This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



March 2019

Curmudegon’s​ Corner: Driven Snow

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan spend almost the whole show on discussing Trump/Russia, the end of the Mueller investigation, the Barr summary of the Mueller report, and the potential political fallout of all of the above. Before that, a quick recap on everybody catching the flu. Which was fun.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2019-03-28
Length this week – 1:59:15

  • (0:00:20-0:11:45) But first
  • (0:13:45-0:41:07) What we know
  • (0:42:50-1:26:38) Barr summary
  • (1:27:23-1:58:53) Political fallout

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

@abulsme tweets from 2019-03-25 (UTC)

@ElectionGraphs tweets from 2019-03-25 (UTC)

@ElecCollPolls tweets from 2019-03-25 (UTC)

@abulsme tweets from 2019-03-24 (UTC)

  • 00:15:22 Retweeted @nycsouthpaw 2019-03-23 23:29:59 The facts are that he did interfere. He fired the director of the FBI, hounded others out of the bureau, sought to fire the Special Counsel, dangled pardons, and harangued the investigators and the investigation every day for nearly two years.
  • 00:17:17 Retweeted @Susan_Hennessey 00:04:21 It would be more accurate to say that despite Trump’s many, many efforts to interfere with and impede this investigation, the Department of Justice appears to have more or less stood firm. And that is something for which the American public should be very grateful, indeed.
  • 02:19:08 Liked on YouTube: Toy Story 4 | Official Trailer
  • 06:48:27 Retweeted @davidfrum 2019-03-23 17:32:41 The 12th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 22nd, 23d, and 26th amendments to the Constitution each previously altered the system for selecting presidents
  • 15:40:42 Retweeted @dandrezner 12:26:20 This this this this THIS by @emptywheel. “Trump and his aides all lied about what they’ve now sworn to be true. Over and over again. And that raised the stakes of the Russian investigation, which in turn further polarized the country.”
  • 15:58:04 Retweeted @CarlosLozadaWP 2019-03-22 14:48:33 “Every report on past presidential scandal was a warning. Why didn’t we listen?” In advance of the Mueller report, I read the special counsel and select committee reports from Watergate, Iran-contra and Clinton-Lewinsky:
  • 16:03:19 Retweeted @davidfrum 14:59:27 1. A truck of TVs is hijacked.2. Your son meets with the hijackers.

    3. Your campaign manager shares route information with them.

    4. You are recorded on video saying, “I love truck hijacking.”

    5. The TVs are in your house.

    Happy No Collusion Day.

  • 16:09:57 Retweeted @gtconway3d 12:41:54 Whatever happens this day or the next, or in this investigation or the next or the one after that, we should always remember this: We should expect far more from a president than merely that he not be a provably a criminal beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • 16:11:00 Retweeted @RDEliason 2019-03-23 15:07:57 It’s wrong to claim that the end of the Mueller probe with no more indictments is a “win” for Trump. First, if Trump “won” it implies that Mueller “lost.” But white collar prosecutors don’t “lose” if they investigate and conclude charges are not justified. 1/
  • 16:11:32 Retweeted @jtlevy 2019-03-23 23:05:12 The Mueller Report could be literally nothing but a narration of already-public facts that have been sworn to under oath, confirmed in guilty pleas, or supported by physical documents and it would be far more damning than conservative twitter triumphalism currently imagines.
  • 16:19:40 Retweeted @mehdirhasan 2019-03-23 19:59:35 Imagine, just imagine, if Mueller had been silent for past 2 years, held everything back, & then on Fri evening, announced 37 (!) indictments, including of Trump’s lawyer, national security adviser & campaign manager. We’d be in shock. The White House would be in chaos & crisis.
  • 16:31:05 Retweeted @Davin_Phoenix 2019-03-23 18:43:32 Remember when George Costanza quit his job in a blaze of glory, burning every bridge on his way out? And then almost immediately got 2nd thoughts, & decided to come to work the next day & play it off like nothing happened? That’s my read on how Britain is handling Brexit.
  • 16:32:08 Retweeted @ForecasterEnten 13:12:17 What a nutso age gap in the primary… Among those under 45: Sanders 37%, Biden 19%. Among those 45+: Biden 41%, Sanders 11%. Another illustration of why Twitter (which leans very young) will mislead you in a Dem primary like this one. in reply to ForecasterEnten
  • 16:36:17 Retweeted @James_Gross 15:26:38 @TheRideshareGuy The ultimate innovation: safety in reply to TheRideshareGuy
  • 19:36:24 Retweeted @BNONews 19:36:03 U.S. Congress has received a “very brief letter” about the Mueller report, Rep. Nadler says. It will be made public shortly.
  • 19:45:39 Retweeted @ShannonBream 19:43:29 BREAKING: Read Barr letter here –
  • 20:34:11 So… no collusion = useful idiots?
  • 20:35:02 Retweeted @NPRinskeep 20:13:56 Mueller finds Russians aided Trump but the campaign didn’t conspire. Knowing this, Trump could have denounced Russia all along and backed the investigation. Instead he publicly asked for Russian help, falsely denied receiving any, and said Republican investigators were Democrats.
  • 20:37:57 Retweeted @dandrezner 19:50:48 Assuming that the report itself corresponds to Barr’s summary, it’s hard not to interpret it as a boost for president Trump.
  • 20:40:33 Seeing Dems saying “OK, no collusion, but we don’t trust the no obstruction determination.” I don’t either, I think the obstruction was public and obvious. But this is not a hill to die on. Time to move on to the also obvious corruption issues.
  • 20:41:26 Retweeted @_Drew_McCoy_ 20:32:31 I didn’t like Trump before this report and I don’t like it after him but give the devil his due.It’s a win. About as complete a win as possible. There’s just no way around that.
  • 20:45:50 Retweeted @tribelaw 20:32:01 The “no obstruction” conclusion was Barr’s, not Mueller’s. Dems might focus there because we already knew Barr had that weird view. But that would be an unforced error. People are hungry to move on. That means focusing on whether Trump can be trusted with our fate going forward.
  • 20:47:20 Retweeted @rgoodlaw 20:31:44 Something is conspicuously absent from #BarrLetter.#BarrReport focuses exclusively on question of crimes (that shiny object).

    Any separate intelligence analysis appears to be missing here — including Kremlin’s use of unwitting agents, campaign’s involvement with WikiLeaks etc.

  • 20:49:52 Retweeted @DavidKlion 20:30:28 I suppose “collusion” will always be in the eye of the beholder but Trump literally admitted to obstruction on TV. We all heard it. We just regard presidents as above the law.
  • 20:50:30 Retweeted @JoeNBC 20:31:24 Memo to Journalists: It is GOOD NEWS for America when someone as respected as Robert Mueller takes two years to methodically determine that the sitting president of the United States did not conspire with Russia. Take a breath.
  • 20:51:36 Retweeted @JakeSherman 20:31:08 This is going to be what you hear from Democrats over the next few days.
  • 20:51:54 Retweeted @neal_katyal 20:18:27 If I were Trump,I wouldnt be celebrating. A report from a team of fed prosecutors there was evidence a sitting President obstructed justice? Is our bar so low that this is what we want from a Pres? The exoneration here is from Barr (Trump’s guy), not Mueller. Need to see Report.
  • 20:55:21 If the letter from Barr misrepresented the full report, I would expect Mueller would break his silence either directly or through leaks to say so. I expect the summary is basically correct. What is missing are descriptions of non-crime findings that still look bad for Trump.
  • 20:56:36 Good thread on how to take the Mueller summary.
  • 21:02:23 @SnarkySith Nope. They won’t. Even when there is 90% good news for them, they can’t help but lie and say it was 100%. in reply to SnarkySith
  • 21:05:17 Retweeted @McFaul 21:02:31 Agreed. Mueller decided not to make the tough call and punted, knowing perfectly well how the AG would rule.
  • 21:11:56 Retweeted @mattyglesias 21:01:27 This is false FYI.The thing Democrats most feared was info that would induce their base to push for impeachment (a little light collusion, say) but not actually move public opinion.
  • 21:13:24 Retweeted @katherinemiller 20:01:12 A thrilling day in America, when half of Twitter seems disappointed the president isn’t being charged with a crime, and the other half is like “scoreboard bitch!” that the president didn’t collude with a foreign country’s government
  • 21:18:43 Retweeted @oliverdarcy 20:58:31 For last 2 years, pro-Trump media has argued Mueller probe was a “witch hunt” & suggested Mueller was a deep state dirty cop. Now that we know the Mueller report has cleared Trump of conspiracy w/Russia, sort of proves that wasn’t the case? Mueller arrived where facts took him.
  • 21:20:35 Retweeted @_Drew_McCoy_ 21:00:33 The Democrats will call Mueller, Barr, and Rosenstein to a hearing, get a few mixed soundbites and then it’ll be over.Even the 2020 candidates will start talking about the future. There’s just no hook to keep going at this point. in reply to _Drew_McCoy_
  • 21:23:50 Retweeted @cbouzy 21:00:05 I wish people would stop saying this. The House impeaches and the Senate convicts. Bill Clinton was impeached but he wasn’t convicted. The impeachment process would expose his corruption.
  • 21:25:08 Is seems that lying is like breathing to them. They must lie even if there is nothing to lie about.
  • 21:26:30 Thread
  • 21:28:59 Retweeted @_Drew_McCoy_ 20:59:29 We all know Twitter isn’t real life, right?All these distinctions between “exoneration” and Barr and Mueller? No one will care.

    They will hear “no collusion, no obstruction charge” and move on. It’s diminishing returns from here on for people clinging to it.

  • 21:49:31 Retweeted @ianbremmer 21:41:41 The Russians did it.
    Trump wasn’t involved.

    The one takeaway from Mueller report that really matters: US-Russia relations are likely to get much worse.

  • 21:51:48 Retweeted @brianklaas 21:18:17 Good questions by @JoeNBC. And, why did they lie about the Trump Tower Moscow project? Why did Trump behave the way he did in Helsinki, effectively kowtowing to Putin and repeatedly accepting his word at face value? That was pathetic—and all are now just big unanswered questions.
  • 21:53:24 Retweeted @LauraAJarrett 19:59:06 Context as you read: am told Special Counsel Robert Mueller was not consulted on this letter. This was the product of the Attorney General Bill Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, per DOJ official.
  • 21:54:23 Retweeted @albamonica 21:38:53 Does this make anyone else think of Hillary Clinton walking in the woods after the election?
  • 21:54:37 Retweeted @versharma 21:37:45 the media is in danger of making the same mistake as with Comey letter/Hillary’s emails coverage all over again.running with a headline from a summary written by a Trump-appointed AG, that most Americans will take in as the first (or only) view of Mueller’s findings. in reply to versharma
  • 22:11:30 Retweeted @HayesBrown 22:03:05 The whole Mueller report situation feels like when a season finale is suddenly actually the series finale and all of the plot lines remaining are just out there
  • 22:11:40 Retweeted @ianbremmer 2017-12-02 21:33:53 As I see it, the Trump Russia problem isn’t collusionIt’s that his foreign policy team was staffed by idiots. Who they lied to cover for.
  • 22:16:52 Retweeted @gregpmiller 20:26:03 Bottom line: we have a POTUS whose behavior toward Russia often seemed to make sense only in context of a conspiracy, surrounded by aides who lied repeatedly about the subject. But Mueller couldn’t prove collusion. Wouldn’t decide obstruction. No likely path to impeachment.
  • 22:18:39 Retweeted @Tom_Winter 22:00:58 Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Office says “we’re not commenting” on the letter sent to Congress today by Attorney General William Barr.This is expected because Mueller has never commented on anything directly outside his purview.
  • 22:35:10 Retweeted @DavidCornDC 21:59:52 The Mueller report and Barr’s letter do not change this core element of the Russia scandal: Trump and his crew engaged in a profound act of betrayal. I explain in this article. Please read and share.
  • 22:40:30 Retweeted @brianbeutler 22:06:08 Can’t think of a more important occasion for close reading, but almost nobody is doing it. Barr’s letter asserts only that Trump associates did not participate in the specific crimes charged in the IRA and GRU indictments. Not that they didn’t “work[] w/Russia.”
  • 22:42:39 Retweeted @NateSilver538 19:57:14 Yeah, this is also my take, more or less:
    1. The lack of a coordination/collusion finding obviously is very good for Trump.
    2. Mueller’s seeming ambivalence on obstruction is less good for Trump, but combined with No. 1, he’ll take it.
    3. We need to see the full report.
  • 22:48:44 Retweeted @LarrySabato 21:12:23 Surely, this is a hashtag with which almost everyone can agree. No serious person should be satisfied with a 4-page “summary”. #ReleaseTheFullReport
  • 22:52:32 Retweeted @gerrycanavan 22:33:23 I’m a notorious Mueller skeptic but you can’t deny the Mueller probe has been ended in a way that maximizes suspicion of its conclusions.
  • 23:00:03 Retweeted @rebeccaballhaus 22:31:09 How Trump world is viewing Mueller’s findings: “He basically absolved Trump of all sins,” says one former adviser.

@abulsme tweets from 2019-03-23 (UTC)

  • 00:26:38 Retweeted @nycsouthpaw 2019-03-22 22:38:18 It’s on the smaller side, but one of the more dizzying things to me about today’s news is that this candidate for the US Congress, who requested and received stolen materials directly from the (disguised) Russian conspirators, won’t be named or charged.
  • 00:48:47 Retweeted @Wilson__Valdez 2019-03-22 22:22:19 So the Mueller report is in, nobody has any clue what it says, and the people who called others insane conspiracy theorists for pointing ot that Russia was interfering with our elections, are in a state of ebulent glee, claiming to be totally vindicated. Do I have that right?
  • 01:24:55 Retweeted @mattblaze 01:05:34 Prediction: when the Mueller report is released, some will point out that it confirms everything that they have been saying all along. Others will point out that the report was deeply flawed.
  • 01:37:49 Excellent follow up on the Assange rumors. Bottom line, looks like 100% BS.
  • 01:51:43 Retweeted @matthewamiller 01:03:34 This is unlikely to prove true, because the two parties aren’t the same. If the latter scenario plays out, you will see some nuts attacking Mueller, but the difference between the left and the right is that the nuts are the mainstream on the right.
  • 02:20:21 Retweeted @ErikWemple 2019-03-22 21:32:47 We are in the midst of one of the great experiments in human history: How long can cable news talk about a document that it doesn’t have?
  • 02:39:16 Retweeted @MaxKennerly 01:02:52 This does not seem like a tidy wrapping up of matters. Witnesses’ lawyers don’t even know who they’re supposed to call.
  • 02:41:42 Retweeted @dceiver 02:12:51 wow talk about the Streisand Effect
  • 02:45:21 Retweeted @jmpalmieri 2019-03-22 23:24:22 Few thots about pre-spinning an unreleased report from someone who knows how game is played. It’s easy to make such a rpt seem innocuous in abstract & w/ no indictments. It will feel worse for WH when we actually see report.
  • 02:54:50 Retweeted @PoliticsWolf 2019-03-22 15:32:24 The median American lives in a:
    Clinton+2.1% country
    Trump+0.8% state
    Clinton+5.9% county
    Trump+2.2% House seat

    Remember these divergent stats when some talk about the geographic distribution of the parties. All these lines are inherently political, & nothing is natural about it

  • 02:58:05 Retweeted @carolynryan 02:38:18 Tomorrow’s вЃ¦@nytimesвЃ© historic front page. h/t вЃ¦@TomJollyвЃ©
  • 03:12:25 Retweeted @JoshNBCNews 2019-03-22 23:14:41 NEW – yet another bizarre development from Trump on North Korea: A US official tells @NBCNews that Trump’s tweet was NOT about yesterday’s sanctions. It was about new, bigger sanctions that had not yet been announced but were apparently immiment
  • 03:13:30 Retweeted @gabrielmalor 2019-03-22 23:16:55 They went from “collusion is not a crime” to “no indictment for Trump, so there was no collusion.”Guys, if it wasn’t criminal, then there wouldn’t be an indictment. At least be consistent with your bullshit.
  • 10:39:52 The most interesting Mueller report outcome would be if he concludes the Russians framed Trump in order to increase divisions in American society. That would be brilliant. Taking advantage of the useful idiots in the Trump family. Would fit their MO perfectly too.
  • 13:48:06 Thread
  • 16:56:21 Retweeted @emptywheel 14:51:34 After Mueller: An Off-Ramp on Russia for the Venal Fucks
  • 17:10:01 Retweeted @meetmissjoness 14:06:53 Why is ‘Baby Shark’ so damn catchy? Because Pinkfong made it that way. <symbol>
  • 17:29:56 Retweeted @GeoffRBennett 17:28:09 BREAKING: A DOJ official tells NBC’s Pete Williams and @JuliaEAinsley that AG Barr will not brief lawmakers today on the Mueller report’s principal conclusions.
  • 19:15:58 Retweeted @kpolantz 18:39:19 NEW: Rick Gates’ case before Judge Amy Berman Jackson in DC federal court will be handled by the DC US Attorney’s Office as Mueller exits, per the special counsel’s office today.
  • 23:01:12 Retweeted @williamjordann 22:55:27 Let’s say hypothetically a candidate is on the edge of the 15% threshold to win CA delegates as the late votes come in. For that candidate 75+ delegates could be in question due to CA’s size: roughly the equivalent of winning EVERY delegate in New Hampshire and Iowa, combined. in reply to williamjordann
  • 23:58:13 Retweeted @PatrickRuffini 13:06:29 The electoral college makes much more sense when you think of America as a federated union of *states* — not of individual citizens — which is how the Founders looked at it but few people look at it today

@abulsme tweets from 2019-03-22 (UTC)

@abulsme tweets from 2019-03-21 (UTC)

@abulsme tweets from 2019-03-20 (UTC)

@abulsme tweets from 2019-03-19 (UTC)