Our motto is seeking a regression with minimal errors.
We pursue the error term in regression analysis because the model with minimal error terms – the mathematical representation of how close or far a model’s expected results deviate from actual results – is the model with the greatest explanatory power.
Have you lost faith in statistical models after the failure of climate modeling?
We assure you modeling is a productive field. Unfortunately, like all fields, the reputation of statistics is vulnerable to the actions of disreputable practitioners.
Climate simulations certainly have not followed best practices: If a simulation’s predictions constantly miss actual results, as climate models have for decades, the model is supposed to be discarded no matter how many trillions the “non-profit” Green Industry siphons to itself in grants, corrupt “carbon” trading arrangements, anti-carbon hysteria, and so forth.
Climate scientists do not care at all about good science, explanatory power or love the humble – very wrongly maligned – carbon atom.
But we do.
If Progressives can’t be trusted to build a model with quality explanatory power, the task falls to us. Not just in climatology, but every topic we put under our the microscope.
And do we ever need some explanatory variables to explain the Russia investigation.
There are many variables to choose from in this drama. The Democrats, NeverTrump deadenders, Hillary, the current administration, the former administration.
Out of all of them, the James Comey variable is the most informative variable because he was the only player whose actions throughout were always informed by full knowledge of whatever evidence was or was not found in the investigation.
We will put forward a theory, show that our theory best fits his actions, and then relate what it means for the Progressive movement generally. The lesson – non-intuitively as so often happens with good statistical methodology – is that the Progressive movement should be more worried about being removed from power than Trump should.
Theory: Comey was trying to setup a case for obstruction of justice against Trump by gradually provoking him into making hostile comments in privately to Comey that, when added together, could eventually amount to a case for obstruction of justice.
We also speculate – though with less certainty than our main theory which holds he was building an obstruction case – that Comey’s actions may have had in mind that if his obstruction case created enough of a political scandal that he could leverage the resulting media publicity into a Presidential run in 2020.
About the assumption made that the FBI has no evidence for criminal activity between the Trump campaign and Russia –
At this point, this assumption is solid.
It’s almost impossible to conceive how there could have been an underlying crime between the Trump campaign and Russia without the evidence leaking to the media after Obama’s intelligence services, Hillary’s opposition research team, Comey’s FBI, the entire Democratic party, multiple Congressional Committees, almost all of the Republican establishment, and every media outlet on the planet spent over a year obsessively searching for proof.
If there were solid proof the media wouldn’t be wasting time “inferring” from pieces of “memos” written on cocktail napkins by anonymous, second hand, sources that Trump tipped off the Russians to the great, classified, secret that Israel is conducting intel operations in Syrian cities controlled by ISIS.
Putin would have never guessed.
Whatever crimes happened involving Trump advisers are most likely isolated to those advisers and unrelated to the campaign. Most likely these are tax and regulatory reporting irregularities, many of them occurring years before Trump began his campaign in mid-2015.
Comey’s strategy was a variant taken from the playbook of his mentor and friend, Patrick Fitzgerald. The Fitzgerald strategy is to spend years kindling a media firestorm with limited, but carefully selected, leaks about a major investigation into the supposed crimes of a Republican White House, but only to end up nailing a few suspects on investigative crimes unrelated to the major felony the media was yearning for.
This was Fitzgerald’s approach to the bogus Valerie Plame “outing”; I believe it was Comey’s strategy in the bogus election investigation.
But with modifications.
Instead of being satisfied with exonerating the White House for the underlying crime but nailing advisers on unrelated charges as Fitzgerald did in “Plamegate“, Comey hoped to bring down Trump on an obstruction of justice charge; charges that could either leave his Presidency sandbagged with a large scandal or actually lead to impeachment.
Comey’s reported actions are consistent with passive-aggressive attempts to anger Trump in order to get him to make statements that could be construed as interfering with the investigation.
Based on what has been reported about their private conversations, Comey appeared very coy responding to Trump’s questions about what state the investigation was in, who was under investigation, whether the intelligence probe was being converted to a criminal case, or whether Trump himself was being criminally investigated.
Meanwhile, Comey quietly encouraged the media to speculate about the direction of the investigation (such as the urine soaked “dossier”) based on leaks strategically fed to them even though Comey himself had known for months there was no underlying crime.
In public testimony to the Congress, Comey was careful to give as little information as possible.
By keeping the true state of the investigation a very tightly held secret and letting it unnecessarily drag on despite most Congressmen and Senators admitting in public they had seen no evidence of a crime, he hoped to let Trump’s imagination and frustration grow wild in meetings Comey meticulously kept notes about.
Eventually, he planned, Trump would make enough small to medium size (or one obviously over the line) statements that bordered on obstruction for Comey to later argue collectively made for a true case of obstruction.
Short of a major breach of protocol, a case built on numerous borderline comments was risky for Comey because they had to be minor enough, taken in isolation, to justify why his not earlier coming forward to the DoJ and Congress as he is legally mandated to do.
But Comey was experienced enough that he could justifiably reason he could walk this tightrope. No less important, Comey enjoyed the political intrigue too much not give it a go.
In light of this, it is interesting how the media has discussed the investigation. They seemed convinced a scandal would eventually emerge that would harm Trump, but couldn’t quite put their finger on what it exactly the crime would be.
I believe Comey, very vaguely, signaled to the media that, while evidence for an underlying crime was not promising, they should keep the rampant speculation going because there would eventually be unrelated charges of some sort that would have good odds of leading to impeachment.
If he had more time to pull it off, Comey would have become an establishment hero; if Trump were impeached Comey would become God to the Progressives.
Either way he would have then been in a position to leverage this immense fame and media praise into a Presidential campaign.
I do not believe Comey was certain he would become President in the same way Hillary was certain she would become President. Comey is meticulous and patient enough to know this would be a difficult act to play.
What I believe is that Comey had it in the back of his mind that his provoking Trump could open a realistic path to the Presidency.
If you find this analysis of electoral ambitions too speculative for your own taste, I concede this is an educated guess about his real motives.
However, even if we assume he would not run under any circumstances whatsoever, it is a fact the opportunity for Comey to run would emerge if Trump was left mired in an obstruction of justice scandal carefully engineered by Comey.
At a minimum he would enjoy the ego boost for decades.
This gambit may still seem like a stretch (it may seem tempting to use it to speculate his ambitions are why he sandbagged Hillary in the last week of the campaign), but Trump had far worse odds when he announced his candidacy in the middle of 2015.
Imagine if Trump had not fired Comey. Comey would have remained at the helm of the FBI until a plausible enough case for obstruction of justice could be made.
Why this saga bodes worse for the future of the Progressive establishment than it does Trump.
Comey said the idea he influenced the election’s outcome made him nauseous.
That’s incomplete. Initially what made him nauseous was being compelled by his own agents to reopen the Hillary investigation a week before election day when he, like almost everyone else, was certain Hillary would win, and that her first act in office would surely be to fire him as Director of the FBI; a firing that would be meet with resounding applause by the media for her “courageous” decision.
When Trump won Comey was left shocked the Clinton political machine was not inevitable at all and that he had the power to play a central role in her failure. For the Progressive establishment her loss was a failure equivalent to Goldwater beating Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Comey’s career was built around the assumption the establishment’s hold on power was firm and there was no option but to play within its rules. For years Comey had played a convincing bad cop for the Clintons who, after much scripted drama and scolding by Comey, are only delivered a slap on the wrist whenever the Clinton’s were caught with their pantsuits down.
Letting off the Clintons time and again because they were titans also left Comey nauseous.
When they and the fool elites who backed them to the hilt were exposed as paper tigers, Comey must have wondered why he was intimidated in the first place.
Comey’s nausea became a high.
For his next buzz he looked to the incoming Trump administration. If he could bring down Hillary Clinton when she had the full institutional backing of the establishment, how much easier would it be for him to bring down this blowhard clown, Trump, when Comey would have the endorsement of the establishment?
Regardless whether he saw himself as a future President, Comey’s actions are remarkable for the tremendous contempt they showed for the political process and the establishment.
But why shouldn’t he be contemptuous? Look at who the other anti-Trump actors are in this saga.
NeverTrump? Political incompetents who couldn’t get Obama elected mayor of San Francisco.
The Progressives? Raving lunatics who hide in safe spaces clinging bitterly to their playdough whenever they run into an offensive hashtag, and who in good moods dream of controlling the universe with gay sex and transvestite perverts.
After years listening to frail Senators waste hours asking Comey rambling questions, monitoring the sewer of corruption that is the political establishment without being allowed to cleanse it, surrounded by the preening mediocrities that dominate Washington DC, dealing with high functioning drug addict graduates of “elite” universities, why wouldn’t Comey have thought it right for someone actually talented and disciplined such as himself to become the key player in the Progressive establishment.
He showed his contempt for Progressives like James Clapper and the entire Obama administration by keeping them in the dark about what kind of a case he was building.
He even kept his own FBI in the dark – his Deputy FBI Director, McCabe, publicly testified that there was no White House interference in the investigation while Comey the whole time was keeping detailed records of any private statements from Trump that might border on White House interference.
Where Comey miscalculated was in having contempt for Trump. Comey may have thought the President wouldn’t fire him outright for fear of the media controversy it would generate if Comey remained passive aggressive.
Instead his plan to push an obstruction case against Trump (regardless of what, if any, political ambitions he held) has failed because Comey was fired before he was ready to make his case public.
From now on, so long as Comey is in the spotlight for this investigation his role will be limited to legally dissembling why he thought there might be borderline obstruction of justice at the time, but not a sufficient amount of incidents for him to officially brought it up with the right officials.
But if Comey succeeded?
The Democrats would have given him their party’s nomination on a silver platter if he wanted it.
But should they?
It says much about the frail state of the Progressive establishment that they were in a desperate enough state to invest a cypher like Comey with the responsibility of orchestrate such a highly unorthodox political scheme.
Comey is mercurial, and might not have their interests at heart. As a Presidential candidate he could be a Democrat only because he wouldn’t last in a Republican primary.
The problem for Democrats and Progressives across the West is that they are creating unusual opportunities for unusual outsiders to seize power.
Ordinary political systems exist, in part, so that those who rise to the top are known quantities like Hillary Clinton by the time they reach the top.
If the system is good – e.g., 19th century Britain – this is not a bad way to groom elites. A healthy political system is able to elevate insiders through normal processes.
But Western Progressivism is anything but healthy.
To allow Trump to take control of the White House as an outsider was a red flag that the Progressive hold on power was disintigrating. That they would have eagerly handed power over the establishment to a nebulous, ambitious, variable like Comey shows it is the Progressive system that is most at risk of being removed from power, not Trump.