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Source: (consider it) Thread: US election aftermath
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
But not this time. I think that is Eutychus' point, really. Apart from the most exceptional of circumstances (eg a tie), the delegates' role is ceremonial. They vote the way the election determined the EC count. There's room for a couple of rebellions, I think that's happened, but the process can't circumvent the modern constitutional intention, without bringing the whole thing into disrepute.

Actually, the constitutional intention is precisely the reverse of what you suggest. The constitutional purpose in giving us the (yes, arcane) EC was not to simply rubber stamp the EC count vote. The intent was to provide a hedge against an unsuitable candidate who was able to bamboozle the electorate-- which, arguably, is precisely what we have here.
Indeed. The only reason to have real, human electors is for them to exercise judgment. If that weren't an expectation then the Constitution would simply automatically assign electoral votes in whichever way the states specified. The current expectation that presidential electors' "role is ceremonial" is a function of two main factors: the rise of party politics and an attempt to make the system more democratic, both artifacts of the early nineteenth century. The idea that electors would pledge in advance who they would support for president was an attempt to give the people more voice in the selection of the president, which makes it ironic that it has resulted in an anti-democratic outcome in two of the last five presidential elections. The term for that is "system failure".

Part of the problem is the tendency to read the U.S. Constitution backwards from today (i.e. in light of what actually happened) rather than forward from 1787 (what the Framers thought would happen) or 1803 (what the authors of the 12th Amendment thought would happen).

An introductory write-up can be found here.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Crœsos
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# 238

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For those who are interested the declassified version of the Director of National Intelligence's report on Russian influence/interference in the recent U.S. presidential election can be found here [PDF].

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Gee D
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# 13815

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Crœsos , what you say 2 posts above is strictly correct, but ignores how constitutional provisions are followed. If you read our Constitution, for example, you'd think that the Governor-General was a very busy person indeed making all sorts of decisions. But just as the Queen (whose viceroy the G-G is) acts on advice, so does the G-G. If the advice is to sign the necessary piece of paper to make an Act of parliament a law, then the G-G must sign. There is no law that says that and it's hard to see how a decision not to sign could even become justiciable - were there to be a refusal, the Prime Minister would have a quick telegram off to Buckingham Palace and the the Letters Patent of appointment would be revoked within the hour.

In other words, what is written in the Constitution here and in the US is only part of how it operates; it is hedged about with convention.

[ 06. January 2017, 21:31: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Rick Salutin: Justin Trudeau may be the last neoliberal standing

Despite my best efforts in the last Federal Election. [Disappointed]

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Crœsos , what you say 2 posts above is strictly correct, but ignores how constitutional provisions are followed. If you read our Constitution, for example, you'd think that the Governor-General was a very busy person indeed making all sorts of decisions. But just as the Queen (whose viceroy the G-G is) acts on advice, so does the G-G. If the advice is to sign the necessary piece of paper to make an Act of parliament a law, then the G-G must sign. There is no law that says that and it's hard to see how a decision not to sign could even become justiciable - were there to be a refusal, the Prime Minister would have a quick telegram off to Buckingham Palace and the the Letters Patent of appointment would be revoked within the hour.

In other words, what is written in the Constitution here and in the US is only part of how it operates; it is hedged about with convention.

Usually, but not quite. While it was a century ago, we once had a situation in Manitoba where the Lt Governor (Sir Douglas Cameron) instituted his own enquiry on "problems" with government building contracts, and Premier Sir Rodmond Roblin's desire to change LGs got nowhere-- he resigned after the enquiry's unflattering report, and the opposition leader was made premier (shades of Oz in 1976) and won the ensuing election.

End of Canadian trivia tangent.

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Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
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Er, but Canadian Lieutenant Governors are appointed by the Governor General, while State Governor's in Oz are appointed by the State Premier, on the advice of the Queen, the same way the federal GG's are in both countries.

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Gee D
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Actually 1975, but pretty close. Sir Philip Game, the NSW Governor at the time, dismissed Jack Lang as Premier back in 1932 and appointed the opposition leader instead.

Neither event is likely to be repeated. Game served the balance of his term and then became Commissioner of Police in London. Kerr resigned early, and spent the remainder of his life in disgrace and an alcoholic haze.

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
Er, but Canadian Lieutenant Governors are appointed by the Governor General, while State Governor's in Oz are appointed by the State Premier, on the advice of the Queen, the same way the federal GG's are in both countries.

In effect, LGs are appointed by the PM of the day via the GG's desk--in this case, Conservative PM Sir Robert Borden had little time for Conservative Manitoba Premier Sir Rodmond Roblin's antics, and the LG stayed, and Sir Rodmond went. A friend of mine, once a minion in Manitoba politics, knew Duff Roblin (son of Sir R, and later premier in his own right) and it was always very clear that the father's career was Never Ever discussed.

What perhaps the point I should have made more clearly is that the letter of constitutions, while often and usually interpreted by convention, has the potential to come into operation. That it did not with the electoral college this time had to do with fortune-- objections at the final counting stage in Congress needed a senator from the state as well as a representative-- the senators from contesting states were Republican.

That the electoral college is not taken seriously as even a ceremonial part of the US constitution can be seen that in over a dozen states, basic forms such as excluding office holders from the lists were not observed. The Democrats were not ready to take advantage of this through legal action, but it is conceivable that parties may be better prepared in future and it is likely that partisan feeling will be even stronger in 2019/2020.

And, as we have seen in 2016, there is very little in US politics that can be ruled out....

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John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
# 158

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quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
Er, but Canadian Lieutenant Governors are appointed by the Governor General, while State Governor's in Oz are appointed by the State Premier, on the advice of the Queen, the same way the federal GG's are in both countries.

LGs are "appointed" by the GG on the advice of the Prime Minister -- and today, the premier of the Province. The GG's role is as a non-discretionary rubber stamping machine.

The Canadian GG is not and I should be very surprised if the Aussie GG or the Aussie State governors are either, appointed by the Premier/Prime Minister on the advice of the Queen. HM appoints on advice from the PMs/premiers and, again, is a rubber stamp in the process.

It is,IMO, unhelpful to gaining a clear understanding of what actually happens to quote highly theoretical and even at the time of the BNA Act in 1867 and the Australia Act in 1900 largely ceremonial provisions as if they reflected reality.

The only caveat I will offer is this: originally the Canadian GG functioned as a straight representative of the COlonial Office (filing weekly reports to the Colonial Secretary, as did the Viceroy of India to the Indian Secretary). His appointment was a trial run for cabinet-level appointment for promising young nobles. The GG of Australia and the Viceroy of India were viewed in the same way, and it was not unknown for men successful as one of those to go on to be another. The name escapes me but one of the pre WWII GGs was given a marquessate to be GG in Canada, having being merely an earl as viceroy.

When that ceased, then the King acquired a small say in the appointment, partly because a family member (Athlone) became GG. But all that ended with the appointment of Vincent Massey: though the King certainly approved his appointment, and he was nominated by Mackenzie King because he was in favour with the King, the Canadian PMs advice would have forced the King to approve it in any case.

John

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Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
# 12699

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Quite, but Canberra never had the same power Ottawa has to tell State Governors what to do, the "Sockpuppet Power" being ruled out of the Oz Constitution.

Mind you, what Canberra gets away with anyway is the stuff of ardent Federalists' dreams up here.

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Barnabas62
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The declassified report is devastating.

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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Back to the electoral college-- the sister of an academic acquaintance served as an elector (she calls her a former electrix, perhaps having spent too many years as a classicist) in Michigan some years ago. I am just off FB chatting where I enquired if the sister believed herself to be an independent actor, or the voice of the people. The response came back that she was normally the latter, but reserved the right to be the former.

That the vote for Spotted Eagle was registered suggests that the possibility exists for the College to do its own thing, should circumstances require (e.g., a president-designate going totally batshit or committing a murder à la Francis Urquhart/Francis Underwood, or a vice-president-designate dropping into a coma).

Who knows how electors might have behaved if the Russian interference report had come out a month ago?

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Gee D
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# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
Quite, but Canberra never had the same power Ottawa has to tell State Governors what to do, the "Sockpuppet Power" being ruled out of the Oz Constitution.

Mind you, what Canberra gets away with anyway is the stuff of ardent Federalists' dreams up here.

Canberra has no power at all to tell (by which I assume you mean advise) the State Governors what to do. It has nothing at all to do with the Federal Constitution, but rather continuation of the relationship which the former colonies had with London. The GG is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister; the State Governors by the Queen on the advice of the State Premiers. There was a bit of "discussion" about this in the late 60's/early 70's as HM was none too taken with some of the State Premiers, for good reason, but the Commonwealth Office (ie the British Cabinet Minister holding that position, can't remember when it was merged with the Foreign Office) in London lost that one.

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Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
# 12699

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No, I mean tell; Ottawa has the explicit constitutional power to issue Instructions to Lieutenant Governors and used this often enough prior to 1914.

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:

Who knows how electors might have behaved if the Russian interference report had come out a month ago?

The electors DID ask to be briefed by the CIA re what info they did have. How forthcoming they were one can only guess.

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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This is terrifying. But OMG, it makes sense.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
No, I mean tell; Ottawa has the explicit constitutional power to issue Instructions to Lieutenant Governors and used this often enough prior to 1914.

Could you point me in the direction of the power please? I can't find it on a quick skim through. Is it the PM, or rather the GG on advice who can exercise the power - from my reading of the Constitution, I'd say the latter.

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
No, I mean tell; Ottawa has the explicit constitutional power to issue Instructions to Lieutenant Governors and used this often enough prior to 1914.

Could you point me in the direction of the power please? I can't find it on a quick skim through. Is it the PM, or rather the GG on advice who can exercise the power - from my reading of the Constitution, I'd say the latter.
The Governor General in Council, in sections 55 and 56 of the Constitution. A list of instances can be found here and with greater elegance in the late Honourable Eugene Forsey's study:
the Royal Power of Dissolution in the British Commonwealth. Those who for some ungodly reason wish to continue tangenting far far away from the matter of the US election thread can also find this useful tome, much used by those preparing for their citizenship exams.

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Gee D
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Thanks A the A but my reading of ss 55 and 56 of the Constitution Acts 1867 - 1982 does not disclose the power. Probably I am looking at the wrong legislation.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Croesos--

quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
For those who are interested the declassified version of the Director of National Intelligence's report on Russian influence/interference in the recent U.S. presidential election can be found here [PDF].

Thanks for this. Currently skimming through. Am so far impressed by two things: 1) the NSA, FBI, and CIA working together, even agreeing; and 2) the fairly simple writing style. For the most part, it's not in spook*-speak. Years back, there was a "plain language" campaign in the gov't. I wonder if these agencies took that on board? Or did they try extra hard on this particular project?

BTW, I heard an interview with a guy who used to do intelligence briefings for presidents and others. He wrote a book ("The President's Book Of Secrets") about the briefings. Interesting guy. (Don't remember his name.) He said that the briefers could, and maybe should, put Trump's briefings in tweet-length summaries.

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:

Indeed. The only reason to have real, human electors is for them to exercise judgment. If that weren't an expectation then the Constitution would simply automatically assign electoral votes in whichever way the states specified. The current expectation that presidential electors' "role is ceremonial" is a function of two main factors: the rise of party politics and an attempt to make the system more democratic, both artifacts of the early nineteenth century.

Well, exactly. The arcane aspects of the constitution have been revised in "an attempt to make the system more democratic". I think it should be revised further by formal constitutional change. Meanwhile, you've got what you've got. And trying to "unceremonialise" the role of the EC is a Trump-based solution, with arcane constitutional top-dressing.

I am reminded of a comment attributed to a Supreme Court clerk at the time of Watergate re Executive Privilege.

"Of course Executive Privilege is defensible under the constitution and in general the right of any President to exercise it is something we would defend.

But in this case we're going to do different, because Nixon is a crook and somebody ought to throw his ass into jail".

(From memory. from a book co-authored by Bob Woodward about the US Supreme Court).

There is a place for ad hominem solutions and using various features of the constitution to legitimise them. But it still looks ad hominem to me.

The US has elected a ridiculous President (whose performance yesterday shows just how ridiculous he is) and will have to live with him or impeach him for cause. Anything else just pulls the rest of the house down.

[ 07. January 2017, 11:51: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Barnabas62
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Anyway .....

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Thanks A the A but my reading of ss 55 and 56 of the Constitution Acts 1867 - 1982 does not disclose the power. Probably I am looking at the wrong legislation.

Sorry-section 90. Meanwhile, back south of the border... one of my academic friends in Texas is going to set a project for his class on the Rush-Bagot agreement, just to remind the graduate students that there are two borders to the US.
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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
This is terrifying. But OMG, it makes sense.

Indeed. I've always had great respect for Keith Olbermann. And he's absolutely correct in this case. Too bad we just have to wait and see.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
BTW, I heard an interview with a guy who used to do intelligence briefings for presidents and others. He wrote a book ("The President's Book Of Secrets") about the briefings. Interesting guy. (Don't remember his name.) He said that the briefers could, and maybe should, put Trump's briefings in tweet-length summaries.

Which would help with the problem of Trump's limited attn span. But the real problem seems to be his unwillingness to hear or recognize any data that conflicts with his desired worldview. No matter how simplistically or succinctly they put it ("This is Putin. Putin is bad. Don't trust him. Don't be like Putin.") it's all worthless if Trump refuses to accept it. Then there's his tendency to punish those who bring unwelcome news, which does tend to have a dampening effect.

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Boogie

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# 13538

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How does he punish those who bring unwelcome news?

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cliffdweller
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He has a long history of petty revenges (firing, not paying wages or invoices for goods or services, petty lawsuits) and bullying threats-- most recently to media who have printed unfavorable stories. The concern is that now that he has more power, he'll be much more dangerous-- especially given the track record of his new mentor, Putin.

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Alt Wally

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If the charges leveled in the report are accurate, it would seem our response is incredibly muted. I don't know how much the report will sway anyone's opinion given the details of evidence behind the assessment are not presented. It is certainly not hard to believe Russian intelligence acted to influence our political process. It's also not hard to imagine we do the same. We've also been told things with high confidence before by our intelligence services which turned out to be fabrications, so there remains a bit of credibility gap for those who choose to doubt to exploit. It all feels like more of a yawn than a bombshell. That our adversaries turn our technological prowess against us and we seem helpless is more concerning to me.

It is ironic in the leaked documents are details of the Clinton State Department's response and handling of the toppling of a democratically elected president in Honduras. Clinton's responses to that seemed rather "post-truthy" to me.

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Hedgehog

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After weeks of undermining America's security community, Comrade Trump has gone beyond protecting his Russian paymasters to actively campaigning on their behalf.

Seriously, where is the right-wing outrage? If President Obama had said even half the things in favor of Putin and Russia that Comrade Trump has, he would have been branded a traitor to his country.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
It is ironic in the leaked documents are details of the Clinton State Department's response and handling of the toppling of a democratically elected president in Honduras. Clinton's responses to that seemed rather "post-truthy" to me.

Alas the US has been meddling in the affairs of other nations, particularly in the Western hemisphere, since James Monroe (r. 1817-1825), who even had a doctrine about it named after him. One can understand why other countries would hold their hand to their mouth when we complain about others doing the same for us.

What concerns me is Trump's siding with Russia and the ever-reliable Julian Assange against every single one of our spy agencies, who rarely as a group speak as a group with one voice. He does realize he was elected president of the United States, and not a Russian vassal state, doesn't he?

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Boogie

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Putin has played a clever game stroking Trump's ego.

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Barnabas62
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mousethief

He can never be wrong. Particularly when he is, obviously so. So he blusters, obfuscates, confuses issues and himself into the bargain.

The next four years, if indeed he lasts that long, are going to be a reworking of "The Emporer's New Clothes". Embarrassing.

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Sioni Sais
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Hands up those who think the CIA is investigating Trump?

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When you are dead, you won't even know you are dead. It is a pain felt only by others.

Same if you're stupid.

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Hands up those who think the CIA is investigating Trump?

Lord, I hope so.

Unfortunately, they're not apt to get much assistance from the FBI as long as Comey is director.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Croesos--

quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
For those who are interested the declassified version of the Director of National Intelligence's report on Russian influence/interference in the recent U.S. presidential election can be found here [PDF].

Thanks for this. Currently skimming through. Am so far impressed by two things: 1) the NSA, FBI, and CIA working together, even agreeing; and 2) the fairly simple writing style. For the most part, it's not in spook*-speak. Years back, there was a "plain language" campaign in the gov't. I wonder if these agencies took that on board? Or did they try extra hard on this particular project?
For those who are interested this document [PDF] contains a spook-to-English translator on p. 114. It will allow you to parse the difference between "anticipate" and "expect" in these kinds of documents.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Tiny Fingers' possible treason is being noted. My simpler question is, has anyone seen his birth certificate?

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Science fiction and fantasy writer

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Hands up those who think the CIA is investigating Trump?

Lord, I hope so.

Unfortunately, they're not apt to get much assistance from the FBI as long as Comey is director.

My understanding is that the CIA and FBI are even less cooperative than their British equivalents, MI6 and MI5, and that this is nothing new.

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When you are dead, you won't even know you are dead. It is a pain felt only by others.

Same if you're stupid.

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Barnabas62
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Brenda, given the long tradition of Russian excellence at chess, I think it more likely that the TFO is being seduced into some version of "fool's mate". Easy to do when you're playing a vain person with a poor attention span. They don't foresee the combination or the denouement.

[ 07. January 2017, 20:28: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Tiny Fingers' possible treason is being noted. My simpler question is, has anyone seen his birth certificate?

[Killing me]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Hands up those who think the CIA is investigating Trump?

Lord, I hope so.

Unfortunately, they're not apt to get much assistance from the FBI as long as Comey is director.

The FBI, CIA, and NSA cooperated on that document Putin having the election hacked. They even agreed with each other on some things. (E.g., there was a line saying that 2 of the agencies fully accepted a particular thing, and the other moderately accepted it.)

For all I know, agents from each sat in separate rooms in a secure location, with a poor messenger going back and forth. But, this one time, they did manage to cooperate.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
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Stetson
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# 9597

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Hands up those who think the CIA is investigating Trump?

Lord, I hope so.

Unfortunately, they're not apt to get much assistance from the FBI as long as Comey is director.

My understanding is that the CIA and FBI are even less cooperative than their British equivalents, MI6 and MI5, and that this is nothing new.
One thing to keep in mind is that, when there are alleged moles in the CIA, it is the FBI, not the CIA itself, which conducts the criminal investigation. I'd imagine this could lead to a bit of tension between the two organizations.
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Alt Wally

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quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
Seriously, where is the right-wing outrage?

Graham and McCain will no doubt come out swinging if they haven’t already. Aside from personal antipathy for Trump, their instinct is always going to be to play hardball with the Russians. Why isn’t anyone else making noise? Probably the simple political calculus that the electorate doesn’t care about this news (any more than they have about Chinese state economic and military espionage, which is more of a threat); and that taking Trump to task is not worth the risk right now. I think they are trusting God and keeping their powder dry. When the time comes, I’m sure there will be no problem assembling a political firing squad. The establishment right certainly has no love for the Russians.

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Alas the US has been meddling in the affairs of other nations, particularly in the Western hemisphere, since James Monroe (r. 1817-1825), who even had a doctrine about it named after him. One can understand why other countries would hold their hand to their mouth when we complain about others doing the same for us.

“There has never been a coup in the United States because there is no American Embassy in Washington”. Whether or not intervention in the political affairs of others is right or wrong, it is certainly an established piece of our statecraft. So I don’t think we get the high ground on this one. We spy on our enemies, and we spy on our friends. I’m sure there’s always some political end we’re seeking.

quote:
What concerns me is Trump's siding with Russia and the ever-reliable Julian Assange against every single one of our spy agencies, who rarely as a group speak as a group with one voice. He does realize he was elected president of the United States, and not a Russian vassal state, doesn't he?

What do you expect concretely to come of that? Will we draw down our missile defense expansion in for the former iron curtain? Reverse NATO growth to the borders of Russia? Stop arming the Saudis and facilitating their participation in confessional proxy wars with the Iranians?
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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Hands up those who think the CIA is investigating Trump?

Lord, I hope so.

Unfortunately, they're not apt to get much assistance from the FBI as long as Comey is director.

The FBI, CIA, and NSA cooperated on that document Putin having the election hacked. They even agreed with each other on some things. (E.g., there was a line saying that 2 of the agencies fully accepted a particular thing, and the other moderately accepted it.)

For all I know, agents from each sat in separate rooms in a secure location, with a poor messenger going back and forth. But, this one time, they did manage to cooperate.

Yes, it's true-- and given their prior unwillingness to cooperate much really adds credibility to the findings (at least to everyone except Trump, apparently). Which only makes Comey's arguably traitorous actions prior to the election all the more curious.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
What do you expect concretely to come of that? Will we draw down our missile defense expansion in for the former iron curtain? Reverse NATO growth to the borders of Russia? Stop arming the Saudis and facilitating their participation in confessional proxy wars with the Iranians?

Acquiesce to Russia taking a larger role, and perhaps territory, in former Soviet states or satellites.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Alt Wally

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Acquiesce to Russia taking a larger role, and perhaps territory, in former Soviet states or satellites.

What threat does that represent to our national interests and security? Does challenging Russia's actions at the periphery of its borders outweigh concerns we may have in the Middle East or North Korea?
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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Acquiesce to Russia taking a larger role, and perhaps territory, in former Soviet states or satellites.

What threat does that represent to our national interests and security? Does challenging Russia's actions at the periphery of its borders outweigh concerns we may have in the Middle East or North Korea?
Is our national interest all we should think about? Why? What about our allies? What about world peace? I know we've been shitty at these things but that's no reason to wave them off.

I don't see the point of your zero-sum game with the Middle East and NK. Does not sucking Putin's dick mean we will stop taking action in the rest of the world? Or does sucking it mean we will continue? Why do you think we can't have a care for eastern Europe AND the Middle East AND the Far East? We have been up till now. Why should that stop now that Tangerine Trotsky is in the White House?

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Acquiesce to Russia taking a larger role, and perhaps territory, in former Soviet states or satellites.

What threat does that represent to our national interests and security? Does challenging Russia's actions at the periphery of its borders outweigh concerns we may have in the Middle East or North Korea?
Note that some of those former Soviet states (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) and satellites (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, etc.) are now members of NATO. So essentially your question boils down to asserting that it would be advantageous to the U.S. to dismantle what has been a very successful system of alliances. I'm open to hearing your argument, but at first glance maintaining NATO would seem to be very much in American interests.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Barnabas62
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There is a sequence worth considering re NATO.

1. Trump pledges continuing support but demands that other members pay more. There is a good case that the US pays more than its fair share.

2. Trump cosies up to Putin, argues, NATO can be scaled down anyway, since the Russian threat is reduced.

3. Trump reduces US contribution unilaterally out of impatience and a desire to create "an incentive".

4. NATO buckles, fragments.

5. Putin laughs - and maybe Trump does too. Money saved, alliance with Russia strengthened, and it's all Europe's fault.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Gee D
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# 13815

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Your post misses the first line: There are now 2 men proposed for high positions, one to be in the White House, who have taken Putin's money in the past.

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Pangolin Guerre
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# 18686

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Acquiesce to Russia taking a larger role, and perhaps territory, in former Soviet states or satellites.

What threat does that represent to our national interests and security? Does challenging Russia's actions at the periphery of its borders outweigh concerns we may have in the Middle East or North Korea?
Note that some of those former Soviet states (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) and satellites (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, etc.) are now members of NATO. So essentially your question boils down to asserting that it would be advantageous to the U.S. to dismantle what has been a very successful system of alliances. I'm open to hearing your argument, but at first glance maintaining NATO would seem to be very much in American interests.
Interestingly, Niall Ferguson has made the argument (of monumental cynicism IMHO) that Sir Edward Grey should have ignored Britain's guarantee of Belgian neutrality in 1914, and that the Empire should have stood aside completely. Ferguson, I think, entertains unduly sunny conclusions of what Europe would have looked like after a Central Powers victory. My thought experiments have all ended in varying degrees of unhappiness. (Either way, I would not have envied Grey his position.) The Baltic states would do well to keep tabs on Ferguson's social calendar. (Though I'm doubtful the degree to which the Trump cabinet would be inclined to consult academics, whatever their star power.)
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