tries to blacklist in the future.


      1. I would say that the absolute majority of Democrats are rightwing conservatives, yes. Just look at how they are happy to endorse yet another coup in Venezuela, just as they were happy to support the Iraq war, just as they are happy to pour hatred over the lone muslim who dared to speak out against the israeli lobby, just as they speak highly about healthcare for everyone, just to in secret meetings say it won’t be possible.

        Yes, the deescaiation with North-Korea was of course a failed job, because Trump is an idiot, but this is something with enormous support in South-Korea. But why should a colonialist Democrat care about them? No, they will rage and rage in full hawk mode. Just as they screamed about national security when Trump mentioned withdrawing from the hopeless quagmire in Afghanistan. What all this has shown is that the military complex is as strong as ever and the Democrats are loud and happy supporters.


  2. Wow. OK, first, absolutely agree that even our so-called lefties are at best centrists in Europe.

    Again, I’m going to ask for sources. Reporting in the US tends to the RW, and alternative presses seem to eventually end up in the left-wing nutbar side of things.

    My knowledge of the Venezuela mess is limited to an occasional dip into articles by academics who study such things, and as far as I can tell, the argument that the 2018 elections were not legitimate is pretty solidly grounded in the Venezuelan Constitution. (Apparently the South American specialists in France also agree with that assessment?) So it does not surprise me for Dem politicians to support sanctions. Haven’t heard of any supporting Trump’s rhetoric about sending in US troops, though.

    Most of us consider the Iraq War votes the last gasp of Clintonian political triangulation.

    The Omar mess was, initially, a combination of cultural ignorance on multiple sides. People who had never heard the song she quoted associated her tweet with anti-Semitic nastiness that, AFAICT, she herself had never actually encountered. Dem leadership gave her a quick history lesson, she gave them a quick music lesson, she apologized for stepping in a racist trope, and everyone prepared for the right-wing assault we all knew was coming. The second mess was a twisting of a criticism of her fellow members of Congress that resulted in an anti-racism resolution in the House that didn’t quite go as the RWNJ had planned. Dem politicians who criticized her for the second one were buried under constituents demanding to know why they are conflating criticism of Israeli policy with anti-Semitism.

    Acknowledging that getting a sane healthcare policy in place is a steep uphill battle is not the same as saying that it’s impossible. What’s not going to happen is dismantling private insurance and replacing it with single-payer in a single stroke. (This makes me think that your sources are getting their information from the dregs of the Sanders campaign.) Too much of the US economy is tied up in the current healthcare system. Nationalizing health care would probably trigger an economic depression. And right now, we’re fighting a holding action to keep what we have accomplished in that direction so far. I don’t know if John McCain’s dramatic thumbs down vote on the Obamacare repeal got covered overseas, but they haven’t had the nerve to try an outright repeal since. However, they now have control of the judiciary, thanks to McConnell, and there’s a real possibility we may lose the whole thing by court action. Honestly, given the realities of US politics, I don’t want nationalized health care. I have no trouble imagining a future Trump/McConnell/Ryan-like triumvirate closing the doors of every source of health care for the masses and grinning through the entire signing ceremony.

    We would love to see North Korea enter the 20th Century. (Maybe we’d even see them enter the 21st in my lifetime.) A lot of us hoped that the process that resulted in the Iran nuclear agreement would be a model the Clinton White House could use in negotiating with NK. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that Clinton White House, and we all know what Trump thinks of the Iran agreement.

    Yeah, there’s a couple of idiots who still buy into the “fight them over there so we don’t fight them over here” idea. There’s more who like the idea in theory but would rather wait for someone competent who won’t screw the whole process up. And the ones with the really twisty brains would rather stay in the Afghanistan quagmire for a couple more years than help Bolton move those troops to some other endeavor, like invading Iran. But frankly, that part of that bill got very little coverage here compared to the anti-BDS part, which brings us back to Omar and criticizing Israeli policy.

    Oh, and we can’t forget that Erik Prince hasn’t abandoned his efforts to replace the troops currently in Afghanistan with his military contractors. Trump has questioned why we didn’t take the Iraqi oil while we were there; Prince is pushing letting him go into Afghanistan, set himself up as warlord, and pay for his operations with the rare earths the USGS says are there.


    1. Supporting a coup by starving a country to death or sending in troups is not a big difference. Both is supporting a coup. Just as Democrats had absolutely no problem with Obamas military coup in Honduras. Or Hillary Clintons invasion of Libya. The Iraq War was absolutely not a “last gasp”. American invasions and coups continue as before with support from both parties.

      All Democrats (more or less) was against single player healthcare. It took Sanders to put it on the agenda and even then they fought tooth and claw in the beginning. Still they talk to sponsors as if this is something that will not happen. These are not people you can trust. See how Pelosi attacked it just last month with a “how do you pay for that”, even when all countries with single payer has *cheaper* healthcare than US. Less part of BNP goes to healthcare.

      Support for Israel apartheid is strong among the colonial democrats with their history of racism against arabs. Just as it is strong among the racist republicans. These are conservatives who do not believe in equal rights. Instead they arm the opressors. This is more than about Omar. This is organized racism.

      And Hillary Clinton destroyed every possible chance of holding up the Iran agreement as a bargain tool when talking to North Korea, when she invadid Libya. Libya that stopped trying to develop their nuclear arms in exchange for peace, but instead got a warhawk Clinton who invaded the country, created a new quagmire and even managed to get the slavery back. And of course new ways for weapons and terrorists to travel. No way North Korea would trust her – or even any american after that.

      Erik Prince is a special kind of rotten personality, that also got a lot of work from the Obama administration. As I said, the Military Industrial Complex is only getting bigger and it has strong support in both parties.


      1. Okay, that tells me who your sources are.

        The BernieBros and InstaPundit. That’s a new combo. Or maybe not; they certainly have misogyny and Hillary-hate in common.

        It did NOT take Sanders to “put it on the agenda”, and whoever told you that knows absolutely zilch about American politics.

        Of course Pelosi wants to know how something will be paid for. It’s her job to bring complete packages through the political process. Just shouting a mantra doesn’t bring anything into reality. But neither Bernie nor his fans are willing to get into the dirty details like developing a plan and then convincing Congress to vote for it. We’re just supposed to Will this new system into place like Green Lantern, and all the people whose jobs and pensions vanish as a result are supposed to be happy their lives are ruined for the sake of the greater good, and the money to pay for it will just magically appear in the Treasury.

        If you actually watched American politics, you’d understand why setting Obamacare up as they did was brilliant. Single payer would have been gone on the day of Romney’s inauguration; Obama wouldn’t have gotten a second term to shepherd it through to being the “new normal”.

        Your fourth paragraph is straight out of InstaPundit. You rail about the Iraq invasion, and then you quote one of the foremost warbloggers of that period?


      2. Well, that tells me how prejudiced you are. As if I didn’t have two shelves in my bookshelf dedicated to war propaganda. As if I hadn’t been active in the peace movement for 30 years. No, according to American current discourse, I must be relegated to a “berniebro” as to easier be dismissed. Be connected to “InstaPundit”, a media source for rightwing lunatics.

        That is how far US left have degenerated. They wouldn’t recognize a peace activist if it bit them in their arse. Instead they would do everything to tie the whole peace movement to Russia, to evil socialists, to what ever takes their fancy. Thus skipping out on the hard questions on US imperialism.

        As for what I read, I recommend you start with Phillip K Knightley’s “First Casualty” on war propaganda. You continu with Chalmers Johnson’s “Sorrows of Empire” on the spread of US military. Then you read Stephen Schlesinger’s “Bitter Fruit” on the US coup in Guatemala to get a baseline of what happens in Venezuela today (just as it happened in the US military coup in Honduras, how it happened in Chile -73, how it happened in Haiti when Arristide was thrown out, how it happened in countless other countries).

        You say I know nothing of American politics. Your own prejudices has done the opposite of impressing me. Take your “InstaPundit” and swallow it. Do not try to smear me with that blog.


      3. Yeah… given S.Hoyt’s involvement in Instapundit, I might need to declare that accusations of unironically reading instapundit are deemed unparliamentary language here


      4. As for what media I read, the base is Swedish media. Then I add what my twitter feeds give me which as a base is NYT and Washington Post with a sprinkle of The Nation and Counterpunch and random stuff. Often I take a look at Antiwar.com to find the mainstream articles that are too easy to miss (I skip most of the editorials as they are a mixed bunch).

        But jeezus, adding me together with libertarians. The closest I am is to Tulsi Gabbard if you look at US spectrum, but I abhor her connection to Indias nationalists and think her opposition to the Syria war (which I agree with) has made her to lenient on the dictator Assad. US doesn’t really have good choices.

        I’m a part of the Swedish left and a peace activist that became active directly after the first Gulf-war when all the lies about that war started to become known and the sanctions had started to kill Iraq’s babies. If you want to categorise me, there you have it.


      5. No, I did not categorize you as a BernieBro. I categorized you as trusting the reporting of some source that you probably should be more skeptical of, someone that is using the BernieBros as a source, perhaps under the mistaken idea that Americans claiming the name Democratic Socialists are anything at all like the European version. You do not have to school me on the unfortunate effects of the Monroe Doctrine. (You might want to add Butler’s War is a Racket to your reading list there.)

        Perhaps you’re unaware that InstaPundit publishes at other platforms besides his blog? Specifically, that paragraph of yours about Libya is a direct lift from one of Glenn Harlan Reynolds’ opinion columns in USAToday. Glenn Harlan Reynolds is InstaPundit.

        I did find that story in other places, but they’re even less credible: Pat Buchanan’s old rag and several InfoWars wannbees.

        And that “it took Sanders to put single-payer on the agenda” comes straight from the Bernie dead-enders. A source of your source, I assume, but that’s where it originated. No one else would say that, because it is flatly not true. The early drafts of the Social Security legislation in 1933 included single-payer. We came damned close to getting it in the mid-1970s. A huge fight over it nearly derailed the Affordable Care Act in 2009. Pelosi managed to herd the cats and get it through the House; we were two votes short of passing it in the Senate. Sanders is a Bernie-come-lately to the fight.

        Some theorize that Trump’s promises to pull out of the Middle East snookered some of the US peace movement into voting for him. (That’s one of the problems with single-issue voting.) Some of them promoted voting for him because it would “heighten the contradictions”, a sort of “Nach Trump, uns”. Most of us, if the Trump administration pulls troops out of anywhere, we’re going to look at him suspiciously and ask “Where are you redeploying them to?” The answer will probably be “Iran”.

        I recommended focusing on certain people as the center of the US Resistance. They’re mostly voting rights activists. The US left has a to do list a million items long, but the number one priority has to be fighting off the new Jim Crow system, because if we can’t stop that, our options for fighting the rest of it are severely limited.


      6. I’m not interested in your weird conspiracy theories about InstaPundit. Hillary Clinton was heavily criticized by peace activists all over the world. But you are only interested in finding ways to smear people so you can more easily dismiss what they say. As if you couldn’t find criticism against Clinton in Counterpunch. As if you couldn’t find it in The Nation. As if you couldn’t find it from classic leftists such as Noam Chomsky or John Pilger.

        It is absolutely true that some of the libertarian parts of the peace movement was tricked into voting for Trump. Justin Raimondo is one of them and I can’t take him seriously anymore.

        As a non-american, I don’t have to focus on voting rights activists. They do an extremely important job, but that is for americans. My interest is purely in american foreign policy. If you only destroyed your country, it would be your problem. I’m more scared of the much larger havoc both Democrats and Republicans wreck over the rest of the world.


      7. Also, you are so fixated with your little duck pound that you can’t understand that people in other countries have their own journalists. What I have written is fairly mainstream in Sweden and could be found in the largest evening paper Afronbladet on its culture pages. It could be found in leftist magazines like Flamman or Internationalen. But in your world, everything must come from the evil InstaPundit.

        It is just ridiculous.


  3. Yeah, the narrative here for the Libya invasion was that our participation was because of a favor call-in from our European allies, particularly France, because they believed it would slow down the stream of refugees. There was some snark about us spending Tomahawks to make France safe for French racism. Double checking the timeline of the events, I’d have to posit quite a conspiracy theory to shift it from “Sarkozy’s Invasion” to “Clinton’s Invasion”, but whatever.

    Thanks for the reminder.


    1. Do not liken the immensely unpopular Sarkozy with Europe. And how your administration wants to sell in a new war is your thing, but using the old colonial power and occupatier as an excuse is again ridiculous. This was a NATO war that would never have happened without the heavy involvement of US. I would not call it “Clinton’s War”, that is your own title, but it was a US war and Clinton was absolutely part of the planning and the execution. And just as the Iraq War it was a failure with far reaching consequences.

      That Democrats never want to acknowledge their own parties participation in wars is depressing. Always look for someone to push the guilt on.


  4. In travels around YouTube for another purpose I ran across a 2016 protest song by Wesley Stace (John Wesley Harding), one of my favorite singers in my 20s and still…. He’s so good, but the parody lyrics make me realize just how much worse things have gotten than had been imagined in 2016.
    “Mr Tangerine Man” …

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