Thread: Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread Board: Purgatory / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
In an effort to buddy up to the Russians, Trump goes and reveals classified information, dealing with the possibility of the use of laptops to hide explosives.

The deal of it is, based on the information, the Russians will be able to reverse engineer the data and learn a lot about the intelligence gathering capabilities of the United States and its Allies.

And there is no such thing as collusion with the Russians. Nothing to see here, just move on.

[edited thread title]

[ 17. May 2017, 05:11: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
Outrageous. He should have already been impeached before this could happen.
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
I didn't notice mention of the use of laptops as IEDs in the piece. (British customs officer at Heathrow once asked me suspiciously why, as an editor/writer, I didn't have my laptop (I guess that it didn't occur to him that I could buy one, or, just, you know, use pen and paper). I guess that I won't have to answer that one anymore.)

The funny thing about this current accusation is, that as much as GWB was about 40-60W, he was never accused of this sort of inanity. How many "small gaffes" must accumulate before the aggregate reaches critical mass and the Praetorians lose patience with Trump?

[ 16. May 2017, 01:21: Message edited by: Pangolin Guerre ]
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
PG

You are right, it only says Trump revealed information about an ISIS operation. If you go to the link provided in the Times Article to a previous Washington post article, Trump tells his Russian friends, "You won't believe the intelligence I am getting..." and then spills the beans.


CNN, though, reports it was about the ISIS plan to use laptops to carry explosives on planes.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
This isn't one of his silly gafs. Betraying an intelligence source like this is incredibly stupid.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
Why is this no surprise whatsoever?
 
Posted by Mudfrog (# 8116) on :
 
If true.

How come the Washington Post has got wind of this an hour after the meeting?

The White House has denied it - which is perhaps not a wise thing to do if the Russians decided to tell their side of the story and confirm it - if true, of course.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Just taking a break from reading a rather appalling report about abuse in Australia..

In fact the WH hasn't denied the content of the WP report, they've just said the President never did something that the report hasn't alleged that he did do - name/out the intelligence source.

To oversimplify the report, it is said that the POTUS was boasting to the Russians about his access to fantastic intelligence and gave as an example something about a specific threat in a specific place. Enough information to identify the source and to put the foreign intelligence service network (who never gave permission for the release of the information to the Russians) at risk.

It also appears to be true that the POTUS can tell anyone he likes about "classified" information, the problem is that intelligence sources might be rather more hesitant about sharing what they know if they think blabber mouth is going to be telling the Russians about it.

The only saving grace I can see here is that Trump seems unable to distinguish between things he sees on Fox News and things he sees in intelligence reports, so he's just as likely to be spreading rumour and false news as real intelligence.

I guess the Russians know that and presumably take all that he tells them as potentially tainted.

[ 16. May 2017, 07:38: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Just taking a break from reading a rather appalling report about abuse in Australia..

In fact the WH hasn't denied the content of the WP report, they've just said the President never did something that the report hasn't alleged that he did do - name/out the intelligence source.

To oversimplify the report, it is said that the POTUS was boasting to the Russians about his access to fantastic intelligence and gave as an example something about a specific threat in a specific place. Enough information to identify the source and to put the foreign intelligence service network (who never gave permission for the release of the information to the Russians) at risk.

It also appears to be true that the POTUS can tell anyone he likes about "classified" information, the problem is that intelligence sources might be rather more hesitant about sharing what they know if they think blabber mouth is going to be telling the Russians about it.

The only saving grace I can see here is that Trump seems unable to distinguish between things he sees on Fox News and things he sees in intelligence reports, so he's just as likely to be spreading rumour and false news as real intelligence.

I guess the Russians know that and presumably take all that he tells them as potentially tainted.

If any of our "sources" is harmed or taken in for questioning then Trump deserves a fork up his butt. Rook, your adopted country needs you now.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Update in case anyone cares: Trump has tweeted that he shared some intelligence with the Russians because he had the "right" to do so as POTUS.

That's nice, isn't it?
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
I thought the Russians were good guys though. Obviously the women are atrocious.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
If true.

How come the Washington Post has got wind of this an hour after the meeting?

Most of the speculation is that the leak was a deliberate decision by some person or group within the U.S. intelligence community to prevent the Russians from using the threat of revealing this intelligence failure (in multiple senses of the term) for blackmail. You can't blackmail someone with information that's already public.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Someone who was there leaked it. Which is going to make Trump very pissed off.

Or possibly, I suppose, some covert listening was going on. Which is also likely to make Trump very pissed off.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Update in case anyone cares: Trump has tweeted that he shared some intelligence with the Russians because he had the "right" to do so as POTUS.

That's nice, isn't it?

So they've gone from denying the fact (NB: not its legality or otherwise) to admitting it in the space of a few hours.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Update in case anyone cares: Trump has tweeted that he shared some intelligence with the Russians because he had the "right" to do so as POTUS.

That statement is just the same as you noted in your prior post: technically the President can disclose "classified" information to anybody he chooses. So he does have the "right" to do it. He is not being accused of doing anything illegal--just mind-numbingly stupid.

AIUI, the source is one that has been leery sharing any information with the U.S. I guess the source is uncertain we can be trusted. And then the President goes and blabs it to another party that the source did not choose to give the info to. The logical consequence of this is that this source and others like this source will be far less likely to disclose intel to the U.S. in the future--because we really can't be trusted with it.

So, in bragging about the "great intel" he gets, Trump has seriously damaged our ability to get that "great intel."
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Update in case anyone cares: Trump has tweeted that he shared some intelligence with the Russians because he had the "right" to do so as POTUS.

That's nice, isn't it?

So they've gone from denying the fact (NB: not its legality or otherwise) to admitting it in the space of a few hours.
This is standard procedure at this point. Story comes out, White House advisers go into crisis mode and come up with a carefully worded denial, then Trump goes full Leeroy Jenkins and blows the whole thing.

All we need now is for Senator McConnell to say that this doesn't change anything, and we can wait for the next one.

On the lighter side, our local gem of a newscaster tweeted last night, "Can every elected official in Colorado who expressed concern about Clinton's emails just send me a statement so I'm not making 300 calls?"
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
I'm a little surprised that there is no speculation as to who the ally is. Two and a half occur to me. Or am I being obtuse? ("Yes" is an acceptable answer.)
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
I'm a little surprised that there is no speculation as to who the ally is. Two and a half occur to me. Or am I being obtuse? ("Yes" is an acceptable answer.)

I think we can be fairly sure it is someone who doesn't want the Russians knowing how they're getting intelligence about IS.

Which could be because if the Russians knew, they'd be sharing it with their best mate Assad.

Which probably means it is either one of the dissident anti-Assad groups or the Israelis. Given that the Israelis have previously talked about their worries about sharing things with the Americans - and the risks of it being shared with Assad via the Russians - I think that's got to be one of the most likely scenarios.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
I'm a little surprised that there is no speculation as to who the ally is. Two and a half occur to me. Or am I being obtuse? ("Yes" is an acceptable answer.)

As I recall, the Washington Post made a point of stating that it was not disclosing details like that--for the same reason that the President should not have. The information remains highly classified for mere mortals who are not President and I think most media outlets are treading carefully not to be accused of divulging too much.

And, really, the name of the ally is not the story. The loose lips of the President hurting U.S. interests and betraying his country to curry more favor with his Russian buddies is the story.
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
If it was Turkey, that meeting with President Erdogan this morning should be fun for all parties involved.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:


And, really, the name of the ally is not the story. The loose lips of the President hurting U.S. interests and betraying his country to curry more favor with his Russian buddies is the story.

The really stupid part of this whole story is this: the POTUS has a reputation for spreading as much rumour as fact. If the WP had not run with this story it is possible that the Russians might have shrugged it off as rumour he'd picked up from Fox News.

But in running the story, the WP has now encouraged Trump to admit that he told the Russians something. Which might in turn mean that the Russians give it more credence than they did during the meeting.

Or maybe it is a double-bluff and someone is using Trump's egoism against him. For whatever reason, someone wanted the Russians to swallow something, so told Trump (who, it seems, is unable to distinguish between intelligence and rumour), knowing that he'd tell the Russians.

We now have denials by senior members of the administration, but only confirmation by Trump himself. Is it too much of a mind-bending idea to think that this is a set-up and that Trump is too far up his own anus to realise that he's been set up?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:


And, really, the name of the ally is not the story. The loose lips of the President hurting U.S. interests and betraying his country to curry more favor with his Russian buddies is the story.

The really stupid part of this whole story is this: the POTUS has a reputation for spreading as much rumour as fact. If the WP had not run with this story it is possible that the Russians might have shrugged it off as rumour he'd picked up from Fox News.

But in running the story, the WP has now encouraged Trump to admit that he told the Russians something. Which might in turn mean that the Russians give it more credence than they did during the meeting.

Or maybe it is a double-bluff and someone is using Trump's egoism against him. For whatever reason, someone wanted the Russians to swallow something, so told Trump (who, it seems, is unable to distinguish between intelligence and rumour), knowing that he'd tell the Russians.

We now have denials by senior members of the administration, but only confirmation by Trump himself. Is it too much of a mind-bending idea to think that this is a set-up and that Trump is too far up his own anus to realise that he's been set up?

He receives intelligence briefings. This information was likely part of those.
Whilst it is apparently true that staff slip him info, real and fake, to further their own agendas, the briefings are the most likely source of this particular information.
It is irrelevant, though in regards to his fitness as President. He believes it to be real, therefore he is acting inappropriately and dangerously.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Is it too much of a mind-bending idea to think that this is a set-up and that Trump is too far up his own anus to realise that he's been set up?

I think the popular expression for over-thinking Trump's actions is "five-dimensional chess".

[ 16. May 2017, 15:12: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I'm not sure it is overthinking though: if you want to sell the Russians on some dodgy intelligence, tell it to Trump.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Anyone feeding something to Trump under the impression they can be sure what he's going to do with it is as dangerous as he is.
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I'm not sure it is overthinking though: if you want to sell the Russians on some dodgy intelligence, tell it to Trump.

If this is actually what is happening, this country is well and truly fucked. What you are describing is a secret coup by the intelligence community. And I don't know how you keep something like that under your hat. I for one think this is too complicated to possibly be true.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Update in case anyone cares: Trump has tweeted that he shared some intelligence with the Russians because he had the "right" to do so as POTUS.

That's nice, isn't it?

But the emails! The emails!
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
If this is actually what is happening, this country is well and truly fucked. What you are describing is a secret coup by the intelligence community. And I don't know how you keep something like that under your hat. I for one think this is too complicated to possibly be true.

Explain how we know about this. Either the Intelligence Community is somehow lying to the POTUS (in which case the WH itself leaked this information) or the IC is leaking classified information used in discussions between the POTUS and foreign powers to the WP.

Either way, I think you can fairly say your country is fucked.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
Oh I thought by now we all understood that part as facts already in evidence
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Just listened to the White House daily press briefing. It was very short. The White House is not denying that something was shared now.

General McMasters is now saying the conversation was not inappropriate because the president has the right to share any information he wants. But the question they are not answering is whether the information should have been shared.

Now it is coming out that the Russian meeting was not even revealed until after the fact. The American press did not know of the meeting until the TASS photos came out! Good grief.
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
If this is actually what is happening, this country is well and truly fucked. What you are describing is a secret coup by the intelligence community. And I don't know how you keep something like that under your hat. I for one think this is too complicated to possibly be true.

Explain how we know about this. Either the Intelligence Community is somehow lying to the POTUS (in which case the WH itself leaked this information) or the IC is leaking classified information used in discussions between the POTUS and foreign powers to the WP.

Either way, I think you can fairly say your country is fucked.

How we know about what? Trump fucking up an telling the Russians something that was supposed to be a secret? Trump running his mouth and potentially alienating an ally or getting a source killed?
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:

Now it is coming out that the Russian meeting was not even revealed until after the fact. The American press did not know of the meeting until the TASS photos came out! Good grief.

They did know about it, they were explicitly barred. Before the fact there were all sorts of reports complaining about precisely that-- that the Russian media were allowed access and the US media were not.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
And Congress, of course, kept silent. Could you imagine the outcry if Barack Obama had done something like that?

The man never should have been inaugurated. The election should have been declared invalid.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Presidents have had slogans and mottos.

Harry Truman - The Buck Stops Here

Barak Obama - Yes We Can

Donald Trump - Hold My Beer
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
I wonder how long it will be before Mr. Putin moves into the White House? Some of his staff seem to be there already, airing the beds.

IJ
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
Why not get into bed with Russia. Better than getting fried.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Wadderyouknow, the intelligence came from Israel.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Allegedly. They will not confirm, it is quite possible no one will. Cheeto is the most likely to do so.
The White House is more concerned about how news of Trump's lunacy leaks than keeping the stupid fucker in line.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
In the US military, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, if a soldier were to give away that type of information, s/he would be subject to 35 years in prison. That is during peacetime.

If s/he did it during war, and it resulted in the loss of military personnel, s/he would be subject to capital punishment.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
BTW, T periodically makes noises about stopping White House press briefings altogether, and sending out memos instead.
 
Posted by MarsmanTJ (# 8689) on :
 
On the grounds that National Security has always been one of the top reasons claimed to vote Republican (and Republicans normally score consistently higher in polling on whether they can be trusted with the security of the country, etc) is the fact that Trump can't be trusted in such matters going to have a serious knock-on effect in 2018? The fact that Troy Lucan congresspeople are starting to sound pretty worried (all the major news sources have them willing to subpoena) would suggest to me that they are scared of being seen to be part of the same party as Trump.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Anyone seen those vids apparently of Turkish security beating protesters outside the WH? Crazy.
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
Marsman wrote:

quote:
On the grounds that National Security has always been one of the top reasons claimed to vote Republican (and Republicans normally score consistently higher in polling on whether they can be trusted with the security of the country, etc) is the fact that Trump can't be trusted in such matters going to have a serious knock-on effect in 2018?
To some extent, but there is a section of his fan base that will pretty much rationalize away anything that he does. Either they think Putin is actually a pretty good guy to be allying with(knows how to deal with those pesky minorities, ie. the Alt-right view), or "Sure maybe Trump said something he shouldn't have but WHAT ABOUT HILLARY'S E-MAIL SERVERS AND BENGHAZI?!

[ 17. May 2017, 07:57: Message edited by: Stetson ]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I think Trump's defence is likely to be along the lines that all these leaks amount to an orchestrated coup attempt by the Deep State.

At this point they are perhaps a necessary evil but I think in their own way, they are further damaging the democratic institutions Trump has already ripped into.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think Trump's defence is likely to be along the lines that all these leaks amount to an orchestrated coup attempt by the Deep State.

At this point they are perhaps a necessary evil but I think in their own way, they are further damaging the democratic institutions Trump has already ripped into.

I think you are right to the extent that if/when the pressure gets so much that some kind of action is taken against Trump and/or his administration, there is going to be an enormous backlash. Whilst the anti-Trump protesters in the main have been peacefully marching, the alt-right sees no prohibition on violence to get their way.

I can't really agree that the leaks themselves are damaging democratic institutions, though. In extraordinary times, you have to do extraordinary things - and if the POTUS is acting as an agent for Russia, it is hard to think that the IC shouldn't be alerting the public and doing something about it.

I dunno, I can't see this ending well with Trump and the alt-right slipping off into the darkness, unfortunately.
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
If it WAS Israeli intelligence that Trump gifted to the Russians, that could be inadvertant payback for Jonathan Pollard allegedly stealing info for Israel to trade with the Soviets back in the day.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Nice thought Stetson but DT even know about the Pollard affair?
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Nice thought Stetson but DT even know about the Pollard affair?

Well, that's why I said "inadvertent". No, I don't think he was intentionally exacting revenge for Pollard.

As for whether he knows about the Polalrd case, my impression is he's the kind of guy follows the news regularly, if superficially. So yeah, he probably at least knew about it when it was going on, and whenever Israel cranked up the lobbying for Pollard's release. (Remember also that in NYC, Israel and related issues get discussed even at the level of municipl politics.)
 
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
 
Er, any objective analysis anywhere?
 
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
 
As good as it gets. He broke a golden rule but that's what he does. The Institute will modify what it reports to Langley from now on.
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
I think my favourite leak came from the White House aides who said (off the record) that El Presidente’s comment to the Russians must have been unintentional because he’s too thick to understand the written briefings.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Now Putin is offering to help clear up the misunderstanding:
quote:
Vladimir Putin has offered to release a record of Russian officials' meeting with Donald Trump
That's what you call maximum trolling.

[ 17. May 2017, 13:31: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
Republican Congressman Al Green is cutting to the chase
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think Trump's defence is likely to be along the lines that all these leaks amount to an orchestrated coup attempt by the Deep State.

At this point they are perhaps a necessary evil but I think in their own way, they are further damaging the democratic institutions Trump has already ripped into.

I have already seen some Trump supporters making the coup argument. (I used the coup word above, but I had a different concern- if the Deep State were to determine that Trump was a national security threat, but then keep him in place to try to pass on bad intelligence to the Russians in some sort of John LeCarre type conspiracy, I would consider that a coup.)

I have been listening to Dan Carlin's history of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and two hours in, we are still talking about the early atomic age. He suggests that the advent of atomic weapons caused one of the most fundamental Constitutional changes in our history, right up there with the Civil War. Because you might need to deploy an atomic weapon at a moment's notice, it can't require an act of Congress. So they decided to place that decision in the hands of the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces (i.e., the President). That lead to a situation where the President needed constant updates on what was happening in Russia, China, and other hot spots, so that he could be ready at a moment's notice to give the order. To fulfill that need for constant information, we created the CIA and the NSA. 9/11 builds on that- now, the President needs constant information about what various dangerous groups are up to, so that he can make in the moment security decisions.

So there is at least an argument that the entire security apparatus has always been damaging to democratic institutions and separation of powers. Although I think that many of us will accept that this is just a necessary reality now. For a long time, it was logistically impossible to seriously strike the US homeland, and we could get along without this kind of thing. Now? We probably need it, although we would be a lot happier if it were being handled by a more competent individual.
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
Republican Congressman Al Green is cutting to the chase

I'm wondering if there comes a point where the Republicans realize that Trump is squandering their moment, and just decide to be rid of him. McConnell was quoted as saying that they need fewer distractions coming from the White House. There's a way to do that, although you risk alienating the hard core Trumpkins.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I can't remember in which of the various Lyin' Don threads I mentioned this. But we have been trying to puzzle out what, if anything, he could do to finally and permanently alienate his party, so that they throw him over the side. So far we have come up dry.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think Trump's defence is likely to be along the lines that all these leaks amount to an orchestrated coup attempt by the Deep State.

At this point they are perhaps a necessary evil but I think in their own way, they are further damaging the democratic institutions Trump has already ripped into.

A similar argument could be made about the leaks by Daniel Ellsberg and Mark Felt back in the 1970s. It seems downright perverse to argue that exposing presidential criminality (like obstruction of justice) is more damaging than presidential criminality itself. I'd argue that the automatic deference to a president's ability to cover up wrongdoing is way more damaging to "democratic institutions" than career civil servants (a.k.a. "the deep state") providing accurate information to the public (you know, the folks who are supposed to be practicing democracy) about presidential wrongdoing.

[ 17. May 2017, 14:51: Message edited by: Crœsos ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Here is an eloquent cri de coeur which has Some Language but is a free click. All the people who only watch Fox News shall never see it, alas. There is a divide in our news and communications now.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
Republican Congressman Al Green is cutting to the chase

quote:
Today on the floor of the Congress of the United States of America, I will call for the Impeachment of the President between 9am & 10am CST.
An hour-long impeachment trial would hardly be enough.

Misplaced modifiers reign supreme in modern grammar, it would seem.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
I think it is too soon to call for impeachment.
Not that it isn't warranted, but because support will likely not be strong enough yet. Too many Republican'ts not willing to admit their mistake.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Here is an eloquent cri de coeur

Absolutely true. Should be required reading for all.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Now Putin is offering to help clear up the misunderstanding:
quote:
Vladimir Putin has offered to release a record of Russian officials' meeting with Donald Trump
That's what you call maximum trolling.
I find nothing funny in what Trump is doing, nor the knee-jerk (emphasis on jerk) defense of him that many Republicans are engaged in, but I have to admit that the news that Vlad the Putin is offering to give us his rendition of what was said caused me to laugh out loud.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
Republican Congressman Al Green is cutting to the chase

quote:
Today on the floor of the Congress of the United States of America, I will call for the Impeachment of the President between 9am & 10am CST.
An hour-long impeachment trial would hardly be enough.

Probably not, but what a lovely thought. Imagine if this whole nightmare were done by 10 am CST! Here on the West Coast we could wake up to a brand new day. I would skip work and take the kids out of school for a holiday at the beach, eating ice cream and romping in the waves. We'd cook hot dogs over a bonfire as we watch the sunset and not come home until we were slightly sunburnt and completely encrusted in salt & sand.

(of course the next day I'd wake up to the reality of President Pence, but still...)
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It seems downright perverse to argue that exposing presidential criminality (like obstruction of justice) is more damaging than presidential criminality itself.

I was careful in what I wrote, and that wasn't what I wrote.

This is not "both sides are bad". It's saying that when the intelligence community has to proceed by stealth, as it were, to attempt to corrall a presidency, which I fully agree has done more damage and set the ball rolling, it is likely to inflict further damage on the institutions.

If that's not addressed, it gives the "deep state" derp more traction.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Here is an eloquent cri de coeur

Absolutely true. Should be required reading for all.
I love how the repeated "we are so f*****" reads like the refrain of a liturgy. It would make a wonderful lament psalm.

Best line:

quote:
If you’re Christian & voted for Trump, Jesus would walk on the other side of the street & pretend to be on the phone if he saw you coming.

 
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think Trump's defence is likely to be along the lines that all these leaks amount to an orchestrated coup attempt by the Deep State.

At this point they are perhaps a necessary evil but I think in their own way, they are further damaging the democratic institutions Trump has already ripped into.

I have already seen some Trump supporters making the coup argument. (I used the coup word above, but I had a different concern- if the Deep State were to determine that Trump was a national security threat, but then keep him in place to try to pass on bad intelligence to the Russians in some sort of John LeCarre type conspiracy, I would consider that a coup.)

I have been listening to Dan Carlin's history of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and two hours in, we are still talking about the early atomic age. He suggests that the advent of atomic weapons caused one of the most fundamental Constitutional changes in our history, right up there with the Civil War. Because you might need to deploy an atomic weapon at a moment's notice, it can't require an act of Congress. So they decided to place that decision in the hands of the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces (i.e., the President). That lead to a situation where the President needed constant updates on what was happening in Russia, China, and other hot spots, so that he could be ready at a moment's notice to give the order. To fulfill that need for constant information, we created the CIA and the NSA. 9/11 builds on that- now, the President needs constant information about what various dangerous groups are up to, so that he can make in the moment security decisions.

So there is at least an argument that the entire security apparatus has always been damaging to democratic institutions and separation of powers. Although I think that many of us will accept that this is just a necessary reality now. For a long time, it was logistically impossible to seriously strike the US homeland, and we could get along without this kind of thing. Now? We probably need it, although we would be a lot happier if it were being handled by a more competent individual.

Competent like 3 nuclear holocausts avoided in less than 3 years Kennedy? “I can go into my office and pick up the telephone, and in 25 minutes 70 million people will be dead.” Nixon? REAGAN?!!! Black Hawk Down and Rwanda Clinton? 9 x I'll close Guantanamo Obama?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

(of course the next day I'd wake up to the reality of President Pence, but still...)

So, on one hand is an unstable, unpredictable person who might inhibit Republican removal of citizen's rights and privileges but is affecting America's credibility and stability and could cause more war. And on the other hand is a person who will restore a sense of stability, but who will go full steam towards widening the gap between rich and poor.
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
quote:
but I have to admit that the news that Vlad the Putin is offering to give us his rendition of what was said caused me to laugh out loud.
Thing is though, if you're someone who is ready to be convinced that Trump did nothing wrong, and if Putin's minutes appear to show nothing irregular about the meeting, then that's probably gonna be enough for you to persist in your belief that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

(of course the next day I'd wake up to the reality of President Pence, but still...)

So, on one hand is an unstable, unpredictable person who might inhibit Republican removal of citizen's rights and privileges but is affecting America's credibility and stability and could cause more war. And on the other hand is a person who will restore a sense of stability, but who will go full steam towards widening the gap between rich and poor.
Yep. Like I said, the first day would be awesome and we'd celebrate as a family. The next day the hangover kicks in.
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Competent like 3 nuclear holocausts avoided in less than 3 years Kennedy? “I can go into my office and pick up the telephone, and in 25 minutes 70 million people will be dead.” Nixon? REAGAN?!!! Black Hawk Down and Rwanda Clinton? 9 x I'll close Guantanamo Obama?

Sort of the fundamental question of the entire podcast is if humans are really up to the task of handling a weapon that can destroy civilization. (And given that we probably aren't going back to a pre-atomic age voluntarily, the only way we get a definite answer is if the answer is no.) A whole lot of history would suggest that it is human nature for the two biggest players on the block to go at it at some point, and for no holds to be barred when that happens. And we have a relatively small sample of men who have actually had to make calls based on that amount of power- in the United States, we're on lucky number 13 (unless you ask Alexander Haig- [Razz] ).

But even if you determine that no one is totally up to the task, there are certainly people who are closer to being up to it than Trump.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
There is a good recent episode of Radiolab about the nuclear chain of command. Worth listening to and reflecting.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
A Trump supporter was on about this on the BBC earlier today, and was waxing lyrical about how the media were always on about Trump but not about the felon Clinton. Which comment was not picked up on. Surely she is not a felon if not charged, tried and convicted of a felony?
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
Speaking as someone who struggles with the at times uncontrollable urge to correct people when they misuse criminal common law terms (no, a house cannot be robbed), it rarely goes over well.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
A Trump supporter was on about this on the BBC earlier today, and was waxing lyrical about how the media were always on about Trump but not about the felon Clinton. Which comment was not picked up on. Surely she is not a felon if not charged, tried and convicted of a felony?

Yes I heard that. He was about as persuasive and as in touch with reality as Kellyanne Conway.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think Trump's defence is likely to be along the lines that all these leaks amount to an orchestrated coup attempt by the Deep State.

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It seems downright perverse to argue that exposing presidential criminality (like obstruction of justice) is more damaging than presidential criminality itself.

I was careful in what I wrote, and that wasn't what I wrote.

This is not "both sides are bad". It's saying that when the intelligence community has to proceed by stealth, as it were, to attempt to corrall a presidency, which I fully agree has done more damage and set the ball rolling, it is likely to inflict further damage on the institutions.

I'm having trouble getting "proceed by stealth" from a series of public releases of (presumably) accurate information. Widespread publicity is not something that's usually associated with "stealth", but it is associated with successful leaks. The only problem would seem to be if the leaks are either a) false or b) true but compromise something with a legitimate need for secrecy. A legitimate need for secrecy does not include covering up wrongdoing by the powerful.

I've seen a lot of arguments along these lines so I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but the argument you're advancing boils down to claiming that it's better for democracy if a president has confidence that his underlings will be complicit in covering up his wrongdoing than if he knows someone will eventually spill the beans on his high crimes and misdemeanors. I'd argue the reverse, that democracy is in a lot more trouble when the powerful know they can successfully conceal their wrongdoing than when they know the truth will eventually come out.

At its root democracy depends on the decisions of the people, and that is made impossible if the powerful can successfully conceal important and relevant facts.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
A wicked suggestion I have seen (I have far too wide a circle of wicked acquaintance) is that Hillary Clinton should be named FBI director. We'd be able to hear heads exploding right across the amber waves of grain up to the base of the purple mountains majesty.

This should amuse, a roundup of WH staffers' moaning. Surely working for the T must be as close to damnation as you can get in this mortal life. He is the most toxic boss imaginable.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Trump's incompetence and recklessness probably spell his doom. Basically, the election chose a candidate who is unfit for purpose. Too vain and too stupid to leave it to subordinates while he plays golf.

I think it's only a matter of time, now.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Thanks for the link, Brenda - 'stewards of a syphilitic emperor' has a grand ring to it!

IJ
 
Posted by Og: Thread Killer (# 3200) on :
 
AP now reporting House oversight committee to hold a hearing in a week, including with testimony by Comey.

A week sounds like a lifetime from now given the 3 a day fire drills out of the White House.


******


Meanwhile, Ebola is going on again and I wonder if anybody at the White House has bothered to think about that?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
It is a proverb that a day can be a year in politics. We're going to test that, for sure. With the train barreling down on him, he's going to be like a rat in a trap. I wouldn't want to be his caddy at the club in New Jersey this weekend.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
It is a proverb that a day can be a year in politics. We're going to test that, for sure. With the train barreling down on him, he's going to be like a rat in a trap. I wouldn't want to be his caddy at the club in New Jersey this weekend.

THIS weekend Donald Trump will be in either Saudi Arabia or Israel. I'm certain that nothing bad could possibly come of that fact. [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Is that still on? There were calls for it to be cancelled. If that happens he'll be like a toddler deprived of a carousel ride.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
It is a proverb that a day can be a year in politics. We're going to test that, for sure. With the train barreling down on him, he's going to be like a rat in a trap. I wouldn't want to be his caddy at the club in New Jersey this weekend.

THIS weekend Donald Trump will be in either Saudi Arabia or Israel. I'm certain that nothing bad could possibly come of that fact. [Roll Eyes]
Visiting Israel right now might prove extremely awkward, to say the least.

One of my conspiracy minded lefty friends (let's face it, pretty much all my friends right now are conspiracy minded lefties) has suggested that, with the trap closing in and knowledge of Comey's paper trail, he'll take advantage of the fact that we don't have an extradition treaty with Saudia Arabia and just not come back. Perhaps eventually settling in a cushy villa somewhere in a Russian resort town. One can only help he takes his friends Tillerson, Sessions, and Bannon with him.

I'm guessing he'd find Chechnya to his liking. I'd love to trade this basket of deplorables for every single LGBTQ person living in the region.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
One can only help he takes his friends Tillerson, Sessions, and Bannon with him.

And McConnell and Ryan and, of course, Pence.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Og: Thread Killer:
Meanwhile, Ebola is going on again and I wonder if anybody at the White House has bothered to think about that?

Oh, good! It has been at least 24 hours since they blamed something on Obama. Ebola will do the trick nicely.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
I just had an interesting factoid pointed out to me from the Washington Post's article on the Comey memo.

quote:
Details of Comey’s notes have been shared with a very small circle of people at the FBI and Justice Department, these people said.
Are Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein included in that "small circle of people" and, if so, did the "details . . . shared" include Trump's suggestion/request/order that the Flynn investigation be axed? If that's the case (and, admittedly, there are a lot of "ifs" here), the Comey firing starts to look even worse.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
but the argument you're advancing boils down to claiming that it's better for democracy if a president has confidence that his underlings will be complicit in covering up his wrongdoing than if he knows someone will eventually spill the beans on his high crimes and misdemeanors. I'd argue the reverse, that democracy is in a lot more trouble when the powerful know they can successfully conceal their wrongdoing than when they know the truth will eventually come out.

These are not the only two alternatives.

The intelligence community in particular needs to exercise the power its access and knowledge grants it in a restrained fashion. Or did you see Comey's briefing on the ongoing Clinton e-mail investigation prior to the election in the same light*?

*No, this is not an attempt at "but her emails".
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
... One of my conspiracy minded lefty friends (let's face it, pretty much all my friends right now are conspiracy minded lefties) has suggested that, with the trap closing in and knowledge of Comey's paper trail, he'll take advantage of the fact that we don't have an extradition treaty with Saudia Arabia and just not come back. Perhaps eventually settling in a cushy villa somewhere in a Russian resort town. One can only help he takes his friends Tillerson, Sessions, and Bannon with him. ...

Oh, please, please, yes.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
I'm guessing he'd find Chechnya to his liking.

He can only hope his Chechen/Russian is better than his English. [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
So Robert Mueller redivivus gets the nod to head Russiagate.

[ 17. May 2017, 22:24: Message edited by: Zappa ]
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
So many great links and posts while I was asleep/ doing other stuff. I wish there was a like function so I could record my applause for each individual without doing a giant post of cut/paste jobs with appreciative comments.

Special Counsel appointed. Our ABC has not been consistent about drawing a distinction between a Special Counsel and a Special Prosecutor, although I understand there is one. I'm sure they'll be on top of it in the next few hours.

Can someone explain in a few short paragraphs how it is that a Special Counsel appointed by the Justice Department is more independent of the White House than the Director of the FBI?

In Australia, I think this sort of thing would be done by a Royal Commissioner, who is a quasi-judicial officer and only capable of being removed if they are very very naughty. No doubt Gee D. will be able to put that more accurately. In fact, I'm relying on him to do so. I have a cold and it hurts to think.

[ 18. May 2017, 00:10: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
MSNBC is reporting that a special counsel can be fired by the president. The countdown starts in 10... 9... 8....
[Help]
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
Could thwumple be that thick? Surely a few days first?
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
So many great links and posts while I was asleep/ doing other stuff. I wish there was a like function so I could record my applause for each individual without doing a giant post of cut/paste jobs with appreciative comments.

Special Counsel appointed. Our ABC has not been consistent about drawing a distinction between a Special Counsel and a Special Prosecutor, although I understand there is one. I'm sure they'll be on top of it in the next few hours.

Can someone explain in a few short paragraphs how it is that a Special Counsel appointed by the Justice Department is more independent of the White House than the Director of the FBI?

In Australia, I think this sort of thing would be done by a Royal Commissioner, who is a quasi-judicial officer and only capable of being removed if they are very very naughty. No doubt Gee D. will be able to put that more accurately. In fact, I'm relying on him to do so. I have a cold and it hurts to think.

It's all quite complicated.

When Nixon was under investigation by Watergate, he was being investigated by a "Special Prosecutor" (Archibald Cox) who could be fired by the Attorney General, who in turn answered to the President. However, firing the Special Prosecutor in the middle of an investigation of the president would be highly irregular if not unethical, so when Nixon ordered his attorney general to fire him, one attorney general resigned, then the next attorney general resigned, and finally the third in line, when he became attorney general, fired Cox (all in one night!). This was the so-called Saturday Night Massacre.

After Watergate, Congress passed a law creating what was called an "Independent Counsel," which would be appointed by a panel of three judges and could not be fired by the President or anyone who answered to the President. Kenneth Starr, who investigated Bill Clinton leading up to his impeachment (although Clinton was not removed from office) for perjury and obstruction of justice for the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal. Congress didn't like all the Independent Counsels who were investigating them as well, so they let this law lapse and now there are no more independent counsels.

What we have now under existing law is a "Special Counsel," which is like the "Special Prosecutor" that existed during Watergate who CAN be fired by the Attorney General or the President. It would take a new act of congress to reestablish the Independent Counsel, and that is not likely to happen.

Plus congress can create a "Select Committee" that has lots of special resources to investigate something (Like it did with Benghazi and Hillary's emails) - but that is not likely to happen, at least not yet - Congress is investigating Trump and Russia through its normal Intelligence Committees now, which also handle all kinds of other matters.

Congress can also establish a special commission like it did to investigate the 9/11 attacks that is not made up of members of congress, so it is perceived as more independent - although this commission would just issue a report at the end and then congress or the Justice Department could then decide what to do with its findings.

It's complicated, as I said.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
"No politician has ever been treated worse...."

Mussolini and lamp posts come to mind.
Nicolae Ceauçescu and bullets.
General Noriega and loud music.

At first blush.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
45 is so far removed from reality that reality needs to remove him.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Cheers for that Stonespring. Phew!

On the issue of Trump's treatment, surely you don't need to go overseas for examples. Barak Obama was pretty badly treated by the Fox Network I recall. And someone Oh dear I can't remember his name, you know that yellow haired idiot who's presidency is just one shambling disaster after another, questioned his status as an American.
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
Good grief! We've had, four I think it is, presidents assassinated, Lincoln, McKinley, Garfield and Kennedy, and several more attempted assassinations, surely they were treated worse than Trump!
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
But when you are the sole inhabitant of your own universe, they don't matter
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Trump's grasp of history is about as firm as his grasp of law is about as firm of his grasp of the Constitution is about as firm of his grasp of how to treat others as if you were a decent human being.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
A sign that Trump may now be in serious trouble: the affair is, reportedly, affecting stock market prices. That might start putting more pressure on Congress members.
 
Posted by MaryLouise (# 18697) on :
 
"No politician has ever been treated worse...." (Trump)

And South African Twitter begins posting pics of Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years behind bars for fighting apartheid.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MaryLouise:
"No politician has ever been treated worse...." (Trump)

And South African Twitter begins posting pics of Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years behind bars for fighting apartheid.

[Killing me] [Overused] [Killing me]
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
If Trump is impeached and removed as president where will he go, what will happen to him?
 
Posted by Clint Boggis (# 633) on :
 
... to hide in a germ-free environemt in Trump Tower with all external criticism filtered from his media input stream ?
.

[ 18. May 2017, 08:17: Message edited by: Clint Boggis ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
He can only hope his Chechen/Russian is better than his English. [Roll Eyes]

Chechen is a bit more obscure but Russian should have some similarities to Slovene.
 
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MaryLouise:
"No politician has ever been treated worse...." (Trump)

Mussolini? Ceausescu?

[ 18. May 2017, 08:32: Message edited by: Martin60 ]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Clint Boggis:
... to hide in a germ-free environemt in Trump Tower with all external criticism filtered from his media input stream ?

If he starts that Trump TV network he's talked about, he could watch himself.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
That would be my guess.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
LOVE the advice from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to organisers of the forthcoming NATO summit: while its their own decision to try to limit speeches they do note advice from White House officials that Trump's name be mentioned in ...as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned..., and also that DT likes illustrations - graphs, charts, photographs, etc - in any paper.

In other words, DT has the attention span of a gnat and, like a small child, responds better to a picture-book than straight text.

Who knew that the office of POTUS was now open to people of low intellect with ADHD - the ultimate equal opportunity.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
But this is the single greatest witch hunt in Amercian history!
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
LOVE the advice from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to organisers of the forthcoming NATO summit: while its their own decision to try to limit speeches they do note advice from White House officials that Trump's name be mentioned in ...as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned..., and also that DT likes illustrations - graphs, charts, photographs, etc - in any paper.

In other words, DT has the attention span of a gnat and, like a small child, responds better to a picture-book than straight text.

Who knew that the office of POTUS was now open to people of low intellect with ADHD - the ultimate equal opportunity.

Don't you dare compare his foolishnesss to ADHD. Plenty of brilliant and competent people have ADHD.
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by MaryLouise:
"No politician has ever been treated worse...." (Trump)

Mussolini? Ceausescu?
They weren't ill used. Just deserts.

That's not a defence of Trump. It's challenging the implication, in the context of Trump's whine, that Mussolini and Ceausescu were undeservedly abused. Now, Mandela was someone who you can say was the recipient of gross injustice.

[ 18. May 2017, 13:05: Message edited by: Pangolin Guerre ]
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
He can only hope his Chechen/Russian is better than his English. [Roll Eyes]

Chechen is a bit more obscure but Russian should have some similarities to Slovene.
He's rather slovenly in his doings. And I don't blame his wife.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
LOVE the advice from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to organisers of the forthcoming NATO summit: while its their own decision to try to limit speeches they do note advice from White House officials that Trump's name be mentioned in ...as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned..., and also that DT likes illustrations - graphs, charts, photographs, etc - in any paper.

In other words, DT has the attention span of a gnat and, like a small child, responds better to a picture-book than straight text.

Who knew that the office of POTUS was now open to people of low intellect with ADHD - the ultimate equal opportunity.

Don't you dare compare his foolishnesss to ADHD. Plenty of brilliant and competent people have ADHD.
Some even have ADSL!
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Now the man baby is complaining no politician has been treated so unfairly....

Has he ever met Nelson Mandela?
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
I doubt if he'd recognise Mandela's name - and even then, he'd probably dismiss NM (having been shown a picture of him) as just another of those annoying brown people not-like-us....

IJ
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
Hey, has anyone actually seen Mandela's birth certificate? [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
I haven't seen this linked to above, so for your entertainment, the latest head shaker from the Washington Post.

At a private meeting of Republican congressional leaders back in June of 2016, the House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy of California, stated "There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump. . . . Swear to God!"

Not wanting this discussion to go any further, Speaker Ryan told the assembled leaders, "No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here."

The best part of the story is that when the Post originally contacted one of McCarthy's staffers about this exchange earlier this week, the staffer denied that it ever happened. Upon being informed that the Post had tape and transcript, he immediately changed his tune, saying it was all a joke.

Now I'm hearing Republicans saying that Trump's comments to Comey about ending the Flynn investigation weren't serious.

You know you are dealing with a bunch of CIS white guys when everyone involved believes that simply saying "I didn't mean anything by that, it was a joke" will clear up everything. (And I say that as a big clumsy CIS white guy myself.)
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
Read the transcript of the conversation yourself.

Good old boys shooting the shit? Admission of knowledge? People who should have started asking a lot more questions? Or something else? You be the judge.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
Yeah, I'm not sure the punchline of "ha ha, our candidate's a traitor" (McCarthy) should be "no one leak this" (Ryan). I know if you have to explain a joke it's not funny any more, but given that it doesn't seem to have been funny in the first place I think a better explanation is in order.

And yes, it does seems to be the go-to excuse for straight white guys saying something inexcusable. I've seen the same excuse trotted out in an attempt to explain away Trump pressuring Comey to drop the Flynn investigation.

quote:
Trump: Knock knock.

Comey: Who's there?

Trump: Drop the Flynn investigation.

Comey: Uhhh . . .

Trump: You're fired!

I guess that kind of sophisticated humor just goes over my head. [Frown]

Other interesting overnight revelations include:


 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Read the transcript of the conversation yourself.

Good old boys shooting the shit? Admission of knowledge? People who should have started asking a lot more questions? Or something else? You be the judge.

I dunno. In my experience, the phrase "Swear to God" is often used when the intended insinuation is something like "Well, I have no way of proving this is true, but ya gotta admit, it sure seems like it could be".

For example: "My sister's boyfriend works a dead-end job, but he drives a Mercedes Benz and always has loads of cash. I swear to God, he's with the mob or something."

So, I'd be willing to believe that Ryan et al were just repeating rumours they had heard, or speculating based on circumstantial evidence.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I doubt if he'd recognise Mandela's name - and even then, he'd probably dismiss NM (having been shown a picture of him) as just another of those annoying brown people not-like-us....

IJ

Yeah, I'm pretty sure only white Americans count...

...but even within that narrow constraint, McKinley, Lincoln, and Kennedy are looking at Trump from their early graves with raised eyebrows...
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Read the transcript of the conversation yourself.

Good old boys shooting the shit? Admission of knowledge? People who should have started asking a lot more questions? Or something else? You be the judge.

I dunno. In my experience, the phrase "Swear to God" is often used when the intended insinuation is something like "Well, I have no way of proving this is true, but ya gotta admit, it sure seems like it could be".

For example: "My sister's boyfriend works a dead-end job, but he drives a Mercedes Benz and always has loads of cash. I swear to God, he's with the mob or something."

So, I'd be willing to believe that Ryan et al were just repeating rumours they had heard, or speculating based on circumstantial evidence.

Yeah, if only there were some responsible figure within the Republican party who might take such circumstantial evidence seriously and dig a bit. Maybe the Republican Speaker of the House? I understand he and Paul Ryan are supposedly pretty tight.

Your sister's boyfriend who works a dead-end job and drives a Mercedes is just idle speculation, but if that boyfriend asks if he can store a whole bunch of sealed containers in your basement maybe a little more curiosity is in order?
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
And the point of the McCarthy quote was not that McCarthy had verifiable proof of Russian collusion, but rather simply that the GOP had knowledge of the reasonable suspicion of Russian collusion, but went ahead and supported the candidate regardless. Even with the more generous "my sister's boyfriend is a mobster" scenario, the implication is "I think something fishy is going on here".

Of course, the notion that the GOP puts party and special interests above the good of the country is hardly earth-shattering at this point...
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
This rings true -

From the Huffpost ...

Submitted by Dawn Sardella-Ayres
...

"This is why I think he's TRYING to be impeached: he'll frame it as a "personal attack" by his "enemies." He doesn't want to be POTUS. On some level, he has to know he's a complete failure at it. So this way, he can save face (in his POV), continue to play the victim, and then go on to start the Brietbart-backed TrumpTV, which is how this whole crapfest started in the first place.

He can be back where he prefers, with his mug in front of the camera, no real responsibilities, in an echo-chamber of his fans, whining about how he totally WAS making America great again, but all the liberals/Washington insiders/RINOs/FakeNews/other people obstructed him. Waaaaah!"
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
Indeed. And if he can find a cushy armchair seat for 3/4 of the line of succession so we don't end up with a President Pence or a President Tillerson, I'd be cheering it on. Heck, I'd be willing to pledge to tune in for the 20 min a week I could probably manage to suffer thru it without [Projectile] just to keep them constrained to that venue where we can keep an eye on them. I'd consider it an act of public service similar to serving on jury duty.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Indeed. And if he can find a cushy armchair seat for 3/4 of the line of succession so we don't end up with a President Pence or a President Tillerson, I'd be cheering it on.

As an aside, Orin Hatch (president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate) is actually ahead of Rex Tillerson in the line of presidential succession.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Indeed. And if he can find a cushy armchair seat for 3/4 of the line of succession so we don't end up with a President Pence or a President Tillerson, I'd be cheering it on.

As an aside, Orin Hatch (president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate) is actually ahead of Rex Tillerson in the line of presidential succession.
Understood. It's simply that Tillerson IS in the line of succession and that notion scares the **** outta me. Honestly, as much as I'm cheering on the impeachment chants, I'm not seeing a lot of hope anywhere in the line.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
The slimmest Democratic dream would be we manage to hang on (i.e. avoid nuclear meltdown with Trump still at the helm) til the midterms, the Dems regain the house, and Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker of the house. Then we need to oust both Trump & Pence in quick enough succession that there's no chance for either to appoint & confirm a new VP.

This would be the very definition of a long shot.
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
The slimmest Democratic dream would be we manage to hang on (i.e. avoid nuclear meltdown with Trump still at the helm) til the midterms, the Dems regain the house, and Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker of the house. Then we need to oust both Trump & Pence in quick enough succession that there's no chance for either to appoint & confirm a new VP.

This would be the very definition of a long shot.

After impeachment in the House, conviction and removal from office takes a 2/3 vote in the Senate, so unless an investigation that a Democratic House could really push hard comes up with stuff willing to convince a lot of Republicans in the Senate, removing Trump or Pence from office is unlikely.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
Excellent analysis from an Australian paper ... the sheer fury of those who think this is a giant fabrication by something called "the meedyas" (yup, I heard one interviewee say that) will send US gun deaths into orbit ...

quote:
What happens then to that significant chunk of the country that would feel the system has robbed them of their president for no reason they respect? It's the kind of disastrous scenario that happens when a nation forgets itself. It's what flows from a politics that is in such a state of institutional disrepair that it has become about nothing more than winning: sacrificing principles on the altar of certain pre-determined political outcomes. Democracy has never truly been about outcomes. It's about process, deliberation, and civic restraint. And just now, that looks like something one of the world's great democracies has left behind.

 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Trump tweet
This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

He's referring to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. Bear in mind that Trump's mentor was Roy Cohn. A little respect for your teacher's accomplishments, Donald! Is that too much to ask?
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
The slimmest Democratic dream would be we manage to hang on (i.e. avoid nuclear meltdown with Trump still at the helm) til the midterms, the Dems regain the house, and Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker of the house. Then we need to oust both Trump & Pence in quick enough succession that there's no chance for either to appoint & confirm a new VP.

This would be the very definition of a long shot.

After impeachment in the House, conviction and removal from office takes a 2/3 vote in the Senate, so unless an investigation that a Democratic House could really push hard comes up with stuff willing to convince a lot of Republicans in the Senate, removing Trump or Pence from office is unlikely.
Here in US, removing Trump from office seems pretty much a certainty right now. Continuing to prop him up would cost the GOP the house, Senate and presidency for at least a generation. The question is not if, but when and how, and most importantly, who comes after him?

The most probable scenario leaves us a President Pence, Ryan or Tillerson, all of which are jumping from frying pan to fire. The above scenario would be ideal, but yes, is improbable as it would require near-perfect timing of an imperfect and uncontrollable process. And it requires the huge sacrifice of living with the Trump presidency another 2 years.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
This from the Walrus, a literate magazine from Canada, which features essays and analysis, may be of interest. Titled "The Authoritarian Next Door".

I thought the initial point about "equality under the law" being one of the most important things in a democracy was well stated.

quote:
n most of the world, powerful people and their relatives can do what they like and there isn’t shit you can do about it. If they run over you with their car, it’s your bad luck. If you offend them, they silence you. Equality under the law provides the basic sense of security that people in advanced democracies consider indistinguishable from personhood itself.

 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
quote:
Here in US, removing Trump from office seems pretty much a certainty right now.
Sadly, not to me. I think we're stuck with him, I wish I could believe differently but I just don't see impeachment happening.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
There are too many Republican't cowards, for one thing. Though, honestly, they are fucked regardless. If they kick him out now, his "wah, everybody is sooo unfair" narrative has more sticking potential with enough Americans. Especially given many of them also do not want to admit their mistake. Trump is unlikely to change, so it will not get better. If he is impeached later, they will look the fools for not doing it sooner.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
Each morning I turn on the BBC World service to catch up with what happened overnight.

The last few mornings have been so bizarre I do not think I have taken in the scale of it. And the tweets continue to get more odd...someone take his phone away.
 
Posted by W Hyatt (# 14250) on :
 
Given that a President Pence would far more effective than President Trump at achieving many of the same policy goals, I think the best (and somewhat realistic?) scenario for Democrats is that Trump loses enough popular support that enough moderate Republicans in the House and Senate think they can get re-elected by opposing him, leading to gridlock until the 2018 elections.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
quote:
Here in US, removing Trump from office seems pretty much a certainty right now.
Sadly, not to me. I think we're stuck with him, I wish I could believe differently but I just don't see impeachment happening.
Well, again, moving too quickly to impeachment could give us worse results (hard as that is to imagine) than the current nightmare. There are very few good scenarios here. I dreamily doodled one but it really is one of those unrealistic wish-dreams, roughly equivalent to "I woke up and it was Nov. 9, 2016 and the whole thing was just a very bad episode of The Americans…"
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Each morning I turn on the BBC World service to catch up with what happened overnight.

The last few mornings have been so bizarre I do not think I have taken in the scale of it. And the tweets continue to get more odd...someone take his phone away.

I was just thinking about how odd it is that part of my morning routine has become checking twitter to see what stupidity the President is tweeting today. We always laughed at countries with wacky, unpredictable leaders. Now I live in one. What a strange world we live in at the moment.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
From superpower pluralism to third world dictatorship in 118 days.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
It seems more like 118 weeks than days. I feel for you across the Pacific.

Some help may be at hand...
quote:
We'll leave you with a final thought from Jim: "I know Trump supporters here who regret that they voted for him. Not because of anything policy-wise, but because he does this to the city."
From an article on the stresses Palm Beach goes through each time T visits.
http://www.cracked.com/blog/mar-a-lago-when-millionaire-bankrupts-entire-town/
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Here in US, removing Trump from office seems pretty much a certainty right now. Continuing to prop him up would cost the GOP the house, Senate and presidency for at least a generation. The question is not if, but when and how, and most importantly, who comes after him?

I'm not sure Congressional Republicans see it that way. Donald Trump has never been particularly popular, as indicated by his second place finish in the popular vote. He is, however, still very popular with Republican voters (~84% approval rating among Republicans during the second week of May 2017, according to Gallup). He is also more popular with Republicans than Congressional Republicans. It's possible that "loose Tweets lose seats", but participating in removing Trump from office would seem to be even more disastrous for Congressional Republicans.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Looks like even Trump's legal talent may struggle now.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
My hope is that T will get so upset about being picked on that he'll take his toys and go home--preferably, by the end of May. (The guy with the nuclear codes attache case should probably hide out in an undisclosed location, to remove temptation.)

Pence would be the new president. I understand that he's a nasty piece of work. But he at least seems more functional than his boss.

Of course, I wouldn't complain if the various investigations prove that Russia really did meddle in the election; if Congress then decides that the Republican campaign and administration is hopelessly tainted and invalid; and if they award the presidency to H, who won the popular vote.

[Smile]
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
Excellent analysis from an Australian paper ... the sheer fury of those who think this is a giant fabrication by something called "the meedyas" (yup, I heard one interviewee say that) will send US gun deaths into orbit ...

quote:
What happens then to that significant chunk of the country that would feel the system has robbed them of their president for no reason they respect? It's the kind of disastrous scenario that happens when a nation forgets itself. It's what flows from a politics that is in such a state of institutional disrepair that it has become about nothing more than winning: sacrificing principles on the altar of certain pre-determined political outcomes. Democracy has never truly been about outcomes. It's about process, deliberation, and civic restraint. And just now, that looks like something one of the world's great democracies has left behind.

I love that quote. Thanks, Zappa. I have long thought that politics in America truly has devolved simply into "winning" regardless of principle and regardless of what is best for the country. The self-delusion that what is good for the party is good for the country has led to it, and both Democrats and Republicans have long bought into the idea that the good of the party is paramount.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
and if they award the presidency to H, who won the popular vote.

I know it's yonks away, but what are the thoughts on Hillary 2020?

Showing my colours, surely the Democrats have a better candidate. Neither particularly inspired me in 2016 [I confess to being a Bernie fan], however there was only 1 choice -- but then I'm not in the US so who gives a toss what I think? But I do think surely there must be a better candiate than H.
 
Posted by Nick Tamen (# 15164) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Here in US, removing Trump from office seems pretty much a certainty right now.

I wish I shared that feeling, but I don't. I think it looks more likely than it did 2 weeks ago, and may look even more likely in another month. But to me, that means it looks like a 15% chance now instead of a 10% chance—far from a certainty. But getting closer, little by little.
 
Posted by Nick Tamen (# 15164) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
and if they award the presidency to H, who won the popular vote.

I know it's yonks away, but what are the thoughts on Hillary 2020?
That's a nightmare scenario as far as I'm concerned. And I voted for her.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
Bernie is too old. Hillary's window has closed. The real problem is that the Democrats have no one who seems to be emerging as a valid contender.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
What about Elizabeth Warren?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
There is always Kanye. And the Rock.

Even Kanye cannot be worse than Trump.

[ 18. May 2017, 22:49: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
and if they award the presidency to H, who won the popular vote.

I know it's yonks away, but what are the thoughts on Hillary 2020?
That's a nightmare scenario as far as I'm concerned. And I voted for her.
Yes, I think that's nightmare territory from this far-off perspective. Nancy Pelosi*, maybe? Bernie will be too old. But the lessons from 2016 are, inter alia

a) get off your arses, libruls
b) don't throw out the toys and pout, libruls, and
c) look to the creative edges sometimes, not the tried and blase
d) come up with creative meaningful fiscal responses to the pain of the underclasses**

* Though personally I think she should have followed the impeach Bush process, for misleading the world (with Blair) was a fairly serious breach of the vows he promised to uphold
** I have long argued that the narrative that I have seen for ever on the Ship and elsewhere about the "middle classes" misses the point. It's the underclasses that are suffering, broken, bitter, clutching at the straw of a Trump (and ironically a Sanders, Corbyn, Macron, whatever) to save them from the hell-hole of forgottenness ... it's the trailer trash who are hurting and who will (have) eventually lead the revolution

[Edit: that would be "bitter", not "butter" [Roll Eyes] ]

[ 18. May 2017, 22:58: Message edited by: Zappa ]
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
What about Elizabeth Warren?

Definitely Warren. She has a similar appeal to Bernie.

But we also should (as noted several pages back) remember it is early days yet and still plenty of time for someone to emerge from the pack. Rep. Adam Schiff from my neck of the woods is beginning to pick up steam as a leader of the resistance (he's been on Rachel Maddow's show several times, which can't help but endear him to lefty hearts everywhere). There are others as well that could be groomed for the VP slot, especially if you've got a rock star like Warren at the head of the ticket.
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
Speaking of things Hilary, what the fuck is Lindsey Graham up to? Now that a special counsel has been appointed, he says that he hasn't seen any evidence of a crime yet, so he doesn't know what led to the appointment. (He was in favour of such an appointment, so why the cold feet?) And now he says that Hilary's emails should be revisited because he has reason to believe (refusing to say what that reason might be) that they will reveal some shenanigans between the Clinton campaign and the DOJ, although Comey put the emails to bed, after the damage was done. Surely, had there been improper communication between the Clinton team and the DOJ, that would have been revealed in the course of Comey's investigation.

Does no one in a position of power care for your republic? That's not rhetorical. I imagine that Clapper is a very sad man.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Re Hillary--they'd never give it to her, there's no legal precedent for such a thing. They'll follow the chain of succession.

Re Pence--whatever he is, he is still likely to be more sane (and thus more controllable) than Trump. If you get a sane president you don't like, traditionally you sit on him (er, apply political pressure) until he figures out it's in his best interests to moderate his behavior. We can work with that. We cannot work with a man who IMHO is clearly deteriorating in terms of sanity.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
Yeah, but Pence is also sane enough to know how to get things done. How to maintain a decent, honorable public image-- perfect for the GOP right now which is nothing but an empty suit. I fear that Pres. Pence will be only slightly more moderate in his agenda, but far far savvier in how to get it done, and how to woo back the public.

At the same time I do think Pence is sane enough not to start a pre-emptorary nuclear war (other wars, yes, if profitable-- but not a nuclear one). And these days my bar is low enough that that'll do.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Re possible candidates:

--Nancy Pelosi is about 77.

--I think Elizabeth Warren is of best use in Congress. She's too combative to be president, and she'd have many more things to be combative about, every day. She'd get worn out! [Biased] She can do great good in Congress, or perhaps as head of Health and Human Services, or some such.

--I'd love to have Hillary take office. That whole thing is a really deep wound for me; and I've managed to bandage it up by rarely thinking about her, and talking about her even less.

But would she still want to do it? Or has she, for the sake of her sanity, managed to move on? Is she still up to doing it, given all the unexpected stress of the way things turned out?
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Yeah, but Pence is also sane enough to know how to get things done. How to maintain a decent, honorable public image-- perfect for the GOP right now which is nothing but an empty suit. I fear that Pres. Pence will be only slightly more moderate in his agenda, but far far savvier in how to get it done, and how to woo back the public.

At the same time I do think Pence is sane enough not to start a pre-emptorary nuclear war (other wars, yes, if profitable-- but not a nuclear one). And these days my bar is low enough that that'll do.

Your second paragraph is the main thing I care about. I don't want to risk a madman destroying us all just to avoid a guy who'll be gone in 4 years (and if he isn't and he's as bad as all that, we're to blame, esp. after what we should have learned from the Trump fiasco).

By the bye, I am (was?) a Republican. My party has deserted me...
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
LC--

quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Re Hillary--they'd never give it to her, there's no legal precedent for such a thing. They'll follow the chain of succession.

I wonder what they'd do if it were the other way around: a Republican won the popular vote, but a Democrat won the electoral college; there was evidence of both a foreign adversary meddling in the election, and of ye olde "high crimes and misdemeanors"; the Democrat was clearly severely impaired, mentally; and they wanted to save both the country and their party? (And their own asses.)

(For the record: I think the US gov't was wrong, the many times it meddled in the elections of other countries.)

Right this very moment, I'm thinking of (future) First Lady Abigail Adams' counsel to her husband, to "remember the ladies" in setting up the new country, and that women were of a mind not to recognize system of laws that doesn't recognize them. Why any woman would ever trust the system again, particularly Congress and elections, I don't know!

[Mad]

Ah, I feel better now.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
IMHO we ought to cut off presidential candidates from running when they'd take office at age 70 or beyond. The risk of Alzheimer's etc. is too great, especially with how that disease seems to be on the increase in recent years (and not just because of the boomers).
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
LC--

quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Re Hillary--they'd never give it to her, there's no legal precedent for such a thing. They'll follow the chain of succession.

I wonder what they'd do if it were the other way around: a Republican won the popular vote, but a Democrat won the electoral college; there was evidence of both a foreign adversary meddling in the election, and of ye olde "high crimes and misdemeanors"; the Democrat was clearly severely impaired, mentally; and they wanted to save both the country and their party? (And their own asses.)

You still couldn't do it. Not without throwing out the Constitution. They'd just have to suck it up. It's not a matter of political will, it's a matter of "#$%#$! this, there's the Constitution in our way again"--and people notice if you blow it off.

At best they could try for an amendment (ha!) which would take ages (like, years, probably) and do them no good in regards to the current crisis.
 
Posted by jedijudy (# 333) on :
 
I understand that Robert Mueller has a lot of latitude to investigate questions of impropriety regarding Trump/Russian links. It makes me wonder if Mr. Mueller will subpoena Trump's tax returns to look for anything shady in those documents?

The shenanigans at the White House are such a circus; a very scary, horrifying circus with fun house mirrors everywhere.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

By the bye, I am (was?) a Republican. My party has deserted me...

Indeed. As a left-wing pro-life evangelical, I've got some awareness of what it's like when your tribe veers wildly off track. My sympathy.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Re possible candidates:

--Nancy Pelosi is about 77.

Sorry, missed that detail ... must be the botox
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
She looks better for her age than the asshole-in-chief does at his.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Thank you, Cliffdweller. [Waterworks] [Waterworks] [Waterworks]
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
She looks better for her age than the asshole-in-chief does at his.

That's not saying much -- I've seen corpses that look better than he does.

(But Nancy does look amazing for her age.)
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
[...] I've seen corpses that look better than he does. [...]

... and that make more sense!
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
I saw a current affairs show last night that suggested a certain M. Zuckerburg was considering a run in 2020.

2020 is not that far away. If Trump gets impeached or resigns, Pence won't be able to do too much damage that can't be quickly reversed. Of course the Dems must get it together where it matters in 2018 and 2020.

Remember, from Australia's perspective America's health system continues to be a very bad joke under Obamacare. One thought I had the other day: Are all American hospitals private? Or, to ask in another way, Are there hospitals that are fully run and paid for by one or more Govt entities in America? If not, you guys are so screwed.

Neither Ford nor George WH Bush were tainted by the White House scandals during their terms as VP. I thing George had a weak bladder or something. If only Pence could be caught doing some covering up, that would be brilliant. He was, after all, liasing with Flynn.

Another thought: My impression is that in the 1970's nobody was blaming anyone but the Nixon White House, and the press were the heroes of the hour. This translated to big swings against the Republicans. Here, Republican voters have someone else to blame - the fake news press. Does that mean that there are likely to be smaller swings against the Republicans?

Sorry, all my electoral instincts are set to elections where people who don't care about politics are forced to vote or pay a fine. I find it really hard to imagine the reaction of people in a jurisdiction where voting is both optional and inconvenient.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Remember, from Australia's perspective America's health system continues to be a very bad joke under Obamacare. One thought I had the other day: Are all American hospitals private? Or, to ask in another way, Are there hospitals that are fully run and paid for by one or more Govt entities in America? If not, you guys are so screwed.
Sorry. Shouldn't have put that last bit. I mean, I genuinely believe that America's reliance on the private sector is bad for its social cohesion, but it's not a new thing. I'm applying Australian standards and attitudes to the situation in America and that is wrong, and leads to mistakes. I am hopeful that Americans can work out how to get to a fair and just health system where everyone gets the health care they need regardless of their financial situation from the current situation. I can't see it happening, but that's because of my lack of knowledge, and, admittedly, my prejudice against private sector involvement in things like health care other than to fill in the gaps around a dominant public system.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Remember, from Australia's perspective America's health system continues to be a very bad joke under Obamacare. One thought I had the other day: Are all American hospitals private? Or, to ask in another way, Are there hospitals that are fully run and paid for by one or more Govt entities in America? If not, you guys are so screwed.

Indeed.

You'll find all sorts of arrangements-- public, private, for profit, nonprofit, and lots of weird consortiums of the above. Very very messy-- which helps obscure costs and pricing which is part of the strategy. As detailed in Time's brilliant expose A Bitter Pill, even when a hospital is "nonprofit" all that means is there are no investors making $$ of the institution, but there are still all sorts of administrators pulling down multi- million salaries. In fact, according to the expose, in all but a very few cities in the US the highest paid person in town is the CEO of the local hospital. These same hospitals will engage in fancy fund-raisers that really are an exercise in PR-- the big money is, in fact, in providing essential, life-saving services as greatly inflated prices to involuntary consumers who have no choice but to fork over whatever they ask. Frequently including, pre-ACA and probably post ACHA, their homes (medical bankruptcy being the leading cause of foreclosure before 2014).

So, yeah, screwed we are.


quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Sorry. Shouldn't have put that last bit. I mean, I genuinely believe that America's reliance on the private sector is bad for its social cohesion, but it's not a new thing. I'm applying Australian standards and attitudes to the situation in America and that is wrong, and leads to mistakes. I am hopeful that Americans can work out how to get to a fair and just health system where everyone gets the health care they need regardless of their financial situation from the current situation. I can't see it happening, but that's because of my lack of knowledge, and, admittedly, my prejudice against private sector involvement in things like health care other than to fill in the gaps around a dominant public system.

Many, many of us Americans came to this conclusion long ago.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

By the bye, I am (was?) a Republican. My party has deserted me...

Indeed. As a left-wing pro-life evangelical, I've got some awareness of what it's like when your tribe veers wildly off track. My sympathy.
I read Lamb Chopped's comments and thought almost exactly the same thing for much the same reasons, cliffdweller [Votive]

Meanwhile, back on topic, Zappa's article quote
quote:
Democracy has never truly been about outcomes. It's about process, deliberation, and civic restraint.
resonates with me, too. Democracy ought to be played as an infinite game, not a finite one.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
She looks better for her age than the asshole-in-chief does at his.

[Killing me]
Yeah, but too much tumeric in the fake tan oil and a dead squirrel on your head tends to do that.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Many, many of us Americans came to this conclusion long ago.

I have been crying for you guys, behind the Colbert-inspired laughter. [Votive]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
From a behind-a-paywall article:

quote:
Added to Trump’s troubles is a White House believed to be melting down in conflict and incompetence, an executive in which thousands of positions remain unfilled, and a President so bored with the job that his staff are inserting his name into documents, in order to keep him reading.
I take it the 1000s is hyperbole...or is it? And is it usual for a number of positions to go unfilled 100+ days in?
 
Posted by Mark Wuntoo (# 5673) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
My hope is that T will get so upset about being picked on that he'll take his toys and go home--preferably, by the end of May. (The guy with the nuclear codes attache case should probably hide out in an undisclosed location, to remove temptation.)

[Smile]

Excuse my ignorance ... are you saying that Trump does not have the power to walk in and press the button? That the decision has to be 'approved' - I sincerely hope so.
It seems quite possible that Trump has some form of mental illness (Megalomania springs to mind) and is it not possible that in one of his huffs he rushes in without thinking? Or is it simply that the decision is made by others and he gets to do the deed - which hopefully offers some comfort for the world?
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
quote:
...the big money is, in fact, in providing essential, life-saving services as greatly inflated prices to involuntary consumers who have no choice but to fork over whatever they ask. Frequently including, pre-ACA and probably post ACHA, their homes (medical bankruptcy being the leading cause of foreclosure before 2014).
[Mad] [Votive] Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, the government is busily chipping away at our highly efficient NHS (where most of the effort goes into detecting and treating health problems *before* they require expensive trips to A&E) to make it more like the American system.

[edited to change "the Tories" to "the government", in a spirit of fairness; the last Labour government was guilty of this too, though not to the same extent]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Mark--

AIUI, the prez is always accompanied by someone carrying an attache' case that contains the nuclear codes. (Might even be hand-cuffed to it, but I'm not sure.)

I don't think the prez has to get any permission to send up nukes, though maybe it would be a good thing to check with others. I think the idea is that if someone else is threatening us with nukes, or has already sent them, an immediate retaliation might be the only appropriate response.

*Someone* else must have the codes, because what if something happens to the attache' case? At the very least, someone would need to be able to set new codes, in case someone stole the attache case and the original codes.

And, of course, this brings to mind the movies "Fail-Safe" and "War Games", both about what you do in that moment when it looks like you should launch the nukes and other severe weapons.
 
Posted by Mark Wuntoo (# 5673) on :
 
Thanks for that. Not sure how reassured I am!
Trump appears to me to be his own boss (to put it mildly), to take little notice of anyone else and to act on impulse. I can imagine a scenario where he wants to press the button before anyone else has the chance, someone who actually is only shouting with no real intention. In other words he could mis-read diplomacy WHAT? [Mad]
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
quote:
... it's the trailer trash who are hurting and who will (have) eventually lead the revolution
If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Golden Key:
quote:
And, of course, this brings to mind the movies "Fail-Safe" and "War Games", both about what you do in that moment when it looks like you should launch the nukes and other severe weapons.
Yes - thank God for this guy. I hope there are others like him in the US chain of command...
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
Further up-thread, Mr. Cheesy linked to a recent Radiolab podcast that looked into the ability of a person down the line of the nuclear chain of command to say "no." Specifically, as the stress of Watergate began to really get to Nixon, there were reports that he was drinking too much. One of the officers at a missile base, who would have had to turn one of the two keys if Nixon ordered a strike, asked his superior how he would know that the order was coming from a sober, sane President.

The questioning offer got his ass canned for even asking. [Ultra confused]

If you can ignore the terrifying context, it becomes and interesting game theory question. On the one hand, if the enemy knows that anyone down the line can abort a strike, it becomes less likely that a strike will actually happen, and your nuclear deterrent starts to really look like a bluff. On the other hand, after 68 years and a lot of close calls but no strikes since retaliation has become a possibility, it's natural to ask if the entire thing is one giant bluff. As I said above, we will never know the answer unless it's no.

On that note, I hope everyone has a nice relaxing weekend...

[ 19. May 2017, 14:31: Message edited by: Og, King of Bashan ]
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
Yes, I think that's nightmare territory from this far-off perspective. Nancy Pelosi*, maybe? Bernie will be too old. But the lessons from 2016 are, inter alia

a) get off your arses, libruls
b) don't throw out the toys and pout, libruls, and
c) look to the creative edges sometimes, not the tried and blase
d) come up with creative meaningful fiscal responses to the pain of the underclasses**

* Though personally I think she should have followed the impeach Bush process, for misleading the world (with Blair) was a fairly serious breach of the vows he promised to uphold
** I have long argued that the narrative that I have seen for ever on the Ship and elsewhere about the "middle classes" misses the point. It's the underclasses that are suffering, broken, bitter, clutching at the straw of a Trump (and ironically a Sanders, Corbyn, Macron, whatever) to save them from the hell-hole of forgottenness ... it's the trailer trash who are hurting and who will (have) eventually lead the revolution

No matter how many times this is debunked, the zombie lie keeps shambling forward. By any reasonable definition of the term, "the underclass" voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Voters earning less than $30,000/year split 53%/40% Clinton/Trump. The next highest grouping, $30,000/year to $50,000/year, split 53%/40% Clinton/Trump. Of course, when this kind of talking point rises from the grave yet again what's being referred to as "the underclass" actually means "the white underclass". (In American politics, the "white" is silent.) So yes, if you see "the underclass" in America as an exclusively white demographic, Donald Trump did surprisingly well with "the underclass" compared to Mitt Romney's 2012 performance, though he lost ground (again, relative to Romney) among the [white] middle class. The exact reason why the white underclass is the only demographic that's worthy of political attention is usually left unsaid.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Further up-thread, Mr. Cheesy linked to a recent Radiolab podcast that looked into the ability of a person down the line of the nuclear chain of command to say "no." Specifically, as the stress of Watergate began to really get to Nixon, there were reports that he was drinking too much. One of the officers at a missile base, who would have had to turn one of the two keys if Nixon ordered a strike, asked his superior how he would know that the order was coming from a sober, sane President.

The questioning offer got his ass canned for even asking. [Ultra confused]

From a bit further up the chain of command Defense Secretary James Schlesinger issued a directive to the military not to follow any "unusual orders" originating in the White House unless those orders were relayed by him personally. Schlesinger was (reputedly) more worried about Nixon staging a military coup than launching a bunch of nukes, but the general effect is the same.

[ 19. May 2017, 14:48: Message edited by: Crœsos ]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

By the bye, I am (was?) a Republican. My party has deserted me...

Indeed. As a left-wing pro-life evangelical, I've got some awareness of what it's like when your tribe veers wildly off track. My sympathy.
This is a problem in a two party system, it is very easy for neither to represent a country very well. Given the polarisation of both American parties, this appears to be more and more true.
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
The exact reason why the white underclass is the only demographic that's worthy of political attention is usually left unsaid.

As the white goes silent in white people, the people in black people goes ignored.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Remember, from Australia's perspective America's health system continues to be a very bad joke under Obamacare. One thought I had the other day: Are all American hospitals private? Or, to ask in another way, Are there hospitals that are fully run and paid for by one or more Govt entities in America? If not, you guys are so screwed.

Veteran's Administration hospitals are run and paid for by the U.S. government but, as the name implies, they are only for the use of military veterans.

quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Neither Ford nor George HW Bush were tainted by the White House scandals during their terms as VP. I thing George had a weak bladder or something.

It's amazing how completely Iran-Contra has fallen down the memory hole, including Bush Senior's suspicious pardon of 6 high-level conspirators on his way out the White House door.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
By the bye, I am (was?) a Republican. My party has deserted me...

Indeed. As a left-wing pro-life evangelical, I've got some awareness of what it's like when your tribe veers wildly off track. My sympathy.
This is a problem in a two party system, it is very easy for neither to represent a country very well. Given the polarisation of both American parties, this appears to be more and more true.
The two party system is a logical outgrowth of the U.S. winner-take-all majoritarian constitutional system. Traditionally the political parties try to appeal to enough factions to get a working majority, but not so many factions that they're stymied by trying to fulfill contradictory demands. In a lot of ways American major political parties are like coalition governments in a parliamentary system, except that the coalitions are formed before the election rather than after.

While the American constitutional system is geared towards the existence of exactly and only two major political parties they don't necessarily have to be the same configuration of interest groups we see today. Some groups have interests so contradictory they can't comfortably exist in the same party (e.g. religious conservatives and gay rights advocates). In other cases the current alignment is largely due to historical contingency (e.g. there's no particular reason for religious conservatives to ally themselves politically with big business instead of labor interests).

What's interesting is that what we're seeing now is the transformation of one of the major American political parties (the Republicans) into something that more closely resembles the kind of ideologically coherent party you see more often in parliamentary systems. Despite claims about "the polarisation of both American parties" the Democrats still seem to be more of a coalition of different interests than an ideologically coherent party.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
No matter how many times this is debunked, the zombie lie keeps shambling forward. By any reasonable definition of the term, "the underclass" voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Voters earning less than $30,000/year split 53%/40% Clinton/Trump. The next highest grouping, $30,000/year to $50,000/year, split 53%/40% Clinton/Trump. Of course, when this kind of talking point rises from the grave yet again what's being referred to as "the underclass" actually means "the white underclass". (In American politics, the "white" is silent.) So yes, if you see "the underclass" in America as an exclusively white demographic, Donald Trump did surprisingly well with "the underclass" compared to Mitt Romney's 2012 performance, though he lost ground (again, relative to Romney) among the [white] middle class. The exact reason why the white underclass is the only demographic that's worthy of political attention is usually left unsaid.

Same is true, btw, of the evangelical vote. Reports of the high percentage of Trump voters among evangelicals are always citing figures of white evangelicals, even though non-whites are a very large subset of evangelicals. The vast majority of non-white evangelicals, not surprisingly, did not vote for Trump. Evangelicals of all ethnicities are rarely surveyed, which, as you suggest, is an interesting dynamic in and of itself.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
When asked if he asked Comey to slow down or end the Russian investigation, Trump said "No. No. Next question." He is putting his whole presidency on those four words.

Love to hear the tapes.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:

While the American constitutional system is geared towards the existence of exactly and only two major political parties they don't necessarily have to be the same configuration of interest groups we see today.

ISTM, if America had other parties that were taken with some semblance of seriousness, it would be better for the country. The last time a third party candidate had a serious chance was Perot, yes? Before that Teddy Roosevelt?
Though the system is set up for two parties in power at any one time, if there were a greater number of substantial parties, I think the system would work better for the people. It could be more representative.
As to the Democrats being less polarised that the Republicans, I'll give you that they are less so, but not that they are truly inclusive. Could a Pro-Life Democrat become president? More open it might be, but the door is still guarded.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Apparently, the Potus thinks Mr. Comey is a 'nut job'.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39983257

Takes one to know one, I guess.

IJ
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The last time a third party candidate had a serious chance was Perot, yes?

Perot wasn't a third party candidate. He didn't have a party - unless you think that "Ross Perot" counts as a party. His "Reform Party" has a handful of local elected officials associated with it over the whole country. It's a non-entity.
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The last time a third party candidate had a serious chance was Perot, yes?

Perot wasn't a third party candidate. He didn't have a party - unless you think that "Ross Perot" counts as a party. His "Reform Party" has a handful of local elected officials associated with it over the whole country. It's a non-entity.
According to the wikipedia article for the 1996 election, he ran under the Reform banner that year. However, due to state laws, he had to run as an independent in many states.

[ 19. May 2017, 19:44: Message edited by: Stetson ]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Apparently, the Potus thinks Mr. Comey is a 'nut job'.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39983257

Takes one to know one, I guess.

IJ

What are the thoughts on these leaks? Are they unprecedented? Potentially coming from the disaffected within the White House? Cannot think of any other reason.

Certainly makes me go [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
According to the wikipedia article for the 1996 election, he ran under the Reform banner that year. However, due to state laws, he had to run as an independent in many states.

And "Reform" is a party created by Ross Perot for the purposes of furthering the ideas of Ross Perot.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
While the American constitutional system is geared towards the existence of exactly and only two major political parties they don't necessarily have to be the same configuration of interest groups we see today.

ISTM, if America had other parties that were taken with some semblance of seriousness, it would be better for the country. The last time a third party candidate had a serious chance was Perot, yes? Before that Teddy Roosevelt?
Though the system is set up for two parties in power at any one time, if there were a greater number of substantial parties, I think the system would work better for the people. It could be more representative.

Roosevelt's run on the Progressive ticket is an illustration of why this kind of 'electoral politics as a personalized consumer good' approach is self-destructive in the American political system. The net effect of former Republican Roosevelt running against Republican incumbent Taft was splitting the previously-Republican vote, allowing Woodrow Wilson to be only the second* Democrat elected to the presidency since the end of the Civil War.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "better". If you're looking for a political system that would give you personal validation that your political preferences are being catered to, albeit in an ineffective way, then sure, the Left-Handed Vegans in favor of Nuking Canada Party is a great idea. On the other hand, if you want a political system that actually gets things done, it's a terrible idea. American political parties are (or "were", in the case of the Republicans) coalitions of disparate, hopefully non-conflicting, interests that would support each other's agendas. Those wanting to raise the federal minimum wage, people wanting to legalize same-sex marriage, and people who favor tougher pollution controls may not individually constitute a majority (the threshold to get anything done in American politics), but could be a majority by joining forces.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
As to the Democrats being less polarised that the Republicans, I'll give you that they are less so, but not that they are truly inclusive. Could a Pro-Life Democrat become president? More open it might be, but the door is still guarded.

If a pro-life Democrat can become the Senate Majority/Minority Leader I'd say it's a least a possibility. On the other hand, political parties aren't supposed to be "inclusive" in the "anything goes" sense of the term. They exist to promote certain political agendas and, as such, there are certain things they're going to be for and other things they're going to be against. That said, the Democrats still fit into the "coalition of various interests" type of political party that's been more common throughout American history, whereas I'm not sure the same can be said about the present-day Republican party.


--------------------
*Third, if you count Grover Cleveland's non-consecutive wins to be two different presidencies.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Though the system is set up for two parties in power at any one time, if there were a greater number of substantial parties, I think the system would work better for the people. It could be more representative.

That would work if you change the voting system so that it's no longer first past the post. I can't see it working otherwise if the parties are organised along a left-right political spectrum. If you arrange the parties so that each has roughly equal support and each is equally likely to lose votes to both of the others then maybe you could call the results representative. But I think that's unlikely.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
If a pro-life Democrat can become the Senate Majority/Minority Leader I'd say it's a least a possibility. On the other hand, political parties aren't supposed to be "inclusive" in the "anything goes" sense of the term. They exist to promote certain political agendas and, as such, there are certain things they're going to be for and other things they're going to be against. That said, the Democrats still fit into the "coalition of various interests" type of political party that's been more common throughout American history, whereas I'm not sure the same can be said about the present-day Republican party.

Given that even St. Reagan would be barred from the Grand Old Party...
Still, America needs something...more.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

By the bye, I am (was?) a Republican. My party has deserted me...

Indeed. As a left-wing pro-life evangelical, I've got some awareness of what it's like when your tribe veers wildly off track. My sympathy.
This states a problem with USA politics as seen by a Canadian outsider. Pro-life cannot be enough to cause party adherence and voting. But holy fuck it is! One issue is not enough. You cannot separate that issue from health care, prisons, private versus public ownership of public and social services. There's a loss of civil society when things are polarised around a single issue. About which the press on Pence indicates he is as poisonous as trumpy. Have you seen laws he signed when a govenor? Toxic.
 
Posted by Luigi (# 4031) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
From a behind-a-paywall article:

quote:
Added to Trump’s troubles is a White House believed to be melting down in conflict and incompetence, an executive in which thousands of positions remain unfilled, and a President so bored with the job that his staff are inserting his name into documents, in order to keep him reading.
I take it the 1000s is hyperbole...or is it? And is it usual for a number of positions to go unfilled 100+ days in?
I may have missed it, but where did this article come from?
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
ISTM, if America had other parties that were taken with some semblance of seriousness, it would be better for the country. The last time a third party candidate had a serious chance was Perot, yes? Before that Teddy Roosevelt?

Ralph Nader ran as the Green Party candidate in 2000 -- quite possibly why we got stuck with George W. Bush. (Well, that and the Supreme Court...)
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
When asked if he asked Comey to slow down or end the Russian investigation, Trump said "No. No. Next question." He is putting his whole presidency on those four words.

Love to hear the tapes.

"Expletive(s) deleted"
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
ISTM, if America had other parties that were taken with some semblance of seriousness, it would be better for the country. The last time a third party candidate had a serious chance was Perot, yes? Before that Teddy Roosevelt?

Ralph Nader ran as the Green Party candidate in 2000 -- quite possibly why we got stuck with George W. Bush. (Well, that and the Supreme Court...)
And Al Gore's inability to win his home state.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Luigi:
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
From a behind-a-paywall article:

quote:
Added to Trump’s troubles is a White House believed to be melting down in conflict and incompetence, an executive in which thousands of positions remain unfilled, and a President so bored with the job that his staff are inserting his name into documents, in order to keep him reading.
I take it the 1000s is hyperbole...or is it? And is it usual for a number of positions to go unfilled 100+ days in?
I may have missed it, but where did this article come from?
It is from a left-leaning online news source where articles are usually behind a paywall. Hence me not linking to it. But I find this article is not, so here it is.

They do indulge in hyperbole, and the 1000s seems to me to be that, but I was curious how many positions remain unfilled. And, if it be a large number, is that usual.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
From a behind-a-paywall article:

quote:
Added to Trump’s troubles is a White House believed to be melting down in conflict and incompetence, an executive in which thousands of positions remain unfilled, and a President so bored with the job that his staff are inserting his name into documents, in order to keep him reading.
I take it the 1000s is hyperbole...or is it? And is it usual for a number of positions to go unfilled 100+ days in?
Not hyperbole.
 
Posted by Augustine the Aleut (# 1472) on :
 
One of the reasons why public funding (US$7m) is supplied to presidential transition teams is so that the appointee selection process is well along by inauguration day. Folk outside the US are often surprised by the depth of levels of political appointments in the US bureaucracy-- even down to the (Canadian) director-general or (UK) director level.

In my former RL I got to sit at a Vancouver lunch alongside a visiting Assistant Deputy Associate Secretary for something or the other at the US Department of Education who, it turned out, was appointed by the Clinton administration for his skill with fundraising in the Vietnamese Californian community. His conversation, while witty and very intelligent, was entirely directed at fundraising to the point that the rest of the table, public servants to a person, felt that they could say nothing whatsoever with propriety, and the (Canadian) ministerial assistant knew nothing of fundraising, as such things are dealt with by party staff, not ministerial staff.

When I learned that so few Trump appointments have been made at this point, I was astonished, and am really wondering how on earth they believe that they can function. The US system is built around political direction at this level and, when they don't have it, the Trump administration will not be able to effect longlasting regulatory or administrative change.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
And now it's been reported that Trump told the Russians that Comey was a "nut job" and that firing him would ease the pressure caused by the Russian investigation.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Nut job calls nut job a nut job. If we put them in a swamp and they float, can we burn them?
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
When I read that diagnosis of Comey, my first reaction was, I wonder how Lavrov suppressed a chuckle.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Re T being bored, bewildered staff, etc.:

This is an amalgam of various news items, both pre- and post-election.

--T never wanted to be president, per friend and shock-jock Howard Stern. (Interesting pairing. Stern even said T "just wants to be loved, like everyone else".) He just wanted to be paid more for his "Apprentice" reality-show work. He wanted Hillary to win. He didn't think he had a chance.

--During the campaign, both T and his then campaign manager said that T didn't want to do the work of being president, and would delegate everything.

--IIRC, both T and Obama said that T didn't understand how much the president has to do.

--I recently heard/read an anonymous quote from someone in the administration, to the effect that they (as a group) had thought that it would be easy, and that all the rules and protocol were just silly--and were surprised to find out they were wrong.

....so we've got a dangerously incompetent president, who never wanted the job; some staff who didn't have the sense to think it would be work, and others who are trying to appease T and get him focused on the job; and a whole lot of nepotism.


Lovely.
[brick wall] [Help] [Projectile]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
This is why I'm having such a hard time not saying "I told you so" [Razz] to certain people IRL, or even here. Y'all are way too generous, you who keep attributing his actions to some deep-seated cunning plan which will make something (anything, at least one thing?) explainable. What if what you see is all there is? No plans, just petulance; no policies, just pouting; no deep or even shallowly laid plots, just "open mouth and see what comes out."

And of course tons of reactivity. The temptation is to start deliberately trailing stimuli in front of him to make him jump all over the map, like a cat with a laser pointer. It's a good thing I can feel God giving me the hairy eyeball at the moment--the temptation, (rubs hands together,) I feeeeeeeel the temptation....
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
My wife read out to me a David Brookes opinion piece in the NY Times, where he referred to the President's brain as two or three fireflies rattling around in a jar.

In Australia, where the media pack is tiny and the political reporters see each other every day, live in the same area and every now and then get pissed together and screw each other, groupthink can be a problem. People see the event, and react the same way because they all think along similar tracks.

We have a weekly show called Media Watch, where the host and his staff research and point out where how and why the various news outlets make mistakes. The Media hate them, especially the right-wingers, who are usually shockers at things like fairness and accuracy.

Anyway, I'm just a bit suss about the media at the moment in America. They don't seem to be leading us astray, but I don't trust the bastards. [Paranoid]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
simontoad--

You might check out

--"On The Media" radio show (with some attitude [Smile] ),

--
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR),

--and "Democracy Now" TV/radio show.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
{Wistful thought.}

Trump privately decides to resign, fires Pence, and nominates Hillary for VP. Congress approves, if only in order to move on.

Blissful thought.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
{Wistful thought.}

Trump privately decides to resign, fires Pence, and nominates Hillary for VP. Congress approves, if only in order to move on.

Blissful thought.

Not sure if that's an appropriate procedure - perhaps an Usanian can advise - but the wistful thought would surely be Elizabeth Warren.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
The papers today are full of "How will Trump cope abroad?" questions.

He's not going backpacking for goodness sake!

[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Media Watch Story on Brick X

I'm not sure that people in America will be able to see the link. It's a story by Media Watch on a new type of property investment, Brick X. It shows excerpts from two commercial network stories about the scheme, and a third from the public broadcaster (also the network on which Media Watch appears). The Public Broadcaster's show has the very highest reputation for integrity. Media Watch points out that all three segments fail to offer a critique of Brick X's scheme, and fail to interview anyone not associated with the company.

What the show does is take a preconceived idea of what good journalism is and then critiques stories from media across Australia and across the spectrum. It's not a political idea, at least its only political to the extent that it regards a free and fair media, free of both commercial and ideological constraints, as the standard. It's the sort of show that I imagine might fit on PBS or NPR - or at least my perception of those organisations.

Anyway, I hope the yanks can see the story.

Edit: Brick X is a rubbish idea. Don't invest.

[ 20. May 2017, 08:32: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Gee D--

quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
{Wistful thought.}

Trump privately decides to resign, fires Pence, and nominates Hillary for VP. Congress approves, if only in order to move on.

Blissful thought.

Not sure if that's an appropriate procedure - perhaps an Usanian can advise - but the wistful thought would surely be Elizabeth Warren.
I'm in the USA. [Smile] I doubt it would be allowed. But it's the one way I can see to put the big things right, without too much fuss. Pence is fired; Hillary becomes VP; T resigns, to his own relief; and Hillary becomes president.

And no, not Elizabeth Warren. Her best place is in Congress, where she can do the most good.

My wistful thought is for *Hillary*, because I voted for her, and she won the popular vote. We had an election between the least qualified candidate, ever, and the most qualified candidate, ever. The wrong person wound up in office, partly due to meddling by another country, which IMHO should invalidate the entire Republican campaign.
 
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
 
Never mind the bollocks, what does he need to have done to have obstructed justice?
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Boogie--

quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
The papers today are full of "How will Trump cope abroad?" questions.

He's not going backpacking for goodness sake!

[Roll Eyes]

It's a legitimate concern. Pre-presidency, he constructed his own little world: he could go from Trump Tower to any of his other resorts, golf courses, hotels, etc. He didn't have to spend a whole lot of time in the outside world, and he's rich enough that he can have things brought to him. He's tried to keep that up, now he's president, with hanging out at Mar-a-Lago and other places. He has to have everything in gold, even his toilet seat at Trump Tower. He redid the Oval Office in gold, and there was talk of possibly redoing the bathroom in the family residence. He always has to be at the center of everything. That's the only way he can function, even to the minor extent that he currently functions.

He also thinks that the Middle East peace problem is probably a lot easier to solve than people think. He's going to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican, in that order. As much as that all needs to be settled, I really hope that the parties needing to make peace don't get together and say, "Sh*t. We better at least publicly make peace, before that idiot gets bored or frustrated, and blows us all up!" Because that would just reinforce T's view of himself. And we'd never be able to impeach him.

I'm not sure what he's doing in SA. But he's scheduled for many things in Israel, including the Holocaust Museum. (Think of all the wrong things he could say/do there.) He's going to the Wailing Wall with the chief rabbi, but has refused to let Netanyahu go along. (Not sure if that's good or bad.) And someone suggested the Pope might have a few things to impress upon him.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
simontoad--

"Media Watch" sounds like the "On The Media" show I mentioned above. OTM and Democracy Now (also on my list) are both on public broadcasting. (OTM on the radio, and DN on both TV and radio.) FAIR also is referenced in public broadcasting. Not sure if it has its own show.
 
Posted by Augustine the Aleut (# 1472) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
{Wistful thought.}

Trump privately decides to resign, fires Pence, and nominates Hillary for VP. Congress approves, if only in order to move on.

Blissful thought.

Not sure if that's an appropriate procedure - perhaps an Usanian can advise - but the wistful thought would surely be Elizabeth Warren.
In the frozen north, we are regularly bombarded with the details of the US Constitution. There is no provision for the President to fire the Vice President. The only forced-exit mode for Pence is for him to be impeached, as provided for in Article 2, where the VP is named as one of the officers who can be thereby removed.

Even if Pence resigned/was impeached/took monastic vows, succession procedures provide that the Speaker of the House is next in line until the president's nominee for the VPship is approved by a majority vote of both houses of Congress. I do not see either Mrs Clinton of Ms Warren being approved by either house, let alone both but the past year has proven that it is most unwise to predict anything anymore.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Joe Lieberman? [Razz]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Lieberman has been mentioned, in the news, as a possible FBI director--except he has no relevant experience.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
To be frank, I don't think anyone wants to be FBI director if the president, no matter who it is, can fire him/her on a whim. Congress will need to make the FBI independent before possible directors would be comfortable with the job.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
O deep joy. From BBC News:

The US has signed its largest ever arms deal with Saudi Arabia as US President Donald Trump's first foreign trip begins in Riyadh.

The deal is apparently worth $110 billion (give or take a few).

Why does this depress me even further? Why is it so hot in here? What am I doing in this handbasket?

[Help]

IJ
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
Quote of the day from the Guardian -

"If only there'd been some way to predict that electing a draft-dodging, scam university running, pussy-grabbing, semi-literate, self-obsessed, midnight tweeting, multiple-bankrupt property developer who refused release his tax returns or detail his business interests would lead to a compromised and unstable administration."
 
Posted by Doone (# 18470) on :
 
[Tear]
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Lieberman has been mentioned, in the news, as a possible FBI director--except he has no relevant experience.

Then again 45 has no relevant experience to be president. De Vos has no relevant experience qualifying her to walk down the sidewalk in front of a school, let alone be Ed Secy. Etc.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
{Wistful thought.}

Trump privately decides to resign, fires Pence, and nominates Hillary for VP. Congress approves, if only in order to move on.

Blissful thought.

A more feasible plan would be the impeachment/investigation is stalled for 2 years, Hillary runs for & wins a seat in the house, Dems flip the house, Hillary is elected Speaker. THEN Trump & Pence are impeached in close & quick enough succession to avoid either appointing a new VP.

But again this is
[Axe murder] thinking.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And someone suggested the Pope might have a few things to impress upon him.

I know the Pope is not divine, but I'm wondering if his holiness might trigger a Uzzah moment for Trump...
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
Sweet Jesus, Mother Mary help us, what if Trump manages to insult all three major religions in the Holy Land?
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
O deep joy. From BBC News:

The US has signed its largest ever arms deal with Saudi Arabia as US President Donald Trump's first foreign trip begins in Riyadh.

(snip)

Why does this depress me even further? [Help]

IJ

That's actually a good question, since it pretty much just represents business-as-usual between the Saudi kingdom and its western pals. Your proverbial handbasket has been hovering about in this general vicintiy for at least 100 years.

[ 20. May 2017, 16:36: Message edited by: Stetson ]
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
Anglican_Brat:
quote:
Sweet Jesus, Mother Mary help us, what if Trump manages to insult all three major religions in the Holy Land?
He probably will. [Paranoid]

[ 20. May 2017, 16:37: Message edited by: Lyda*Rose ]
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
Also I would be surprised if this was a new deal, as opposed to one that's been in progress since before Mr Trump got in.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Sweet Jesus, Mother Mary help us, what if Trump manages to insult all three major religions in the Holy Land?

"If"??? The office pool is about when.
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Anglican_Brat:
quote:
Sweet Jesus, Mother Mary help us, what if Trump manages to insult all three major religions in the Holy Land?
He probably will. [Paranoid]
Maybe at Yad Vashem, when he hears the stories about the righteous Gentiles who sheltered and protected many Jews from the concentration camps, the Ground of Our Being, will break through that stone heart of his, and he might rethink his refugee policies.

Or maybe, we can just ask that he doesn't say anything stupid at the Holocaust museum.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And someone suggested the Pope might have a few things to impress upon him.

I know the Pope is not divine, but I'm wondering if his holiness might trigger a Uzzah moment for Trump...
Or reactivate the Inquisition and have him led off in a hood to parts unknown.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And someone suggested the Pope might have a few things to impress upon him.

I know the Pope is not divine, but I'm wondering if his holiness might trigger a Uzzah moment for Trump...
Or reactivate the Inquisition and have him led off in a hood to parts unknown.
Apparently, that is not his style.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And someone suggested the Pope might have a few things to impress upon him.

I know the Pope is not divine, but I'm wondering if his holiness might trigger a Uzzah moment for Trump...
Or reactivate the Inquisition and have him led off in a hood to parts unknown.
Well nobody expects that!
[Razz]
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Also I would be surprised if this [the Saudi arms sale] was a new deal

Heh. Interesting choice of words.

[ 20. May 2017, 18:58: Message edited by: Stetson ]
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Maybe at Yad Vashem, when he hears the stories about the righteous Gentiles who sheltered and protected many Jews from the concentration camps, the Ground of Our Being, will break through that stone heart of his, and he might rethink his refugee policies.

Or maybe, we can just ask that he doesn't say anything stupid at the Holocaust museum.

My guess: he starts rambling on about how he's more righteous and has saved more Jews than anyone else.

And in today's Trump Scandal Update, two points:



quote:
Within hours of Mueller's appointment on Wednesday, the White House began reviewing the Code of Federal Regulations, which restricts newly hired government lawyers from investigating their prior law firm’s clients for one year after their hiring, the sources said.

An executive order signed by Trump in January extended that period to two years.

Mueller's former law firm, WilmerHale, represents Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who met with a Russian bank executive in December, and the president's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who is a subject of a federal investigation.

Legal experts said the ethics rule can be waived by the Justice Department, which appointed Mueller. He did not represent Kushner or Manafort directly at his former law firm.

There are just so many amazing coincidences happening at the White House lately!
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Horror fear: he makes some comparison to Hitler while in Israel.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Which might provoke Mossad.....

IJ
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Horror fear: he makes some comparison to Hitler while in Israel.

"Hitler was a great man! Great! He knew the Holocaust would create sympathy for the Jewish people and motivate the creation of an independent Jewish State. We should all thank him!""
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
'Bigly! He was a YUGE success!'

(And he had a rotten barber, too).

IJ
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Sweet Jesus, Mother Mary help us, what if Trump manages to insult all three major religions in the Holy Land?

They might finally admit they have things in common, and get their heads on straight?
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
cliffdweller--

quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And someone suggested the Pope might have a few things to impress upon him.

I know the Pope is not divine, but I'm wondering if his holiness might trigger a Uzzah moment for Trump...
Well, that would require a charged-up Ark of the Covenant. And touching it was only dangerous for Jews.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Horror fear: he makes some comparison to Hitler while in Israel.

"Hitler was a great man! Great! He knew the Holocaust would create sympathy for the Jewish people and motivate the creation of an independent Jewish State. We should all thank him!""
T: "And if I'd been Hitler, no Jews would've died--well, very few, it would be sad, but you've got to have some order. No, I would've just asked them to soonly move along to another country. They'd be happier, Europe would be happier, I'd be happier, win-win all around. Hey, they could go to America and set up bagel shops!" {Big grin on T's face.}
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
I hope he doesn’t mention how Hitler didn’t sink to using chemical weapons, and how Jews were taken to “holocaust centers.”
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
I'm trying to remember...didn't someone endeavor to teach T something, after one of his gaffes? Maybe took him to the Holocaust Museum in DC, after the remarks you quoted. IIRC, he said afterward that he had earned something.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
... Totally coincidentally, the White House is examining ethics rules which would prohibit Special Counsel Mueller from investigating Kushner (and Manafort, so it's a twofer). ...

Croesus, what's a 'twofer' please?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
... Totally coincidentally, the White House is examining ethics rules which would prohibit Special Counsel Mueller from investigating Kushner (and Manafort, so it's a twofer). ...

Croesus, what's a 'twofer' please?
Two for one.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
It's Sunday-- a day when we celebrate the resurrection, a day for hope in the midst of darkness. Ultimately, our hope is in Christ and today I'll remember that.

But for those of us not quite ready to give up on this world, I offer this more moral hope: remembering the back story of our two former FBI directors

Mr. Cliffdweller & I decided on Tom Hanks & Liam Neesen to play Comey and Mueller in the upcoming spy thriller. Melissa McCarthy plays comic relief Spicer, hiding among the bushes, rushing to and from press briefings muttering "I hate my life I hate my life I hate my life..."
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Franklin Graham on his support for Donald Trump. He believes that Lyin' Don is God's perfect choice.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
Because God loves lying predators
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
When I was in Israel in 2006, I was alarmed and amused by how much of the place had donation plaques on it. We have plaques on seats in our concert hall, but usually places and plaques are named in honor of people, not because they paid for it. An exception is the Murdoch family, who splash their name all over the place.

Anyway, I needed to go to the toilet at Yad Vashem and was alarmed and exceedingly amused to see that the toilet cubicles each bore a plaque.

These days, now that I am wise, I wonder whether having your name there is something of a cry of victory over death, or indeed a memorial to the dead, and that the toilets at Yad Vashem are indeed suitable places for memory.

My instinctive reaction to plaques and naming is that they are shameful boasts.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Franklin Graham on his support for Donald Trump. He believes that Lyin' Don is God's perfect choice.

If and when Franklin Graham moves into the house next door in heaven, I will realize I was actually sent to hell.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
When I was in Israel in 2006, I was alarmed and amused by how much of the place had donation plaques on it. We have plaques on seats in our concert hall, but usually places and plaques are named in honor of people, not because they paid for it.

I've seen several examples of the memorial brick phenomenon in this country. Personally I wouldn't want someone stepping on my name.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Franklin Graham on his support for Donald Trump. He believes that Lyin' Don is God's perfect choice.

Now, he said, there’s "no question" that God is supporting Trump, Graham said.

I thought we were over the "God on my side, the Devil on theirs" statements...seemingly not. [Disappointed]
 
Posted by Jay-Emm (# 11411) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Franklin Graham on his support for Donald Trump. He believes that Lyin' Don is God's perfect choice.

Now, he said, there’s "no question" that God is supporting Trump, Graham said.

I thought we were over the "God on my side, the Devil on theirs" statements...seemingly not. [Disappointed]

Like he supported Sennacherib??

[wow spell checker had it]
We had the "God's got a plan"* brexiteers (which I believe the predicate, but see no connection to the conclusion. And also aware one plan involved learning our lesson for 40 years.

*there was also another bit better thought out variant, although it was still a bit selectively planned.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Franklin Graham on his support for Donald Trump. He believes that Lyin' Don is God's perfect choice.

As Zappa outlined, it is an example of His mercy and forgiveness. Twice over.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
As Zappa outlined, it is an example of His mercy and forgiveness. Twice over.

I think among the true believers the thinking has moved from 'He's a baby Christian' to 'He is an imperfect vessel, but like Cyrus is chosen by God'
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
As Zappa outlined, it is an example of His mercy and forgiveness. Twice over.

I think among the true believers the thinking has moved from 'He's a baby Christian' to 'He is an imperfect vessel, but like Cyrus is chosen by God'
I liked Cyrus. IIRC, he was much more humble, knew that he didn't know much, and was willing to learn. Qualifications that T doesn't seem to have. And my guess is Cyrus was much more functional.

And, frankly, that kind of "chosen by God" assertion is wayyy too much to put on a "baby Christian". IMNSHO, they're using him.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Between "he's a baby Christian" (hello? the man's 70 years old, what's he been at the past seven decades?) and "he's a flawed vessel" you have all the mealy-mouthed excuses you need to just drop the reins and let him gallop off into whatever lunacy you like.
This is not Christian witness. The salt has lost its savor, and is fit only to be tossed out. [Projectile]
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
As Zappa outlined, it is an example of His mercy and forgiveness. Twice over.

I think among the true believers the thinking has moved from 'He's a baby Christian' to 'He is an imperfect vessel, but like Cyrus is chosen by God'
If I were inclined to that sort of Calvinist fatalism, I would definitely see him more Nebuchadnezzar. Which means the unfairly maligned Rev. Wright was correct: God has judged America, and 45 is the divine retribution.

[ 22. May 2017, 14:58: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I fear that he is rather the judgment upon the Church. We, along with the GOP, are in line to lose an entire generation. People like Graham will ensure that people look at a church and see a loathsome orange politician.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
More evangelical explanations. The ever-repulsive Jim Bakker says that this is the beginning of the Apocalypse, because God's miracle was Lyin' Don's election. But the best one is the guy saying that women marchers are witches. I probably should do him a pussyhat.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
But what would less nutty Christians say about Trump? I notice the phrase 'the judgment upon the Church', but would that also mean a judgment upon the US? That's also a bit nutty, isn't it?

I suppose there is a neutral position, that God has not been involved. Is that kosher?
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
Not sure how well-thought out this is, probably not very, but I tend to take the view everything happens with God's implicit 'okay' but it does not necessarily mean it's His will or sign of favour.

Does God care if Football Team A beats Football Team B? Are A more pious, more worthy of favour?

Switching countries, if both major parties delight in telling us they will continue to lock up refugees on remote Pacific isles, I can't imagine God is too impressed with either one of them (and for some reason won't set Parliament House alight with lightning). Yet they continue to get in...

As I said, possibly half-formed. And possibly problematic. I tend to see poor political leaders as a judgement on us than them; we (in the general sense) elected them, or we (society) allowed the conditions to exist where they were elected.

[ 22. May 2017, 21:02: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
Sorry, to clear up my last paragraph.

Has society failed Trump voters through lack of education, employment, security, etc? That is my charitable view.

But the less charitable view, which I can't escape from given T's comments and actions before the election, is that there are some racists and sexists, perhaps many, who voted for him. So perhaps my looking at a judgement on us was wrong now I ponder.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Sure, politicians are judgement upon us. Also AIDS / HIV, drones strikes killing the wrong people, nipples on men, mosquitos, the dog eating your homework, rapes, murders and bed bugs. trumpy might be many things, but he's no tool of God. Neither was Charles Manson nor Jack the Ripper. For a tool of God, maybe you want Pence, that Qtip headed cherry lipped vacant staring crackpot. [Help]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
Ah...good points. Did not think through the consequences.

[Though I still remain pissed people are dying of treatable diseases...perhaps judgement falls on the drug companies...]

How is quetzalcoatl's interesting, to me, question answered, then? Do things happen without God's implicit/explicit okay? How far can you take it? If this is suited to a new thread let me know.
 
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
 
OK, Saudi (Gulf odds and sods, Turkey) Sonny, good, Iran (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen) Cher, bad. How? Both back insurrections bringing down slaughter. So Christians should back the good, right?
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Ian--

Personally, I'd prefer the "where is God when bad things happen, and does God send them" discussion spun off into another thread. IMHO, it's getting in the way here. And, based on past theodicy threads, the discussion would likely be both wide-reaching and intense.

FWIW.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
More evangelical explanations. The ever-repulsive Jim Bakker says that this is the beginning of the Apocalypse, because God's miracle was Lyin' Don's election.

I'm wondering if Rev. Jim is right, just not in the way he thinks. I've wondered that ever since I preached the Sunday before the election, and the lectionary handed me this:

quote:
2Th. 2:1-4, 11: Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for [that day will not come] until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

...For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie

quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
But the best one is the guy saying that women marchers are witches. I probably should do him a pussyhat.

Please please please!!! [Axe murder]

[ 22. May 2017, 23:27: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
But what would less nutty Christians say about Trump? I notice the phrase 'the judgment upon the Church', but would that also mean a judgment upon the US? That's also a bit nutty, isn't it?

I suppose there is a neutral position, that God has not been involved. Is that kosher?

There's a fourth (fifth? I dunno) position which holds that yes, Trump is a judgement on us, in exactly the same way that failing an exam is a judgement on the student who refused to study.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
For a tool of God, maybe you want Pence, that Qtip headed cherry lipped vacant staring crackpot. [Help]

He's a tool all right. But a tool of God? Maybe in the sense in which Nebuchadnezzar was a tool of God.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
I'm wondering if Rev. Jim is right, just not in the way he thinks. I've wondered that ever since I preached the Sunday before the election, and the lectionary handed me this:

quote:
2Th. 2:1-4, 11: Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for [that day will not come] until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

...For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie


As discussed at length on the Rapture thread, I incline to the "eschatology as a series of contractions" theory in which much like the contractions of childbirth, the same signs recur throughout history many times before actually producing the eschaton.

On this reading I think Trump certainly fits the bill as a man of lawlessness: an example of a type.

(On further reflection, though, Brenda's pussyhats might go some way to explaining all those references to strange many-horned beasts...)
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
mt--

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
For a tool of God, maybe you want Pence, that Qtip headed cherry lipped vacant staring crackpot. [Help]

He's a tool all right. But a tool of God? Maybe in the sense in which Nebuchadnezzar was a tool of God.
Does that mean that God is going to play graffiti artist again, and write on the wall? Will She be arrested?

(Hope I'm remembering the right story!)
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
It was Belshazzar who got the graffiti, but your point still stands!

Mind you, I thought Pussygrabber had already been weighed in the balance, and found wanting.

IJ
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
BF--

Thanks for correcting which story. [Smile]
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
My pleasure.

For a rousing musical depiction of the story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7eiwPxV-D4

BTW, Willard White would make an imposing President, only he's British...

IJ
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
Someone, Pyx_e I think, once used as a tagline:
We are all tools in the hand of God: SOme of us are bigger tools than others.

Somehow that seemed to me to be to the point.

JOhn
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
For a rousing musical depiction of the story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7eiwPxV-D4

As opposed to the story of Nebuchadnezzar?
[Smile]

[ 23. May 2017, 16:30: Message edited by: Pigwidgeon ]
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
[Killing me]

Thanks for that....

Or, as my mother once told me (I know not why);

'Nebuchadnezzar, the King of the Jews, (?)
Sold his wife for a pair of shoes.
When the shoes began to wear,
Nebuchadnezzar began to swear.'

I'll get me coat.

IJ
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
[Killing me]

Thanks for that....

Or, as my mother once told me (I know not why);

'Nebuchadnezzar, the King of the Jews, (?)
Sold his wife for a pair of shoes.
When the shoes began to wear,
Nebuchadnezzar began to swear.'

I'll get me coat.

IJ

I heard the exact same poem from my father. (Born and raised in western Canada, but his parents had both immigrated from Scotland as children.)
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Well, there's True Culture for you - transcends all boundaries!

IJ
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
For a man who tried a Muslim ban, he had no problem selling them $110 billion of weapons to an extremist Islamic country (Saudi Arabia). What could possibly go wrong as Saudi and Iran continue their proxy war in Yemen? Though this isn't just trumpy. It is a continuation of historical, many decades long American policy in the region. Soaked in blood. Creating more hatred for coming decades which makes for even more anti-Americanism. Does anyone understand why an educated Saudi living abroad might consider terror against America now? How about Iran, which has a progressive leadership and a very young population. Now both sides will hate America more. I'd weep if I had any more tears left after Manchester.

But no-one cares about geography and geopolitical problems, and this war weapons deal will make America great again by providing good jobs. Disgracefull.

[ 24. May 2017, 00:57: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]
 
Posted by Doone (# 18470) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
For a man who tried a Muslim ban, he had no problem selling them $110 billion of weapons to an extremist Islamic country (Saudi Arabia). What could possibly go wrong as Saudi and Iran continue their proxy war in Yemen? Though this isn't just trumpy. It is a continuation of historical, many decades long American policy in the region. Soaked in blood. Creating more hatred for coming decades which makes for even more anti-Americanism. Does anyone understand why an educated Saudi living abroad might consider terror against America now? How about Iran, which has a progressive leadership and a very young population. Now both sides will hate America more. I'd weep if I had any more tears left after Manchester.

But no-one cares about geography and geopolitical problems, and this war weapons deal will make America great again by providing good jobs. Disgracefull.

This [Tear]
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
Trump reckons that Belgium is a beautiful city. One step up from the 'hell hole' he previously called it?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
A good (and free click) analysis of how Drump thinks of the world.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Oops again, even though it is the worst kept secret you never admit that there are two nuclear subs off the North Korea coast

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-submarines-idUSKBN18K15Y

Oops number three: You don't hire a lawyer who also represents the second largest Russian Bank to represent you to fight the reports about your collusion with Russia

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-marc-kasowitz-private-lawyer-russia-probe-investigation-comey-flynn-614438

And has everyone seen Melina slapping Trump's hand away when they arrive at Ben Gurion Airport? She also refused his hand when they arrive at Rome.

http://www.newsweek.com/melania-trump-hand-hold-president-donald-614300

[ 24. May 2017, 23:53: Message edited by: Gramps49 ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Unsurprising. We all know where that hand has been.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
And none more so than the bimbo in chief.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
He also neglected to shake Bibi's hand.
 
Posted by Aijalon (# 18777) on :
 
Yes, his hand.... and for that reason I have coined the phrase - "Make America grope again". I know I know, I'm brilliant.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
He's been having an interesting time at the NATO summit. Elbowing his way past leaders to stand at the front, then lecturing them that they "owe the US" money.

Whilst it might be true that other countries should be contributing more (although even that seems in dispute), it seems fairly clear that nobody owes back-payments to the USA.
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
There is little dispute that the general agreement is 2% GDP for member states, and that there are 4 that meet that obligation.

The US nearly doubles that contribution.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
There is little dispute that the general agreement is 2% GDP for member states, and that there are 4 that meet that obligation.

The US nearly doubles that contribution.

I think that's about total spending on defense, not contributions to the NATO budget - which are agreed by NATO states themselves. AFAIU either NATO has been able to spend the available money each year or has reduced activities to meet the size of the budget. Nobody is to saying that states which have contributed less in the past somehow "owe" the USA except Trump.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Romanlion, welcome back. Would you like to share any other thoughts on the Trump presidency so far? We've been short of comments from non-Democrats.

[ 25. May 2017, 17:06: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
He's been having an interesting time at the NATO summit. Elbowing his way past leaders to stand at the front, then lecturing them that they "owe the US" money.

Whilst it might be true that other countries should be contributing more (although even that seems in dispute), it seems fairly clear that nobody owes back-payments to the USA.

Even if there prove to be some nations in arrears, bankruptcy Don is the last person on earth who should be lecturing someone else about paying their bills.
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
To clarify, the 2% of GDP refers to total military expenditure, not NATO contribution. Trump seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that 2% of GDP is membership dues. To quote Himself, "Wrong." Further, the commitments to 2% were not commitments in a legal sense, and certainly not understood to be by the participants. It would better to understand 2% as aspirational. Rather like committing to being a good Christian.

Among the numerous things that were interesting in this morning's address was the strange conflation of anti-terrorist measures with warfare in its classical sense. Trump's yoking of the 2% with recent terrorist activity, being that not meeting the 2% is in direct relation to Manchester, etc. was either grossly mistaken or cynical. This is, of course, a failure to understand or deliberately to misrepresent warfare's evolving paradigm. In dealing with terrorism, it would produce greater clarity not to rely - or, at least, not too heavily - on "warfare" as the governing paragigm. Buying more tanks, guns, etc., will not win this., but I suspect that Trump does not have the intellectual equipment to understand this.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Oh this just keeps getting better: apparently when Trump met the Israeli PM, he left the Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor outside the meeting and instead took his son-in-law Jared.

I get it now: this is The Apprentice, week 5. Trump is mixing the teams up just to see what happens.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
Buying more tanks, guns, etc., will not win this., but I suspect that Trump does not have the intellectual equipment to understand this.

To be fair, this isn't just Trump. It is the American, especially Republican, basic strategy.
 
Posted by Mark Wuntoo (# 5673) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Oh this just keeps getting better: apparently when Trump met the Israeli PM, he left the Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor outside the meeting and instead took his son-in-law Jared.

I get it now: this is The Apprentice, week 5. Trump is mixing the teams up just to see what happens.

Or could it be that his bizarre behaviours are attempts to cover up his total fright and panic at finding himself president?
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
Or that he simply can't (or doesn't care to) remember what his handlers surely must have told him about protocol?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I could find you a link, but staffers have learned to -not- tell Li'l Donny what not to say, because then they infallibly get blurted out. Last in the ear, first out the mouth. Usually it is four-year-olds who have this kind of issue.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Nations have gone to war for slights like pushing leaders aside. And that Mussolini pose does not help. You are to be an equal among equals, Don.
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Romanlion, welcome back. Would you like to share any other thoughts on the Trump presidency so far? We've been short of comments from non-Democrats.

Thanks!

If I had to sum it up succinctly I suppose I would say sui generis...

As someone who has long followed US politics for entertainment, it has been beyond anything I could have sincerely imagined 2 years ago.

The foam-at-the-mouth hysterical idiocy of the opposition provides at will access to endless, blissful schadenfreude. Of course that's just crass self indulgence...

In real world terms, the Gorsuch nomination and the next (at least) one pending give me a measure of hope for my daughters, that the Republic may actually remain standing as intended into their children's lives.

On that mark alone he has proven the lesser of two evils by oom... Not that I voted for him, or ever will.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
In real world terms, the Gorsuch nomination and the next (at least) one pending give me a measure of hope for my daughters, that the Republic may actually remain standing as intended into their children's lives.

On that mark alone he has proven the lesser of two evils by oom... Not that I voted for him, or ever will.

It always seemed odd that someone as bland as Merrick Garland could elicit such hatred and hostility that he's regarded in some quarters as an outright threat to the continued existence of the American republic, but there it is, I guess.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
On that mark alone he has proven the lesser of two evils by oom...

Sorry for being thick, but what is oom?
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
On that mark alone he has proven the lesser of two evils by oom...

Sorry for being thick, but what is oom?
Sorry, acronym for orders of magnitude.

And FWIW I have no opinion on Garland, having never seen him under Senate scrutiny. I don't have the time, energy, or inclination to research his decisions myself. All that's left is the opinion of media which is worthless...totally partisan, entrenched, and 80% bullshit from both sides. I certainly don't hate him or hold any hostility against him.

What I can say is that Gorsuch was brilliant in his Senate testimony. Measured, consistent, and affable...

It was during those hearings that I started to picture Al Franken with a big red nose on...I think they should make him wear one for real in the interest of accuracy.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
From Wikipedia (and therefore The Truth):

'Out of memory (OOM) is an often undesired state of computer operation where no additional memory can be allocated for use by programs or the operating system.'

Perhaps that's what romanlion meant?

IJ
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
In real world terms, the Gorsuch nomination and the next (at least) one pending give me a measure of hope for my daughters, that the Republic may actually remain standing as intended into their children's lives.

Right, so you appear to espouse the "long game" view, where the most important aim of the presidency is to secure a Supreme Court that is sure to rule in line with your preferences, and nothing else matters?

What would you say to the challenge that Trump is doing a fair job of weakening the institutions that help uphold the Republic and the credibility of the office he holds?
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
As an aside, I wonder if the numbers of those who witnessed Mr. Potus' motorcade through Brussels (capital country of the beautiful city of Belgium) were biglier than the YUGE crowd greeting Mr. Obama at his meeting with Frau Merkel in Berlin?

[Two face]

IJ
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
Thanks romanlion (and Bishops Finger!)

Looks like "losers" is the new word de jour. Not sure what I think. Sounds a bit childish, but terrorists are losers I suppose. Pathetic may be a term I'd prefer.

[ 25. May 2017, 22:43: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Not at all, even though I was wrong!

Orders of magnitude certainly makes more sense.

IJ
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
Perhaps someone would like to tell Mr. Trump that losers are people too.

Some people make a success of their lives. Other people have the unerring knack of taking a silk purse and converting it into a sow's ear. Both kinds of people are his brothers and sisters, formed in God's image.

[ 25. May 2017, 23:00: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I am certain he would deny this. Vast swathes of humanity do not seem to count as human in his view -- Muslims, women, ugly people, etc.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Hang on... Trump is a very ugly bloke, surely? He was ugly when he was young too.

I reckon predicting how someone will act in a high judicial office is extremely perilous. It's like trying to predict what cases will come up during their time on the bench.

Welcome back Romanlion! I too follow politics like I used to follow sport. I even get into my own players more often than not.

Finally, I concede that Hillary is unelectable.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Meanwhile, the Fourth District Court of Appeals has declared the most recent Trump travel ban unconstitutional 8-3. Loser
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Leorning Cniht--

quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Perhaps someone would like to tell Mr. Trump that losers are people too.

Some people make a success of their lives. Other people have the unerring knack of taking a silk purse and converting it into a sow's ear. Both kinds of people are his brothers and sisters, formed in God's image.

Ah, but there's the problem. His father sternly taught little Donald and the other kids that only winners are worthy of being loved. The competition drove one of T's brothers to alcoholism and early death. (That was in various coverage--possibly in the specials that PBS did on T and Hillary. T mentioned his brother during a "60 Minutes" interview. He actually displayed some compassion for his brother, and loss. I was surprised.)

T's friend, shock-jock Howard Stern, commented in the news on various aspects of T and his presidency, including "he just wants to be loved, like everyone else".

Makes me think of the poem
"Children Learn What They Live" (My Meditative Moments).
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
T's friend, shock-jock Howard Stern, commented in the news on various aspects of T and his presidency, including "he just wants to be loved, like everyone else".

That's similar to what Henry Kissinger said of Richard Nixon on the occasion of the latter's demise: "He could have been a great man if only someone had loved him." (Sorry, I don't have a link to the quote.)
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Howard Stern is worth quoting? He is even more disgusting than trump. Decline and fall.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
I was surprised by Stern, too. I only know of him as a shock jock, and I haven't listened to his show, except for clips in the news. He once said something deeply personal and awful about his wife, on the air, and she was furious, and he apologized on the air. (I gather that's not something he'd normally do.) And he embarrassed George Takei on air. GT's "Ohhhhh, mmmMYYYyyyyy!" response has become quite the meme.

I've wondered if Stern's explanations of T are really meant as messages to T. Paraphrased, they might be something like "hey, Don, you know I love you; you never wanted that job; remember you wanted Hillary to win; this job doesn't play to your strengths, and you'll wind up a loser; why not resign, and be a winner somewhere else, where they will love you more?"

May T follow that message, and soon.
[Votive]

[ 26. May 2017, 03:14: Message edited by: Golden Key ]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
Poverty a 'state of mind'

Thanks Carson. Blame the victim.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Oh yeah. When I saw that I thought Carson was running flak for the boss, but on reflection it's in character.
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Meanwhile, the Fourth District Court of Appeals has declared the most recent Trump travel ban unconstitutional 8-3. Loser

10-3, really. I still need to listen to Vladeck and Chesney's National Security Law Podcast episode on this, but Vladeck's general rundown is pretty helpful. Some pretty technical arguments, but interesting for how this may play out in the future.
Yay, #AppellateTwitter!
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Thank you for the correction. I knew that a minority of three justices dissented I assumed there were 11 justices on the bench, not 13. I stand corrected.

In other news it had been reported last Friday a senior White House official was a person of interest in the Russian Collusion investigation. Tonight, that official was named Jarod Kushner, son in law of the POTUS. Kushner conveniently forgot to list all the foreign contacts he had. Of particular interest is his connection to a Russian Bank that funds many of the Russian spy networks. This bank helped bankroll the Trump property in Toronto

Does anyone else smell smoke? Why is it getting hot around the Don?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Oh yeah. When I saw that I thought Carson was running flak for the boss, but on reflection it's in character.

The ever-articulate John Scalzi
explains why the 'poverty state of mind' thing is so pernicious. This is a free click.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Here's an article explaining why Donald Trump is likely to be re-elected in 2020. This is a free click, too.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
And a very depressing read, too.

[Disappointed]

IJ
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
I've said it before and have yet to be proven wrong: People are stupid.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I've said it before and have yet to be proven wrong: People are stupid.

Well, at least they have some representation.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I've said it before and have yet to be proven wrong: People are stupid.

Well, at least they have some representation.
Those who voted for Trump got what they deserved. The problem is the rest of the world didn't deserve him, but we still got him.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
IMHO, the ones most to blame are politicians, donors, powerful people, Russian operatives, etc., who had a pretty good idea of what he is and of his severe impairments--and supported him anyway, for their own agendas and to keep the Republicans in power.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Viva la France!
Viva la Macron!
Viva la Snub Extroardinaire!
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
What's that about then, dear Australian friend? Anything I missed? An encounter/non-encounter I didn't notice? [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
That would be this, I think.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
Ah! Très bien! (i.e. 'Very good!') - Thank you.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
I think M. Macron showed both good taste, and politeness, in greeting the lady first.

IJ
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I read that in fact he was following protocol by greeting the various heads of state in order of seniority (measured in terms of their time in office). Trump surely doesn't understand protocol, so he was doubly shamed here it seems to me.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Fair enough - but Baby Trumpling did look as though he felt he should have been greeted first, being The Great Leader Of The World, and all.

OTOH, M. Macron, young sprog though he be, showed typical Gallic charm, poise, and grace.

IJ
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
And it appears that Potus pushed aside the Montenegrin PM, Duško Marković, in order to get to the front of the group.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-40050926/trump-pushes-past-montenegro-s-pm

IJ
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Fourth graders (ca 10 yo) reading from Donald Trump's speeches.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
O dear - that video 'cannot be played in my location'. Obviously, Potty Trumpling's Thought Police have penetrated the UK.

IJ
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
Is this the same one?

I can see that here. It will appeal to the Trump has a limited vocabulary crowd.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
I just realized something: given that T has (co-)written several books, he'll likely write at least one about his presidency--however long it is.

Possible titles:

--My Greatness.

--How My Greatness Won The Presidency.

--How I, Trump, Saved The World.

--The Fun Of Being A/The Messiah.

--What's Next For The Trump?

--Thank You, Me, For A Very Great, I Mean Really Greatest Life.

This applies to the discussion, but I think I'm going to start a Circus thread and copy this in.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Living With Dementia - A Guide to the Best Election Win in History
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I have been hearing of a person who had paranoid delusions that everyone who was attempting to help them was a demon of some sort. They were found to have mental capacity to run their own life.

Presumably the President can also be found to have mental capacity.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
Sort of like the old "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that everyone isn't really out to get you."
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
I just realized something: given that T has (co-)written several books, he'll likely [have ghost written] at least one about his presidency--however long it is.

Possible titles: . . .

"My Struggle"? [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
Been thought of: Alec Baldwin as 45, in the 'Saturday Night Live' cold open, 5 February 2017; scene starts 3'15" in - the entire sketch is rather watchable though. [Smile]
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wesley J:
Been thought of: Alec Baldwin as 45, in the 'Saturday Night Live' cold open, 5 February 2017; scene starts 3'15" in - the entire sketch is rather watchable though. [Smile]

McKinnon is so awesome in this one -- acting by facial expression alone.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
The realism is absolutely chilling.....

[Ultra confused] [Ultra confused] [Ultra confused]

IJ
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Croesos--

quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
I just realized something: given that T has (co-)written several books, he'll likely [have ghost written] at least one about his presidency--however long it is.

Possible titles: . . .

"My Struggle"? [Big Grin]
LOL. Probably, and likely without any awareness of the reference.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
--Game: I've started a "Trump's Tale Titles" thread in the Circus.

--Messiahship: I alluded to this in one of the titles. I've been wondering if T thinks of himself as a/the Messiah. His various comments about how he's the only one who can set the world right, including the Middle East, could lean that way. If, in his deluded mind, he believes that he *really* is God's anointed, he'd see that as license to do whatever he wants--because, of course, God must trust him.

--"Trumping Your Life": Speaking of delusions, a deluded shrink, who works for Fox News, is writing a series of articles on "How to be a better, stronger person by being more like the president". If it wasn't at Fox, I might think it was satire.

[Paranoid]

--Cartoons!: The San Jose Mercury News has several cartoons on Trump vs. the Pope.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
--Game: I've started a "Trump's Tale Titles" thread in the Circus.

--Messiahship: I alluded to this in one of the titles. I've been wondering if T thinks of himself as a/the Messiah. His various comments about how he's the only one who can set the world right, including the Middle East, could lean that way. If, in his deluded mind, he believes that he *really* is God's anointed, he'd see that as license to do whatever he wants--because, of course, God must trust him.

--"Trumping Your Life": Speaking of delusions, a deluded shrink, who works for Fox News, is writing a series of articles on "How to be a better, stronger person by being more like the president". If it wasn't at Fox, I might think it was satire.

[Paranoid]

--Cartoons!: The San Jose Mercury News has several cartoons on Trump vs. the Pope.

ETA: Any idea on what the pope is carrying in picture #6? Thx.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
ETA is Estimated Time of Arrival in my acronym dictionary [Smile]

Is he taking a wrench to the papacy?
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
"Edited to add"
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
So, who won the handshake between Macron and Trump?
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Macron won, I think.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
simontoad--

quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
ETA is Estimated Time of Arrival in my acronym dictionary [Smile]

Is he taking a wrench to the papacy?

One end of the wrench has some sort of strange implement, and that's what I can't figure out.


mt-

-Thanks for explaining "ETA".
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
What moronic imbicility re handshakes. Doesn't read books. Doesn't care to understand anything except himself. Melanoma or what ever his 3rd wife's name is, why is she called FLOTUS? Sounds a lot like his FLATTUS. She wants him dead right? This version of Camelot needs to go back to the alternate Star Trek universe where it came from.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Melania is First Lady Of The United States, so FLOTUS. Her husband is POTUS. There are similar terms for the VP and wife. Same terms used in each administration.

Then there are the Secret Service code names, which are unique to each person in their care.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
T left an...interesting....note in the visitors' book at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum (CBS).

quote:
His message read, "It is a great honor to be here with all of my friends – so amazing & will never forget!"
Sounds like something you'd write in the visitors' book at the Grand Canyon. The article quotes the comments previous presidents have left, and Hillary (as Sect'y of State).
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
We're knights of the round table, we dance whenever we're able. We do routines and make up scenes and impersonate Clarke Gable. It's a fine life here in Camelot we eat ham and jam and spamalot.

Spam is a crime against humanity. A misdemeanor, but still a crime.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
A rather long read you may find interesting.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
The ever-articulate John Scalzi
explains why the 'poverty state of mind' thing is so pernicious. This is a free click.

Thank you; a good read. Deserves to be read widely.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Then there are the Secret Service code names, which are unique to each person in their care.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall!
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Miss Amanda--

The code names are probably online somewhere. They sometimes leak out.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Assuming (a big one) that Trump does not contest the next Presidential election, who would people like to see as the Republican Candidate?

Ryan?
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Assuming (a big one) that Trump does not contest the next Presidential election, who would people like to see as the Republican Candidate?

Ryan?

Someone with absolutely no credibility and entirely unsuitable for the position.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Assuming (a big one) that Trump does not contest the next Presidential election, who would people like to see as the Republican Candidate?

Ryan?

These eighth graders* don't seem to support Ryan.

[Biased]

*probably about 14 years old
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is very nice the Washington POST's book editor comparing Li'l Donny to Lear.

And I am informed this is not a crime in the US. But in Britain isn't it illegal to steal someone else's coat of arms?
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
Well, Jeremy Thorpe stole some.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
And I am informed this is not a crime in the US. But in Britain isn't it illegal to steal someone else's coat of arms?

How fitting that he removed integrity from the Coat and replaced it with himself. You couldn't get more symbolically accurate if you tried.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Yes, it's almost too heavy-handed and symbolic. If you put it into a book your editor would say, gently, "You know dear, you've made your point. Don't belabor the dead horse, would you?"
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
simontoad--

quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
ETA is Estimated Time of Arrival in my acronym dictionary [Smile]

Is he taking a wrench to the papacy?

One end of the wrench has some sort of strange implement, and that's what I can't figure out.


mt-

-Thanks for explaining "ETA".

I thought it was the Papal hat, or the hat from the Vatican's coat of arms/seal. Whatever, it certainly means institutional Catholicism. [Smile]

By the way, I noticed that my posts yesterday gradually deteriorated to the point where I suggested that Paul Ryan might make an OK President. I'm relieved that in the post immediately preceding, I sang a silly song from Monty Python.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Op-ed on radio this morn had it: The End of America's Century. Noting that Angela Merkel had to show trumpy a map so he could see Russia's position and goals in the mid-east. The glib and oily trumpy doesn't listen to briefings and prides himself on not reading. His preening in front of other leaders, who observedly rolled their eyes at him. Did trumpy finish highschool? his handshaking competition signals no. His taking sides in the Shia-Sunni conflict by further arming Saudi Arabia. His harange about NATO funding (more rolling eyes). His statement about pulling out of the Paris Accord on Climate. And everyone knowing that trumpy is likely to say the opposite on everything next week.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
What hath Fox wrought? This is a free click. My father, who passed away earlier this year, had his final years continually roiled by watching Faux News. We begged him to at least watch some of the other stations, so that he wouldn't wind up screaming at the screen.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) did Pigs (Three Different Ones)
with specific reference to trumpy. The link is Facebook, but can be seen without logging into FB.

quote:
Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are,
You well heeled big wheel, ha ha, charade you are.



[ 30. May 2017, 17:07: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
In real world terms, the Gorsuch nomination and the next (at least) one pending give me a measure of hope for my daughters, that the Republic may actually remain standing as intended into their children's lives.

Right, so you appear to espouse the "long game" view, where the most important aim of the presidency is to secure a Supreme Court that is sure to rule in line with your preferences, and nothing else matters?
Not at all. The point was that the impact of his selection of Gorsuch as AJ is profoundly positive and long lasting, particularly when compared with who might have been chosen under another POTUS...


quote:

What would you say to the challenge that Trump is doing a fair job of weakening the institutions that help uphold the Republic and the credibility of the office he holds?

Can you be more specific about institutions and methods?

I would say that he has had virtually no impact in a few months compared to the irresponsible and unpatriotic accumulation of debt by his predecessor.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
Can you be more specific about institutions and methods?

Off the top of my head: preparing an EO that took a court virtually no time to strike down damages the credibility of his office; summarily firing justice appointees immediately in the wake of court decisions not in his favour damages the independence of the judiciary.

Taking so long to fill many positions in government administration weakens the checks and balances of that administration.

Similarly, firing Comey when he did damages both people's trust in the intelligence services and confidence in his willingness to be held to account.

Contradicting official information supplied by his staff and continually firing off partisan tweets damages the office of the president.

Similarly, constant criticism of the media, allegations of fake news, and false equivalence (most lately, the creative redefinition of Kushner's alleged overtures to the Russians for off-the-record communications as a "back channel" equivalent to that in the Cuban missile crisis era) is an abuse of the institution of the press.

His diplomatic gaffes (such as suggesting Israel was not part of the Middle East) weaken the foreign perception of the presidency and the US.

His conflicts of interest - blatant diversion of taxpayer funds into his own private club by frequent use of Mar-a-Lago and the presence of family members in the White House with influence but no accountability - inflict further damage to the legitimacy of the presidency.

That will do for a start.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:

I would say that he has had virtually no impact in a few months compared to the irresponsible and unpatriotic accumulation of debt by his predecessor.

By which I assume you're referring to his predecessor Geo. W Bush running up the deficit through massive, unfunded wars and Medicare part D, to say nothing of removing oversight that might have prevented or at least minimized the costly impact of the housing crash/bank fiascos?
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
In real world terms, the Gorsuch nomination and the next (at least) one pending give me a measure of hope for my daughters, that the Republic may actually remain standing as intended into their children's lives.

Right, so you appear to espouse the "long game" view, where the most important aim of the presidency is to secure a Supreme Court that is sure to rule in line with your preferences, and nothing else matters?
Not at all. The point was that the impact of his selection of Gorsuch as AJ is profoundly positive and long lasting, particularly when compared with who might have been chosen under another POTUS...
For someone who claims to "have no opinion on [Merrick] Garland" you don't seem to be able to resist an opportunity to bag on him.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is another variant on the King Lear theme. Free click.
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
Can you be more specific about institutions and methods?

Off the top of my head: preparing an EO that took a court virtually no time to strike down damages the credibility of his office; summarily firing justice appointees immediately in the wake of court decisions not in his favour damages the independence of the judiciary.
We are talking about the 9th here, right? The suggestion that anything a POTUS does damages their credibility is a bit of a stretch, considering they have none. And we don't want to go tit-for-tat on Justice appointee firings, do we?

quote:
Taking so long to fill many positions in government administration weakens the checks and balances of that administration.

Personally I don't think that the absence of a few hundred bureaucrats weakens much of anything. Those jobs still get done by experienced career people. I expect he will leave many of them unfilled in perpetuity.

quote:
Similarly, firing Comey when he did damages both people's trust in the intelligence services and confidence in his willingness to be held to account.

So it was just poor timing? I think reasonable people recognize that it was Trump's prerogative to fire Comey, and that it had zero impact on any ongoing "investigation" being conducted by the Bureau.

quote:
Contradicting official information supplied by his staff and continually firing off partisan tweets damages the office of the president.

Give him a little credit for the act he follows. He can polish till the day he dies and his bullshit will never shine like Barry's. Jedi-pol he is not...

quote:
Similarly, constant criticism of the media, allegations of fake news, and false equivalence (most lately, the creative redefinition of Kushner's alleged overtures to the Russians for off-the-record communications as a "back channel" equivalent to that in the Cuban missile crisis era) is an abuse of the institution of the press.

The press has earned any abuse they get. And his base sops it up like gravy on a biscuit.

quote:
His diplomatic gaffes (such as suggesting Israel was not part of the Middle East) weaken the foreign perception of the presidency and the US.

Again, no need to go tit-for-tat, but it didn't seem to impact his reception last week. (And he didn't even bow to the King! [Ultra confused] )

quote:
His conflicts of interest - blatant diversion of taxpayer funds into his own private club by frequent use of Mar-a-Lago and the presence of family members in the White House with influence but no accountability - inflict further damage to the legitimacy of the presidency.

None of these things bother me, and I don't think that they are new or unique to Trump in any way. Funny that you mention family members in the White House with influence but no accountability considering who Trump defeated...
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
(And he didn't even bow to the King! [Ultra confused] )

'Twas a delightful curtsey, though.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
How significant is Dubke's resignation? I heard an interview with Bush's comms director, name forgotten but he was there 3 years, who said people come and go in administrations, and the chief job was to echo the President's thoughts.

I can understand the latter for more, say, balanced and consistent Presidents, but does the comms director have [and should they have?] any input to give to the President?

And the Russian enquiry expands...
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
How significant is Dubke's resignation? I heard an interview with Bush's comms director, name forgotten but he was there 3 years, who said people come and go in administrations, and the chief job was to echo the President's thoughts.

I can understand the latter for more, say, balanced and consistent Presidents, but does the comms director have [and should they have?] any input to give to the President?

I mostly agree with Charlie Pierce's take:

quote:
Some guy you never heard of left a job that, given the available public evidence, was largely an honorary position anyway.
Plus his snark that this will give the press yet another excuse to write a whole new raft of "Trump Pivot!!!" articles.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
quote:
Contradicting official information supplied by his staff and continually firing off partisan tweets damages the office of the president.

Give him a little credit for the act he follows. He can polish till the day he dies and his bullshit will never shine like Barry's. Jedi-pol he is not...
Speaking of the soft bigotry of low expectations (give Trump credit for not being as articulate as the guy the American right spent eight years saying was completely inarticulate without a teleprompter [Roll Eyes] ), I came across this gem today:

quote:
To respond to this assertion that working for Donald Trump is awful, the White House’s Hope Hicks released a remarkable statement that was absolutely not dictated by her boss while he paced behind her, furiously chewing gum:

quote:
President Trump has a magnetic personality and exudes positive energy, which is infectious to those around him. He has an unparalleled ability to communicate with people, whether he is speaking to a room of three or an arena of 30,000. He has built great relationships throughout his life and treats everyone with respect. He is brilliant with a great sense of humor . . . and an amazing ability to make people feel special and aspire to be more than even they thought possible.

It might have been simpler to just say "Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." It would be just as convincing, and classics are classic for a reason.
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Speaking of the soft bigotry of low expectations (give Trump credit for not being as articulate as the guy the American right spent eight years saying was completely inarticulate without a teleprompter [Roll Eyes] )

Do you need a link to video of the stuttering idiot he became when his prompter failed?

I can provide that if necessary...

Or, just google "Obama stutters"...that'll do...

[ 31. May 2017, 01:34: Message edited by: romanlion ]
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
ahhh, opinions that are different. Nice.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Speaking of the soft bigotry of low expectations (give Trump credit for not being as articulate as the guy the American right spent eight years saying was completely inarticulate without a teleprompter [Roll Eyes] )

Do you need a link to video of the stuttering idiot he became when his prompter failed?

I can provide that if necessary...

Or, just google "Obama stutters"...that'll do...

You have made your point bigly.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
This is another variant on the King Lear theme. Free click.

So true. It makes me pity him. Is it his fault he was treated so as a child, warping his personality into such a narcissist - then inheriting billions to squander as he wished?

I blame the voters - but would that be victim blaming?
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Teleprompters. It's disconcerting to have to wing it when they break down. Obama is generally good at accepting his gaffes. He can laugh at himself, see the ludicrous for what it is. It's just one of the risks public figures face these days. I don't think it tells you too much about anybody's character or capabities.

Whereas going off script wilfully when the teleprompter doesn't break down and making a gaffe as a result does tell you something about a public figure. Those who do so underestimate the risks related to winging it in the modern age, when every word is weighed and may be replayed.
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
The truth is out. Trump is officially a child. White House officials have started limiting his screen time. Hopefully they’ll soon be insisting on a regular bedtime routine and sending him to the corner for a timeout when he calls people nasty names.

Also Mr “Hillary’s emails!!!!” has apparently been handing out his personal cell phone number to foreign leaders. As the article points out, it is safe to assume that said foreign leaders have handed the number straight over to their intelligence services. If I was Angela Merkel, I’d be listening in on principle.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Boogie--


quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
This is another variant on the King Lear theme. Free click.

So true. It makes me pity him. Is it his fault he was treated so as a child, warping his personality into such a narcissist - then inheriting billions to squander as he wished?

I blame the voters - but would that be victim blaming?

Blame the donors, the rich, the powerful who knew what he is, and supported him for their own agendas.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
I blame the voters - but would that be victim blaming?

Why? The voters preferred Hillary Clinton by about two percentage points.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
I blame the voters - but would that be victim blaming?

Why? The voters preferred Hillary Clinton by about two percentage points.
One of the most cogent criticisms of outraged Democrat voters I've seen from the right (and let's face it, there aren't many...) is the impression the former sometimes give that the election was won unfairly.

I take all the points about voter suppression and other kinks in the system that mean that the popular vote doesn't decide the outcome, but I think it's especially pointless to bemoan the latter in particular for this mandate. It gives the impression that non-Republicans are essentially in denial about the outcome.

Activism to improve the voting system shouldn't be confused with criticism of the current administration.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
I blame the voters - but would that be victim blaming?

Why? The voters preferred Hillary Clinton by about two percentage points.
One of the most cogent criticisms of outraged Democrat voters I've seen from the right (and let's face it, there aren't many...) is the impression the former sometimes give that the election was won unfairly.

I take all the points about voter suppression and other kinks in the system that mean that the popular vote doesn't decide the outcome, but I think it's especially pointless to bemoan the latter in particular for this mandate. It gives the impression that non-Republicans are essentially in denial about the outcome.

Activism to improve the voting system shouldn't be confused with criticism of the current administration.

I'm willing to concede that Donald Trump has completed all the Constitutional requirements to legally exercise the powers of the U.S. presidency. What I object to is translating that into portraying him as the choice of "the voters" or "the people". I concede that the U.S. uses a somewhat non-democratic method to select the president that sometimes vomits up a second-place finisher to head the executive branch. Unless you also win the popular vote you don't get to claim that "the voters" get credit/blame for your victory. I see repeated attempts to cast Trump in this light as of a piece with his claims about the size of the crowd at his inauguration: an attempt to portray an historically unpopular president* as being popular.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
What I object to is translating that into portraying him as the choice of "the voters" or "the people". I concede that the U.S. uses a somewhat non-democratic method to select the president that sometimes vomits up a second-place finisher to head the executive branch. Unless you also win the popular vote you don't get to claim that "the voters" get credit/blame for your victory. I see repeated attempts to cast Trump in this light as of a piece with his claims about the size of the crowd at his inauguration: an attempt to portray an historically unpopular president* as being popular.

Regardless of who is President, there is often a claim that winning the election results in a "mandate." Here is an interesting pre-election analysis of the Presidential claims of mandates.
quote:
President Franklin Roosevelt rarely invoked the election result when he was presenting early New Deal ideas in 1933, but more recent presidents such as Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have frequently invoked the election to justify their policy ideas, big and small. The major turning point appears to have been the Nixon and Carter administrations, neither of which tend to come to mind when we think of major presidential mandates. Documents from these administrations reveal that references to election results were less about the results themselves and more about the need for presidents to justify their leadership in an increasingly hostile political environment. Party polarization had begun, trust in institutions had declined, and as a result, the presidency no longer commanded the respect it once did. In other words, reaching for rhetoric about “doing what I was elected to do” or “fulfilling the promises of my campaign” has become a standard way of defending presidential legitimacy in general.
(Emphasis added.)

So, while I agree with you that a politician shouldn't act as if their electoral victory was a signal that everything the politician thinks is endorsed by "the people," they will do so because politicians of whatever stripe love to wallow in rhetoric. It isn't just a Trump thing. It is a politician thing.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
What I object to is translating that into portraying him as the choice of "the voters" or "the people". I concede that the U.S. uses a somewhat non-democratic method to select the president that sometimes vomits up a second-place finisher to head the executive branch. Unless you also win the popular vote you don't get to claim that "the voters" get credit/blame for your victory. I see repeated attempts to cast Trump in this light as of a piece with his claims about the size of the crowd at his inauguration: an attempt to portray an historically unpopular president* as being popular.

Regardless of who is President, there is often a claim that winning the election results in a "mandate." Here is an interesting pre-election analysis of the Presidential claims of mandates.
quote:
President Franklin Roosevelt rarely invoked the election result when he was presenting early New Deal ideas in 1933, but more recent presidents such as Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have frequently invoked the election to justify their policy ideas, big and small. The major turning point appears to have been the Nixon and Carter administrations, neither of which tend to come to mind when we think of major presidential mandates. Documents from these administrations reveal that references to election results were less about the results themselves and more about the need for presidents to justify their leadership in an increasingly hostile political environment. Party polarization had begun, trust in institutions had declined, and as a result, the presidency no longer commanded the respect it once did. In other words, reaching for rhetoric about “doing what I was elected to do” or “fulfilling the promises of my campaign” has become a standard way of defending presidential legitimacy in general.
(Emphasis added.)

So, while I agree with you that a politician shouldn't act as if their electoral victory was a signal that everything the politician thinks is endorsed by "the people," they will do so because politicians of whatever stripe love to wallow in rhetoric. It isn't just a Trump thing. It is a politician thing.

True. But at least those prior examples were presidents who were, you know, elected by the majority of Americans. So, while their use of the rhetoric was self-serving it was also mostly true-- unlike Trump's claim.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
But at least those prior examples were presidents who were, you know, elected by the majority of Americans.

No. They were elected by the majority of Americans who bothered to vote. If voter turnout in the US were closer to what it is elsewhere, history would have run a very different course indeed.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
The original Constitution was not about the popular vote, but of the states being united.

Originally, while the House of Representatives were elected based on the population of a state, the Senate was intended to be selected by the state legislatures. Each state has two Senators as a way of keeping all states equal. The Senate itself was intended as a counterpoint to the popular vote of the House.

Likewise, the election of the president and vice president were never about the majority of the vote, but about the preferences of the state. Each state legislature was entitled to select a slate of electors, based on the number of representatives and senators the state had.

The person holding the office of President was to be the President of the United STATES, not the majority of the popular vote.

It did not take too long before state legislatures abdicated their right to the will of the people, states began to allow the vote of the people to determine who was going to be the state electors fairly early. By 1824, eighteen states chose their electors by popular vote. Six states were still using the legislative system. I really can't find an amendment that specifically says the electors are to be elected by popular vote, it just seemed to evolve. There is an amendment that eventually allowed the popular vote of each state to determine their Senators, but there is no such amendment concerning the president.

Other countries also use electoral college systems. Germany comes to mind.

Even if, for some reason, no one was able to get a majority of the electoral college vote, the election would then go to the House, but each state would only have one vote. Again, it is about the state, not the voter.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
But at least those prior examples were presidents who were, you know, elected by the majority of Americans.

No. They were elected by the majority of Americans who bothered to vote. If voter turnout in the US were closer to what it is elsewhere, history would have run a very different course indeed.
Yes, sorry-- I should have said "voters". But the point remains: as much as there is a dubious history of claiming "mandate" to endorse your agenda, Trump has taken it to a new low by claiming a mandate when in fact he failed to clear even the very low bar of gaining the support of the majority of people who bothered to come out to vote.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Was listening to the News Quiz on the way to work yeaterday and Andrew Murray came out with this pearler:

Trump is all golden top with no toilet.

Now that is quality abuse [Smile]
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Gramps49, our Founding Fathers also thought slavery was peachy-keen, and bent over backwards to ensure it was legal and enmeshed into our laws. Yes they set up the government so that the people would have little say. But we grew out of it.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Even if, for some reason, no one was able to get a majority of the electoral college vote, the election would then go to the House, but each state would only have one vote. Again, it is about the state, not the voter.

Further evidence that Randall Munroe lurks on the Ship: today's xkcd is entitled voting systems.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Baby Trumpling helps wreck the world:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/0

[Mad]

IJ
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I liked the part where he said he is going to stop the world laughing at the USA.

Believe me, we're already laughing.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I liked the part where he said he is going to stop the world laughing at the USA.

Believe me, we're already laughing.

I'm not laughing, I'm crying.

I want to [Projectile]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
I'm not laughing, I'm crying.

I want to [Projectile]

I think I'm through the grief stage and into hysterical laughing.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I am reminded of a story from a bishop of Norwich, on the technique for leading the people of Norfolk. It's like leading pigs. First you find out where they want to go, and then you walk in front of them.

Whereas falsely smiling, self congratulating Trumpikins tries leading by finding out where everyone else wants to go and stomping off in the opposite direction, still claiming to be a world leader.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
World leader? World bleeder, more like.

[Mad] [Mad] [Mad] [Mad] [Mad] [Mad] [Mad]

IJ
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
trumpy probably hasn't read any of the briefing notes on the Paris accord. And he might tweet something marginally coherent tomorrow morning where he changes his mind. We all have to stop seeing the USA as a nation whose opinion matters, which has any relevance to world affairs, and we mustn't seek its approval unless it is going go drone bomb us. Oh where's the toilet?
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
It seems that at least some state governors are saying they are intending to honour the spirit of the Paris agreement anyway. Could an issue such as this actually fragment the Union in the long term?
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
There's a thought. Anyone for Anti-President?

IJ
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
That is, along the lines of the Anti-Popes, or even the Anti-Christ...

IJ
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
Bullshitter in Chief?

I'm even more disturbed, if possible, after reading analyses of Trump's bullshit and methods. Frightening from across the Pacific; can have no idea what it is like for you all.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
BTW, McCain is (was? - not sure if he's left) here. Odd that someone who stood next to Palin now looks exceptionally mainstream! I know he's got a long and distinguished record, but I still cannot separate him and Palin in mind.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
BTW, McCain is (was? - not sure if he's left) here. . . . I still cannot separate him and Palin in mind.

Easy. He does have a mind.
 
Posted by Clint Boggis (# 633) on :
 
The rest of the world needs to start to identify US industries and products made using fossil fuels and look at alternatives. Just discussing it will send a message. Maybe start talking loudly as the next US election cycle starts getting going.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
BTW, McCain is (was? - not sure if he's left) here. Odd that someone who stood next to Palin now looks exceptionally mainstream!

You're not the only one surprised. A columnist in the Phoenix newspaper wrote today about pretty much the same thing: Crazy Uncle John explains Crazy Uncle Donald.

Of course, Trump did not endear himself to McCain two years ago when he said “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

(McCain, a former Navy pilot, spent over five years in the notorious North Vietnamese prison known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was repeatedly tortured, two of those years in solitary confinement.)
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
I'm not laughing, I'm crying.

I want to [Projectile]

I think I'm through the grief stage and into hysterical laughing.
Ah! There's my next sign. "The world is LAUGHING at us". Perhaps a graphic of a clown.

To go with the one that will say, "Life is a Pre-Existing Condition".
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Eutychus--

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
It seems that at least some state governors are saying they are intending to honour the spirit of the Paris agreement anyway. Could an issue such as this actually fragment the Union in the long term?

Jerry Brown of California, my governor, is one of them. From what I heard today, he has an upcoming meeting with China about the environment, but I'm not sure of the focus. I think it's good that Jerry is our governor now. He was gov. once before (late '70s?); trained as a Jesuit, but not ordained; into Zen back then, IIRC; an environmentalist, IIRC; fiery; a man of his times; some people made fun of him and California; and he and Linda Ronstadt were an item! He's grown and grown up a lot; has more balance; still fiery; and has become a bit of a curmudgeon. So he's ready to take this challenge on.

Not sure re fragmenting. We've got all sorts of fractures and fault lines, and we always have. Plus "states' rights"--which have often been used for evil; but there can be good uses, too. Saving the environment might be one of them.

I don't think this, *on its own*, would be enough to seriously fragment the US. But groups that are already leaning towards secession (many), and also believe in climate change (Cascadia independence movement* (Wikipedia)) , might take it as a "go!" signal.

[Votive]

*Presumed to believe in climate change, given the environmentalist streak in the places involved.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Even if, for some reason, no one was able to get a majority of the electoral college vote, the election would then go to the House, but each state would only have one vote. Again, it is about the state, not the voter.

I've severely mixed feelings about the electoral college, because of the 2016 election and also the Bush/Gore mess. Both times, they could've saved us from disaster, and didn't.

OTOH, the electoral college gave us Lincoln. (Though, with what he went through, up to the end, he might've preferred losing.)
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
I appreciate that people further up the thread are venting in the face of another bad decision by Trump. I just want to reaffirm that the United States is not Donald J. Trump, and it contains a large variety of political views, including on the environment.

Let's not forget that California has been more progressive than my own country on the environment. I can remember being amazed at the miles and miles of wind farms between San Francisco and Stockton in 1983.

People are talking up the Paris Agreement at the moment, but my memory is that it was criticised as 'a good start but not enough' at the time. I have done a brief search but can't find evidence of this on google. I'm not convinced that this decision is a useful beating stick. I much prefer misuse of office or treason.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Simontoad: I understand your pain, but right now ronald rdump is king of California and the whole of America so far as the world sees and as foreign policy.

Is revolution possible? You had one before. Is this ruler as bad as the one for the last one?
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
McCain, a former Navy pilot, spent over five years in the notorious North Vietnamese prison known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was repeatedly tortured, two of those years in solitary confinement.

And even now does not have full use of his arms. I've learned to respect John McCain. But let's see if his actions match his words.
 
Posted by Nick Tamen (# 15164) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
It seems that at least some state governors are saying they are intending to honour the spirit of the Paris agreement anyway. Could an issue such as this actually fragment the Union in the long term?

I doubt it. In some ways, that's how it's supposed to work—states as "laboratories of democracy," per Justice Brandeis, for example.
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
McCain, a former Navy pilot, spent over five years in the notorious North Vietnamese prison known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was repeatedly tortured, two of those years in solitary confinement.

And even now does not have full use of his arms. I've learned to respect John McCain. But let's see if his actions match his words.
I'd have more respect for him if he had died there.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
McCain also turned down an opportunity to leave captivity, so he could support the other men.

I'm not sure I could do that. I'd probably be more inclined to leave, then spend all my time working to get the others out.

There are things I loathe about McCain, like his temper and frequent nastiness, and perhaps being too devoted to his party, But he went through hell, can sometimes be funny, and seems to be respected on Capitol Hill.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Simontoad: I understand your pain, but right now ronald rdump is king of California and the whole of America so far as the world sees and as foreign policy.

Is revolution possible? You had one before. Is this ruler as bad as the one for the last one?

Yeah but if he's a King, he's a constitutional monarch and revolution is achieved by operation of law.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
McCain, a former Navy pilot, spent over five years in the notorious North Vietnamese prison known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was repeatedly tortured, two of those years in solitary confinement.

And even now does not have full use of his arms. I've learned to respect John McCain. But let's see if his actions match his words.
I'd have more respect for him if he had died there.
Shame on you Romanlion. That is an awful post.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
I'd have more respect for him if he had died there.

Shame on you Romanlion. That is an awful post.
Not even Trump went that far.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Ah, Mr. Trump, when you cite a particular city as the reason for your decision, make sure that city is on the same page with you. Pittsburgh mayor's reponse to Trump's decision.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Romanlion

While I have had problems with McCain's service record and his positions when he ran for President, I, for one, was happy that he was returned to the US as part of the Peace Accords we signed with Hanoi in Paris.

At one time he was considered a radical conservative within the Republican party. Now he is considered a moderate within the same party. His positions have not changed. The party has changed.

At least, he is willing to work across the aisle for the good of the country. That is the sign of a true statesman. Would that more people from both parties work together for the good of the country.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
Indeed, I would say the few remaining Republicans like McCain who remain committed to country over party, and are, you know, sane and rational are-- God help us-- our last hope.
[Help]
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
McCain used to be considered by some as a "maverick," but he'd gotten less so over the years. He certainly sold out to the GOP when he ran for President. I believe he voted to approve all but one of Trump's appointments.

Now I think the only reason he's resisting Trump is because Trump hurt his feelings. It's possible he thinks his going against Trump is that it will improve his chances of being re-elected (apparently a lot of Republicans are beginning to wonder about this), but he's 80 years old, so many Arizonans doubt that he'll run again.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
McCain is a classic Greek tragedy set in three acts:
McCain 1.0 was reasonable, civil, centrist and incredibly witty. Even when I disagreed with him I liked him
McCain 2.0 emerged in 2008 when, after suffering as the first victim of Karl Roves unethical electioneering practices he decided to throw in his lot with the dark side. Ultimately he didn't have the stomach for it
McCain 3.0 is a grumpy old man who's been battered down by life, sitting on his porch yelling at the kids to get off his lawn

But every now and then we still see glimpses of 1.0. We need him now more than ever
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Now I think the only reason he's resisting Trump is because Trump hurt his feelings.

Is John McCain "resisting" Trump in any meaningful way? He often purses his lips, scowls, and talks about how "concerned" he is about various things the Trump administration has done (or is alleged to have done), but he hasn't actually done about these concerns that I'm aware of. Maybe if he were a member of an organization empowered to exercise oversight over the executive branch, perhaps even serving on a committee to keep an eye on "Governmental Affairs", McCain might be able to do something substantive. As it is, what can he do? [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
It seems that at least some state governors are saying they are intending to honour the spirit of the Paris agreement anyway. Could an issue such as this actually fragment the Union in the long term?

You heard it here first: Blue States Form Climate Alliance After Trump Withdraws From Paris Pact
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Wow. Full marks to them. Is this the first shot, as it were, of the next Civil War?

[Paranoid]

IJ
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
McCain is a classic Greek tragedy set in three acts:
McCain 1.0 was reasonable, civil, centrist and incredibly witty. Even when I disagreed with him I liked him
McCain 2.0 emerged in 2008 when, after suffering as the first victim of Karl Roves unethical electioneering practices he decided to throw in his lot with the dark side. Ultimately he didn't have the stomach for it
McCain 3.0 is a grumpy old man who's been battered down by life, sitting on his porch yelling at the kids to get off his lawn

But every now and then we still see glimpses of 1.0. We need him now more than ever

McCain just finished a goodwill tour in Australia and he did a great job of refreshing the Old Alliance, which to be truthful was never in doubt even considering Trump. His speeches, televised live on our 24 hr news channel, were well received and he is considered a great friend of this country.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
On a personal note, I think my kids are thinking I have reached Gramps 3.0 myself. Really can't help it because of pain issues.

Eight states have now joined the US Climate Alliance. Another 11 are expected to join shortly.

News Item: Three labor investigators looking at the Chinese shoe factory that produces shoes for Ivanka Trump clothing line have been arrested. Apparently, the Chinese want to keep on the good graces of Mr. Trump.

News Item Trump has now invited Dutrete to the White House, proving once again the Donald has not met a dictator he hasn't liked. Dutrete is probably going to be charged with crimes against humanity.

Mr Trump keeps saying the world looks at the United States as a loser. No, Mr Trump, the world looks on you as a loser.

The last comment goes to Mr. Trump's own psyche, he has never been accepted by the New York Elite. He has always felt he was considered a loser.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
News Item: Three labor investigators looking at the Chinese shoe factory that produces shoes for Ivanka Trump clothing line have been arrested. Apparently, the Chinese want to keep on the good graces of Mr. Trump.

I suspect it's more along the lines of the Chinese regularly arrest and 'disappear' labor activists, but it made the papers in the West this time because of the Trump connection.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
NPR is reporting the investigators were planning on sharing their findings with Ivanka. Personally, I hope she does get involved.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
NPR is reporting the investigators were planning on sharing their findings with Ivanka. Personally, I hope she does get involved.

Surely she's already "involved;" and surely she's already aware of what goes on in her own company.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Ivanka is about as reliable on progressive politics as her husband.

Trump is down on German cars because they are bringing too many models into the USA. Trump only likes European models if they agree to marry him. (as heard on HIGNFY)

[ 04. June 2017, 01:47: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
We watch the same shows, simon... I did like that line.

And Trump retweets news on the London attacks from the Drudge Report before tweeting himself... Not sure what to think.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Ivanka is utterly unreliable, the true daughter of her toadlike sire. And, I do not doubt, about as naturally blonde.
I can't manipulate the cut-and-paste functions very well on this device, but this link should work: to a cartoon SFW.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10154916944943558&id=677763557
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
And Trump retweets news on the London attacks from the Drudge Report before tweeting himself... Not sure what to think.

As posted on another thread, think: cunning. He is mirroring what most of his base would do. It's a big mistake to think, as I have seen posited elsewhere, that it means he gets all his news from Fox or Drudge and not intelligence briefings.

Tweeting thus enables his base to see in him someone like themselves, rather than someone who is part of that nasty Washington elite spouting half-baked political talk.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the way I make sense of Trump is to see him as an extremely good con artist, and this fits right in with that.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
Once again, the Happy Hour News Dump does not disappoint. (A lot of Trump-related bombshell stories seem to get broken between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm Eastern time, guaranteeing that they'll be discussed during the various U.S. news programs.) The Intercept apparently got hold of an NSA report stating that Russian military intelligence (GRU) conducted cyber-attacks against a voting software provider and several local election officials. That's a whole different level of interference than any of the hacking we've heard about so far.

quote:
Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.

<snip>

The report indicates that Russian hacking may have penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than was previously understood. It states unequivocally in its summary statement that it was Russian military intelligence, specifically the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU, that conducted the cyber attacks described in the document:

quote:
Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate actors … executed cyber espionage operations against a named U.S. company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions. … The actors likely used data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.

<snip>

The NSA analysis does not draw conclusions about whether the interference had any effect on the election’s outcome and concedes that much remains unknown about the extent of the hackers’ accomplishments. However, the report raises the possibility that Russian hacking may have breached at least some elements of the voting system, with disconcertingly uncertain results.

The NSA has confirmed the authenticity of the report, both directly to The Intercept and by having the leaker arrested.

One question that immediately leaps to mind is whether Donald Trump was briefed on this report, which is dated May 5, before he fired FBI director James Comey on May 9.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
I don't like this political satire we're living in. It seems too over-the-top.

quote:
How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business

The real star of the day is Eric Trump, the president's second son and now the co-head of the Trump Organization, who has hosted this event for ten years on behalf of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. He's done a ton of good: To date, he's directed more than $11 million there, the vast majority of it via this annual golf event. He has also helped raise another $5 million through events with other organizations.

The best part about all this, according to Eric Trump, is the charity's efficiency: Because he can get his family's golf course for free and have most of the other costs donated, virtually all the money contributed will go toward helping kids with cancer. "We get to use our assets 100% free of charge," Trump tells Forbes.

That's not the case. In reviewing filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, it's clear that the course wasn't free--that the Trump Organization received payments for its use, part of more than $1.2 million that has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization. Golf charity experts say the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament.

Additionally, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has come under previous scrutiny for self-dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake rather than those of charity, apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the Trump Organization.

For those having trouble keeping track at home, Trump Foundation = ostensible charity; Trump Organization = Donald Trump's business.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I don't like this political satire we're living in. It seems too over-the-top.

quote:
How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business

The real star of the day is Eric Trump, the president's second son and now the co-head of the Trump Organization, who has hosted this event for ten years on behalf of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. He's done a ton of good: To date, he's directed more than $11 million there, the vast majority of it via this annual golf event. He has also helped raise another $5 million through events with other organizations.

The best part about all this, according to Eric Trump, is the charity's efficiency: Because he can get his family's golf course for free and have most of the other costs donated, virtually all the money contributed will go toward helping kids with cancer. "We get to use our assets 100% free of charge," Trump tells Forbes.

That's not the case. In reviewing filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, it's clear that the course wasn't free--that the Trump Organization received payments for its use, part of more than $1.2 million that has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization. Golf charity experts say the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament.

Additionally, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has come under previous scrutiny for self-dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake rather than those of charity, apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the Trump Organization.

For those having trouble keeping track at home, Trump Foundation = ostensible charity; Trump Organization = Donald Trump's business.
And then there's another questionable use of charitable funds.

Yeah, it's too bad there's no money to help out with cancer treatments or heart surgeries for the poor sick kids at St. Jude's. But I'm sure they'll be cheered knowing that a bunch of wealthy white guys gotta play a lot of golf and purchase a giant gold portrait of Donald.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
And Trump retweets news on the London attacks from the Drudge Report before tweeting himself... Not sure what to think.

As posted on another thread, think: cunning. He is mirroring what most of his base would do. It's a big mistake to think, as I have seen posited elsewhere, that it means he gets all his news from Fox or Drudge and not intelligence briefings.

Tweeting thus enables his base to see in him someone like themselves, rather than someone who is part of that nasty Washington elite spouting half-baked political talk.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the way I make sense of Trump is to see him as an extremely good con artist, and this fits right in with that.

Thanks for this. It's a timely reminder.
 
Posted by Soror Magna (# 9881) on :
 
<primal scream time>

The press keeps saying that there's no evidence that the Cozy and Fancy Bears interfered with vote tallies. SO FUCKING WHAT? THEY DON'T HAVE TO!!!! If they really wanted to tip the election, they only had to screw up a few hundred Democratic voters' registration in certain counties in the blue wall and bingo, the Cheeto wins the Electoral College.

Politicians in the USA have known for ages that there's no need to mess with vote counts when you can control who gets to vote. That's the real voter fraud scandal, not bullshit anecdata about voter impersonation and duplicate names and dead voters.

To quote a former presidential candidate featured in one of my all-time favourite movies, "Russians don't take a dump without a plan, son."

<end primal scream>
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Is trumpy the cause of the disease, or is he merely the tip of the whitehead which was created by growing income equality, the corrupt alliance between big business and government, the stain of torture, wars for profit, lack of health and hope?

But will you pop the trumpy pimple, squeezing out the puss from the face of America? Or will you let him and his movement of falsehoods and ridiculousness continue to grow until he explodes in mixture of blood and pain, leaving a permanent acne scar on your nation? It doesn't take very long to destroy a civil society.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Here you go again, Orange One, when the one country that allows you to have a major base on their territory gets bullied, but its neighbors and you (typically) side with the bullies, don't be surprised if that country tells you to close the base within 90 days.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
For those who are interested, James Comey has released a "Statement for the Record" in advance of his Senate testimony tomorrow. It's very gripping reading, if you're the kind who's "gripped" by seven pages of dry, analytical descriptions of meetings and phone conversations.

It certainly reads like Trump was attempting to influence the course of an investigation into the actions of his associates.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
I hope Comey has a good bodyguard, or three.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It certainly reads like Trump was attempting to influence the course of an investigation into the actions of his associates.

No doubt about it. Trump either doesn't understand or doesn't care about the implications of his attempts to influence. The contrast between Obama's behaviour and Trump's behaviour could not be more marked.

And of course every word of that summary can be checked against his memos written at the time. And a further thing. You only create that sort of memo if you have serious concerns about the integrity of the President.

It's a damning document. The questions he receives from Republicans will tell us a lot about the current levels of integrity within the GOP. The Democrats will have a field day.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
AIUI, Comey had a practice of writing memos about meetings. So did the previous FBI head. It's reportedly considered best practice.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
AIUI, Comey had a practice of writing memos about meetings. So did the previous FBI head. It's reportedly considered best practice.

It is a best practice. Even if both parties have the best intentions, having a record of what happened can reduce confusion later.
 
Posted by W Hyatt (# 14250) on :
 
Note, however, that in his letter to Congress (linked to by Crœsos above a few hours ago) Comey explicitly states:

quote:
I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting. Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward. This had not been my practice in the past

 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
lB--

Sure. But these folks are spooks/spies, more or less, so they might find it wise *not* to write things down.

WH--

Hmmm. Haven't read that yet. IIRC, there was at least one specific news story, maybe a few weeks ago, that said what I just mentioned. So either they got it wrong, or I misunderstood.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
Me and my lefty friends have already begun referring to tomorrow as "James Comey Day" as if it were a national holiday. Cocktails will be involved
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
If anyone wants to pursue the memo habit further:

"Comey’s Memos Were a Product of a Culture of Note-Keeping" (NYTimes; no firewall notice).

Seems like it might be a both/and situation. Comey did make an extra effort on the notes of his meeting(s) with T. But note-taking is a normal thing in the FBI and CIA, and encouraged.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Me and my lefty friends have already begun referring to tomorrow as "James Comey Day" as if it were a national holiday. Cocktails will be involved

Don't get too excited.

Fox News:
quote:
Comey’s blockbuster hearing could bolster Trump’s critics – and allies
I know y'all prefer WaPo but bear in mind how many people rely on Fox and that it's not all lying propaganda...

Comey's testimony might be significant, but Trump isn't going anywhere fast. I've linked before to articles discussing the unlikelihood of impeachment scenarios.

Again my experience with con artists tells me Trump is teflon - just look at how far he's got. Again: don't mistake cunning for stupidity. I think actual health problems are far more likely to stop him than any of this leading to him being removed from office ahead of time.

Over the past months there have been countless moments when liberals have thought "this is it" only to be disappointed. The continuous not-quite-scandals are wearing down the opposition while Congress quietly gets on with, say gutting the Dodd-Frank agreement. How much media coverage has that had this week? And how much outrage has there been?
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
I read this too, and wondered about it.

quote:
I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting. Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward. This had not been my practice in the past
I'm wondering if he meant:
a. I used to create written records, but I never did it in the car seconds after the meeting; I usually did it when I got back to the office, maybe a few hours later;
b. I usually created written records, but not for conversations with a president;
c. I simply never created written records for conversations with anybody before (unlikely; as noted above there's a culture of that sort of thing).

I'm guessing it's a.

And really, wouldn't you do that too, if you'd just been handed an enormous hot potato? I'd be terrified of forgetting something during the drive home.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The continuous not-quite-scandals are wearing down the opposition while Congress quietly gets on with, say gutting the Dodd-Frank agreement. How much media coverage has that had this week? And how much outrage has there been?

I think it's important to keep pointing out that this is not normal and that what you call "not-quite-scandals", like the possibility that the President* (or those on his staff) is acting on behalf of a sometimes-hostile foreign power and used the powers of his office to try to quash an investigation into that question, or the fact that the President* is accepting money from foreign governments in a very non-transparent manner, or any number of other things, are actually "scandals". A "not-quite-scandal" might be the fact that some are maintaining the pretense that this is normal presidential behavior that no one should be too worried about.

quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I'm wondering if he meant:
a. I used to create written records, but I never did it in the car seconds after the meeting; I usually did it when I got back to the office, maybe a few hours later;
b. I usually created written records, but not for conversations with a president;
c. I simply never created written records for conversations with anybody before (unlikely; as noted above there's a culture of that sort of thing).

I'm guessing it's a.

And really, wouldn't you do that too, if you'd just been handed an enormous hot potato? I'd be terrified of forgetting something during the drive home.

I suspect it's also a little bit of d. I routinely create written records of conversations materially relevant to an ongoing investigation, but no prior presidential conversation I've had has fallen into that category.

[ 08. June 2017, 13:25: Message edited by: Crœsos ]
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Are you guys watching the Comey testimony? Gulp. 'Trump lied'.
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

Again my experience with con artists tells me Trump is teflon - just look at how far he's got. Again: don't mistake cunning for stupidity.

I think Trump has an unusual form of intelligence whereby he doesn't actively strategize but rather intuitively reacts to things in a way that is petty and childish but that has succeeded in both business and politics to get results that he wants (not all the time, but enough of the time). Bullies learn their habits because they work for them. Now, Trump may not get any major laws passed, he may severely damage America's standing in the world, he may even get us all killed - but he'll still be adored by the people propping him up, and I think that adulation is all that matters to him.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
That pretty much describes a con artist for me.

Warning: don't watch the Comey testimony. You'll get sucked in and never come out.

Advice: watch it for hints on how to perform on the stand.
 
Posted by sabine (# 3861) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
That pretty much describes a con artist for me.

Warning: don't watch the Comey testimony. You'll get sucked in and never come out.

Advice: watch it for hints on how to perform on the stand.

I'm listening to it on the radio while I clean house. As I posted in Hell, the two seem to go together.

He does very well on the stand.

sabine
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
I think we may have finally struck an honest man. He says stuff that on the face of it is damaging to him. At least in the court of public opinion. Go, Comey!
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Are you guys watching the Comey testimony? Gulp. 'Trump lied'.

Actually, for me the best part was Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders telling the press: "I can say definitively the president is not a liar." This statement in itself is demonstrably false.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I would really like to know what McCain was on about. He sounded at times like he didn't know where he was
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
I listened to Comey on NPR. (They or another outlet will probably have a transcript available later.)

A lawyer (not sure if T's personal one, or the White House counsel) is expected to make a statement sometime soon.

Based just on the radio, and not seeing his face nor behavior, I think Comey did a great job. I haven't forgiven him for the disparity in handling allegations re Hillary and T, particularly putting out info just before the election. But it's *possible* that he really thought he was being correct and fair.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the closed-door meeting this afternoon!
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I would really like to know what McCain was on about. He sounded at times like he didn't know where he was

Yup. That's my Senator -- hopefully not for much longer.

(You know that anyone who would have Sarah Palin as a running mate has got to be a bit dotty.)
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Yup. That's my Senator -- hopefully not for much longer.

(You know that anyone who would have Sarah Palin as a running mate has got to be a bit dotty.)

Fairly recently he's been sounding quite statesmanlike (or so it seems from this distance), but today he just sounded like a confused old man.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I do not envy Comey. What a way to go down in history. This will be the first line in his obituary.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I do not envy Comey. What a way to go down in history. This will be the first line in his obituary.

Second. I suspect the first line will be something about how he tilted the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Transcript of today's Comey hearing in Congress (Washington Post).

(I simply searched the Web on "Comey Congress transcript". Many sources have a version. Audio and video are available elsewhere. You might try NPR.org or CNN.com.)
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
I think the first line of his obituary will be something about what a ginormous douche he was, and how he epitomized everything that is wrong with DC.

How completely could his political motivations and the idiocy of the "overseers" have been laid bare?

None more than they were...

If you are tired of Trump "winning", I suggest you buckle up...
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
how he epitomized everything that is wrong with DC

Yeah, all that truth telling. It's a shit isn't it? SAD.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
There's also been commentary about how familiar his concerns sound, to women. Not wanting to be alone with the boss. Being made uncomfortable by his innuendoes. The only thing that is missing is the pussy grope.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The continuous not-quite-scandals are wearing down the opposition while Congress quietly gets on with, say gutting the Dodd-Frank agreement. How much media coverage has that had this week? And how much outrage has there been?

I think it's important to keep pointing out that this is not normal and that what you call "not-quite-scandals"
Sorry, missed this earlier.

They are "not-quite-scandals" not in the sense that they aren't scandalous, but that they have consistently failed to produce the smoking gun which critics seem to think they will.

France Info was virtually giving the impression Trump would be impeached by, well, now, following Comey's testimony. It's been the same with, well, we've basically forgotten all the others, there have been so many incidents like this. In that sense they have become normal. We can't even remember what the presidency looked like before this.

You can only have your expectations defeated so many times.

When the smoking gun repeatedly doesn't appear, the world ends up accepting the process as normal and opening the popcorn for the latest instalment in reality TV from the White House instead of following the progress of boring but impactful little laws in Congress. I think this is probably part of the administration's strategy.

As I also said, Trump appears to be made of teflon.

The most damning thing so far for him in the wake of all this is at the time of writing, he hasn't tweeted since before the hearing, on June 7. Either because his lawyer was standing over him making dire threats during the hearing or, as I have repeatedly argued here, because he is not stupid (firing off random tweets) but cunning (merely giving the impression of doing so). But again, that's not a smoking gun.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
lB--

Sure. But these folks are spooks/spies, more or less, so they might find it wise *not* to write things down.

--


Yeah, but they are primarily lawyers working for the Government. Both lawyers and government employees know how important a paper trail is. Idiots with gilded loos do not.

Presently eating popcorn while watching the whole Trump thing unfold. If I was a betting man, my money would be on recordings of the relevant meetings being flushed down the lav... Except they are all digital these days... Can you post audio recordings on Instagram?
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Idiots with gilded loos do not.

Trump is not an idiot. The last thing that suits him is a paper trail record, because his entire mindest is one in which the truth is infinitely flexible.
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
This closing line from a (paywalled) article I read on Comey's testimony today echoed my thoughts:
quote:
Ultimately, we are left to grapple with the same question Trump’s campaign and presidency have provoked virtually every day. What on earth does it take to bring this man down?


[ 09. June 2017, 08:03: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
The Democrats winning a majority in Congress?

The problem as far as I can see it is that the opposition is fixated on tripping up Trump rather than on planning for elections. At least that's what the media give one to believe.

Exposing a con artist is a long, painstaking, intimidating, and exhausting process; I speak from experience. The con artist will always find a way of turning just about anything you try to use against them to their advantage. It really is like trying to nail jelly to a wall. And make no mistake, Trump is really good at doing this.

Trump's downfall will come, and it's an end worth pursuing, but it shouldn't be mixed up with trying to remove the Republicans, or indeed him, from power.

[ 09. June 2017, 08:27: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The problem as far as I can see it is that the opposition is fixated on tripping up Trump rather than on planning for elections. At least that's what the media give one to believe.

Intrestingly enough a colleague and I had the same conversation.

I hope, behind the scenes, wheels are turning. I guess they have some time. But it would be nice to see some forward-looking rather than just waiting for the (inevitable?) fall. But then I'm not a resident, just an interested observer.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
There's also been commentary about how familiar his concerns sound, to women. Not wanting to be alone with the boss. Being made uncomfortable by his innuendoes. The only thing that is missing is the pussy grope.

Now **that** would be newsworthy! [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
Yes, and I've just been wondering how it's possible that, in the five and a half months since the yam's inauguration, he's managed not to be accused of this behavior even once.

Perhaps it WAS "just" all (locker room) talk, imagined by 44.5 as "impressive" to his young male interviewer.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The Democrats winning a majority in Congress?

The problem as far as I can see it is that the opposition is fixated on tripping up Trump rather than on planning for elections.

These aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, "tripping up Trump" and forcing congressional Republicans to rush to his defense seems a pretty good way to link congressional Republicans with an historically unpopular president in the minds of the public. In other words, "tripping up Trump" is an electoral strategy.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
Yes, and I've just been wondering how it's possible that, in the five and a half months since the yam's inauguration, he's managed not to be accused of this behavior even once.

Perhaps it WAS "just" all (locker room) talk, imagined by 44.5 as "impressive" to his young male interviewer.

Well of course he is indisputably a liar. But we must also remember that the pussy-grabbing boast took place when he was 60 -- ten years ago. Time is not a lecherous boor's friend; I am sure Lyin' Don has other, larger issues now to occupy his mind. Comey is 6 foot 8 and a trained FBI man -- you would have to be crazy to grope his crotch.

As to the teflon. I still say that except for the most deep-dyed Trumpistas, most Americans are patriots. If Li'l Donny damages the nation enough, visibly enough, there will be a turn. He will go too far even for them. He is proven out of his own mouth, to care only for himself; the good of the nation, the dangers from Russia, the welfare of the people, all these are opaque to him and without meaning. But he will, at last, go too far.

I am afraid this will call for loss of life, however. And it'll have to be the right lives that he carelessly loses. Not black people, not women or children, not Syrians or citizens of Qatar or whatever, not even the sweat and blood of the US Army. The sin has to be expiated with blood. The blood of older white men.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Trump and his 'team' are quite skilled, in a bizarre sort of way, at creating alternative narratives and defending them stoutly. Even when they are stupid. Even his lawyer got into the game over Comey. Comey is now a leaker. Well, of course he isn't. Note that the potential defence of libeller would be available, but unfortunately Comey is telling the truth. Which I'm sure any White House recordings will confirm. So therefore Comey has to be a leaker.

Analogous tactics were of course used over Sadiq Khan.

It's all rather 1984. If Trump says 2+2=5, well that's just an alternative fact. To be enforced any way he can get away with it. After all, his loyal supporters are much happier to parrot than check.

I think Croesos is right though. It is a good tactic to keep on attacking his veracity and general unpleasantness. His support in the polls continues to decline as more and more people wise up to his true nature and general incompetence.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Comey is 6 foot 8 and a trained FBI man -- you would have to be crazy to grope his crotch.

To paraphrase Mae West in the film Myra Breckenridge: "Never mind the six feet. Let's talk about the eight inches."
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
[Eek!]

Miss Amanda, I think you ought to go and get your wrap....

IJ
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
It's being dry cleaned -- some sort of stain got on it somehow. [Confused]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Let me guess -- it's a blue one.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
Well, it's definitely not orange. I can tell you that much in open session. [Biased]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
*where is the fan emoticon!*

quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Comey is now a leaker. Well, of course he isn't.

I may be wrong, but couldn't he getting a friend to give details to the press be considered "leaking"? Personally, I am all for leaking if people believe government is overstepping it's bounds...but I think it is still leaking.

quote:
His support in the polls continues to decline as more and more people wise up to his true nature and general incompetence.
Good point. But I suppose I'd like to see some acknowledgement on the other side that their policies are leaving people behind. Maybe I've missed it, my fault. Not as much as the Orange Menace's, to be sure, but people are still struggling. And it seemed to me neither side particularly cares. Though Trump cares even less.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
I may be wrong, but couldn't he getting a friend to give details to the press be considered "leaking"? Personally, I am all for leaking if people believe government is overstepping it's bounds...but I think it is still leaking.

It would be leaking if he included anything classified. Giving his own, non-classified account of what happened doesn't fit this.
The Cheeto administration wants to have things both ways. To persecute people for leaking information whilst claiming they are lying.
prior to November last, it would have made one's head spin.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
quote:
The problem as far as I can see it is that the opposition is fixated on tripping up Trump rather than on planning for elections. At least that's what the media give one to believe.
I am a constituent in the 5th Congressional District of Washington State which is represented by Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers. She is the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress at this time.

I can assure you we are actively working for her defeat this next go around. She is refusing to participate in town hall meetings because she is not listening to voters. She voted for to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

People are relying on this act for health care coverage. You try to take away something that people need, things are getting ugly.

At this stage, it is estimated the Republicans can lose up to 40 seats in the next election Democrats only need 23 seats in order to gain the House

The Democrats only need three seats to flip for the Senate. Historically four seats will likely flip against the administration.

All this is to say while the Democrats are working the Trump card for all it's got, it is not the only reason Congress will be going blue.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
All this is to say while the Democrats are working the Trump card for all it's got, it is not the only reason Congress will be going blue.

Also because the Congressional Republicans will be holding their breath, hoping to retain not only their hold on Congress, but the very existence of their party?
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Comey is guilty of snitching on his former boss, but that's not illegal leaking under US law. And you can be 100% sure that Comey will have checked out any legal exposure in advance.

No, this is just alternative narrative game playing by Trump. Who is now accusing Comey of lying and threatening to produce tapes 'soon'. Ha bloody Ha. 'Soon' in Trump speak is just a news cycle device and normally means sometime never.

He's just an asshole who happens to be POTUS. Not too difficult to see through his stupid games.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
I would not be surprised if he offered a "doctored" set of tapes that corroborate his version of the encounters.

If he were indeed so stupid, I would hope that Comey would have at his disposal an army of technically savvy sympathizers to come to his aid to expose the fraud.

That would be the end of the Orange One -- and good riddance!
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Comey is guilty of snitching on his former boss, but that's not illegal leaking under US law. And you can be 100% sure that Comey will have checked out any legal exposure in advance.

No, this is just alternative narrative game playing by Trump. Who is now accusing Comey of lying and threatening to produce tapes 'soon'. Ha bloody Ha. 'Soon' in Trump speak is just a news cycle device and normally means sometime never.

He's just an asshole who happens to be POTUS. Not too difficult to see through his stupid games.

Stupid game? Maybe...but it was effective in moving Comey...

There are no tapes.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
What's that you say, romanlion? No tapes? You mean T-boy lied to us?

As to the future of the GOP, they have irrevocably tied themselves to the king. When it is revealed that he has no clothes they'll be standing right there beside him, bare-assed. The party may or may not survive in name, but it's dead, just shambling around like a zombie.

The church in the US got into bed with the pussygroper as well, and they're not going to recover in my lifetime.

[ 10. June 2017, 14:05: Message edited by: Brenda Clough ]
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
What is it with these people? What drives them into bed with pussygropers, and so forth?

Over here, we have our revered Prime Minister getting into bed, in order to 'govern', with mediaeval types who believe the world was created 6021 years ago, in 4004BC!

Truly, the lunatics have taken over the asylum...

IJ
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Comey is guilty of snitching on his former boss, but that's not illegal leaking under US law. And you can be 100% sure that Comey will have checked out any legal exposure in advance.

Yes. At worst it is "not loyal"-- something Comey has already alerted the Orange One he prioritizes lower than honesty. But for Trump loyalty is the greatest good, and since he has clearly confused being POTUS with being a medevil monarch, he assumes that disloyalty to the crown is a capital offense.
 
Posted by sabine (# 3861) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Ha bloody Ha.

Thank you, Barnabas. This is my new mantra when it comes to all things Trump or the Freedom Caucus.
[Big Grin]

sabine
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Meh. My PTSD has come roaring back and I jump three feet when anybody speaks to me. Explained to my husband why I'm being so twitchy (it's easy to avoid the news when you spend all your time in Little Vietnam). He kindly decided that the way to solve my twitchiness was to talk shit until I was so irritated with him I would forget about Trump!

We would have had a rip roaring fight except I caught the twinkle in his eye and confronted him with it. He admitted his tactics.

The sucky thing is, it worked.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:

There are no tapes.

You don't know that for sure. Who knows what arrangements if any are made to record what the present POTUS and his visitors discuss?

Maybe there is another "Alexander Butterfield" moment in our future? Or maybe Trump is just a lying toad? Or maybe Comey is a nutjob?

In advance of further information, ISTM that the nutjob resides (part time anyway)at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
I'm less interested than others about the potential existence of tapes. If they do exist, I'm highly dubious we'll get an unedited version that either confirms or denies Comey's testimony. Possibly we'll get some spliced together version, or something like the infamous Watergate "gaps" which Donald thinks he can use to support his version of truth. More likely he's just playing with us. The man is a troll.

If this were a jury trial, I'd be sitting back with the popcorn, pretty darn sure which witness would win the he said/he said stand-off. But played out in front of Congress in an impeachment trial? Much less certain.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
The man is a troll.

Yes indeed. We'd kick him off the Ship in a heartbeat.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
The man is a troll.

Yes indeed. We'd kick him off the Ship in a heartbeat.
Just for starters, he'd have problems with Commandments 1,2,3, and 5 -- especially 1.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Re tapes:

T reportedly records conversations in Trump Towers. (In his residence, I presume...) If that's true, he might well continue the habit in the White House.

And microphones are a lot easier to hide than in Nixon's day, and they don't have to have a wired connection.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Re Comey and leaking:

Of course, it was leaking. I don't know if it was illegal. Ethically, it was probably the right thing to do.

As to whether Comey checked out his legal exposure first, I'm not sure. From what he said, it seems like he was in turmoil, and scared, and maybe even panicking. Any sensible person who wasn't a diehard T supporter would've been. That's why the immediate memo-writing in his car, and the realization that woke him in the night.

He may well have been covering his own a**, as much as he was trying to get an investigation going. And that's probably why he was so forthright in his testimony--better to admit it, than to have someone dig it up.

[ 11. June 2017, 04:22: Message edited by: Golden Key ]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Comey is guilty of snitching on his former boss, but that's not illegal leaking under US law. And you can be 100% sure that Comey will have checked out any legal exposure in advance.

I didn't mention illegality...I wrote "leaking". In my view, he did leak. Was it right? Of course, in my mind. But it was a leak...he didn't come out and say it, he gave it to someone who gave it to the press.

edit: thanks for the agreement GK - good to know I'm not completely mad; or if I am you are with me. [Big Grin]

[ 11. June 2017, 04:25: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
I can assure you we are actively working for her defeat this next go around. She is refusing to participate in town hall meetings because she is not listening to voters. She voted for to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

People are relying on this act for health care coverage. You try to take away something that people need, things are getting ugly.

Thanks for this. It does give one hope.

I freely admit I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaay to the left of most, if not all, Americans. And I try not to impose my socialist views on another country, where the very thought of free healthcare for all sends shivers down many spines which confuses me to this day. Do you think the Democrats need to change any policies, as per Bernie's latest speech? Or do you think they, as they are, generally gel with enough of the American populace as they are?

Forgive me if I'm overstepping my mark as an outsider, but your country is the most powerful in the world and your CiC and government has some impact on what happens around the world. I just recall seeing Hillary veer to the left and disown policies she previously supported (the Pacific Free Trade agreement, for instance) during the selection process. Is that lurch to the left continuing? Is it beneficial / needed? Or is a centrist mentality more likely to appeal?

I may have misunderstod the level of hatred towards Hillary, but was Trump's election in any way a dismissal of where the Democrats were and the policies they pursued (and those they forgot?)? What caused people to stay at home in large numbers? I'm trying to make sense, esp. given Corbyn's good performance, of where progressive parties need to be now.

[ 11. June 2017, 04:35: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Comey wasn't leaking, he was whistleblowing [Smile]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Ian--

quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
edit: thanks for the agreement GK - good to know I'm not completely mad; or if I am you are with me. [Big Grin]

Less crowded, where we're sitting. [Biased]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
A leak, by definition, involves secret information. And secret, in government terms, is not merely "stuff I didn't want you to know". It will be items of a classified nature.
So far as I am aware, nothing that Cheeto has whined about, with Comey or his staff, qualifies as such.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
I would think a private convo with the president might be classified, especially when T made such a big thing of kicking everyone else out of the room. And the notes were work product--about his work, and done while he still had his job. He said that, well, when he gave them to his friend, he was a private citizen, so it should be ok. I think "that dog won't hunt", to borrow a phrase.

Not that I think he should be punished, but there may be legit grounds to do so.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
Possibly some light relief for the UK:
quote:
Donald Trump has told Theresa May in a phone call he does not want to go ahead with a state visit to Britain until the British public supports him coming. The US president said he did not want to come if there were large-scale protests and his remarks in effect put the visit on hold for some time.
From the Guardian, link.

He might have to wait for rather a long time, then. In addition, isn't this another sign of his narcissism which would be dealt a blow with masses of non-adoring crowds? - Very good riddance, I'd say!
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Yes, you have had a fortunate escape. Lucky you!
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Indeed.

Is it a sign of 'progress' into his tiny mind that The Great Pussygrabbin' Yam is thinking people might just not want him?

[Eek!]

IJ
 
Posted by Belle Ringer (# 13379) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Do you think the Democrats need to change any policies, as per Bernie's latest speech?

I just recall seeing Hillary veer to the left and disown policies she previously supported (the Pacific Free Trade agreement, for instance) during the selection process. Is that lurch to the left continuing?

...the level of hatred towards Hillary, but was Trump's election in any way a dismissal of where the Democrats were and the policies they pursued (and those they forgot?)? What caused people to stay at home in large numbers? [/QB]

I can't claim to have answers. Lots of people disliked Hillary, for lots of reasons. She swung left because of Bernie not because of change in belief. (Would she has re-endorsed TPP after election? Unknown) MOST (not all) of the people I talk to voted Trump disliking him but what the heck he was a fresh voice even if he talked nonsense sometimes. Some are apologetic, some still waiting to see if he does good but still not wanting Hillary. (I voted Bernie so I'm out of the game.)
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
I would think a private convo with the president might be classified, especially when T made such a big thing of kicking everyone else out of the room.

Again. private=/= classified.
quote:

And the notes were work product--about his work, and done while he still had his job.

Not everything an intelligence agency is classified. Some things that are marked classified would not stand in a court. INAL, but the standard is not an arbitrary one.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
Trump’s too scared to come to the UK. Who says protest doesn’t work?
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Yah Boo! Cowardy, cowardy, orange-coloured custard!

What a pathetic fuckwit he is. Nearly as bad as our own revered 'prime minister'.....

IJ
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wesley J:
Possibly some light relief for the UK:
quote:
Donald Trump has told Theresa May in a phone call he does not want to go ahead with a state visit to Britain until the British public supports him coming. The US president said he did not want to come if there were large-scale protests and his remarks in effect put the visit on hold for some time.
From the Guardian, link.

He might have to wait for rather a long time, then. In addition, isn't this another sign of his narcissism which would be dealt a blow with masses of non-adoring crowds? - Very good riddance, I'd say!

Poor, sensitive man.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
I see the House Committee have asked the White House to release tapes - if there are any!

Leaking is one of those muddy terms. It covers unauthorised release of classified information, which is illegal, unauthorised release of non-classified but embarrassing information, which may be a dismissable offence, but not prosecutable, or simply breaking a confidence for the sake of embarrassment.

In Trumpspeak, calling Comey a leaker means he should be subject to legal investigation and prosecution if guilty of illegal disclosure. I guess the legal issue is whether all private conversations with the President are by their very nature classified.

Comey's note for the record of his conversations with the President was perfectly legal. Revealing the contents of these notes in his response, under oath, to a House Investigation is highly unlikely to be illegal.

Apparently Sessions is up shortly. Oh what fun that will be.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
In Trumpspeak, calling Comey a leaker means he should be subject to legal investigation and prosecution if guilty of illegal disclosure. I guess the legal issue is whether all private conversations with the President are by their very nature classified.

They are not. Nor were Comey's memos classified. On the other hand there is a question of "executive privilege", a somewhat vague legal doctrine most often used by presidents to block subordinates from testifying when such testimony would be embarrassing/incriminating. It doesn't apply here for two reasons. First, Trump essentially waived any privilege when he described the conversations and their content ("While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, . . . ") in a publicly released letter. Second, the time to assert executive privilege is before the testimony is offered.

On the question of tapes, I see three possibilities. They are, in what I view as order of descending likelihood:


Those are the only possibilities I can think of that make sense.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Sense! [Killing me] As if that applies to The Orange One.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
Fourth scenario - the tapes exist but are missing 18½ minutes.
[Biased]

(For those too young to remember, or who live elsewhere and didn't follow the U.S. scandals of the 70s, the Watergate tapes had a 18½ minute gap.)
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
I read today that: Delta Airlines and Bank of America pulls sponsorship from Julius Caesar

The play casts Caesar as a Trump-like character in an American political setting. It ends with Trump being stabbed in the rotunda by his colleagues. "Stabbed in the Rotunda" was a line from Canadian Comic Duo Wayne & Shuster, who's comedy I enjoyed as a child. If you want to enjoy their comedy as a child, drink three large whiskeys and search youtube for "Rinse the Blood Off My Toga". Actually, do the search before you drink the whiskey.

Personally, I think it is terrible to compare Trump to the great Romans of the past. I reckon if you are going to put Trump into a play, go for something like Bugsy Malone. The guy might think he is important or loved or that he will be fondly remembered in the future. We can't let him think that. It would be a cruel deception.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
@ Croesos

Thanks, Shipmate, very helpful. I knew it was something like that but wasn't sure just how much executive privilege muddied the waters.

Have you seen this story?

As a truthteller about Trump's pressurising, Comey is looking pretty good right now.

BTW, I caught a bit of a Fox "News" show and they are spinning, spinning, spinning the leak accusation for all it is worth. This is now a world of "alternative facts".

[ 12. June 2017, 10:08: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
Mindboggling. Thanks for the link!

However..., with Weird No. 45, mindbogglingness is the everyday rule. At least, it keeps our own minds lean and fit and agile I suppose.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I feel that my mind is fit enough. Do you remember the good old days (a year ago!) when you did not know who the Attorney General was? Or the Secretary of Education? I doubt I could name those persons if they came up and bit me. We could simply not know, because all the departments and governance were in the hands of competement people. Now, an unnatural vigilance has been forced upon us; we have to defend our rights at every turn.
 
Posted by Soror Magna (# 9881) on :
 
I'm ashamed to say that I'm one of those bad immigrants who pays more attention to the politics in the old country than the new one. I can recognize my MP and my MLA, I was privileged to meet our Justice Minister, but I probably recognize more members of Congress than members of Parliament. [Hot and Hormonal]

I did have a lot of fun today asking all my colleagues what they would think if the boss called them in for a private meeting and started off by asking if they liked their job [Eek!] [Ultra confused] [Paranoid] ... and "hoped" you'd do something ... Sorry, Senator Risch, that dog won't hunt.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
I'm ashamed to say that I'm one of those bad immigrants who pays more attention to the politics in the old country than the new one. I can recognize my MP and my MLA, I was privileged to meet our Justice Minister, but I probably recognize more members of Congress than members of Parliament. [Hot and Hormonal]

I did have a lot of fun today asking all my colleagues what they would think if the boss called them in for a private meeting and started off by asking if they liked their job [Eek!] [Ultra confused] [Paranoid] ... and "hoped" you'd do something ... Sorry, Senator Risch, that dog won't hunt.

Are you the boss, Soror magna [Big Grin]
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I feel that my mind is fit enough. Do you remember the good old days (a year ago!) when you did not know who the Attorney General was? Or the Secretary of Education? I doubt I could name those persons if they came up and bit me. We could simply not know, because all the departments and governance were in the hands of competement people. Now, an unnatural vigilance has been forced upon us; we have to defend our rights at every turn.

Yes.... it's almost painful to remember, isn't it?
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
It's becoming more and more obvious that T is like an aging, demented emperor, who must be placated, lest he take issue with your head:

"Trump makes bizarre claims at press event as Cabinet members take turns praising him" (CNBC).

Not saying he'll actually kill an individual, though I don't think it's impossible that he'd order someone to do it.. But sending the military or dropping a nuke, when he's upset, bored, lonely, or feeling disrespected...

[Help]
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
Love the skit by Charles Schumer - they couldn't keep straight faces for long.

Mind you, plenty of the Trump lot had wry smiles [Killing me]
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Love the skit by Charles Schumer - they couldn't keep straight faces for long.

But I kind of wish he hadn't done it. FauxNews is now spending loads of time talking about how Shumer is "wasting taxpayer money" putting out such things and how he should be doing his job, not playing around.

This, of course, is just a way for FN to distract from the obscenity that was the actual meeting...but it has a point. Democrats really need to stop behaving like children on a playground and instead behave like mature adults. The Trump meeting was damaging to Trump on its own. It did not need Shumer to push it over the edge. Instead, because he couldn't resist childish taunting, Shumer's video is now serving as a distraction from the Trump video. This is how Democrats are repeatedly stumbling over their own feet when dealing with Trump. They keep going for the laugh to get PR coverage for themselves, rather than deal with the serious issues posed.

This is what disgusts me about politicians, regardless of party affiliation--they are just playing a game. The whole lot of them need to grow up and be mature adults. I am tired of being ruled by children whose main ambition is to see how many wedgies they can give to the members of the opposition party.

My suggestion to the Dems: Stop trying for the laugh. Leave comedy to the comedians and keep the focus serious on just how bad Trump is for the country. Keep a serious focus on his multiple conflicts of interest, including his undisclosed sources of income. Keep a serious focus on the distressing number of ties his appointees have with Russia. Keep a serious focus on the detriment he is doing to our alliances across the world. Keep a serious focus on how he is applying improper influence on the investigations.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Love the skit by Charles Schumer - they couldn't keep straight faces for long.

But I kind of wish he hadn't done it. FauxNews is now spending loads of time talking about how Shumer is "wasting taxpayer money" putting out such things and how he should be doing his job, not playing around.
I disagree. When confronted with a fundamentally ridiculous situation ridicule is perfectly valid response. It can also highlight how fundamentally abnormal the whole situation is. Demanding uniform, dead-faced, humorless seriousness can be counterproductive in its own way.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
If they didn't laugh they'd cry.

They have every right to laugh and to point out his egotistic narcissism as they do so.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
Meanwhile Sessions is in Session. No smoking gun.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Has The Great Orange Saviour Of The Universe built that Wall yet? Or established the ban on brown people aka Muslims?

No?

Tch...he's nearly as bad as that Obama feller. Whatever happened to the Muslim Caliphate?

IJ
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Demanding uniform, dead-faced, humorless seriousness can be counterproductive in its own way.

I suppose that is true. But (and this may just be based on the particular corner of the World Wide Echo Chamber I have been in of late) I have seen far more discussion about whether it was appropriate for Shumer to do what he did than I have seen discussion about whether it was appropriate for the Cabinet members to boot-lick like they did. From that perspective, it feels to me like Shumer actually helped get them off the hook by making himself the story rather than them. I find that to be counterproductive.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
It seems like every time we get a new revelation in this story it seems a lot more invasive than the previous iteration:

quote:
Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

I think we're fast approaching the point where an out-of-hand assumption that vote totals weren't directly affected by Russian cyberattacks is no longer a completely comfortable one.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
As the vote totals. so far as we know, continue to show Clinton the winner of the popular vote, I wonder if what we really need to know is whether the electoral college outcome was affected by these invasions.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Ohher--

Yes.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
Meanwhile Sessions is in Session. No smoking gun.

The easiest test to tell if someone is lying is to compare what they say to the truth. Unfortunately this method requires you to already know the truth beforehand. And we still don't know the truth about all these shenanigans.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Planet America showed some of the pro-Trump ads airing on American TV. One of the ads showed Kathy Griffin holding up that papier-mache Trump head. They are going to be showing that one for years. [Waterworks]

Hedgehog, I reckon you're not as right with Schumer's faux meeting, but you're spot on if you are talking about Kathy Griffin & Co.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Demanding uniform, dead-faced, humorless seriousness can be counterproductive in its own way.

I suppose that is true. But (and this may just be based on the particular corner of the World Wide Echo Chamber I have been in of late) I have seen far more discussion about whether it was appropriate for Shumer to do what he did than I have seen discussion about whether it was appropriate for the Cabinet members to boot-lick like they did. From that perspective, it feels to me like Shumer actually helped get them off the hook by making himself the story rather than them. I find that to be counterproductive.
Not here in the U.K. - I've seen and heard nothing but derision for the wobbly orange one, in RL and online. So insecure he needs constant praise. This is bad for six year olds, never mind ancient presidents [Disappointed]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Sessions didn't impress me very much as a witness. Pretty evasive, not much disguised by the bluster. Trump's tweet was just silly.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Most of Trump's tweets are silly.

One waits now in expectation of profound thoughts (not) on the tower block fire in London, and the shooting of Republicans in Virginia.

[Disappointed]

IJ
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Quick surreptitious check of fire inspections on own property first?
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
A more significant development?

Donald Trump himself is under direct investigation for obstruction of justice by the special counsel's office.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
A more significant development?

Donald Trump himself is under direct investigation for obstruction of justice by the special counsel's office.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving fellow.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
More cluelessness:

"Trump told the mayor of a disappearing island not to worry about sea-level rise — these photos show how grave the situation has become" (Business Insider).

The island is in bad shape--though I don't know how much is attributable to *this* round of climate change. The water's been swallowing it up since the 1800s.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
A more significant development?

Donald Trump himself is under direct investigation for obstruction of justice by the special counsel's office.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving fellow.
He'll fire Mueller next.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Boogie--

He's been considering it.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
What do they call it, a kleptocracy?
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
A more significant development?

Donald Trump himself is under direct investigation for obstruction of justice by the special counsel's office.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving fellow.
I guess this answers the question of what you get the man who has everything for his birthday.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
More cluelessness:

"Trump told the mayor of a disappearing island not to worry about sea-level rise — these photos show how grave the situation has become" (Business Insider).

The island is in bad shape--though I don't know how much is attributable to *this* round of climate change. The water's been swallowing it up since the 1800s.

A King Canute denier.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I have been to Tangier Island. I would not buy real estate there on a bet; it is -barely- above sea level. High tides already flood many of the roads twice a day, and it is inaccessible in winter. One good hurricane coming up the Chesapeake Bay will wipe the place out, like wiping jam off your cheek. Crooked Don's comments were of course totally unhelpful. But there is nothing he, nor anyone else can do about Tangier. The mayor was asking for a miracle. Mother Nature has this one, and it's not going to be pretty.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
The link indicates the islanders are getting what they voted for.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
There's a lot of that going around lately.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
And not just in the US of A...

[Disappointed]

Meanwhile, at least The Land Of Government By Headless Chickens (TLOGBHC - pronounced Togbitch - the L is silent), formerly known as the United Kingdom, is temporarily free from the threat of a Visitation by The Odious Orange Ozymandias.

TOOO would be faced (or behinded) by too many people for His Bigly Magnificence to cope with.

IJ
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
It's becoming more and more obvious that T is like an aging, demented emperor, who must be placated, lest he take issue with your head:

"Trump makes bizarre claims at press event as Cabinet members take turns praising him" (CNBC).

Not saying he'll actually kill an individual, though I don't think it's impossible that he'd order someone to do it.. But sending the military or dropping a nuke, when he's upset, bored, lonely, or feeling disrespected...

[Help]

Had a thought about this: Praise of the boss/department head happens in bad corporate environments. It's an extension of the thing where the boss gives an indication of what s/he wants and then everyone praises the idea to the sky.

On a related matter, it looks like Trump might be threatening Rosenstein in his latest tweet. I love twitter.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
FYI: ABC's "20/20" news magazine show is doing a special on Watergate tonight (6/16/17). There's related material here. I think the full show will be available there, eventually, and someone will probably put it on YouTube.

Relevant because of parallels with the current situation.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
It's becoming more and more obvious that T is like an aging, demented emperor, who must be placated, lest he take issue with your head:

"Trump makes bizarre claims at press event as Cabinet members take turns praising him" (CNBC).

Not saying he'll actually kill an individual, though I don't think it's impossible that he'd order someone to do it.. But sending the military or dropping a nuke, when he's upset, bored, lonely, or feeling disrespected...

[Help]

Had a thought about this: Praise of the boss/department head happens in bad corporate environments. It's an extension of the thing where the boss gives an indication of what s/he wants and then everyone praises the idea to the skies
A very good thought. It's invariably a sign that some pretty extreme abuse of power is going on.

I think we have to be realistic about this. Some abuse of power by the powerful is normal. Speaking the truth to power is generally a risky business. I remember being taught this truth early in my public service career.

"If you tell a senior officer is wrong and you are wrong, you're likely to get marks for courage and independent thinking. But if you tell them they are wrong and they are wrong, don't expect to be forgiven any time soon."

Power and status can corrupt people by playing on vanity and self importance. But Trump was vain and self important before he became POTUS. Amongst other faults.

I get the feeling he is pretty much incorrigible now. And increasingly deluded. That can be very dangerous.
 
Posted by jedijudy (# 333) on :
 
Some of his supporters are apparently deluded, also. I just heard a woman being interviewed on the TV telling all of us that Trump has the respect of the world, which has not been the case for a long time. It makes me wonder about her (and others like her) thought processes.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Trump has never, in his entire career, had the respect of anyone outside of the United States. He has always been considered at best to be a laughingstock but more often a fraud, fortunate not to have shared a jail cell with Martha Stewart and Jared Kushner's dad.

America is in dire need of a tall poppy syndrome. It seems like its a country full of wealth fetishists.

Re Georgia Special Election: I think I'm right in saying that the previous incumbent had a majority of about 23%, whereas the current Republican seems to have hung on to the seat by a majority of about 1.3%. (I can't find a report of the swing, which is weird, but I'm no google wizard). To me, that works out to be something like a 22% swing away from the Republicans in a red state.

Why are the Democrats casting this as a loss, requiring soul-searching? Do they require a national swing of more than 20% to wrest away control of Congress?

Why aren't Democrats dancing in the streets over this result? They put their big guns up and they got a great result.

The answer, I expect, is that there was a failure in expectation management. But are Americans interested in progressive politics really so gullible that they think they might pick up a seat requiring more than a 20% swing?

Madness.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:

Why are the Democrats casting this as a loss, requiring soul-searching? Do they require a national swing of more than 20% to wrest away control of Congress?

I suspect it's connected to the fact that the Dems spent something like 5 times the moolah the Repugs did on this, The Most Expensive Race Ever, or so it's reported.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
I just watched PBS Newshour for 21 June. Looks like the Dems are not casting this as a loss, as is right and proper. My faith in American politics is restored.

Sorry. The whole healthcare thing upsets me, despite my bravado in the other thread. I am Koyaanisqatsi .

WHEN WILL THE STAR TREK UNIVERSE COME TO BE?

[Waterworks]

I realise that I might be unravelling a bit. No posting for 12 hours for this little black duck.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
From the Guardian -

"Donald Trump has explained he wouldn’t want a poor person touching the economy. He told a crowd in Iowa that he made “very rich person” Wilbur Ross his commerce secretary and Gary Cohn from Goldman Sachs his economic adviser “because that’s the kind of thinking we want”. Cohn “went from massive pay days to peanuts” to join Team Trump, said the president. “I love all people, rich or poor, but in those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense?”

No sense at all to me.

How many 'peanuts' will these two be paid?

When will poor trump supporters realise he never has been, and never will be, on their side?
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:

No sense at all to me.

How many 'peanuts' will these two be paid?

Almost no peanuts at all, if you mean in direct pay. But both those men are very wealthy. They are wealthy at the level where extra money doesn't mean anything as money - it's just a way of keeping score. They already have enough money that they can buy anything they want.

And being appointed to a cabinet position is a better score than a few extra sacks of cash. What they're getting paid in now is really status, not money.

Trump's case is that rich businessmen instinctively understand the economy (because they're making money, so they must know how it works) in a way that other people don't. This is why Trump is all over the map so often - he operates on instinct.

The problem is that he doesn't seem to have worked out what a government is for.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Running a corporation is a totally different skill than running a government department. You might as well put a short order fry cook into the post, it would work just as well. Don't believe me? Well, just look at them.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Running a corporation is a totally different skill than running a government department.

Yes, it is. But Trump doesn't think so. Trump is trying to "run" the US the way he runs his business.
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
Now I’m just plain confused. Trump says he wants to put solar panels on his wall. Aside the obvious absurdity of the whole project, how does that square with keeping coal mines open and screwing up the Paris agreement on Climate Change? This makes no sense.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is from the POST, explaining why it makes no sense. Like master, like man.

[fixed broken link]

[ 22. June 2017, 14:59: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
This is from the POST, explaining why it makes no sense. Like master, like man.

[fixed broken link]

The Post won't let me read that without paying them to do so.
[Frown]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Essentially, since li'l Donny says anything that pops into his head, consistency is not to be expected. (If you have a public library card, and go through their web site, you may well be able to access the POST for free. Or, if you have a .mil or .edu address, or Amazon Prime, you can get a free subscription.)
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
Presumably the solar panels will have to be on the south-facing side of the wall? That could cause a few problems.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Re Georgia Special Election: I think I'm right in saying that the previous incumbent had a majority of about 23%, whereas the current Republican seems to have hung on to the seat by a majority of about 1.3%. (I can't find a report of the swing, which is weird, but I'm no google wizard). To me, that works out to be something like a 22% swing away from the Republicans in a red state.

Why are the Democrats casting this as a loss, requiring soul-searching? Do they require a national swing of more than 20% to wrest away control of Congress?

It may be that they're casting it as a loss because it was a loss. John Ossoff lost. He lost by a smaller margin than one would expect for a Democrat in Georgia's 6th district, but a narrower losing margin doesn't get anyone a seat in Congress.

In terms of the big picture, it does represent a shift. Tom Price won re-election in that district last November by a margin of 23.4 percentage points. Some of that, of course, can be attributed to the natural advantages of incumbency. The Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) for GA-06 is R+8, which means that a generic Republican can typically expect to beat a generic Democrat in that district by a margin of about 8 percentage points. In a race where neither candidate enjoyed the advantages of incumbency Karen Handel won by 3.8 percentage points. So she underperformed the PVI by 4 percentage points. Not huge, but not something that can be ignored either.

Our other data point is the special election in SC-05, which has a PVI of R+9 and was held the same day as GA-06. There the Republican candidate won by a margin of 3.2 percentage points, so there does seem to be a real shift of 4-6 percentage points relative to PVI, at least for non-incumbent candidates.

If we assume that this shift is national and uniform and if we assume that it will hold until November 2018 (both very big "ifs") it seems likely the Democrats will retake control of the House of Representatives. Shifting the PVI 4 points in the Democrat's favor yields a House with 223 Democrats, 200 Republicans, and 12 races which are essentially toss-ups. Shifting the PVI 6 points in the Democrat's favor gives a House with at least 245 Democratic members, 181 Republicans, and 9 toss-up districts. This is, of course, fairly crude modeling not taking into account incumbency, gerrymandering, and other factors.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
quote:
Trump is trying to "run" the US the way he runs his business.
...and like all bad managers, has failed to grasp the difference between problems that can be solved (by other people) if you shout at them loud enough, and problems that can't.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Presumably the solar panels will have to be on the south-facing side of the wall? That could cause a few problems.

That was my immediate reaction, too.
[Disappointed]
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Don't they also have to be at an angle, so as to catch the rays properly?

I can see the Mexicans having a lot of fun (and free power) by siphoning it off (if you can do that with lektricitity).

Or they could just spray-paint over them, so they don't work.

Or pinch them, and put them on their own houses.

Or charge the US Government for hanging them on the Mexican side of the border.

Does The Odious Orange Ozymandias ever think anything through?

O, sorry - I used the word think. Does not compute, does not compute, does not......

IJ
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Don't they also have to be at an angle, so as to catch the rays properly?

I can see the Mexicans having a lot of fun (and free power) by siphoning it off (if you can do that with lektricitity).

Or they could just spray-paint over them, so they don't work.

Or pinch them, and put them on their own houses.

Or charge the US Government for hanging them on the Mexican side of the border.

Does The Odious Orange Ozymandias ever think anything through?

O, sorry - I used the word think. Does not compute, does not compute, does not......

IJ

I think the entire wall would have to be built on U.S. territory, so even the Mexican side would have to be U.S. property. Which will not stop any of the things you mentioned, or rocks being thrown at it. But Mexico could not charge the U.S. for solar panels on the south side of the wall.

No, the Odious Orange Ozymandias never thinks anything through. Such as how much more expensive it would be up front to build a solar panel wall than a cement block or steel wall.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
I imagine the cunning Mexicans (Bad Hombres though they be) will somehow find a way to screw the US of A for simply pointing the wall at them.

I had forgot that the Great, Big, Hyuuuge, Beautiful Wall will not, of course, straddle the border, but does that not mean that there will be, in places, a sort of No Hombres' Land between real Mexico and the Wall?

[Confused]

IJ
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Running a corporation is a totally different skill than running a government department.

Yes, it is. But Trump doesn't think so. Trump is trying to "run" the US the way he runs his business.
So, it would be better off if he left it in autopilot and stepped away, just as his businesses would have been.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
And in other news he didn't tape Comey.

BUT

Maybe there are things about the White House Routine administration that he hasn't found out yet ...

Shouldn't think Comey is bothered either way.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I had forgot that the Great, Big, Hyuuuge, Beautiful Wall will not, of course, straddle the border, but does that not mean that there will be, in places, a sort of No Hombres' Land between real Mexico and the Wall?

Like the Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart, Trump's putative wall will theoretically be built entirely on the territory of the constructing government, not the land of those it's trying to keep out. There are some complications here, though. For example, the border between Texas and Mexico is the Rio Grande. In addition to all of the construction difficulties associated with building anything on a river bank, there's the problem of "walling off" U.S. access to the river. El Paso and Laredo, to name two obvious examples, use the Rio Grande to supply their municipal water. Having an impenetrable barrier in the way seems problematic.

Of course, I suspect that The Wall will be purely rhetorical. Or possibly a lot of public money will be appropriated and disappear mysteriously into several New Jersey based construction companies with nothing physical to show for it. It's very easy to put solar panels on it if all you have to do is verbally stipulate them.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
I'm sure you're right, and that Orange Ozymandias (who did, or did not, tape Comey) is full of Hot Air.

IJ
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
I know he's signed loads of Executive Orders. But has he actually managed to implement successfully any of his major pre-election promises?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
No. Not that his base has really noticed, even though the promise was to do All This Stuff in the first 100 days. A little thing like Lyin' Don's promises won't affect his true fans.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I know he's signed loads of Executive Orders. But has he actually managed to implement successfully any of his major pre-election promises?

Well, ICE and CBP seem to have really stepped up their enforcement, both in terms of numbers and abusiveness. The Justice Department has reversed the Obama administration decision to stop using private prisons and Jeff Sessions has re-energized the War on [some classes of people who use certain types of] Drugs. This would seem to be in line with Trump's promise to be a 'law and order' president.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I imagine the cunning Mexicans (Bad Hombres though they be) will somehow find a way to screw the US of A for simply pointing the wall at them.

I had forgot that the Great, Big, Hyuuuge, Beautiful Wall will not, of course, straddle the border, but does that not mean that there will be, in places, a sort of No Hombres' Land between real Mexico and the Wall?

[Confused]

IJ

Yes. In fact, some trump supporters have recently learned that
their property would be among those parcels falling on the wrong side of the wall. Assuming the south side is the "wrong" side-- not such a certainty these days
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
cliffdweller:
quote:
Yes. In fact, some trump supporters have recently learned that
their property would be among those parcels falling on the wrong side of the wall.

[Disappointed] You can't make omelettes without breaking eggs. Suck it up, buttercups.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Under the open mouth, insert foot, swallow hard category, today Trump admitted he was using the threats of tapes in order to influence Comey's testimony before Congress.

He was sued for making the same threats in his real estate ventures. He lost that suit.

DT just does not know what obstruction of justice entails. He has now publicly admitted it.
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
Maybe he's planning to make the Mexicans pay for the solar panels too [Roll Eyes]

Huia
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Ah yes, so that his supporters on the wrong side of the Wall get Free Electricity!

[Cool]

IJ
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
Have we shared the video of Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, here yet? [Warning -- he uses a couple of words that you might not want played out loud if you're at work or around small children.] But it's hilarious!
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Have we shared the video of Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, here yet? [Warning -- he uses a couple of words that you might not want played out loud if you're at work or around small children.] But it's hilarious!

[Killing me]
Much of what is directed against the Flaming Mad Cheeto is amusing only because we do not like him.
I don't care who you are, that was just funny.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I don't know about that, but I think this is surgically incisive humour at its finest.
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
Why is there so much discussion on a wall that will not be built? We really do not hear much about it in the American press.

Congress will not pass such a project.

Property owners along the path will fight it. Environmentalists will also take Trump to court.

It will be tied up in the court system longer than Trump will be present.

Trending in American press, regarding Trump is his stumbling admission that there was indeed Russian interference in the American election (He denies any evidence of it, but then says Obama should have stopped it)

There is also his alleged involvement with Russian financiers.

Simply put. The wall is not going to happen.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Point taken but I think it's the sheer, unadulterated, HYUUUGE, bizarreness of the whole concept of a Wall that captures the attention (and imagination) of an island race!

Actually, of course, we have a couple of Walls of our own, to protect us from the wild Picts and Scots, and just look how successful they've been....

...och aye, Ah'll get ma bonnet the noo, an put it on ma heid....

IJ
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
The wall is useful because it is the quintessential example of the lies that Lyin' Don tells, knowing full well from the outset that there is no way they can ever come true. Fact does not slow him down in the slightest, and you can hardly get a better example of his fantabulization. Even his most devout follower must have known, on some level, that the wall was impossible (The Mexicans to pay for it, yeah right) but they were able to suppress or ignore that knowledge. Everyone collaborated on the lie because it fed their prejudices.

[ 25. June 2017, 16:22: Message edited by: Brenda Clough ]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
knowing full well from the outset that there is no way they can ever come true.

This assumes more thought than appears to be put into anything he says. He just says shit.
quote:

Fact does not slow him down in the slightest,

Fact is not even part of the equation when he utters what passes for a thought.


quote:
Everyone collaborated on the lie because it fed their prejudices.

Some of this, yes. But I think it more complicated than this. However, whatever the motive, most of it is delusional.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
So the Emperor has not only no Clothes, but also no Wall?

Poor, benighted chap. You couldn't make it up.

IJ
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I am willing to bet that there will never be a wall. There will be caterwauling about it, but not one brick will ever be laid on another.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Point taken but I think it's the sheer, unadulterated, HYUUUGE, bizarreness of the whole concept of a Wall that captures the attention (and imagination) of an island race!

Actually, of course, we have a couple of Walls of our own, to protect us from the wild Picts and Scots, and just look how successful they've been....

...och aye, Ah'll get ma bonnet the noo, an put it on ma heid....

IJ

And the Welsh. Don't forget them. Bloody Tudors. Couldn't keep them out.

I have a recollection of seeing some sort of barrier near US towns that abut the southern border. Very ugly. I would not like it if I lived there. But then again, I wouldn't live there because of the heat.

All in all it's just another brick in the wall.

Oh, thanks to Croesos for punching out the numbers on the Georgia 6 special election. It was indeed a glorious outcome for the Dems and bodes well for next year.

How does each major party choose their candidates for Congress? Are there local selection committees for each seat, with the big folks coming in to dictate terms if the locals choose a squib?

[ 26. June 2017, 05:06: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I am willing to bet that there will never be a wall. There will be caterwauling about it, but not one brick will ever be laid on another.

There actually is a wall. It does not cover the entire border. I would not be surprised if more is constructed or a section built higher. Not a completed structure, just enough to satisfy his base.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I am willing to bet that there will never be a wall. There will be caterwauling about it, but not one brick will ever be laid on another.

There actually is a wall. It does not cover the entire border. I would not be surprised if more is constructed or a section built higher. Not a completed structure, just enough to satisfy his base.
Yep - a big deal will be made of it all, but it'll actually be a small section where there's already a wall [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:

How does each major party choose their candidates for Congress? Are there local selection committees for each seat, with the big folks coming in to dictate terms if the locals choose a squib? [/QB]

It depends on the jurisdiction. The local party gets to decide how to select a candidate. Where I live (Virginia) the state GOP has been arguing for years, whether a primary is better than a nominating convention. A primary means that people get to vote and choose a candidate. The convention means that only people at the convention get to choose, a smaller pool of deciders. This has led to calamity a few years ago, when they selected a moron -- the guy was utterly defeated in the general election in November. So now they're doing primaries, but there's a die-hard group insisting that conventions are better.
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:

Oh, thanks to Croesos for punching out the numbers on the Georgia 6 special election. It was indeed a glorious outcome for the Dems and bodes well for next year.

Are we talking about the same dems who have spent most of the last decade getting their teeth kicked in?

By the measure of the GA-6, even if they had $25 million to spend on every race, they would still lose...

Hysterical opposition as a party platform will not be effective in 2018. Absent a coherent message I won't be surprised to see them lose more seats...
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Lack of a coherent message worked for Trump
ETA: That wasn't fair. Racism acts as a cement for all the lies and contradiction, it would seem.

[ 26. June 2017, 17:48: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
Does the data show how useful all the money Democrats poured into the Georgia special election was in improving the Democratic share of the vote and Democratic turnout, even if it did not win the election. We know that the Democratic share of the vote was greatly improved, but is there any way people can examine how much of that improvement was due to all the money spent on the campaign (did the Dems greatly outspend the GOP)? And also the effectiveness specifically of advertising (and in particular television advertising) bought with that money?
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Lack of a coherent message worked for Trump
ETA: That wasn't fair. Racism acts as a cement for all the lies and contradiction, it would seem.

Yeah, they should stick with racism, Russia, and Pelosi...that'll be a winner for sure! I can't decide which of those is more tired and meaningless.

Meanwhile SCOTUS upholds the travel ban, and the rumbles continue regarding Kennedy's retirement. A second appointment in the Gorsuch model would cement Trump's legacy just months into his first term.

The d's are completely impotent, it seems.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
Yeah, they should stick with racism, Russia,

Those are Republican't strong suite. Well, they don't own racism. Teabaggers and other libertarian groups seem to like it just fine.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:

How does each major party choose their candidates for Congress? Are there local selection committees for each seat, with the big folks coming in to dictate terms if the locals choose a squib?

It depends on the jurisdiction. The local party gets to decide how to select a candidate. Where I live (Virginia) the state GOP has been arguing for years, whether a primary is better than a nominating convention. A primary means that people get to vote and choose a candidate. The convention means that only people at the convention get to choose, a smaller pool of deciders. This has led to calamity a few years ago, when they selected a moron -- the guy was utterly defeated in the general election in November. So now they're doing primaries, but there's a die-hard group insisting that conventions are better. [/QB]
cheers. Not much point in branch-stacking then...
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:

Oh, thanks to Croesos for punching out the numbers on the Georgia 6 special election. It was indeed a glorious outcome for the Dems and bodes well for next year.

Are we talking about the same dems who have spent most of the last decade getting their teeth kicked in?

By the measure of the GA-6, even if they had $25 million to spend on every race, they would still lose...

Hysterical opposition as a party platform will not be effective in 2018. Absent a coherent message I won't be surprised to see them lose more seats...

The politics I can understand. It's the moral position of those on the right in the USA that I don't get. Why do they support laws that result in the rich getting richer? Why don't they want to provide universal healthcare? Why are they so opposed to socialism, sneering it like its a dirty word. Why don't they want to fix gun crime in America? Why do they hate not just politicians, but bureaucrats?

I just don't get that stuff. I'd like to try and understand it from you, because I reckon most people don't give a flying feck for theories.

Have a whiskey or two before you post. I want the honesty that only alcohol can provide.

[ 27. June 2017, 08:13: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
It's the moral position of those on the right in the USA that I don't get. Why do they support laws that result in the rich getting richer? Why don't they want to provide universal healthcare? Why are they so opposed to socialism, sneering it like its a dirty word. Why don't they want to fix gun crime in America? Why do they hate not just politicians, but bureaucrats?

The best explanation I've read is Stigginit:
quote:
the practice of some conservatives who engage in a practice not because of merit or self interest, but merely because the practice is opposed by a liberal, especially in those cases where the practice is clearly against one's self interest.

 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
The politics I can understand. It's the moral position of those on the right in the USA that I don't get.

Moral position [Killing me] It's all about the money, honey.
quote:

Why do they support laws that result in the rich getting richer?

Because they are rich and/or their campaigns are paid for by the rich.
quote:

Why don't they want to provide universal healthcare?

Insurance companies spend a lot of money lobbying.
quote:

Why are they so opposed to socialism, sneering it like its a dirty word.

Smokescreen. To sell the poor on supporting the rich, they demonise socialism.
quote:

Why don't they want to fix gun crime in America?

The NRA spend loads of money buying support.
quote:

Why do they hate not just politicians, but bureaucrats?

That is more complicated. But mostly because they implement the policies.
quote:

Have a whiskey or two before you post. I want the honesty that only alcohol can provide.

Alchohol does not induce truth. It reduces inhibition and clouds judgement. So...

[ 27. June 2017, 13:32: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
It's the moral position of those on the right in the USA that I don't get. Why do they support laws that result in the rich getting richer? Why don't they want to provide universal healthcare? Why are they so opposed to socialism, sneering it like its a dirty word. Why don't they want to fix gun crime in America? Why do they hate not just politicians, but bureaucrats?

The best explanation I've read is Stigginit:
quote:
the practice of some conservatives who engage in a practice not because of merit or self interest, but merely because the practice is opposed by a liberal, especially in those cases where the practice is clearly against one's self interest.

The politics of spite are quite strong. There are also quite a few liberals here who would be much happier seeing Republicans shamed, embarrassed, indicted, convicted, etc. (although many Republicans may indeed deserve such things), than they would in seeing any constructive legislation passed.

There are a fair number of people in the bases of both sides (not the wealthiest financers of politicians, mind you, who do expect to get material benefits from what the government does or doesn't do) who do not expect government to do much to materially help them, but rather expect it to make them feel better by shaming and attacking the other side and the other punching bags their own political side shares (on the Right: intellectuals, liberal activists, secularists, immigrants, government benefit recipients (not counting old-age benefits, which magically are not seen as government benefits), Hollywood, the Mainstream Media, Muslims, unions, government employees, and people of color who bring up the fact that racial disparities remain enormous; on the Left: Wall Street, the 1% (completely ignoring the inequality-supporting policies supported by many of the Democrats in the top 20% of income), Russia, fossil fuels, Evangelicals (and Christians in general who talk about more than the love your neighbor and feed the poor parts of the Bible), Fox News and assorted conservative pundits, people who are enthusiastic about their guns, and stereotypical relatively-uneducated whites).
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Those of you in the UK can possibly understand how a concerted PR effort can induce the crucial fraction of the electorate into voting for what is clearly and provably against their best interests.

You must also allow for the inherent racism and sexism built into American politics. Clinton was viciously pelted with all the code words applied to uppity women ('hysterical' and 'sickly' come to mind but there are millions more). Republicans declared that they would vote against anything Obama proposed simply because he proposed it, whether it was good or not. They missed a big bet in this effort to 'repeal and replace' Obamacare. (Polls have been done, going through the features of O-care; when you don't use the name the features are applauded.) If they had simply passed the exact same law again, only renaming it TrumpCare, then all would be well and Li'l Donny would be hailed as Christ returned to earth.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
[Eek!] I thought he already had been so hailed, at least by some...

IJ
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Those of you in the UK can possibly understand how a concerted PR effort can induce the crucial fraction of the electorate into voting for what is clearly and provably against their best interests.

You must also allow for the inherent racism and sexism built into American politics. Clinton was viciously pelted with all the code words applied to uppity women ('hysterical' and 'sickly' come to mind but there are millions more). Republicans declared that they would vote against anything Obama proposed simply because he proposed it, whether it was good or not. They missed a big bet in this effort to 'repeal and replace' Obamacare. (Polls have been done, going through the features of O-care; when you don't use the name the features are applauded.) If they had simply passed the exact same law again, only renaming it TrumpCare, then all would be well and Li'l Donny would be hailed as Christ returned to earth.

But then the Democrats would find a reason to hate this hypothetical Trumpcare formerly-known-as-Obamacare merely because the GOP passed it. Politics has become a spectator sport for a lot of people except it's not just about political teams winning and losing it's also about cultural tribes benefitting at the expense of the other in a game that is believed to be zero sum.
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
The politics I can understand. It's the moral position of those on the right in the USA that I don't get.

That's an awfully broad brush you wield there...and I would submit that the left in the USA are far and away the biggest moral tyrants in recent years.

quote:
Why do they support laws that result in the rich getting richer?
Granting your premise for the purpose of discussion, why would I care if a rich person gets richer? Is there but one static pile of wealth available?

I am middle income, working class USAsian. I am a King on earth, wealthy beyond any reasonable proportion to the vast majority of my fellow earthlings. I don't resent avarice, I pity it...

quote:
Why don't they want to provide universal healthcare?
Because they have seen the ambulances crossing Ambassador bridge carrying Canadian newborns to NICU beds in Detroit, they've seen the NHS, they've been in a DMV and they damned sure don't want to get their health care from the same service provider...

quote:
Why are they so opposed to socialism, sneering it like its a dirty word.
Venezuela?

Along with the fact that they are pretty happy with the results of American capitalism...

quote:
Why don't they want to fix gun crime in America?
Because the vast majority of gun crime victims in the US are people that no one gives a shit about, and any effort toward real solutions would require an honest dialog that certain segments of the population are simply not willing or prepared to have.

quote:
Why do they hate not just politicians, but bureaucrats?
Have you dealt with the bureaucracy? That's why they hate bureaucrats...
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Cheers mate. I'd like to get back to this, but probably tomorrow after work. I need to ruminate a bit.

Plus, I'd like to see the US launch a preemptive strike against Assad. They have the evidence of preparations, let's pop a few off at the bastard's family.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Well, the 'awfully broad brush' comment was followed by loads of broad brushing. And there was some obviously ambiguous use of the word 'they'. Plus some pretty insensitive comments about murder victims and, by implication, those bereaved.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
I'd like to see the US launch a preemptive strike against Assad. They have the evidence of preparations, let's pop a few off at the bastard's family.

If only President Obama had had the resolve!
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
they've seen the NHS

The NHS is awesome. And a darn sight cheaper than the US healthcare system(s), I might add...
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
The point being that I doubt many have first-hand sight of the NHS. Most of the "seeing" of the NHS will have been done through Fox news.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Yes, "seeing the mass media propaganda about the NHS" is not the same as "seeing the NHS". If you ever fall ill whilst on holiday on this side of the pond you might be pleasantly surprised, as this American doctor was.

And who do you think has been keeping Stephen Hawking alive all these years?

[ 28. June 2017, 12:40: Message edited by: Jane R ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I have an American writer friend who went to France. In Paris he fell off a curb into the street. Broke two bones in his hand. Off to the hospital he went, where they stuck him together and put him into a sling. Then he braced himself for the real agony, the bill. They cast him a glance of pitying contempt. "This is -France-, monsieur," the doctor said. "There is no charge. Go home and get well." He will tell you himself, that the very same incident in Philadelphia would have cost, oh, well north of $10,000.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
If you ever fall ill whilst on holiday on this side of the pond you might be pleasantly surprised...

I was traveling in the U.K. with a friend who had a bad fall. We were both surprised by the excellent care and amazed that there was no charge, even for a foreigner.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
/slight tangent/

That experience doesn't quite equate with that of my sister-in-law's father, who was taken ill (low blood pressure) whilst on holiday in France (I was one of the party). Ambulance called, off to hospital in a smallish country town, Pa in A & E, hospitalised overnight, tests, ECG etc. etc., all for the paltry sum of 25 euros on admission, and 50 euros on discharge (including the evening primrose oil foot massage, which he greatly enjoyed!). My s-in-l was able to claim back the 75 euros, which, for the excellence of the treatment received, was, as I say, a paltry amount.

Well done, France! Vive la Republique!

But, as a true-born Englishman (of Scottish/Irish and French ancestry), I have to say that the NHS is, indeed, awesome.
[Overused]

IJ
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think the French health system charges for injuries caused by accidents. The NHS has tightened up, but I think it is only non-emergency surgery which is charged for, and the various NHS trusts aren't too keen on trying to collect payments for that.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
BBC report on NHS charges for foreigners. I think it is as it suggests - charges for non-urgent care.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
That may explain why my sister-in-law's Pa's experience varied slightly from that of Brenda's friend. His Funny Turn was caused by an existing condition.

Either way, Good Jobs were Jobbed - and I don't doubt that they would also be Jobbed well in America, except for the cost in $$$$$$.....

[Eek!]

IJ
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
I was referring to mr cheesy's first post, but his second (with link) indicates that there is now some system for charging for non-emergencies.

Going back to Orange Man, there is no doubt in my mind that, should he visit Headless Chicken Land, and fall in need of hospital treatment, the charges should be both HYUUUGE and BIGLY.

IJ
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Going back to Orange Man, there is no doubt in my mind that, should he visit Headless Chicken Land, and fall in need of hospital treatment, the charges should be both HYUUUGE and BIGLY.

It won't happen. After all, Trump is the Most Astonishingly Healthy President that there has Ever Been.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Doesn't mean he might not get run over by a Bus (not that I wish it would happen - bus drivers have enough hassle these days as it is).

[Snigger]

IJ
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
They'd never get those orange stains off the tires.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
And the passengers would be delayed and inconvenienced.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Bigly. And there'd be more of them than in any previous bus accident.....

IJ
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
I'm reading his golf course has a poster of a fake Time cover. With him on it of course.

:shakes head:
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
I'm reading his golf course has a poster of a fake Time cover. With him on it of course.

:shakes head:

You mean these? They're apparently at four or five of his golf resorts.

[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
Oh! They come in sets. Thank you. I think.

The man is rather enamored of himself.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
But wait, there's ever so much more! Did you know the man is a golf champion?
 
Posted by jedijudy (# 333) on :
 
I'm surprised he doesn't wear a cape and have a bigly H on his chest.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I was referring to mr cheesy's first post, but his second (with link) indicates that there is now some system for charging for non-emergencies.

In practice the system isn't very functional, and often can't manage to claim from US insurance firms because of the Byzantine sequential nature of the forms they are required to complete justifying the expenses. It's cheaper to eat the costs than to hire someone with the expertise to claim back.
 
Posted by HCH (# 14313) on :
 
I have sometimes wondered how good a golfer Trump actually is. He seems to play only at his own courses where he can fire anyone who criticizes. Is there any trustworthy evidence on this?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
He also drives his golf cart onto the greens, which I am told is anathema on good golf courses.
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
Is it a gold-plated golf cart?
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Possibly, but it's certain to be biglier than any other golf-cart...

IJ
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
I found this instructive. "An Insider's View: The Dark Rigidity of Fundamentalist Rural America", which tries to explain the irrationality of a segment of the American electorate which voted for that guy.

There are many quotable things within, however, I think I will just note that the author's opinion is that change has to come from within, external influences are automatically discounted. Which seems to suggest that the current USA president is a symptom not the disease.

So I'll quote this:
quote:
When a child has an irrational fear, you can deal with it because they trust you and are open to possibilities. When someone doesn’t trust you and isn’t open to anything not already accepted as true in their belief system, there really isn’t much, if anything, you can do.
Which is mostly depressing. I probably shouldn't be reading an history of WW1 just now: the author suggests something personal and unavoidable is required. Even though the USA civil war didn't really result in giving up their idea that the southern states were wrong. etc

[ 29. June 2017, 17:37: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
My brother in law is a pastor in central Texas, essentially the people this book seems to be about. For decades now he has been gently trying to lead his congregation into a more open mindset. I see no signs of success so far. (I do not think it particularly helps for him to have us down for Xmas services. I do not look like anybody in, at a rough guess, 500 miles of that church.)
 
Posted by HCH (# 14313) on :
 
Today Huffington Post has an item under "Comedy" of Tweeted proposed titles for Trump biographies. I think my favorite may be "TrumpelThinSkin".
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:

And who do you think has been keeping Stephen Hawking alive all these years?

The same system looking after Charlie Gard?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:

And who do you think has been keeping Stephen Hawking alive all these years?

The same system looking after Charlie Gard?
Step on down
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
In professional wrestling the "heel" (for those who do not know) is the character who the audience loves to hate, who embodies something like arrogance or wickedness that the audience is united in opposing. In the very low-level stakes of a regional wrestling league in Appalachia where there are many Trump supporters, a man who actually identifies as a liberal has started playing the part of the heel as a character named "Progressive Liberal."

(article may be behind a paywall for some of you - sorry)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/06/28/he-calls-himself-progressive-liberal-hes-the-most-hated-wrestle r-on-the-appalachian-circuit/?utm_term=.c5b4042108be

My comments (on this thread or elsewhere) about politics becoming a) tribal and b) a spectator sport are coming true in a way that surprises even me!

The audience knows it's all a performance and in good fun but there is a real rage behind their disgust at this heel. The anger would be the same if a "Traditional Conservative" heel performed on a wrestling circuit in a liberal part of the country, but the audience's chest-thumping would be less focused on guns they are carrying in the bleachers! Not that I think anyone will actually use those guns to settle a dispute at a wrestling match - but the stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
One of the comments to the linked article sums it up perfectly:

quote:
This guy's gimmick works because everything he’s saying is true.

 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Haven't read the above, just skimmed. I'm busy playing computer games at the moment, having secured a domination victory at Emperor difficulty level in Civ VI, and renewed my hope that I might one day beat the game at the top difficulty level. The game is quite slow in the late stages, so this takes a while.

Anyway, I do want to continue my exploration of Romanlion's politics as one example of right-wing US thinking. I wonder though whether this is the right environment. I'd prefer just to listen and ask exploratory questions without going for gotcha moments, or "oh what a dickhead" responses. Maybe private chat is better...

I don't know. Maybe other people want to do this too?
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Haven't read the above, just skimmed. I'm busy playing computer games at the moment, having secured a domination victory at Emperor difficulty level in Civ VI, and renewed my hope that I might one day beat the game at the top difficulty level. The game is quite slow in the late stages, so this takes a while.

Anyway, I do want to continue my exploration of Romanlion's politics as one example of right-wing US thinking. I wonder though whether this is the right environment. I'd prefer just to listen and ask exploratory questions without going for gotcha moments, or "oh what a dickhead" responses. Maybe private chat is better...

I don't know. Maybe other people want to do this too?

I can't speak for Romanlion but as you probably know, it's often best to not assume that commenters on online forums are representative of voters in a country. This is true for commenters from the right, the left, libertarians, people with views that are too bizarre to fit into any box, etc. The internet, and online forums where people can be anonymous in particular, are woefully inaccurate at representing the opinions of the electorate. Romanlion, I'm assuming, would agree with me. And I don't assume you're representative of Aussie voters either [Biased] . Although I have Aussie in laws, and although I like your healthcare system compared with ours, your country is chock full of crazy folk and crazy politicians just like ours. When I watch the morning news shows or the 24 hour news channels in Australia and they talk politics, I want to shoot myself just as much as I do when watching similar shows here [Smile] .
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:

Anyway, I do want to continue my exploration of Romanlion's politics as one example of right-wing US thinking.

This cannot easily be addressed in Ourg. Ask on the other thread and I will give an answer.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Haven't read the above, just skimmed. I'm busy playing computer games at the moment, having secured a domination victory at Emperor difficulty level in Civ VI, and renewed my hope that I might one day beat the game at the top difficulty level. The game is quite slow in the late stages, so this takes a while.

Anyway, I do want to continue my exploration of Romanlion's politics as one example of right-wing US thinking. I wonder though whether this is the right environment. I'd prefer just to listen and ask exploratory questions without going for gotcha moments, or "oh what a dickhead" responses. Maybe private chat is better...

I don't know. Maybe other people want to do this too?

I can't speak for Romanlion but as you probably know, it's often best to not assume that commenters on online forums are representative of voters in a country. This is true for commenters from the right, the left, libertarians, people with views that are too bizarre to fit into any box, etc. The internet, and online forums where people can be anonymous in particular, are woefully inaccurate at representing the opinions of the electorate. Romanlion, I'm assuming, would agree with me. And I don't assume you're representative of Aussie voters either [Biased] . Although I have Aussie in laws, and although I like your healthcare system compared with ours, your country is chock full of crazy folk and crazy politicians just like ours. When I watch the morning news shows or the 24 hour news channels in Australia and they talk politics, I want to shoot myself just as much as I do when watching similar shows here [Smile] .
rofl

Yeah, but those crazies I know [Smile]

I have other sources for information on right-wing Americans. I'd just prefer not to talk politics with them as I'm pretty sure one of them was on the one who looks like Uncle Fester before she was on the Giant Orange Idiot. If I talk with Romanlion, I talk with someone who I'm not at risk of blowing a relationship with.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:

And who do you think has been keeping Stephen Hawking alive all these years?

The same system looking after Charlie Gard?
Worth one response in Purgatory. Yes, I'm sure that there would be a practitioner or two in the US prepared to offer the modern equivalent of snake oil, at an exorbitant price, to Charlie Gard's desperate parents. But what they have received in the UK is honest, professional, non-exploitative advice, which is in their best interests and also those of their desperately ill baby son.

I guess that conflicts with your libertarian philosophy. If they are desperate enough to want to spend money raised charitably in the folorn hope that something might be done, then isn't it wonderful that in the US there are folks prepared to take a shed load of that money to exploit their desperation.

I think the NHS and the courts show that the UK approach is wiser and better in this case. And also kinder.

I'm sure YMMV, but you're just wrong.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:

And who do you think has been keeping Stephen Hawking alive all these years?

quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
The same system looking after Charlie Gard?

I think you'll find that severe mitochondrial disorders causing profound neurological damage have a very poor outlook wherever you are in the world, irrespective of the availability of experimental unproven treatments.

But I'm sure you knew that and were looking for a bit of mud.

If you want to denigrate the NHS there are plenty of other systems that arguably run better. French, German and various Scandinavian systems compare extremely favourably. They're all socialized of course.

I have heard some intelligent Republican arguments against state interference in healthcare, but I don't think you've hit on any yet. And pretending that the healthcare outcomes are better in the US is definitely not one of them.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Once again the media storm is over Trump tweets and fake magazine covers instead of the really scary stuff:

quote:
The vice chairman of President Trump’s commission on election integrity sent a letter to all 50 states Wednesday requesting information on their voter rolls.

The letter (...), directs states to turn over “publicly-available voter roll data including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, [and] voter history from 2006 onward.”


 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Eutychus, I'm not a person who is too concerned with the Govt. having allot of very detailed information on its people. Given the nature of the information available to large private sector companies, it is only fair and reasonable that the Govt should have as much of that information as it can get its hands on.

Apart from privacy concerns, what's the problem? I've read the article, and don't see any other issue.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Centralising people's voting history?

And then if states refuse, as some have, it can be said they have conspired to cover up voting fraud.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Barnabas--

[Votive] for Charlie, family, and all affecting his care.

I have no idea what the right decision would be in this case. But experimental and "one in a million" treatments do sometimes help, if only to give a little more time, and people fight to get them. Why shouldn't Charlie's parents fight for him?

Note: I hadn't heard of this until romanlion mentioned it. I did a quick search, and just skimmed through the results page. (Looked too painful to go further.) But I gather C is on life support, and there's been a big fight about either the EU taking him off life support, or his parents taking him to the US for special treatment.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
But experimental and "one in a million" treatments do sometimes help, if only to give a little more time, and people fight to get them. Why shouldn't Charlie's parents fight for him?

It would be worth another thread to do this properly if people are interested, but a summary my concern with the experimental and one-in-a-million approach is that a) one can't justify substantial human suffering on that basis b) the expense isn't sustainable anywhere in the world and c) if we do that we'll never find out which treatments actually work and it's the end of rational medicine.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
mdijon--

If you want to start a new thread, please do. Thx. [Smile]
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Centralising people's voting history?

And then if states refuse, as some have, it can be said they have conspired to cover up voting fraud.

I'd be surprised if an Australian Federal Govt Department here doesn't have that information. We have a Privacy Act which governs its use. I think that extends to the Private Sector, but as I say, care factor zero here re privacy. That horse has bolted.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
I'd be surprised if an Australian Federal Govt Department here doesn't have that information.

Individuals' voting records?? [Eek!]
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Meanwhile, I see that Ozymandias' travel ban on some Muslims has come into effect, albeit without the chaos caused by the first attempt.

How to win friends and influence people.....

[Disappointed]

IJ
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Centralising people's voting history?

And then if states refuse, as some have, it can be said they have conspired to cover up voting fraud.

If this comes to anything at all it will be a pension fund for lawyers.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Golden Key:
quote:
I have no idea what the right decision would be in this case. But experimental and "one in a million" treatments do sometimes help, if only to give a little more time, and people fight to get them. Why shouldn't Charlie's parents fight for him?
They did. They fought for him to be kept alive. The medical team responsible for his care argued that being flown to the USA for an experimental treatment that was extremely unlikely to work was not in his best interests and he should be allowed to die with dignity.

This went all the way through the British court system before being referred to the European Court of Human Rights. All the courts agreed with the medical experts' judgment that further treatment was not in Charlie's best interests.

The ECHR (which, incidentally, is not an agency of the European Union) merely upheld the decision of the (many) British courts which ruled on this matter. But it was a win-win situation for the tabloids, because if the ECHR had ruled in favour of Charlie's parents they could have had banner headlines about Loss of Sovereignty...

Doctors hate to lose their patients, especially when treating babies and small children. The medical team will not be rejoicing today; they'll be sad too.

Oh, and what Barnabas and mdijon said.

I suppose I ought to go and join in lilbuddha's Hell thread, but I don't think it's worth arguing with trolls.

[Votive] for the Gards.
 
Posted by Mere Nick (# 11827) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
I'd be surprised if an Australian Federal Govt Department here doesn't have that information.

Individuals' voting records?? [Eek!]
My mother had dementia for the last 10+ years of her life. It is easy to go online and see the requested information about her and I've also looked up several other people. Like what Trump asked for, it is public information. The only question regarding the Trump request is who is going to have to take the time gathering that public information. It doesn't tell how someone voted, just whether or not they voted.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Once again the media storm is over Trump tweets and fake magazine covers instead of the really scary stuff.

I have written both of my senators and my state governor expressing concern over this latest move.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
I'd be surprised if an Australian Federal Govt Department here doesn't have that information.

Individuals' voting records?? [Eek!]
My mother had dementia for the last 10+ years of her life. It is easy to go online and see the requested information about her and I've also looked up several other people. Like what Trump asked for, it is public information.
Sort of yes, but really no. Looking up a mass list of every voter is typically not available to the general public. You can search the records but you typically have to know some info about the person you're trying to research, which limits most people to themselves, close relatives, or public figures about whom such information is already publicly available.

Some states even have laws on the books to prevent people from looking up other people's voter information, like Virginia whose voter info website states:

quote:
I certify and affirm that the information provided to access my voter registration is my own or I am expressly authorized by the voter to access this information. I understand that it is unlawful to access the record of any other voter, punishable as computer fraud under Va. Code § 18.2-152.3.

 
Posted by Mere Nick (# 11827) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Sort of yes, but really no. Looking up a mass list of every voter is typically not available to the general public. You can search the records but you typically have to know some info about the person you're trying to research, which limits most people to themselves, close relatives, or public figures about whom such information is already publicly available.

Some states even have laws on the books to prevent people from looking up other people's voter information, like Virginia whose voter info website states:

quote:
I certify and affirm that the information provided to access my voter registration is my own or I am expressly authorized by the voter to access this information. I understand that it is unlawful to access the record of any other voter, punishable as computer fraud under Va. Code § 18.2-152.3.
[/QB]
Ah, I see. I did not scroll through a list but looked specifically for her. As for the Virginia thing, it won't stop anyone except those who are too decent for politics.
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
It doesn't tell how someone voted, just whether or not they voted.

Here in Colorado, they send registered voters ballots in the mail (you can also go in person on election day, or in the month or so before). And there have been many proposals to not send ballots to registered voters who have not voted in the past few elections- the claim is that it invites fraud.

Each state, as I understand it, sets its own rules for how elections work, voting rights act issues aside. So I imagine the plan here is to come out with "proof" of mass fraud, and demand that Republican Secretaries of State follow certain White House promulgated "best practices" in setting rules for 2018 and 2020, which will no doubt recommend "common sense" solutions that happen to result in significant pruning of registrations in Democrat-heavy areas.

It's a long way out, and I try to avoid this kind of doomsday thinking, but I kind of wonder what will happen in 2020 if Trump loses. There's little chance that he wouldn't fire off some Wednesday morning tweets about mass voter fraud. But how far would it go? Mitch McConnell has certainly learned that ignoring republican norms (small r intentional there) can reap huge rewards. It's one thing when someone out of power threatens to not respect the results of the election. If Trump stays in place and dares anyone to do anything about it, what happens then?

I hope it doesn't, but it has potential to get real ugly.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Yes, each state does it their own way. (You remember the far-famed 'hanging chads' in Florida.) You would think that this would drive a greater efficiency, with 50 petri dishes in which to experiment. But this assumes that efficiency, and getting a large turnout, is the goal. The hidden goal of the GOP is to drive turnout down. Hence the perpetual search for fraud, the gerrymandering, and the erecting of barriers preventing the poor, people in heavily-black districts, and so on, from exercising their franchise.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Surely you guyz across the Pond can come up with some way of getting shot of TOOO before 2020?

[Paranoid]

Somewhere on the 'news', FWIW (but I can't find the link), M. Macron is being hailed as the Anti-Trump..... [Eek!]

IJ
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
As I said above, the big question is if the Republicans have seen enough reward to throw out republican norms.

Everyone was ready to call out Trump for being un-presidential yesterday. Will that lead to any of those people withdrawing support for the health care bill or a future Supreme Court nominee? Fat chance.

People ask if there is a point where he becomes so unpopular that he will hurt the Republicans in the next election, and they bail. I would suggest it's not a simple matter of what poll number he has to hit. Bailing on the President would piss off a large wing of the Republican party, so they have to worry about that. The 2018 Senate map is friendly for the Republicans, and the House map is generally Republican friendly as well, so it's going to have to be a big popularity deficit before they really see an electoral threat.

A few votes away from ending Obamacare and one Supreme Court retirement or death away from a five-vote conservative majority? They'll put up with a lot to stay in that position.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
...the plot thickens...

"Bill to create panel that could remove Trump from office quietly picks up Democratic support" (Yahoo News).
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
I do wonder, and I haven't had the poor form to ask any of my American friends, both Democrats and Republicans, whether they feel like Romans at the end of the Republic.

[ 01. July 2017, 14:37: Message edited by: Pangolin Guerre ]
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
quote:
I do wonder, and I haven't had the poor form to ask any of my American friends, both Democrats and Republicans, whether they feel like Romans at the end of the Republic.

Sadly, yes.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
Nero tweeting while Washington burns?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
What probably will save us is the raw, overwhelming, undeniably blithering incompetence of Li'l Donny. He has all the attention span of a gnat, and watches only cable news. He reminds me of those crazy old men you see in bars or fast-food restaurants, yelling curses at the screen.
If he were able to focus upon a goal, the levers of power would lend him terrible strength. But he can't, any more than a four-year-old could. This is a dreadful and weak reed to lean upon, but so far, astonishingly, it seems to be holding.
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
The problem is that while Trump is undeniably stupid, impulsive, mean, and petty, he's also extremely useful. As long as he helps the Republicans achieve some version of their agenda, he's safe. If the house and senate flip in 2018, it could change. But the Democrats are 0-2 in special elections since he took power, so that's far from a sure thing.

As I asked above, what happens if Trump loses in 2020? Will he step down gracefully, or will he cry voter fraud and dare anyone to remove him from office? And if, at that time, the Republicans remain one Supreme Court justice away from a majority with RBG not getting any younger, will they be able to resist playing along? That's when we really start looking like the end of the Roman Republic.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Was trumpy born this way, defective in personality and character, or was he deformed by his life experiences, where and how he was raised? If his life rhymes with Nixon's does that mean anything? Is there something about the American experiment involved? Is he the disease or one symptom of a larger pathology? And does this mean no hope for the human race?

(I write the above amid hopeful 01 July celebrations of 150 years of the Canadian experiment. And I consider nothing better, just different. )
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
I do wonder, and I haven't had the poor form to ask any of my American friends, both Democrats and Republicans, whether they feel like Romans at the end of the Republic.

Absolutely. Or the middle of the book of Revelation. Or Germany circa 1938 or so.

I have my escape plan (had the foresight to marry a Canadian 28 years ago). So I keep wondering at what point do I pull the trigger? Obviously uprooting my family, leaving my two jobs and immigrating won't be easy-- although far far easier for me than most of my neighbors. But waiting too long may close off some avenues of escape...

Interestingly, as all this has continued to unfold, at some point I remarked to DH how grateful I was that he had not relinquished his Canadian citizenship years ago in favor of naturalization. Surprisingly, he remarked that he was now thinking of doing so-- as an act of solidarity with the country that has been his home for the past 30 years, not leaving when the going gets tough.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:

If he were able to focus upon a goal, the levers of power would lend him terrible strength. But he can't, any more than a four-year-old could.

Four-year-old? Our twins are four and they have more empathy, sense, manners and ability to focus than he has in his (very) little finger.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I had to set it at four, because by the time you are four you are, with luck, no longer in diapers. Incontinence (at least of that sort) is one thing that Crooked Don has never been accused of, and I shall not be the first to begin.

I have friends who are emigrating to either Canada or Ireland (depending on real estate prices) this year. They are hanging onto their property here in the US, however, so that they can vote absentee. If you leave, don't give up your citizenship. We will need your vote.

If Lyin' Don is re-elected in 2020 that's when you'll start to see the real exodus starting up.

[ 01. July 2017, 18:21: Message edited by: Brenda Clough ]
 
Posted by HCH (# 14313) on :
 
If you actually want a nightmare scenario, think of Trump-Trump-Kushner-Kushner.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is a free click and a day-brightener. You will remember that Buzz Aldrin went to the Moon; the Buzz Lightyear in the Pixar movie is named after him.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
This is a free click and a day-brightener. You will remember that Buzz Aldrin went to the Moon; the Buzz Lightyear in the Pixar movie is named after him.

I suppose it's forgivable that he doesn't get the Toy Story reference-- I doubt very much he was the one taking his young kids to the movies. But the exchange also suggests he has absolutely no idea what "infinity" means.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
This is a free click and a day-brightener. You will remember that Buzz Aldrin went to the Moon; the Buzz Lightyear in the Pixar movie is named after him.

I suppose you need a little light relief, but this just depresses me.

Can you really do no more than poke fun at the guy? As cliffdweller says, is your benchmark whether or not he catches contemporary culture references that happen to be important to you? Is all your creative energy directed at finding new names to call him?

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Trump is absolutely brilliant at catching contemporary culture references that win him votes, and that is all that matters.

I have this vision of Democrats spending four years being outraged at Trump tweets, poking fun at his apparent stupidity, and dreaming every Thursday of the Great Friday Newsdump that will magically get him out of office by the next week's.

Then they will wonder why he wins a second term by a landslide.

By carrying on like this you are making yourselves believe the guy is a fool and easily caught. As somone whose experience with a con artist is most enlightening when it comes to analysing Trump, take it from me: he isn't and he won't be.

To remove Trump you need to do better than do him down. You need to come up with a compelling and vote-winning alternative.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
Eutychus, I'm with you -- to a point.

I frankly don't think 44.3 is removable until or unless he somehow imperils 2018 election outcomes. The Senate is fairly safe in that regard; it's only the House which might be affected. That'll make for a 2-year-stalled Congress, but it won't change much else.

I also think most liberals have this the wrong way around. We should stop wondering how this petty, nasty, stupid, ignorant vulgarian managed to become President. He wasn't elected despite these shortcomings; he was elected because of them.

He was elected because of all the times our jaunty, confident, liberal selves sat quietly through Thanksgiving dinner while That Racist Sister-in-Law cracked nasty jokes, and we decided it was better to keep peace at table and avoid family squabbles than to challenge her.

He was elected because of the times we "picked our battles" on some church committee rather than call out the homophobe committee member.

He was elected because of the times we didn't want to make a fuss when a male acquaintance kept "mansplaining" while we were answering someone else's question about our own lives.

We have been too polite and too nice, and too nonconfrontational and our polite, liberal silence has been received as acceptance by the substantial subset of the US population which is racist, sexist, ageist, nativist, and on and on.

When we HAVE confronted such prejudices, we have been instantly marginalized as feminazis, bleeding hearts, tree-huggers, or what-have-you.

We have been living in a fool's paradise, and we have to stop being so nice, polite, and quiet.

We also have to stop diagnosing the President. We're the ones who helped put this guy in office; we're the ones in need of diagnosis.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:

He was elected because of all the times our jaunty, confident, liberal selves sat quietly through Thanksgiving dinner while That Racist Sister-in-Law cracked nasty jokes, and we decided it was better to keep peace at table and avoid family squabbles than to challenge her.

He was elected because of the times we "picked our battles" on some church committee rather than call out the homophobe committee member.

He was elected because of the times we didn't want to make a fuss when a male acquaintance kept "mansplaining" while we were answering someone else's question about our own lives.

We have been too polite and too nice, and too nonconfrontational and our polite, liberal silence has been received as acceptance by the substantial subset of the US population which is racist, sexist, ageist, nativist, and on and on.

When we HAVE confronted such prejudices, we have been instantly marginalized as feminazis, bleeding hearts, tree-huggers, or what-have-you.

We have been living in a fool's paradise, and we have to stop being so nice, polite, and quiet.

Absolutely.
 
Posted by Soror Magna (# 9881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
...
Apart from privacy concerns, what's the problem? I've read the article, and don't see any other issue.

The purpose is voter intimidation. When Simon Toad shows up to vote in Nevada, some "poll watcher" will say, "Wait a sec, there's a Simon Toad registered in Virginia, and another in Oregon, and three in New York. And one has the same birthday as you, and another has the same last four digits in his SSN as you. Let's see forty-three pieces of ID. Got any proof you used to live in Virginia? How do we know you didn't vote three times in New York already? VOTER FRAUD!!!!!" Of course, none of this has anything to do with the fact that Simon Toad is registered in Nevada as a Democrat ...

And yes, of course these people know that in a country of over 300 million people and only 365 days in a year, lots of people have the same birthday. You only have to look in the phone book - remember that? - to discover how common duplicate names are. If I've done my math right, up to 100,000 SSNs can have the same last 4 digits as mine. That's not the point. The point is to feign ignorance of basic math, create the myth that there are millions of people voting illegally, and justify voter suppression efforts.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I don't think I have been nice and quiet. It is not my nature. Polite? As a tool.

I doubt if anyone has ever been converted, when confronted with their homophobia, sexism, racism, etc. Remember that it is a secret ballot in this country. You can go into the voting booth and vote for the bigot if you like, and no one will ever know. Confront them, nicely or not. Will it make a difference?

I take hope in the general trend of society. We can look at the world (those of us who are old enough) and see how it has changed, in our lifetimes. You can still -be- racist. But you have difficulty now, saying it aloud, acting casually about it, paying your black employees less than your white ones. Or look at gay and lesbian issues. The progress made in the past twenty years is amazing. You can go back, and read the history -- of black people in the back of the bus, of women fired when they became pregnant, of gay people ostracized. And it's not like that today, mostly.

We have progressed. We are getting there. We must not despair. The current president is over 70. He is the last president we will have like this. All we have to do is survive him.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
mdijon--

If you want to start a new thread, please do. Thx. [Smile]

I went ahead and started
"Medical treatment--who gets what, who decides, who pays?" (Purg).

I've copied the Charlie Gard discussion from here to there.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
...
Apart from privacy concerns, what's the problem? I've read the article, and don't see any other issue.

The purpose is voter intimidation. When Simon Toad shows up to vote in Nevada, some "poll watcher" will say, "Wait a sec, there's a Simon Toad registered in Virginia, and another in Oregon, and three in New York. And one has the same birthday as you, and another has the same last four digits in his SSN as you. Let's see forty-three pieces of ID. Got any proof you used to live in Virginia? How do we know you didn't vote three times in New York already? VOTER FRAUD!!!!!" Of course, none of this has anything to do with the fact that Simon Toad is registered in Nevada as a Democrat ...

And yes, of course these people know that in a country of over 300 million people and only 365 days in a year, lots of people have the same birthday. You only have to look in the phone book - remember that? - to discover how common duplicate names are. If I've done my math right, up to 100,000 SSNs can have the same last 4 digits as mine. That's not the point. The point is to feign ignorance of basic math, create the myth that there are millions of people voting illegally, and justify voter suppression efforts.

sure. But that info is there anyway for collation. And do people really challenge you at the ballot box? I have never heard of that happening in Australia. I understand that there is a long history of attempts to stop people voting in the USA, but no party official can be within cooee of a voting booth here, and if someone tried to stop someone else voting, the electoral officials would deal with them PDQ.

We also don't have a weaver of the dark arts like Roger Stone to worry about. Fair dinkum, that bloke looks like he's dead, but found a way to resurrect himself. He just has to keep his body very cold or he will spontaneously liquefy.

My major point is that if someone in a foreign call centre can cold-call me on the phone and ask for me by name, then the privacy battle is lost. That said, Government is the proper place for the collation and analysis of information on its citizenry, not Google or any of a plethora of private companies. That I receive at least one call a day from India or the Philippines asking to speak to Mr Toad is evidence that the Private Sector simply cannot be trusted in this area.

Trump is of his time and place, but Australia has its share of similar characters. One was
Joh a conservative Premier of Queensland for over 20 years, lampooned hard and often, despised by the left and a wrecker of right-wing PM ambition. He got off corruption charges because one juror was a hard-core fan and hung the jury.

I vividly remember one American woman saying "He says what I think." about Trump, and I think that's the key to his appeal. It's not actually his words, but the values he projects: the values of our sexist, racist, cut-through-the-bullshit past. My Dad would vote for him, if he was still alive and an American. He had a Joh for PM sticker on our family car. Trump voters, I think, are bathed in the same cultural influences as me.

How do you change their votes? You gotta get next to them, have fun with them, be one of them and lay off the criticism.

Or you could try to swamp them...

Anyway, I damn well hope that Democrat strategists have a much better idea than me.

[ 02. July 2017, 04:36: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I don't think I have been nice and quiet. It is not my nature. Polite? As a tool.

I doubt if anyone has ever been converted, when confronted with their homophobia, sexism, racism, etc. Remember that it is a secret ballot in this country. You can go into the voting booth and vote for the bigot if you like, and no one will ever know. Confront them, nicely or not. Will it make a difference?

I take hope in the general trend of society. We can look at the world (those of us who are old enough) and see how it has changed, in our lifetimes. You can still -be- racist. But you have difficulty now, saying it aloud, acting casually about it, paying your black employees less than your white ones. Or look at gay and lesbian issues. The progress made in the past twenty years is amazing. You can go back, and read the history -- of black people in the back of the bus, of women fired when they became pregnant, of gay people ostracized. And it's not like that today, mostly.

We have progressed. We are getting there. We must not despair. The current president is over 70. He is the last president we will have like this. All we have to do is survive him.

I agree, there are fewer and fewer young racist, homophobic misogynistic isolationists. We live in an interconnected world and young people more so. The OOO is the end of the line, the last of the dinosaurs.

I am also with you in finding humour in the situation wherever it is to be found. If we didn't laugh we'd cry.

Laughter is a great healer even when it's ironic and sarcastic in nature.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
I hope you are right. But my impression is that prejudices, whether learned or innate, die hard. Also, there seems to me to be a "lemming dimension" at work in social media. Sometimes that is marshalled in support of good causes, sometimes the group think can be aggressive, unfair, unpleasant.

Eutychus is right; it's not a good idea to be complacent about the inevitable twilight of Trump. Much as I wish otherwise, realpolitik suggests to me that there is unlikely to be a Watergate Mark 2 in his immediate future.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
Yesterday he spoke at a convention of fans -- veterans and evangelicals -- (he feeds on these rallies like a vampire) and got a cheering, standing ovation for shouting, "The media tried to stop me but I'm president and they're not!"
Nelson Muntz
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Yesterday he spoke at a convention of fans -- veterans and evangelicals -- (he feeds on these rallies like a vampire) and got a cheering, standing ovation for shouting, "The media tried to stop me but I'm president and they're not!"
Nelson Muntz

Yep, all despots love their rallies. How long, 'tho, can he use 'fake news' and 'fraud news' before the cheering fans realise the emperor has no clothes?
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Yesterday he spoke at a convention of fans -- veterans and evangelicals -- (he feeds on these rallies like a vampire) and got a cheering, standing ovation for shouting, "The media tried to stop me but I'm president and they're not!"
Nelson Muntz

Yep, all despots love their rallies. How long, 'tho, can he use 'fake news' and 'fraud news' before the cheering fans realise the emperor has no clothes?
Indefinitely. These are the people who wouldn't abandon him if he murdered someone in front of their very eyes. No amount of "evidence" is going to change their minds.

You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't arrive at by reason.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I don't think I have been nice and quiet. It is not my nature. Polite? As a tool.

Excellent. But far too many others have been nice, polite, and quiet. I have been, more than I care to admit. I'm sure I'm not alone.

quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I doubt if anyone has ever been converted, when confronted with their homophobia, sexism, racism, etc.

I not only share your doubt, I'm sure you're right. That's not the point of speaking up, though; in these situations, there are usually others within earshot, some of whom are quietly wrestling with the "Should I speak up?" question. They need to know they're not alone; they need to hear various ways of defending the "liberal" view; they need to be encouraged to speak up too.

quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Remember that it is a secret ballot in this country. You can go into the voting booth and vote for the bigot if you like, and no one will ever know. Confront them, nicely or not. Will it make a difference?

What I'm sure of is the result of not speaking up enough. We're living it. The mainstream media is no longer trusted, and when it presents facts that seem to support the liberal case, many people reject not only the message, but the messenger. People do still sometimes listen to their friends and neighbors, though. Ordinary liberal-in-the-street voters need to give folks more to listen to.

quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I take hope in the general trend of society. We can look at the world (those of us who are old enough) and see how it has changed, in our lifetimes. You can still -be- racist. But you have difficulty now, saying it aloud, acting casually about it, paying your black employees less than your white ones. Or look at gay and lesbian issues. The progress made in the past twenty years is amazing. You can go back, and read the history -- of black people in the back of the bus, of women fired when they became pregnant, of gay people ostracized. And it's not like that today, mostly.

Yes, there's been progress. That progress is currently under attack on many fronts.

quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
We have progressed. We are getting there. We must not despair. The current president is over 70. He is the last president we will have like this. All we have to do is survive him.

I am older than the current president; what has age to do with anything? Worse, he has already done substantial damage and will continue to do more. Hate crimes are up across the country. Groups espousing assorted hateful platforms are openly recruiting and demonstrating. I have students in their late teens-early 20s who complain that I restrict their speech freedoms when I kick them out of class for using the "n-word" and other slurs. We all operate at least partially on the experiences we have. What I take hope from is the bare fact that 44.3 was put in office by a minority of the electorate.

It was not a small enough minority. We actively need to shrink it further.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
The other day I stood at the Bus Stop with another of The Glums, a chap aged around 75. His 'conversation' usually slags off everybody from God downwards, but last week he really pissed me off by blaming 'Muslims' for just about all the ills of the world.

Fortunately, some friends arrived at the Bus Stop shortly before the Bus came along, so I was able to escape from the rant. If it happens again, I shall politely tell him that I Don't Talk To Racists.

And leave him to fulminate, rant, swear etc. as he will. His problem, not mine.

(I've done this sort of thing before at Bus Stops, BTW. Roll on the day when I get my driving licence back*. I think.)

IJ

*I had to hand it over to the DVLA when I started to have epileptic fits, due to a brain tumour. Clear of fits for over a year now! [Yipee] )
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
I an not convinced that this man isn't a natural heir to twice-born George Bush and Ronald Reagan. The followers of an eroticized Plato are in a battle with religionists: they can't share anything anymore. Many seem to have conversations with Jesus, mistaking their fears for Other. Religion certainly isn't an opiate, it isn't even a comfort. Their bible is a wicked book, read as a pornography of domination. Conversion of this trump man? conversion to what exactly? The American religion?

Does anyone else remember Spinoza? who instructed us how necessary it is to love God withour expecting God to love us in return. A very unAmerican idea; some 90% believe God loves them on a personal basis and they talk to their Jesus daily. No servants here.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
The other day I stood at the Bus Stop with another of The Glums, a chap aged around 75. His 'conversation' usually slags off everybody from God downwards, but last week he really pissed me off by blaming 'Muslims' for just about all the ills of the world.

Fortunately, some friends arrived at the Bus Stop shortly before the Bus came along, so I was able to escape from the rant. If it happens again, I shall politely tell him that I Don't Talk To Racists.

I wonder how helpful it is to take this approach: tell ranters “I don’t talk to racists (sexists, etc., fill in as appropriate).” It isolates the ranters, sure; but is that what we need to do?

Personally, I think my own views over the decades have been heavily-influenced by the sense that I belong to some (probably VERY loosely-defined) like-minded community with a base of shared values. As ranters begin to perceive that fewer and fewer people agree with them, at least a few of them will begin to wonder about the views they’ve held, and may begin to question these views.

I was once convinced (several decades ago) that sexual minorities were mentally ill; I found the (then) mental health professionals’ consensus persuasive. Following the ongoing discussion of “Is it or isn’t it MI?”, working with, and getting to know, people who belonged to those minorities changed my mind. It took a while. It was a process. I now understand how woefully wrong, and how profoundly damaging, the views I once held are.

I wonder if it might be possible to ask the Muslim ranter if he knows anybody who’s a Muslim? When he says, as he’s likely to, “No,” ask him if he shouldn’t at least get to know a couple of the folks he’s publicly badmouthing, so as to give them a fair chance to defend themselves. How does he know, after all, that he’s not speaking to a Muslim?

quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
And leave him to fulminate, rant, swear etc. as he will. His problem, not mine.

Is it? You're in the UK, I believe; what do you think of your current government? Whose votes brought that about? And isn't it now Your Problem, as a result? That's how I'm feeling about my current government.

quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Clear of fits for over a year now! [Yipee] )

Congratulations, and may it be ever so!
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Well, points taken - but I'm afraid that too much exposure to stress (e.g. trying to argue with a Muslim-hater) is likely to bring on an Addison's Crisis, which I can ill afford. Simply refusing to engage, and walking away, is the best solution for me , though I agree that that might not be the same for others.

As regards our 'government' (if Rule By Headless Chickens can be so described), I voted Labour, FWIW, despite being a paid-up member of another left-wing party of (sadly) smaller dimensions.

IJ
 
Posted by HCH (# 14313) on :
 
This thread may need a slightly lighter moment. If we had a collection of Trumps, what would be the collective noun?

A cabal of trumps

An idiocy of Trumps (even one will do)

An embarrassment of Trumps (ditto)

A criminality of Trumps

Likewise, if we had a social medium just for Trump, what should it be called?

Blither (one sends out Bleats)

Me Central

Dumb yahoo
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
'A Tragedy of Trumps' seems not too harsh a term....

[Disappointed]

IJ
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
A twitter of trumps. (too easy)

A bigly of trumps?
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
Ohher (and others) -

I think it's a major mistake to focus on the racism, sexism and homophobia. Trump's people by and large don't think those matter (or agree with him). ANd the task is to move his people away from him, not reinforce the beliefs of the people who didn't and won't vote for him in any circumstance.

Remember, he won his electoral votes in states badly damaged economically. The votes that swung the key states to him were people who were hurting because of lost jobs and no economic future they could foretell. And they blamed the "government", "liberals" and the democrats because all the nice liberal people who believed in free trade and such didn't bother to explain how ordinary people were actually benefitting from those policies -- if they were (which no one bothered to discuss either). The nice liberal people just assumed that everyone would benefit, that everyone had benefitted and that if anyone doubted, all they had to do was take their word for it and stop thinking about it.

(Not unlike the anti-Brexiteers, IMO, but I digress.)

These people were hurting, and Trump offered to fix their problems. That he's almost certainly totally wrong doesn't matter -- they think he's right, because if he's right he can fix it.

If the Democrats want the hurting states to go their way, they've got to address what the people in those states think is the problem. And when you've no job, no prospect of a job, and a future of unrelieved misery, you are probably not going to be put off voting for someone who seems to have an answer when no-one else does because of all those liberal things he (and you) doesn't believe or care about.

John
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
Ohher (and others) -

I think it's a major mistake to focus on the racism, sexism and homophobia. Trump's people by and large don't think those matter (or agree with him). ANd the task is to move his people away from him, not reinforce the beliefs of the people who didn't and won't vote for him in any circumstance.

Remember, he won his electoral votes in states badly damaged economically. The votes that swung the key states to him were people who were hurting because of lost jobs and no economic future they could foretell. And they blamed the "government", "liberals" and the democrats because all the nice liberal people who believed in free trade and such didn't bother to explain how ordinary people were actually benefitting from those policies -- if they were (which no one bothered to discuss either). The nice liberal people just assumed that everyone would benefit, that everyone had benefitted and that if anyone doubted, all they had to do was take their word for it and stop thinking about it.

(Not unlike the anti-Brexiteers, IMO, but I digress.)

These people were hurting, and Trump offered to fix their problems. That he's almost certainly totally wrong doesn't matter -- they think he's right, because if he's right he can fix it.

If the Democrats want the hurting states to go their way, they've got to address what the people in those states think is the problem. And when you've no job, no prospect of a job, and a future of unrelieved misery, you are probably not going to be put off voting for someone who seems to have an answer when no-one else does because of all those liberal things he (and you) doesn't believe or care about.

John

Many excellent points. I wonder, though, if it's "the government, liberals, and Democrats" who are getting blamed. When I engage with Trumpists from this hurting category (there's a serious dearth of jobs in the northern part of my state), I hear blame getting laid at the door of "!@&%$! immigrants." (This state has a small black population, largely settled near our southern border. We've also received a substantial (given our small, rural population) inflow of refugees in recent years.) Hence, my conviction we need to sway people away from isms.

Interestingly, 8 of the 10 cities with the worst unemployment currently are in California, which went for Clinton. The counties where those cities are located went narrowly for Trump.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
When I engage with Trumpists from this hurting category (there's a serious dearth of jobs in the northern part of my state), I hear blame getting laid at the door of "!@&%$! immigrants."

I don't think you will be successful at persuading these people (who think they have no work because immigrants are taking their jobs) that they are being racist, and that they should love their immigrants.

Most of this sort of person is likely to tell you that he doesn't have anything against [people of a different skin tone or cultural background] but that the jobs should go to the people who are [here] already, rather than bringing in more people.

On the other hand, "we understand that you are hurting. Here are some concrete plans to bring more jobs to your area" is a pitch you can sell.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
This thread may need a slightly lighter moment.

As posted earlier, if you take that line, you have basically fallen for the Trump presidency cast as entertainment (as well as mistaking Purgatory for Heaven), and as you appear to be a US voter, I fear you are sleepwalking your way to another GOP victory in 2020.

Listen rather to John Holding, and do something useful about it.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
If we had a collection of Trumps, what would be the collective noun?

Considering what trump means in Scots slang (so I'm told), a privy of Trumps.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Okay, a lighter moment....

...both Yahweh and Satan are scratching their heads, giving puzzled looks to each other at this point.
Yahweh: You're certain he's not one of yours? Because I didn't make him.
Satan: Please. Give me some credit. Even I have standards.
Yahweh: Buddha? Brahma?
Both shrug their shoulders.
Satan: Gaia?
Gaia: glowers

Satan: Right right. Sorry. Forgot about the "pussy grabbing" thing.
Yahweh: Cthulhu?
Cthulhu: What kind of monster do you take me for? sips tea

Satan: Well, someone cooked him up.
Flying Spaghetti Monster: ...
Yahweh: Wait...there is no way you could...
Flying Spaghetti Monster: Look...it was my first time. I was a little drunk and someone asked for a "Tangerine Dream" so I thought...
Satan: facepalms. Fucking newbies...
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
A twitter of trumps. (too easy)

A bigly of trumps?

An apocalypse of trump-aster
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

Does anyone else remember Spinoza? who instructed us how necessary it is to love God without expecting God to love us in return.

Okay, I am utterly confused. How the hell does one love God without expecting (hoping?) him to love us in--well, not return, in the first place, at least according to John--"We love God, because he first loved us."

No doubt I'm missing something deep.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Look, if you really, really want to convert a Trumpist, it's gonna hurt. Because you are going to have to get to know that person and love them to the point where you know what it is like to be that person, to suffer as they suffer and to fear as they fear. And then to do what lies in you to help with that suffering.

That's gonna suck. But you aren't going to convert them by keeping them at arm's distance. You aren't going to do it by mere words. And nobody's going to do it by bitching at them.

Trust me. I have Trumpists in my family, yea, verily, and it sucketh mightily. But any other approach beareth no fruit.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

Does anyone else remember Spinoza? who instructed us how necessary it is to love God without expecting God to love us in return.

Okay, I am utterly confused. How the hell does one love God without expecting (hoping?) him to love us in--well, not return, in the first place, at least according to John--"We love God, because he first loved us."

No doubt I'm missing something deep.

"But America isn't very Jobean" (Harold Bloom, Where Shall Wisdom Be Found)
Spinoza wanted to unpin "chosen people" BS (among other purposes). Thus, either everyone is chosen or no one is, one human family, no national or personal exceptionalism, no nation nor cities on hills, no nations under (nor over) God. So no, God doesn't love anyone 'in return', nor is Jesus likely to hold personal conversation, with you, me, the pope, saint anyone, and not politicians.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Okay, I think I see where you're coming from. But the problem for me is that I'm not an American exceptionalist, nor an anywhere exceptionalist for that matter, and yet I don't think that God has withdrawn himself from human beings. I'd be happy to say "everyone is chosen"--I suppose that's a version of "everyone is special"--and I'm good with that. Christ died and rose for all. But I don't think God is impersonal, or uninterested, or distant from human beings of any type. And I'm sure he cares more for people than for nations or other political constructs.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I believe that the only man who can turn the true believers away from him is the man himself. Health insurance reform may well do it; the states that supported him are going to lose millions of dollars. People will die. And their survivors are not going to blame the Democrats or Obama or Hillary or Nancy Pelosi. They're going to blame the president, the man in charge. The buck does stop there.
It will call for blood, and alas, it will be the blood of the innocent.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Look, if you really, really want to convert a Trumpist, it's gonna hurt. Because you are going to have to get to know that person and love them to the point where you know what it is like to be that person, to suffer as they suffer and to fear as they fear. And then to do what lies in you to help with that suffering.

That's gonna suck. But you aren't going to convert them by keeping them at arm's distance. You aren't going to do it by mere words. And nobody's going to do it by bitching at them.

Trust me. I have Trumpists in my family, yea, verily, and it sucketh mightily. But any other approach beareth no fruit.

Yep. I have a Trumpist in my family, too, and she isn't even hurting. She's just gulped down the "It's the Muslims - Mexicans - feminazis - tree-huggers" koolaid. She lives in the Southwest, where she KNOWS all the Mexicans are lazy, here illegally, don't know any English, and get under-paid under the table when they work for her.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I believe that the only man who can turn the true believers away from him is the man himself. Health insurance reform may well do it; the states that supported him are going to lose millions of dollars. People will die. And their survivors are not going to blame the Democrats or Obama or Hillary or Nancy Pelosi. They're going to blame the president, the man in charge. The buck does stop there.
It will call for blood, and alas, it will be the blood of the innocent.

The pundits that these people trust are already blaming the Democrats for all these things, and the faithful are lapping it up like milk. Hell, these pundits blamed the 2008 bank collapse and 9/11 on Obama, and the faithful lapped it up. Facts don't matter if the Trusted Ones say something. The Trusted Ones are trusted. End of.

[ 03. July 2017, 01:09: Message edited by: mousethief ]
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
No point thinking about the rusted-ons, from a strategy perspective...

Anyway, I got an email today from Mrs Lady Melania Trump. I didn't open it of course. She's a noted phisher. And as Miles Jupp would say, 'she's no lady' [Yipee]
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
The pundits that these people trust are already blaming the Democrats for all these things, and the faithful are lapping it up like milk.... The Trusted Ones are trusted. End of.

It is remarkable to watch the pundits and WH spokespeople responding over the unhinged tweets. Apparently those tweets are all the fault of the mainstream fake media a) for provoking the President in the first place (what a chillingly familiar argument that is) and b) for covering the President's tweets in the second place.

And people seem to buy this. Watching the news it seems really scarily polarized, where the mentality is almost war-zone level paranoia vs the other. I don't know if it is that stark on the ground.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Look, if you really, really want to convert a Trumpist, it's gonna hurt. Because you are going to have to get to know that person and love them to the point where you know what it is like to be that person, to suffer as they suffer and to fear as they fear. And then to do what lies in you to help with that suffering.

Nah, people like trump feel entirely entitled to that love, but they'll always expect more - nothing is ever enough. The tiniest criticism is taken very badly and met with petulance. They don't need you to suffer with them, they need to wake up.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Yep. Tough love; I love you so much that I'm simply not going to allow you to walk all over the weakest in society. I'm going to love you so much that I'm not going to allow the blackness deep inside you to infect society. I'm going to love you so much that I'm not going to allow you to destroy the freedoms that you enjoy as much as the rest of us.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:

Facts don't matter if the Trusted Ones say something. The Trusted Ones are trusted. End of.

That really is very good. A real summary of the dilemma we face. Not too dissimilar to that faced by parents and friends of those entrapped in cults.

We might wait a long time for disillusionment to dawn. Trump's supporters are invested in him.

Interesting discussion on BBC Radio 4 this morning on the importance for the Democrats of finding positive alternatives to the Trump messages which attracted folks to vote for him. A purely negative message (e.g. Trump is awful and I'm going to vote to impeach him for profiteering from his office and colluding with the Russians) seems unlikely to win the Democrats the House in 2018.

Plus they need an outstanding presidential candidate for 2020. Soon.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
That's what I keep saying.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Look, if you really, really want to convert a Trumpist, it's gonna hurt. Because you are going to have to get to know that person and love them to the point where you know what it is like to be that person, to suffer as they suffer and to fear as they fear. And then to do what lies in you to help with that suffering.

That's gonna suck. But you aren't going to convert them by keeping them at arm's distance. You aren't going to do it by mere words. And nobody's going to do it by bitching at them.

Trust me. I have Trumpists in my family, yea, verily, and it sucketh mightily. But any other approach beareth no fruit.

This cuts unfortunately close to the bone. Feels like an austere ignition retreat. Something to pray on
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Look, if you really, really want to convert a Trumpist, it's gonna hurt. Because you are going to have to get to know that person and love them to the point where you know what it is like to be that person, to suffer as they suffer and to fear as they fear. And then to do what lies in you to help with that suffering.

Nah, people like trump feel entirely entitled to that love, but they'll always expect more - nothing is ever enough. The tiniest criticism is taken very badly and met with petulance. They don't need you to suffer with them, they need to wake up.
This is why you're never going to get anywhere with Trumpists (didn't say "Trump," he's a whole different ball of psych problems himself). Trumpists, I said. Who are, at base, human beings, just as you are. Who have the same brokenness that you have. Who are just as stubborn and ornery as we all are. Who are just as likely to dig their feet in and behave mulishly as any other members of the human race, except if somebody bothers to come close to them, listen, care, be with, and generally love them.

Nobody converts because other people are bashing them on the head. At most you'll get fake conversion followed by immediate reversion (much stronger now). At worst... let's just not go there. Four more years of Trump doesn't bear thinking about.

"They ought to wake up"--well, and why are they not doing so, then? Are you saying they are somehow innately more stupid, less human, or what? Think it through. There is some bloody strong thing that's stopping them from seeing what is so obvious to you and to many others. It must be something powerful, if it's taking this long for them to "wake up". Are you going to stand at a distance and watch your brothers and sisters (yes, they are, don't deny it!) stay victim to whatever-the-hell-it-is? lecture them from afar? leave them to deal with it on their own, when demonstrably they haven't got the first clue what's wrong or even that something is wrong in the first place?

I've been in a form of service that involves encouraging conversion of various sorts for oh, thirty-some years now. I've never ever seen a person convert because they were being mocked, ridiculed, or yelled at. I've seen quite a few convert after* someone who was already in the light took the time and trouble to come alongside them, to listen, to love, to be humble, to try to understand, and to help where indicated. It's effective. Not cheap, but effective. But it costs blood, sweat, and tears, to steal a phrase.

*I'm not talking from a human standpoint at the moment; the Holy Spirit is of course the great confounding factor. But he usually seems to follow these lines too.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
A purely negative message (e.g. Trump is awful and I'm going to vote to impeach him for profiteering from his office and colluding with the Russians) seems unlikely to win the Democrats the House in 2018.

Plus they need an outstanding presidential candidate for 2020. Soon.

I know one former First Lady was defeated (by Trump of all people) but shouldn't the Democrat bigwigs call the immediate former First Lady and sound her out? On a basis of "Your country and the rest of the planet needs you".
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
I think they already have and she says she doesn't want the job. She claims not to have the temperament for it.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Think it through. There is some bloody strong thing that's stopping them from seeing what is so obvious to you and to many others. It must be something powerful, if it's taking this long for them to "wake up". Are you going to stand at a distance and watch your brothers and sisters (yes, they are, don't deny it!) stay victim to whatever-the-hell-it-is? lecture them from afar? leave them to deal with it on their own, when demonstrably they haven't got the first clue what's wrong or even that something is wrong in the first place?

Yes.

I'm going to stand at a distance and wait for them to wake up.

It's a lot like an alcoholic or addict or a member of a cult. Until they want to come out/get free any support is enabling their behaviour. It is also harming the enabler who could be usefully, effectively supporting others.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
From la vie en rouge:

I think they already have and she says she doesn't want the job. She claims not to have the temperament for it.

Maybe not, but......yes, she's too nice, and cool....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln3wAdRAim4

[Waterworks]

IJ
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
I think they already have and she says she doesn't want the job. She claims not to have the temperament for it.

That didn't stop the present office holder from running.

But then he's just a modern presidential temperament.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Think it through. There is some bloody strong thing that's stopping them from seeing what is so obvious to you and to many others. It must be something powerful, if it's taking this long for them to "wake up". Are you going to stand at a distance and watch your brothers and sisters (yes, they are, don't deny it!) stay victim to whatever-the-hell-it-is? lecture them from afar? leave them to deal with it on their own, when demonstrably they haven't got the first clue what's wrong or even that something is wrong in the first place?

Yes.

I'm going to stand at a distance and wait for them to wake up.

It's a lot like an alcoholic or addict or a member of a cult. Until they want to come out/get free any support is enabling their behaviour. It is also harming the enabler who could be usefully, effectively supporting others.

Are they really open to being corrected? Can they hear anyone who disagrees with them without shooting them down (figuratively)? I am unconvinced.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Why do you have to convert the ardent Trumpists? I can't see that - it's the swing voters that are the target, isn't it? In the UK, the left does not tend to target ardent right-wing people, but people in the centre, who may vote Tory or Labour.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Why do you have to convert the ardent Trumpists? I can't see that - it's the swing voters that are the target, isn't it? In the UK, the left does not tend to target ardent right-wing people, but people in the centre, who may vote Tory or Labour.

Yes - those who voted for trump but now wonder why they did so. There will be plenty, as with Brexit. I suspect my brother was one of the people who voted Brexit as a protest and now regrets it. He hasn't said but, reading between the lines I think this is the case.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
From la vie en rouge:

I think they already have and she says she doesn't want the job. She claims not to have the temperament for it.

Maybe not, but......yes, she's too nice, and cool....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln3wAdRAim4

[Waterworks]

IJ

Considering candidates' suitability on the basis of their "niceness" or "coolness" (or "guts" or "toughness", delete as applicable) is part of what has got the US into this mess in the first place.

I'm reading this week's Economist's special report on Trump's America, and fascinating reading it is too.

Insights include findings that only about one fifth of Americans take an interest in politics at all, fewer than one tenth of voters for either historic party have ever attended a political meeting or campaign (94% of Trump voters and 90% of Clinton voters never have); that rather than examine candidates and choose one on the basis of their personal convictions, voters appear to choose a politician for emotional reasons and then adjust their political convictions to what they think, often incorrectly, their chosen candidates stand for (IIRC some 24% of all voters do not know which party is the more conservative of the two).

One of the most striking findings is not that 31% of Republican voters believe the government probably or certainly had prior knowledge of 9/11 - but that 36% of Democrat voters do.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Why do you have to convert the ardent Trumpists? I can't see that - it's the swing voters that are the target, isn't it? In the UK, the left does not tend to target ardent right-wing people, but people in the centre, who may vote Tory or Labour.

Yes - those who voted for trump but now wonder why they did so. There will be plenty, as with Brexit. I suspect my brother was one of the people who voted Brexit as a protest and now regrets it. He hasn't said but, reading between the lines I think this is the case.
Well, it's said that Labour managed to woo back some UKIP voters, and didn't do it through attacking them. In fact, they offered a kind of strange ambiguity over Brexit, that may have attracted both sides.

But I would not go out to canvas Monday Club people, (very right wing). There's no point.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

I've been in a form of service that involves encouraging conversion of various sorts for oh, thirty-some years now. I've never ever seen a person convert because they were being mocked, ridiculed, or yelled at. I've seen quite a few convert after* someone who was already in the light took the time and trouble to come alongside them, to listen, to love, to be humble, to try to understand, and to help where indicated. It's effective. Not cheap, but effective. But it costs blood, sweat, and tears, to steal a phrase.


Sorry about the above; the software wouldn't let me delete or edit.

It's worth talking with people in ways that encourage them to pay at least as much attention to what's actually, personally, going on for them as all the scary stuff they see in the media. I've been astonished to see how many people blame "immigrants" for the no-work situation when first asked, and then gradually, once you ask them to think about their own lives, come to see that the paper mills shut down because of robotization, or decrepit equipment or bad management or new logging restrictions, etc. etc.

The other issues are that people resent change; they want the old One-Job-For-Life model, which our economy no longer supports. They also sometimes find it more important to Lay Blame rather than Find Solutions, because that's a second job on top of the ones they're already coping with. It's useful to go over how other people are responding to the crisis.

ETA: "the above" was taken care of. Thanks, kind host!

[ 03. July 2017, 17:57: Message edited by: Ohher ]
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
One of the most striking findings is not that 31% of Republican voters believe the government probably or certainly had prior knowledge of 9/11 - but that 36% of Democrat voters do.

I don't think that's so much a "finding" as it is a poll result for which the Economist doesn't even reproduce the full question; it's less striking when you consider that respondents may simply be recalling the Presidential Daily Brief of August 6, 2001, titled Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
That was the most in-yer-face result of the poll, but hardly the most relevant one of those I cited.

I think that above all, the results suggest a lot more thought is needed into just how to go about getting Trump out of the White House than simply hand-wringing over his abuse of animated gifs, thinking up new names to call him, or pointing out that he's a misogynist.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
I think the notion that 44.3 can be got out of the White House before 2020 is pure fantasy. Until or unless he does something which imperils 2018 election outcomes for Republicans (and even his most egregious antics have failed to do this), we're stuck with him until he's (please, God) voted out in November of 2020. (God help us if he isn't. Eight years of this? {{{Shudders}}}

In the meantime, we need to find a candidate, and/or possibly even some political parties, capable of being responsible, and responsive, and also inspiring of trust and support.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Right now I would put money on him winning again in 2020 due to an apparent lack of all the things you mention.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
That was the most in-yer-face result of the poll, but hardly the most relevant one of those I cited.

OK, I'll bite - which one was the most relevant?
quote:
I think that above all, the results suggest a lot more thought is needed into just how to go about getting Trump out of the White House than simply hand-wringing over his abuse of animated gifs, thinking up new names to call him, or pointing out that he's a misogynist.
There are a lot of people in the US whose job it is to think of ways to oppose the Republicans in general and Trump in particular, but they're probably not CC'ing us on their strategic emails.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
It's a lot like an alcoholic or addict or a member of a cult.

The last lie a junkie tells himself isn't "I’m not an addict."

The last lie a junkie tells himself is "My being a addict doesn't matter."

 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Very interesting set of posts on this page. Thanks to all who are contributing.

I reckon that Lamb Chopped isn't so much offering a solution to the question of how the Democrats win the next election as how does the United States overcome/lessen its deep political division in a sustainable way?

Winning elections is much more cynical. You don't need hearts and minds, you need people marking your name on a ballot on one day. That requires organisation. Basic stuff. Transport to the polls, a deniable inducement like a big smile and small favours over a long period, and having people in every community who are well-known, liked, and work hard.

On a national level, a fair dinkum scare campaign really works. In Australia, any suggestion of an American-style health care system works a treat. Anyway, I'm selling coal to Newcastle here.

NEVER talk about actual ideas, unless they are populist ideas. I'm hoping that might be large-scale re-nationalisation of formerly public utilities might be one of those in Australia soon. (Go Corbyn you game-changing champion). I'm not sure how that would go down stateside (lie).

DON'T try to convince people of stuff unless it is an opinion-leader - one of your true believers. Let your community people do the hard yakka there, and they won't be pushing the idea, but the emotion.

This post has been bought to you by the Nhilist School of Politics, and is copyright R. Stone (dec.) and K. Conway (v.scary smart person).

KEY MESSAGE: HIDE YOUR IDEALS, SMILE and DO FAVOURS.

[ 04. July 2017, 03:21: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:

This post has been bought to you by the Nhilist School of Politics, and is copyright R. Stone (dec.) and K. Conway (v.scary smart person).


Hmmm. Tangential, perhaps, but I have wondered this about the Mistress of Alternative Facts. Do you think she's actually smart? The v. scary part I'm in full agreement with. But if Kellyanne were actually smart, surely she could craft lies that were not quite so instantly and blatantly detectable?
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
That was the most in-yer-face result of the poll, but hardly the most relevant one of those I cited.

OK, I'll bite - which one was the most relevant?
I think the fact that 9/10 of respondents said they have never attended a political meeting or rally.
quote:
There are a lot of people in the US whose job it is to think of ways to oppose the Republicans in general and Trump in particular, but they're probably not CC'ing us on their strategic emails.
I generally find the Ship to be a place where original, constructive ideas are to be found. But when it comes to the aftermath of the US presidential election, I think those opposing Trump have focused to an unhealthy degree on the kind of thing I listed above.

Besides, you kind of make my point for me. "Opposing the Republicans" and/or Trump is a whole different kettle of fish from standing for something and having a roadmap on how to get there.

To take just one example, it's far too late to keep repeating that Clinton won the popular vote (I hardly think this would have been a loudly trumpeted concern for most here had Trump won it and lost the electoral college vote). It's this kind of stuck-in-2016 thinking that is in danger of allowing the GOP to win in 2020 - Trump is campaigning and fund-raising already, in case you hadn't noticed.

The challenge right now is to work out how the electoral college vote can be won under the existing rules.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Right now I would put money on him winning again in 2020 due to an apparent lack of all the things you mention.

I would put money on him not being well enough.
 
Posted by Doublethink. (# 1984) on :
 
How likely do you think it is that there will be a 2020 election rather than, say, some kind of state of emergency in response to a perceived threat ?
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I would certainly put ill health ahead of any other reason for Trump not winning again in 2020.

I don't know enough about US constitutional matters to predict the scope of emergency powers with any certainty, but I suspect (hope?) that cancelling a presidential election on emergency grounds is still in tinfoil hat territory.

As I see it, as of today the GOP is quite capable of winning in 2020 without resorting to such tactics.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
This is probably an unfair reading of your post above Eutychus, but I found it interesting/instructive/ironic that you mention on the one hand that 9/10 respondents said that they had never attended a political meeting or rally, and on the other that the Democrats need to stand for something if they are going to win the Presidency in 2020.

My understanding of the "How to win from Opposition" book is that you relentlessly point to the Government's weaknesses for as long as humanly possible and then release your policy manifesto as close as you can to the date of the election so the Govt has very little time to turn the media spotlight your way.

Gotta run. I disagree with the idea only eutychus.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
sorry, had to finish that last one quick so I could run down the corridor to greet my wife, dressing-gown flowing majestically behind me a-la Bishop Brennan in Father Ted.

I accept that my ideas on how to do politics are fundamentally evil. It's one of the reasons why I only crap on about it, rather than do it.

Speaking of fundamental evil, yes Other I do think that KAC is a very smart woman who is very good at her job. You have to be extremely strong in your mind and very quick-witted to run PR defence when you have Trump effectively controlling the agenda by refusing to be handled.

I am also coming around to the idea that Trump has street smarts, as they used to say in the 1940's. He knows how to sell stuff to Americans. He is relentlessly focused on his own interest and is unremittingly crass, but he has smarts. His wine is rubbish and his steaks taste like rubber.

With the exception of how he's treated NATO, I also think his administration is doing well on foreign policy. Hell, if they took out Assad and managed the fallout with the Russians, I'd be on my feet clapping. Well, maybe not on my feet but that's because I don't give standing ovations very often. The behavior of Stephen Colbert's audience appalls and disgusts me.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
That was the most in-yer-face result of the poll, but hardly the most relevant one of those I cited.

OK, I'll bite - which one was the most relevant?
I think the fact that 9/10 of respondents said they have never attended a political meeting or rally.
And why is that relevant? Do you think it's significantly different from the past, or from other democracies?
quote:
quote:
There are a lot of people in the US whose job it is to think of ways to oppose the Republicans in general and Trump in particular, but they're probably not CC'ing us on their strategic emails.
I generally find the Ship to be a place where original, constructive ideas are to be found. But when it comes to the aftermath of the US presidential election, I think those opposing Trump have focused to an unhealthy degree on the kind of thing I listed above.

Besides, you kind of make my point for me. "Opposing the Republicans" and/or Trump is a whole different kettle of fish from standing for something and having a roadmap on how to get there.

Perhaps, but it's your kettle - I was responding to your comment about "a lot more thought is needed into just how to go about getting Trump out of the White House." Sounds like opposition to Trump to me.
quote:
To take just one example, it's far too late to keep repeating that Clinton won the popular vote (I hardly think this would have been a loudly trumpeted concern for most here had Trump won it and lost the electoral college vote). It's this kind of stuck-in-2016 thinking that is in danger of allowing the GOP to win in 2020 - Trump is campaigning and fund-raising already, in case you hadn't noticed.

The challenge right now is to work out how the electoral college vote can be won under the existing rules.

No kidding? Thanks for that original, constructive idea!

Again - there are many people whose day job it is to come up with electoral strategies, but you're not in communication with any of them here. I don't see any reason to think that those people are fixated on (e.g.) Clinton's share of the popular vote. I don't think your exposure to the venting of a handful of people on a tiny internet forum can really form a justifiable basis for concern about the 2020 presidential election.

I mean, think of all the other things that SoF hasn't figured out: global warming, North Korea, peace in the Middle East... the list is endless. Get to work, people!
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I will be happy to be proved wrong.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Dave W [Overused]
 
Posted by Gramps49 (# 16378) on :
 
To take just one example, it's far too late to keep repeating that Clinton won the popular vote (I hardly think this would have been a loudly trumpeted concern for most here had Trump won it and lost the electoral college vote). It's this kind of stuck-in-2016 thinking that is in danger of allowing the GOP to win in 2020 - Trump is campaigning and fund-raising already, in case you hadn't noticed.

Actually, it is Trump that is still trying to prove he won the popular vote. He claims 5 billion voters voted illegally. He has set up a presidential review board to prove it. That board has recently asked for detailed information of all registered voters from every state. Fortunately, most states are refusing to provide the information. Some will release what is already publically information. And the ACLU is challenging the request.

The thought is, that the board is actually being set up to push for voter suppression laws on the federal level.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I will be happy to be proved wrong.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying there are no good reasons to be concerned about the state of the American political system or the 2020 election. Far from it! I just don't think the high ratio of puerile insults to sure-fire strategies here on SoF is among them.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I will be happy to be proved wrong.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying there are no good reasons to be concerned about the state of the American political system or the 2020 election. Far from it! I just don't think the high ratio of puerile insults to sure-fire strategies here on SoF is among them.
You may be mistaking blowing off steam for planning. From a human perspective, both are necessary.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
I just don't think the high ratio of puerile insults to sure-fire strategies here on SoF is among them.

I'm really worried that the DNC strategy inputs have been diminished by the standard of debate on SoF.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
I just don't think the high ratio of puerile insults to sure-fire strategies here on SoF is among them.

I'm really worried that the DNC strategy inputs have been diminished by the standard of debate on SoF.
I'm more worried that Purgatory is becoming Heaven or Hell, to be honest.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I'm more worried that Purgatory is becoming Heaven or Hell, to be honest.

No fake news here. We throw that overboard.
 
Posted by Og, King of Bashan (# 9562) on :
 
So when Trump mocks Kim Jung Un for not having anything "better to do" than launch missiles, is he totally unaware or trolling us all? I'm not entirely sure.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Okay, a lighter moment....

...both Yahweh and Satan are scratching their heads, giving puzzled looks to each other at this point.
Yahweh: You're certain he's not one of yours? Because I didn't make him.
Satan: Please. Give me some credit. Even I have standards.
Yahweh: Buddha? Brahma?
Both shrug their shoulders.
Satan: Gaia?
Gaia: glowers

Satan: Right right. Sorry. Forgot about the "pussy grabbing" thing.
Yahweh: Cthulhu?
Cthulhu: What kind of monster do you take me for? sips tea

Satan: Well, someone cooked him up.
Flying Spaghetti Monster: ...
Yahweh: Wait...there is no way you could...
Flying Spaghetti Monster: Look...it was my first time. I was a little drunk and someone asked for a "Tangerine Dream" so I thought...
Satan: facepalms. Fucking newbies...

[Killing me] [Overused]
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
So when Trump mocks Kim Jung Un for not having anything "better to do" than launch missiles, is he totally unaware or trolling us all? I'm not entirely sure.

He's preaching to his choir.

Eutychus is right I think about reactions to Trump if you direct Euty's* words not to the denizens of this forum but to CNN and some commentators. The reaction to his re-tweeting of that doctored WWF video showing him fighting an embodied CNN logo was idiotic. Trump, Stone and Conway must have laughed so hard that one of Stone's eyes popped out. The idea that re-tweeting that video made journalists less safe really hit the bulls-eye for further alienating everyone who regards 'the media' as the mouthpiece for the hated 'liberal elite'. CNN should have said nothing.

*Unsure of which pronoun to use and 'their' looked ugly. In the modified words of the great '80's transvestite Divine, "I think you're a man but..."

[ 05. July 2017, 01:10: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
No more science for USA. The link goes on to list the morons the head moron has appointed. Pence, Perry, Tillerson and Carson who are all ignorant, antiscience, creationist and oil industry pundits. Carson is the most surprising. Physicians elsewhere have at least some biology.

The G20 meeting starts shortly. Will anyone get punched in the face? and who by whom? Here's hoping.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Carson is the most surprising. Physicians elsewhere have at least some biology.

Carson shocked me with his claims and performance.
This article suggests neurosurgeons needn't be exceptionally smart. I've read another that stated the winnowing process is before they've done surgery. And that, after acceptance into a programme, it is difficult to get rid of them.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
Neurosurgeons have no formal examination testing that requires more brains than any other kind of surgeon, or even any other kind of doctor.

There are some technical skills that are required, particularly finely tuned ones in brainstem surgery, for instance, and not so finely tuned for making burr holes in skulls and shelling out blood clots. (There are some jokes about clots on both ends of the surgical instruments). It requires absolute commitment to putting in the hours, gaining the experience, and jumping through hoops, but the academic skills required don't stand out compared to others branches of medicine.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I will be happy to be proved wrong.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying there are no good reasons to be concerned about the state of the American political system or the 2020 election. Far from it! I just don't think the high ratio of puerile insults to sure-fire strategies here on SoF is among them.
At the moment I am more concerned about the Cheeto in Chief thinking that tweeting insults is a good way to respond to North Korea's having successfully tested an ICBM. If he fucks up badly enough there won't be a 2020 election, at least not here on the west coast.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
I don't think your exposure to the venting of a handful of people on a tiny internet forum can really form a justifiable basis for concern about the 2020 presidential election.

At least someone is thinking about Elizabeth Warren for 2020 - oh, wait...
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
At the moment I am more concerned about the Cheeto in Chief thinking that tweeting insults is a good way to respond to North Korea's having successfully tested an ICBM. If he fucks up badly enough there won't be a 2020 election, at least not here on the west coast.

I thought the joint statement from China and Russia suggesting that the US should remove its recently installed missile defence system from South Korea was nicely done. China was very unhappy with that system being installed. I reckon there's going to be more jaw jaw and less war war on this one. That's a position statement, if not an ambit claim.

I saw a PBS Newshour report on the situation, and they were suggesting that when people said that a North Korean ICBM could reach the continental United States they meant the little tiny western tip of Alaska where somebody should drop Sarah Palin.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I've found a Reagan-era Republican who agrees with me.

quote:
Of much more importance in terms of my reluctance to join the Democratic Party is that the party doesn’t really seem to stand for anything other than opposition to the GOP. Admittedly, just about everything the Republicans are doing deserves to be opposed. But the Democrats also need a positive agenda of their own.

 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Like a boatload of other people, that guy is talking about what the Democrats need to do. But he's not predicting Trump will be re-elected. Seeing as it will be 3 1/2 years before Americans go to the polls to make that choice, you're getting way out front of anything currently known facts can support.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
People voted for T-boy because they were worried about the fate of white Christian America. This is a free click. Clearly it was not enough for these people to have a Christian America, the white part is essential. Stick a fork in it, the church is done in this country.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I've found a Reagan-era Republican who agrees with me.

quote:
Of much more importance in terms of my reluctance to join the Democratic Party is that the party doesn’t really seem to stand for anything other than opposition to the GOP. Admittedly, just about everything the Republicans are doing deserves to be opposed. But the Democrats also need a positive agenda of their own.

It's the eternal argument, policy v small target strategy. Here, the opposing party and the media will always pester you to release policy detail. Here's why that hasn't happened in Australia for a while.

Back in 1992, the liberals (read conservatives) tried a strategy of campaigning on a major reform to the tax system, a tax on spending called the GST. They announced about a year out from the election that this was their policy, announcing the details as the election got closer.

Despite the fact that he had supported just this policy as Treasurer, the Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating relentlessly attacked the idea, and the media has an extended day out speculating about what would and wouldn't be taxed, and how everything would work.

The Liberals lost that election, an election that was deemed unlosable, and Keating was triumphant, calling those who had supported him during the campaign the 'true believers'.

The liberals spent the rest of the 1990's telling the electorate that the GST was dead, and won government in 1996. They then set about implementing the GST, and it commenced operating in 2000.

It was a very successful and much-needed reform, and there is no opposition to it. People do oppose increases to the rate of GST whenever that is floated on equity grounds, an echo of one plank of the ALP's opposition.

The moral of the story is that if you put up a policy too long before the election, it will be a tattered mess by polling day, whatever its merits. To make controversial policy changes, simply get the reins of power and implement.

I note some differences between the USA and Australia that are relevant in determining strategy:

1. The media environment was not very polarised in Australia in 1993, and while there are indications that might change, it's still not polarised here. I think this is a major difference.

2. Everybody is legally obliged to vote in Australia.

3. The members of the Executive branch of Government must have a seat in the Parliament. Executive Government goes with the control of the lower house of Parliament. This makes it much easier to implement your policies that in the American system.

[ 06. July 2017, 02:49: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Like a boatload of other people, that guy is talking about what the Democrats need to do. But he's not predicting Trump will be re-elected.

Where I found agreement was in that he was saying the Dems need to stand for something and not simply against the Republicans; the article also addresses some of the strategic avenues that could be pursued to that end and which I'm disappointed not to have seen discussed here more.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Where I found agreement was in that he was saying the Dems need to stand for something and not simply against the Republicans;

Yes, yes, 1000x yes. I've been saying this. Not only do the Dems need to stand for something, they have got to present it as an intuitable narrative about what American can be, not as a bunch of wonky policy bullet points.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
So NPR did its annual radio reading of our Declaration of Independence yesterday, and added a Twitter version.

And "Trump supporters called it 'propaganda'" (GQ). They didn't recognize it at all, didn't figure "hmm...old-fashioned language, 4th of July, must be one of the founding documents"...
[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
And this is a victory for the opposition how, exactly?
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
Who claimed it was a victory? I'm not following.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Didn't claim it was any kind of victory for anyone. Only possible victory I can see is for people who don't want us to remember that founding stuff, or where we came from. But I didn't even claim that.

It's just ironic, in the American sense.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Somewhere, George III is laughing...
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
...and the Founding Fathers have gone off to get drunk.

(I heard they smashed a pub, the night before some big vote, so badly that they had to pay damages.)

And Abigail Adams is saying "if they'd just 'remembered the ladies' in setting up the gov't, as I counseled my husband, this never would've happened".
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
So NPR did its annual radio reading of our Declaration of Independence yesterday, and added a Twitter version.

And "Trump supporters called it 'propaganda'" (GQ). They didn't recognize it at all, didn't figure "hmm...old-fashioned language, 4th of July, must be one of the founding documents"...
[Roll Eyes]

I read some of the comments. I think many of them very much understood what document it was. They just thought it was quoted as a political statement against them. Not because they think the document is, but because they think NPR is.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Where I found agreement was in that he was saying the Dems need to stand for something and not simply against the Republicans; the article also addresses some of the strategic avenues that could be pursued to that end and which I'm disappointed not to have seen discussed here more.

I'm reminded of this recent exchange:

quote:
@GOP
“We’ve got to fix what’s broken.” Where's your plan, @HillaryClinton?

quote:
@HillaryClinton
Right here. Includes radical provisions like how not to kick 23 mil ppl off their coverage. Feel free to run w/it.
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/health-care/ …

It seems extra precious to claim that after implementing the most far-reaching American social reform of the past half century the Democrats don't really stand for anything. It's a special kind of rhetorical jiu-jitsu to argue that being against the demolition of an important Democratic achievement means that they're not "for" anything.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
As that article says, what is needed is not just good policy wonks but simple, positive articulations of them. Obama obviously had that in spades. The Democrats need to find someone to embody the same sort of thing.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
As that article says, what is needed is not just good policy wonks but simple, positive articulations of them. Obama obviously had that in spades. The Democrats need to find someone to embody the same sort of thing.

Are you complaining that the Democrats don't stand for anything or that they don't put on the kind of show you like? I can understand each argument, but they're very different claims.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Hate to make Americans more nervous, but do a search for john oliver sinclair broadcasting
Essentially, a large ultra-conservative media company is set to by many local television stations and force them to run segments that make Fox look like it actually is Fair and Balanced.
So, your everyday news programme will run propaganda between car crashes and cute animals. If you do not think this will have an effect on your next elections...
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
As that article says, what is needed is not just good policy wonks but simple, positive articulations of them. Obama obviously had that in spades. The Democrats need to find someone to embody the same sort of thing.

Obama "had that in spades" (an unfortunate turn of phase) yet Faux News still managed to convince a significant number of Americans that ACA signaled the treasonous loss of all their freedoms.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
I read that article fully Eutychus instead of leaving the page in disgust a few paragraphs in. It's always your enemies that want you to run on policy, and that bloke is no friend of the progressive side of politics. He's not a politician either. He's a policy wonk, and he admits it. Of course policy-wonks want to see the details. Everyone else is happy with the t-shirt.

As far as I'm aware, Republican policy consists of de-regulating to the max, taxing as little as possible, and leaving Americans to flourish or perish as the market wills. They sell it by calling it "Freedom!". That's politics.

B.Bragg sings "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to sell." He's very very wrong about that, but I'm quoting him out of context. Kev Carmody sings, "Freedom equality justice are one. If we resist then justice and freedom will come." I like that better. Democratic policy statement?

Kev Carmody and Tiddas: Freedom

The vid has two nasty jumps in it, but I love Tiddas, so I posted this version anyway.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Are you complaining that the Democrats don't stand for anything or that they don't put on the kind of show you like? I can understand each argument, but they're very different claims.

The opposition I read to Trump is mostly critical of him personally, or of his supporters, which in my view distracts attention from the more important issue of criticism of his policies.

I would prefer to read more constructive criticism of his policies and suggestions for alternatives (perhaps healthcare is the one issue for which this is actually happening, and maybe it will be the one that eventually sinks the GOP ship).

I'm not complaining that the Democrats aren't putting on a show I like, since I don't like shows and don't have a US vote, but I think that positive policy aims need to be presented in an appealing way.

The Trump supporters' criticism of Democrats that I read on other fora that makes the most sense to me is "we won. Get over it". I'd like to see more forward-looking arguments.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Healthcare is a good example of how Trump can make himself less open to attack on policy grounds. He makes a plethora of vague statements, talks about how complicated it is, and when it goes badly he uses an ally in the media to make sure he doesn't get the blame. Sack Paul Ryan, they cried! Nobody blamed Trump on the right, least of all himself, when the House Bill hit a speed-bump.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The Trump supporters' criticism of Democrats that I read on other fora that makes the most sense to me is "we won. Get over it". I'd like to see more forward-looking arguments.

<tangent> Ironically this is just what they were unable to do for 8 years of Obama </tangent>
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Historically, they never got over the Civil War either.

It is important to remember that the Democrats have neither house of Congress. There is a real limit to what they can do, with the best will in the world. They cannot propose legislation. They cannot dictate policy.

And there is a good tactical reason to just sit back, and let the GOP pick up the ball and run. They said they could do it. They said it for seven years, shilling the most extreme and un-passable policies in the secure knowledge that Barack Obama would veto their excesses. Now, they have to put their money where their mouth is. They actually have to govern. And ooh, who would have thought, it's hard. Whatever happens, it's all on them.

Here (alas, from the POST, so it'll cost you a click)
is one of many articles about how the citizenry actually does not like the candy the GOP is shilling, now that they get to look at it. The money quote: "For all 90 minutes, a woman named Yaneth Poarch, 46, stood behind the senator holding a sign with caricatures of Republican leaders, and the warning “When you lose your health care, remember who took it away.” "

[ 07. July 2017, 13:50: Message edited by: Brenda Clough ]
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
You know, if you asked me to rank the members of the Trump administration by who would be most likely to be caught doing some inappropriate touching, Mike Pence would have been pretty near the bottom of the list.
 
Posted by W Hyatt (# 14250) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The opposition I read to Trump is mostly critical of him personally, or of his supporters, which in my view distracts attention from the more important issue of criticism of his policies.

But the biggest problems with him being President are due to his personal character more than his policies.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by W Hyatt:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The opposition I read to Trump is mostly critical of him personally, or of his supporters, which in my view distracts attention from the more important issue of criticism of his policies.

But the biggest problems with him being President are due to his personal character more than his policies.
Surely it's both?
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
IMNSHO He doesn't have any policies. He has whims, idees fixes, and above all, reactions. I honestly don't think he's given enough thought to anything to call it a policy, even a bad one.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
IMNSHO He doesn't have any policies. He has whims, idees fixes, and above all, reactions. I honestly don't think he's given enough thought to anything to call it a policy, even a bad one.

Don't you think the absence of policies was his greatest strength in the campaign? It worked then and as far as popularity back home is concerned, it seems too be working now.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
IMNSHO He doesn't have any policies. He has whims, idees fixes, and above all, reactions. I honestly don't think he's given enough thought to anything to call it a policy, even a bad one.

I don't know about that. The anti-immigrant thing may be an idée fixe, but Trump (or his appointees, which amounts to the same thing) has also made significant policy changes there. Interestingly this is one of the ways the Trump administration differs from what we'd expect from a generic Republican presidency. I could see a President Cruz pulling the plug on the Affordable Care Act or a President Rubio gutting the EPA, but the I don't think any other major Republican political figure would be this harshly anti-immigrant.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
You know, if you asked me to rank the members of the Trump administration by who would be most likely to be caught doing some inappropriate touching, Mike Pence would have been pretty near the bottom of the list.

He'd be at the top of mine because he is so violently anti-gay. It's the loudest homophobes who are found in the restrooms at airports doing naughty things with baggage boys.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Croesus:
quote:
...if you asked me to rank the members of the Trump administration by who would be most likely to be caught doing some inappropriate touching, Mike Pence would have been pretty near the bottom of the list.
Really? He'd have been near the top of mine as soon as I found out about his ludicrous and outdated attitudes to dining alone with women. He's obviously scared of *something*, if he thinks he needs a chaperone to have dinner in a public place with any woman not his wife.

Wonder how many thousands of dollars he wasted by touching that satellite...
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Why weren't Pence and the other men wearing gear appropriate for clean rooms?
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
That whole thing about Pence and women reminds me of Margaret Attwood's chilling novel The Handmaid's Tale.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
simontoad, others have noted the resemblance to The Handmaid's Tale...
 
Posted by Doublethink. (# 1984) on :
 
WTF is this - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-40541611 ?
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
WTF is this - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-40541611 ?

Hopefully he's ill and not coping with the trip.

Putting his daughter in place of a high ranking official or diplomat? Nothing surprises me about the man.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Hopefully he's ill and not coping with the trip.

quote:
The US president had stepped away for a meeting with the Indonesian leader during the G20 meeting.

 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
quote:
Ms Trump did not seem to make any major contribution to the session on African migration and health during her father's absence.
...but her presence, in place of the President or a ranking official with a specific interest in the discussion, was suggestive of a lack of interest on the part of the US administration.

It's wild. We (UK) get riled when MPs pay their wives or children for *constituency* duties for which they are not qualified and in which roles they fail to perform.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
IMNSHO He doesn't have any policies. He has whims, idees fixes, and above all, reactions. I honestly don't think he's given enough thought to anything to call it a policy, even a bad one.

Don't you think the absence of policies was his greatest strength in the campaign? It worked then and as far as popularity back home is concerned, it seems too be working now.
"Working" being a matter of definition, of course. It is popular among a certain set of his supporters-- which in Trump's book would qualify as "working". In the sense of helping the country run effectively and move forward-- not so much.

Really, Trump has never stopped campaigning. That's what being president means to him-- campaigning. He has no need for policies-- that's governing-- dull, tedious work he can't even be bothered to hire staff to do. But campaigning-- selling himself-- that's his jam.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
quote:
Ms Trump did not seem to make any major contribution to the session on African migration and health during her father's absence.
...but her presence, in place of the President or a ranking official with a specific interest in the discussion, was suggestive of a lack of interest on the part of the US administration.

It's wild. We (UK) get riled when MPs pay their wives or children for *constituency* duties for which they are not qualified and in which roles they fail to perform.

Politico reports that according to the annual White House statement, she receives no salary for her position as "First Daughter and Advisor to the President." Neither does Jared Kushner ("Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor") or Cordish Reed ("Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental and Technology Initiatives").

It might be worth paying each member of the Trump family a few hundred grand if by doing so we could be sure that they wouldn't actually try to do anything.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Was tagging along with my mom at her doctor's appointment, and the TV in the waiting room was showing a clip of the Cherri in Chief. He spent a good ten minutes talking about someone who had nice things to say about him, making sure to emphasize that he didn't need anyone's validation. Seriously, all he was talking about was himself and what everyone thought of him. It was depressing and pathetic.
 
Posted by Doublethink. (# 1984) on :
 
Chris Uhlmann's ¹ assessment seems depressing accurate.

Trump in interested only in fame and lacks competence for his role outside a very narrow range of action.

----

¹ Insiders ABC
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Seriously, all he was talking about was himself and what everyone thought of him.

Like the gulls in Finding Nemo. One thought, over and over; but even more self-centered. 'Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.'
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
So apparently Donald Trump, Jr. arranged a meeting between a Russian lawyer who's in tight with the Russian government, Paul Manafort, and the ubiquitous Jared Kushner because the Russians were offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton. None of the participants reported this meeting, despite Kushner going through a security check for his current position as White House advisor. Trump II's explanation was that he thought he was getting hacked data from a foreign government but it turned out Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer in question, just wanted to talk about getting some Russian mob money unfrozen. (I'm getting the feeling that none of the Trump kids are used to having to explain themselves. Shut up, Donny! You're not helping yourself.)

So this would seem to at least step up to the line of "colluding with the Russian government to influence the election", if not leap over it. Which brings us to the question of how much treason Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are willing to tolerate to get that upper-income tax cut? So far, the answer seems to be "a lot".
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
It's difficult to believe that Lyin' Don didn't know about what his son, his son-in-law and his campaign manager were doing in his name and to his campaign. Over in the Atlantic this argument is summarized cogently.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
None of the participants reported this meeting, despite Kushner going through a security check for his current position as White House advisor.

Point of order, I thought Kushner did declare it (although not the alleged agenda)?

[ETA: at least belatedly; "Kushner disclosed the meeting in revised forms for his security clearance, his lawyer said", Source]

[ 10. July 2017, 20:31: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
None of the participants reported this meeting, despite Kushner going through a security check for his current position as White House advisor.

Point of order, I thought Kushner did declare it (although not the alleged agenda)?

[ETA: at least belatedly; "Kushner disclosed the meeting in revised forms for his security clearance, his lawyer said", Source]

I'm not sure what to make of this belated confession. "Oh, you mean 'meetings with foreigners' includes Russians too! Who knew?" That seems less like someone making a good faith effort than someone getting caught and attempting some damage control.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I'm not sure what to make of this belated confession. "Oh, you mean 'meetings with foreigners' includes Russians too! Who knew?" That seems less like someone making a good faith effort than someone getting caught and attempting some damage control.

It depends somewhat on how long ago he did it; I don't get the impression it's that recent, but I haven't seen a date.

It doesn't look good for them all, though. AIUI Trump Sr. was in the same building at the time, and the meeting took place in close proximity to Trump statements about HRC e-mails. In France, all this in the hands of an investigating magistrate would constitute un faisceau d'indices (roughly, "a suggestive pattern of clues"), which would be enough to bring charges here, but it's all terribly circumstantial so far, and remember Trump Sr. is a class act in wriggling.

Setting off to read this now.
 
Posted by W Hyatt (# 14250) on :
 
The meeting took place in June of 2016, after Trump won the Republican nomination.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
So trumpy goes to Poland, tells the Poles about standing together, being an ally and that western values will never be broken.

The he goes to the G20 in Hamburg. 19 countries sign the communiqué and America doesn't. Way to stand together-- okay, yes, um, yah you're right, we don't want to stand anywhere near him. These communiuqués are worked on way in advance: this was giving everyone else in the world the finger. Well we all know trumpy either doesn’t know what he is talking about, can’t deliver on anything, and is quite likely lying anyway. As the world moves on to a world where America doesn't matter. America alone.

Meanwhile, Mike Pence wants to fit in with his stink-fingering boss so he specifically touches space equipment at NASA where the sign says "do not touch". Can't American politicians keep their hands to themselves?

[ 11. July 2017, 03:41: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by W Hyatt:
The meeting took place in June of 2016, after Trump won the Republican nomination.

I meant we don't know when Kushner disclosed the meeting for his security clearance.

As far as I can tell, what this meeting might have done is broken campaign finance laws by the parties agreeing to meet on the basis of an offer of a "thing of value" from a foreign entity to a US political campaign. I like this to the extent that it fits my prediction of Trump eventually being brought down by relatively minor technicalities rather than, say, some flagrant piece of kompromat. Still no smoking gun though.
 
Posted by Doublethink. (# 1984) on :
 
The BBC is reporting Trump's visit is being planned for 2018 - my guess is they're hoping he will have been impeached by then.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
A forlorn hope, I suspect. An impeachment process
launched against a Republican president by the House with its Republican majority? Trial by a Republican-majority Senate? The latter seems slightly more possible, but the process starts in the House. And it's by no means a sure bet that the House majority will change hands even after the 2018 midterms, though we can work toward that end.
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
As I stated on another thread, I would not be entirely surprised by a Praetorian move/palace coup/call-it-what-you-will. (From Graves, when Claudius is pulled from behind a curtain, a Praetorian screams at German mercenary, "He's the bloody Kaiser!" I await to see who that kaiser might be. Start a pool?)
 
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
 
There are no saddles, only sinks. A standard deviation toward worst case goes on and on in the chaos of politics, religion. Trump cannot lose. Despite winning nothing of any substance. Liberalism has lost. Internationally, nationally, everywhere except within the beleaguered EU. There's not a functional trace of it in religion. Sunni SCIS is defeated by overwhelming US firepower above Shia ground forces in ruined Mosul. What can possibly stop that water bed rebounding? It's OK, the US will continue to make a fortune. Jihadists will continue to murder Europeans. This is Trump's world: divide and do deals with the fragments.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by W Hyatt:
The meeting took place in June of 2016, after Trump won the Republican nomination.

I meant we don't know when Kushner disclosed the meeting for his security clearance.
Kushner filed his first revision when it came out in early April that he'd omitted meetings with various Russians from his security clearance application. He had to revise again when it came out in late May that Kushner had still more contacts with Russian officials that had somehow slipped his mind.

Beware Russian diplomats! They have the power to cloud the minds of men.

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Still no smoking gun though.

You mean something like an e-mail to Trump Jr. saying the Russians want to help your dad's campaign, let's meet and talk about it? Something like that?

In another amazing 'coincidence', Trump Sr.'s very first tweet about Hillary Clinton's e-mails seems to have happened at 4:40 pm (Eastern Time) the day of Trump Jr.'s meeting.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Surely of no significance. Coincidence! Who are you going to believe, a person named Donald Trump, or your own ears and eyes?
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Liberalism has lost. Internationally, nationally, everywhere except within the beleaguered EU.

That's a pretty big except. As this article in the Guardian pointed about a couple of months ago, the liberal centre in Europe is actually holding up pretty well (note that it was written before the definitive election of Macron). Possibly the democratic future of liberalism is a bit less English speaking (I mean so long as you ignore the fact that these days the President of France speaks better English than the President of the United States [Snigger] ) but the supposed populist domino effect in Europe hasn’t happened.
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
Might I add Canada? Not to be focussed on my navel, but since you are focussed on yours, Martin....
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
Seriously, WTF does Trump Jr. think he's doing here? (Here's part 1, and here is a screenshot to preserve the tweet after his apoplectic lawyer makes him delete it.) "Here is a complete e-mail chain of me setting up collusion between my father's campaign and someone identified to me as a representative of 'Russia and its government'" is not a typical way to defend yourself against accusations of colluding with the Russian government. Is he trying to get back at dad because he didn't get that car when he turned 16 or something? Or does he simply not understand how grossly illegal and unethical those actions were?
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Seriously, WTF does Trump Jr. think he's doing here?

Well, Trump Jr.'s not part of the Trump administration so the rules don't apply to him. He never talks to anyone in the administration which is why Trump Sr has no conflict of interest. Nobody in the administration or the campaign knew what Trump Jr. was doing. In fact, Trump Jr. doesn't know anyone in the Trump administration. He's never even met the President. He's only just realised that the President is that old guy who used to lech over his sister.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Seriously, WTF does Trump Jr. think he's doing here? (Here's part 1, and here is a screenshot to preserve the tweet after his apoplectic lawyer makes him delete it.) "Here is a complete e-mail chain of me setting up collusion between my father's campaign and someone identified to me as a representative of 'Russia and its government'" is not a typical way to defend yourself against accusations of colluding with the Russian government. Is he trying to get back at dad because he didn't get that car when he turned 16 or something? Or does he simply not understand how grossly illegal and unethical those actions were?

Well that appears to be a smoking gun for Don Jr. I guess he's trying to get it out himself before it's leaked.

It still doesn't directly implicate his dad, though, does it? And he's a master wriggler.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
In another amazing 'coincidence', Trump Sr.'s very first tweet about Hillary Clinton's e-mails seems to have happened at 4:40 pm (Eastern Time) the day of Trump Jr.'s meeting.

Oh, I know. But I'm sure a lot of other things did too, as even Keith Oberlmann admits. It really is going to have to be ironclad.

In prison I've seen the other side of this. I've seen people convicted because a) their cell phone was on and in the vicinity of the crime b) their cell phone was on and not in the vicinity of the crime ("you obviously cunningly left it at home") c) their cell phone was off at the time of the crime ("you obviously switched it off to disguise where you were") - and I'm not convinced any of those in any of these scenarios were guilty.

[ 11. July 2017, 16:36: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I would bet that all of these convicted persons were poor, or persons of color or ethnicity. Don Jr. has been pampered all his life. He probably does not realize there were laws -- they never hampered him before. Remember the basic operating principle here: For me, not you. I get to blow through federal laws without looking back; you get Bengazi hearings. I get to be cozy with Russians, you get demands for a birth certificate. I get to grope the genitalia of women, you get denunciations of your character and accusations of child trafficking out of pizza parlors.

[ 11. July 2017, 17:24: Message edited by: Brenda Clough ]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Are you watching Sean Hannity tonight? Don Jr. is apparently on. Maybe he'll claim its a Democrat setup.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Well that appears to be a smoking gun for Don Jr. I guess he's trying to get it out himself before it's leaked.

The interesting question here is who are the source(s) for this information? The New York Times refers to "three people with knowledge of the email" or three "White House advisers". Who has such a vendetta against Donald Trump, Jr.?

The calls are coming from inside the (White) house! [Eek!]

Some speculation I've seen is that Trump Jr. is a sacrifice who [jumped / was pushed] to protect Jared Kushner, who also attended those meetings and would face much more serious legal jeopardy (as someone with an official position within the White House and who had to fill out a lot of questionnaires to get there) than Trump Jr. would.

[ 11. July 2017, 17:27: Message edited by: Crœsos ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
He would risk jail time for dear Jared? Really? We've got to be at least dimly plausible with these scenarios, you know. Credulity is not only strained, it's limping with a crutch.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
He would risk jail time for dear Jared? Really? We've got to be at least dimly plausible with these scenarios, you know. Credulity is not only strained, it's limping with a crutch.

I would guess that the reasoning is more that Jr would be called naughty and Kushner might be called criminal.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
He would risk jail time for dear Jared? Really? We've got to be at least dimly plausible with these scenarios, you know. Credulity is not only strained, it's limping with a crutch.

Well, not voluntarily, nor is it certain that anything described so far would result in jail time. Most FEC violations are settled with fines.

I'm speculating on the possibility that the Times' sources are Kushner loyalists banking on Trump Jr. not having anything that he could trade to prosecutors (if he ever faces prosecutors) that would implicate Kushner. Someone in the White House seems to have it in for Trump Jr.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
...so they're loyal to the King, sorry I mean the President, they just think he needs different advisors?

Niccolo Machiavelli: five hundred years old and still topical.

[ 11. July 2017, 18:23: Message edited by: Jane R ]
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
It appears part of the Trump coterie's defense to all these recent allegations is that the Ukrainian government was helping the Clinton campaign with info that made Trump look bad. Does anyone know what they are referring to if there is any truth to it?
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
It appears part of the Trump coterie's defense to all these recent allegations is that the Ukrainian government was helping the Clinton campaign with info that made Trump look bad. Does anyone know what they are referring to if there is any truth to it?

Last August the Ukrainian government made public a handwritten ledger claiming Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort (one of the attendees at the Veselnitskaya meeting) worked for Ukraine's corrupt, pro-Russian former President Viktor Yanukovych. It was later confirmed that Manafort did indeed get paid by Yanukovych.

As far as I know, no one has ever demonstrated that the Ukrainian government in any way colluded with the Clinton campaign in making this information public. My own personal take is that they were just pissed off that the Trump campaign had so many ties to the Russians.

[ 11. July 2017, 19:33: Message edited by: Crœsos ]
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
It appears part of the Trump coterie's defense to all these recent allegations is that the Ukrainian government was helping the Clinton campaign with info that made Trump look bad. Does anyone know what they are referring to if there is any truth to it?

Will the projection and lies never stop?
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
There's a tantalizing bit near the end of Trump Jr.'s self-incriminating e-mail dump this morning. The last thing Rob Goldstone writes to Trump Jr. is:

quote:
I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.
There's the suggestion that Trump Sr. should be informed of this, but no real evidence that he actually was. But who is "Rhona"? Via Politico:

quote:
When longtime friends and associates of President Donald Trump want to reach him, they don’t go directly to the White House. Instead, they call the woman who’s been the gatekeeper at Trump Tower for a quarter century: Rhona Graff.

<snip>

“If I wanted to get something to Trump without calling his cell phone, I’d send it to Rhona,” said another confidant who goes through Graff to get to Trump.

Again, this is proof of nothing but I think someone just moved up a few places in Robert Mueller's subpœna list.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Someone in the White House seems to have it in for Trump Jr.

Probably the President: "That little brat has been trading in on my good name long enough. Time to get even. Lock Him Up!"
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
It appears part of the Trump coterie's defense to all these recent allegations is that the Ukrainian government was helping the Clinton campaign with info that made Trump look bad. Does anyone know what they are referring to if there is any truth to it?

Will the projection and lies never stop?
To clarify, I take just about everything that Trump administration and Trump surrogates say in order to deflect criticism with such a huge grain of salt that I almost assume it to be false until proven true. But since my parents are (to my utter inability to understand) Trump supporters, I feel I need to be able to respond to anything unbelievable that they tell me in Trump's defense.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I'm not sure what to make of this belated confession. "Oh, you mean 'meetings with foreigners' includes Russians too! Who knew?" That seems less like someone making a good faith effort than someone getting caught and attempting some damage control.

It depends somewhat on how long ago he did it; I don't get the impression it's that recent, but I haven't seen a date.

It doesn't look good for them all, though. AIUI Trump Sr. was in the same building at the time, and the meeting took place in close proximity to Trump statements about HRC e-mails. In France, all this in the hands of an investigating magistrate would constitute un faisceau d'indices (roughly, "a suggestive pattern of clues"), which would be enough to bring charges here, but it's all terribly circumstantial so far, and remember Trump Sr. is a class act in wriggling.

Setting off to read this now.

Eutychus, you are improving the quality of my American Politics bookmarks every time you link something. Thanks.

[ 12. July 2017, 00:09: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Are you watching Sean Hannity tonight? Don Jr. is apparently on. Maybe he'll claim its a Democrat setup.

Watched it. Hannity is an apologist and an obfuscator. I don't think Trump Jr would have got such an easy ride from Fox News's Shepard Smith. If Trump Jr had offered an interview with Anderson Cooper, I might have been more impressed - after falling off my chair with surprise.

Shep Smith's comments remind me of a famous Sir Humphreyism. " We should always tell the press freely and frankly anything that they could easily find out some other way.". Or have already found out.

Trump Jr was helped to make the best of a bad job. But you wouldn't expect anything else. No doubt the Trump loyalists and Fox News watchers lapped up this further illustration of "mainstream media bias". The world of alternative facts is alive and well.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Before I left the dining table in my house to eat alone in the living room, my "guest" was listening to Nigel Farage chortling about what the liberal media would be making of this business - he definitely supports DT jr in the matter.

(My "guest" knows I do not want to listen to NF, and mocks me for it. In my house. While eating the food I have bought and prepared for her.)

[ 12. July 2017, 09:40: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
hosting/

quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
(My "guest" knows I do not want to listen to NF, and mocks me for it. In my house. While eating the food I have bought and prepared for her.)

Don't even think about importing this tale of woe into Purgatory.

/hosting
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Absolutely not - it was a parallel with Trump supporters known to people above.

I am, mostly, observing silence over this issue since I received so little support. I know my place.
 
Posted by Eirenist (# 13343) on :
 
If I was investigating this, I'd want to know more about Mr Goldstone.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
hosting/

quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Absolutely not - it was a parallel with Trump supporters known to people above.

I am, mostly, observing silence over this issue since I received so little support. I know my place.

The last part of what I quoted had nothing to do with the subject here and everything to do with your pet peeve.

As does your last paragraph above.

If you want to dispute a Hostly ruling, take it to the Styx.

In the meantime, bringing your blog material up again here will result in notification to the admins.

/hosting
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Someone in the White House seems to have it in for Trump Jr.

Probably the President: "That little brat has been trading in on my good name long enough. Time to get even. Lock Him Up!"
Something about the Trump family dynamics reminds me of the FLDS and other predatory polygamous cults. while the young girls are bullied into service to the old men, the young boys are seen as excess baggage and threats, do often expelled for minor offenses. While we have no explicit evidence of insppropriate relationships here, the dynamics between the three elder siblings very much seem to fall along these lines. The weird role kushner seems to play as co-conspirator in the creepy-weird ivanka/dad relationship and supplanting Jr's just adds to the discomfiture. I'm not making any allegations so much as noting how very very creepy and disfunctional it all seems
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Something about the Trump family dynamics reminds me of the FLDS and other predatory polygamous cults. while the young girls are bullied into service to the old men, the young boys are seen as excess baggage and threats, do often expelled for minor offenses. While we have no explicit evidence of insppropriate relationships here, the dynamics between the three elder siblings very much seem to fall along these lines.

We do have some second-hand evidence of something deeply wrong with the family. How plausible you consider this account to be is a matter of personal judgment, but I can certainly picture Trump Jr. hitting the tweet button and saying "You got time for me now, dad?"

On another, somewhat related matter, Trump's nominee to replace James Comey at the FBI is testifying before the Senate today. Those interested can watch it live on C-SPAN. The folks at Lawfare have a few thoughts on what to look for in Wray's testimony.

[ 12. July 2017, 14:30: Message edited by: Crœsos ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I think we can all agree that no amount of money, no quantity of designer clothing/boob lifts/penthouses plated in gold/golf courses/private planes, would make up for the agonies of being in this family.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I think we can all agree that no amount of money, no quantity of designer clothing/boob lifts/penthouses plated in gold/golf courses/private planes, would make up for the agonies of being in this family.

Self-imposed agonies. Hard to work up any sympathy here.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I think we can all agree that no amount of money, no quantity of designer clothing/boob lifts/penthouses plated in gold/golf courses/private planes, would make up for the agonies of being in this family.

Self-imposed agonies. Hard to work up any sympathy here.
The children didn't have any choice.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I think we can all agree that no amount of money, no quantity of designer clothing/boob lifts/penthouses plated in gold/golf courses/private planes, would make up for the agonies of being in this family.

Self-imposed agonies. Hard to work up any sympathy here.
The children didn't have any choice.
They didn't have any choice to be his children. They have had plenty of choice since then not to be his stooges.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
The children didn't have any choice.

They didn't have any choice to be his children. They have had plenty of choice since then not to be his stooges.
Tiffany Trump, for example, seems to have minimal contact with her father and half-siblings. At age 11 Barron Trump doesn't have much choice. He's probably not being cultivated by Russians as an inroad to reaching his father either, though with the FSB you can never really be sure.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
It is famously true that you are stuck with your relatives. See? A silver lining in every cloud! However dysfunctional and repellent your family is, at the least you are not in danger of impeachment because of your kids' dingbat emails.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
It is famously true that you are stuck with your relatives. See? A silver lining in every cloud! However dysfunctional and repellent your family is, at the least you are not in danger of impeachment because of your kids' dingbat emails.

But you are not stuck working for them.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
It is famously true that you are stuck with your relatives. See? A silver lining in every cloud! However dysfunctional and repellent your family is, at the least you are not in danger of impeachment because of your kids' dingbat emails.

But you are not stuck working for them.
Oh, I dunno. Junior's job prospects elsewhere don't look too shiny right now.

[ 12. July 2017, 21:07: Message edited by: Ohher ]
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
It is famously true that you are stuck with your relatives. See? A silver lining in every cloud! However dysfunctional and repellent your family is, at the least you are not in danger of impeachment because of your kids' dingbat emails.

But you are not stuck working for them.
Oh, I dunno. Junior's job prospects elsewhere don't look too shiny right now.
I don't know about that. He could probably have a successful go at being at tell-all book author (with an appropriately talented ghost-writing collaborator). Maybe not enough to keep him in the style to which he's accustomed, but I imagine his first book, at least, would sell very well.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Junior could get a cushy job at Fox.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
Was good enough for a certain ex-governor of a northwestern state.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
Sure, if they're recruiting for Stupid.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
The trumpies as a group on a game show might be fun, like Family Feud. Or maybe we can vote them on to the island.

I was going to say used car salesman for trumpy junior. You know the seedy kind who take out their combs and slick their hair back while talking to you, and you don't want to shake their hand without washing after. Distinctive scent of Aqua Velva aftershave or if he's learned well from his daddy maybe it's a new one called Afta Vulva.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
You don't have to be smart to do well in property. You just have to have deep pockets.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eirenist:
If I was investigating this, I'd want to know more about Mr Goldstone.

Well, for starters, he likes hats.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
Well, it's a start: House Democrat files article of impeachment against Trump.

quote:
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) formally introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday that accuses the president of obstructing justice during the federal investigation of Russia’s 2016 election interference...
I think it's hopeless at this point, but 44 years ago I thought the idea of impeaching Nixon was hopeless. (True, he resigned, but the thought of being impeached forced his resignation -- which I don't think will happen this time, unfortunately.)
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
I'm hoping that T will just flounce and leave. "You don't like me? LOSERS! I never wanted to be president, anyway." And that last bit is true.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
I'm hoping that T will just flounce and leave. "You don't like me? LOSERS! I never wanted to be president, anyway." And that last bit is true.

Not gonna happen. Too much pride. He'll run again in 2020 and he will win unless there is an amazing candidate against. Incumbents, even the massively unpopular, have a huge advantage.
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
El Presidente has arrived in Paris. I know this because of the complete and utter intractable gridlock from hell on the roads this morning. Bumper to bumper all the way along the Pont de l’Alma and Avenue Montaigne and no one moving a centimetre except some very adventurous people on scooters. (Why do demagogues always arrive in the city centre in the middle of the bloody rush hour? Putin did the same.)

I’m still not sure what Macron’s playing at but incline to the view that it’s something very cunning. Tonight he is inviting Trump for dinner at the Eiffel Tower restaurant with cooking from one of France’s most famous chefs. I suspect Trump, whose diet is mostly limited to well-done steaks and ketchup, isn’t going to enjoy it all that much.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
I’m still not sure what Macron’s playing at

This is a good and intriguing question.

I would guess a) that he's trying to keep the initiative in the relationship and thus keep Trump off-balance b) possibly seeking (dreaded word) optics that present him as a contender for leader of the free world as opposed to a bumbling jet-lagged buffoon (Trump must surely have some terrible jet-lag arriving at this time of day and going on to a full programme!) c) French intelligence services will be hoovering up any off-guarded comments from Trump or his entourage and storing them away for future use.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
If this article is true then I would say democracy no longer exists in the US. It's a pretence. Big business runs the show and has a cloak called 'elections'.

I wonder what the future will bring? People who can buy lawyers and pay for legal bullying hold sway in many places. The Grenfell residents were bullied in this way when they complained about fire safety.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Welcome to the thought world of billionaires. Boogie. Basically, anything and anybody can be bought.

Democracy cannot thrive if representatives can be easily suborned or manipulated. That's been the underminer of Western democracies for a long time. Stick a billionaire in the White House and it was bound to get worse.

No obvious cure in sight. Tobacco, coal, oil, they've all now got a bigger piece of the pie.

It might take a while for the rust bucketeers to realise "we wuz robbed" - again.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
If this article is true then I would say democracy no longer exists in the US. It's a pretence. Big business runs the show and has a cloak called 'elections'.


It is most obvious in the USA but this has ben the case in Britain too. The democratic elections are there but the democratic government is not. Business interest have held sway since landed interests did!
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
la vie en rouge:
quote:
(Why do demagogues always arrive in the city centre in the middle of the bloody rush hour? Putin did the same.)
Because they can. It's one of the ways they say "Screw you, peasants!"
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
My sympathies today are with Manu. There he is, young, dashing, handsome, President of a great Republic with an illustrious history, dining at the table of one of the finest chefs in all France - with Trump...... [Projectile]

Doubtless the chef is too proud of his art, but how tempting it must be to....er.... spice Trump's haute cuisine with something suitably noxious...

IJ
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Tobacco doesn't cause very much cancer at all, and it does allot of good through donations to sports clubs and sponsorships. The scientists are lying to us. That iceberg was always going to fall off...

I was only thinking today about the behavior of Big Tobacco in the '60's and onwards and the behavior of the Big Miners and Drillers towards climate science over the last twenty years. Do you think Big Slavery is too long a bow?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
There's many and many a novel which details these things; I could give you a list. "If This Goes On" is a very common theme in genre fiction.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Oh, and here is a POST article detailing the surprisingly simple reason for this French visit.
The salient quote:
"President Trump was not expected to attend France’s Bastille Day, which this year will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.
But then he learned there would be a military parade.
French President Emmanuel Macron told Trump in a June 27 phone call about the event, which this year will feature U.S. and French troops marching through the historic streets near the Arc de Triomphe, fighter jets cutting through the skies above, and flags, horses and military equipment on display — the sort of spectacle that Trump wanted to stage at his own inauguration in January.
Trump told Macron he would be there, according to a White House official, and French and U.S. officials rushed to schedule a last-minute trip that will last about 27 hours and include dinner at an opulent restaurant in the Eiffel Tower and a visit to Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb. "
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Hasn't anybody told him that Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo? [Devil]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
It must have been profoundly disappointing for him, to have a merely civilian inaugural. To be followed on the next day by millions of pussyhats on the Mall.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Or that the tomb is constructed so that visitors have to bow over to the emperor in order to look at it? Or so our English teacher of French (honoured for her part in the war) told us, and we all tried to look without bending over!
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
Certainly that explains why Trump accepted. But to me that was the obvious part. Manu appealed to his vanity and it worked.

The mysterious bit open to all kinds of Machiavellian interpretations is why Manu invited someone so patently unpopular. I think there’s still some one-upmanship going on. AFAICT Manu has had the best of it so far, and this adds to that. He whistles and Trump comes running.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
So it would seem, and I hope the cunning Manu enjoys his meal despite Ozymandias' presence. I also hope that the waitresses (if any be present) have been forewarned as to where to keep their hands, when not occupied in waitressing, and to not to stand too close to Ozymandias' chair....

[Ultra confused]

IJ
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Waitresses? Surely not! They'll all be waiters who have fully mastered the art of sneering at the OOO's every move and replying to each remark with Gallic shrugs or 'Hunh?'. Like the waiter in 'M. Hulot's Holiday', only taller and in smarter uniforms (Paris, you know).
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Yes, that does seem a more likely scenario!

[Snigger]

IJ
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
I think Macron may be easing T back to the Paris accord. T spoke somewhat favorably of it today.

There was talk on NPR of how it's smart to play to the things that make T comfortable, as Saudi Arabia did. In the audio today, T sounded very relaxed. Haven't seen pictures, yet.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Jane--

quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Hasn't anybody told him that Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo? [Devil]

I don't suppose Macron could get ABBA back together, briefly, to sing "Waterloo" at Napoleon's crypt?
[Two face]
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
I think Macron may be easing T back to the Paris accord. T spoke somewhat favorably of it today.

Oh, please. This is Trump 101. You can't trust a thing he says. And what has he said?
quote:
"Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord," he said.

Mr Trump added: "We'll see what happens."

That is right up there with the standard parent's response when a child asks for a pony for Christmas. "We'll see, dear." Trump has promised nothing, said nothing, hinted at nothing. He made a vague comment so that it did not sound like he was spitting in his host's eye. That is what any business man would do. But you are deluding yourself if you think it means that Trump has any intention of participating in the Paris Accord. Unless it is to sell you something.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
France Info's chief US correspondent reckons Macron has a card to play in positioning France as the US' privileged point of contact within the EU. Trump and Merkel are daggers drawn and the UK has inconveniently removed itself from the EU, which gives France an opportunity.

Modelling himself after De Gaulle who would talk to just about anybody, Macron is seeking to restore the fortunes of French diplomacy. Or so the analysis goes.
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
I'm sure Macron has Trump right where he wants him...

[Roll Eyes]

What world are you people living in?
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
The decline of the world perhaps began when Anglais*, the angry language of business, replaced French as the internatonal language. And beer of the Budweiser corn variety (God is crying) replaced civilized beverages. If we all spoke French and drank wine, it would be better place, this world.


*English.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
I'm sure Macron has Trump right where he wants him...

[Roll Eyes]

What world are you people living in?

Yeah. The French were the enemy way before the Ruskies.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
...minus contributions such as Lafayette and that tall lady in New York harbor.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Hasn't anybody told him that Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo? [Devil]

Only with German (OK, Prussian) intervention.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
@ romanlion

I suppose most of us are more puzzled or appalled by the thought world the Donald is living in. He's a very ODD human being, by any normal standards.

[ 14. July 2017, 07:23: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]
 
Posted by Eirenist (# 13343) on :
 
I don't think anyone has told the French that Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:

I suppose most of us are more puzzled or appalled by the thought world the Donald is living in. He's a very ODD human being, by any normal standards.

Do not denigrate the odd by grouping the Cheeto in with us.
Or groping him in with us, either.

[ 14. July 2017, 13:16: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Well, there's odd (most of us, if truth be told), and ODD, which is Trumpelstiltskin...

IJ
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
How odd do you need to be in order to be ODD? A lot odder than any regular on SoF. Oddly enough.

I think a would be Shipmate Trump would have been planked before he got out of Apprentice status. Oh what joy for a hypothetical Admin, to be able to post "You're fired".
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
It's not that he's odd; if odd were a sin the Ship would be an empty hulk. Nor even is it that he's malevolent; entire Houses of Congress are malevolent as you may soon see if the Senate passes this health care legislation. It's that he is a monster of ego. Nothing is important except that it feeds his self-esteem; he wants a win or something he can declare to be a win but what it is means nothing to him. He remembers nothing and expects us all to forget what he said yesterday as well.
Macron has managed him like a master, showing him the pretty military toys, pretending to honor and listen to him. That is -all- you have to do.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
What world are you people living in?

One in which facts like Former Soviet Counterintelligence Officer at Meeting With Donald Trump Jr. and Russian Lawyer are dismissed as merely sour grapes because Hillary didn't win, apparently.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
It's that he is a monster of ego. Nothing is important except that it feeds his self-esteem; he wants a win or something he can declare to be a win but what it is means nothing to him.

I think this is the key. It is not unusual in the corporate world to have this mentality. Typically less ham-handed, though, and with some semblance of intelligence.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
This is an odd bit of Trumpery which the press don't seem to have called correctly.

His 'your wife is in such good shape...' gaff to Macron seems to be being read as if he meant it - after all, he has form as a letch. Whereas it seems to be classic playground bully stuff - '...for a woman who is considerably older than both you, and my own hot trophy bride' being left unspoken.

An amazing prick.
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
What world are you people living in?

One in which facts like Former Soviet Counterintelligence Officer at Meeting With Donald Trump Jr. and Russian Lawyer are dismissed as merely sour grapes because Hillary didn't win, apparently.
What is the alleged crime here? It isn't dismissed as sour grapes, it's dismissed because it is meaningless bullshit, and completely contrived.

No where near the level of the former POTUS telling the Russian president that he will have "more flexibility" after the election with regard to leaving NATO allies without missile defense, IMO. That is direct collusion with the Russians to submit to their will against our interests, which he did.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is from the POST, but all you really need is the headline: Trump Admits His Border Wall Could Be Defeated By Medieval Siege Technology. The photograph is of a trebuchet, which seems to be standing in the green moat of the Tower of London.

[ 14. July 2017, 17:43: Message edited by: Brenda Clough ]
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
[Killing me]

In other news, the Society for Creative Anachronism is under investigation for un-American activities...
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Given that The Wall probably won't be built, and therefore will be invisible (IYSWIM), will Ozymandias The Great think it has been built?

[Paranoid]

IJ
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
The political cartoonists are way ahead of us.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
What is the alleged crime here?

Oh, I see you've got your talking points delivered.

I haven't alleged anything, but solliciting a "thing of value" to influence a US election campaign is a felony, as I understand it, and this certainly looks like evidence of it.

More fundamentally than whether a crime is proven, what I find gob-smacking is the number of people for whom the level of entanglement of Trump's immediate entourage with dodgy foreign interests doesn't appear to present any ethical concern whatsoever.
quote:
No where near the level of the former POTUS telling the Russian president that he will have "more flexibility" after the election with regard to leaving NATO allies without missile defense, IMO. That is direct collusion with the Russians to submit to their will against our interests, which he did.
Oh, another talking-point. Can you point me back to where you were up in arms about this at the time? I didn't think so.

There's absolutely nothing to be gained here by comparing current misdeeds to alleged former ones. The question is whether the current US president and his team are fit to govern the country.

The speed at which his staff have to keep changing their story to keep up is a major cause for concern.

The talking-points distribution team's defence tactics appear to be taken straight from Art Buchwald on Watergate - see point 27 for example to cover your objection above.

[ 14. July 2017, 20:07: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
Not to mention points 2, 9, 19 and 32.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Oh dear. I just found out the name of the new Senate healthcare bill.

quote:
The latest Senate GOP health care bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BRCA)...
Seriously? Are these people completely clueless, to choose such an acronym?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This might be useful for some of us. (free click)
From today's Jennifer Rubin column in the POST:
ternal moral truth or ethical code.”
"Let’s dispense with the “Democrats are just as bad” defense. First, I don’t much care; we collectively face a party in charge of virtually the entire federal government and the vast majority of statehouses and governorships. It’s that party’s inner moral rot that must concern us for now. Second, it’s simply not true, and saying so reveals the origin of the problem — a “woe is me” sense of victimhood that grossly exaggerates the opposition’s ills and in turn justifies its own egregious political judgments and rhetoric. If the GOP had not become unhinged about the Clintons, would it have rationalized Trump as the lesser of two evils? Only in the crazed bubble of right-wing hysteria does an ethically challenged, moderate Democrat become a threat to Western civilization and Trump the salvation of America."
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
Not to mention points 2, 9, 19 and 32.

#15 needs revision as follows: "I'd rather have a fool in the White House than a crook." Oh, wait . . .
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Oh dear. I just found out the name of the new Senate healthcare bill.

quote:
The latest Senate GOP health care bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BRCA)...
Seriously? Are these people completely clueless, to choose such an acronym?
You know the answer to this question . . . but why would a committee composed entirely of men (men who have forgotten that men, too, get breast cancer) be any more up to speed on BRCA than the fact that men, er, frequently make some little contribution to maternity.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
Umm, people?

Better Care Reconciliation Act would be BCRA, not BRCA.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
Ah, well. It was typical while it lasted.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Meh. I suppose they fired their proofreaders like (almost) everybody else.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
"In a world in which Donald Trump is president, may we all be Jimmy Carter." -- George Takei

Carter is unquestionably the most worthwhile former president we have ever had. He is also (per the Beatitudes) a man pretty well guaranteed to see God.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
"In a world in which Donald Trump is president, may we all be Jimmy Carter." -- George Takei

Carter is unquestionably the most worthwhile former president we have ever had. He is also (per the Beatitudes) a man pretty well guaranteed to see God.

So of course when he ran for re-election in 1980, the so-called Christian right supported Ronald Reagan.

[Disappointed]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
"In a world in which Donald Trump is president, may we all be Jimmy Carter." -- George Takei

Carter is unquestionably the most worthwhile former president we have ever had.

I've always thought so.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Perhaps we could get Carter and his Habitat For Humanity to build the Trumps a house on an uninhabited island? And encourage them all to resign ASAP?
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I find myself blown away that at 92, and one day after being hospitalised for dehydration on the job, Carter is back doing it at grassroots level. The guy demonstrates a servant heart that has far outlasted his tenure in the White House.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
As everyone knows, Australia has the best TV shows about American politics. They're great. They're really great. The ratings are great. They're very impressive. Everything's great.

Planet America, which I have just switched off, tells me that if Donald Trump Jr merely solicited stuff of value from a foreign power in an election campaign, then that's a low-range offence for which he could expect a fine of up to US$5,000. That's not nothing, but it's not very much. Traps for young players stuff.

They also talked a little about Paul Manafort, and mentioned the allegations against the Clinton campaign that they might have breached campaign finance laws in receiving information about him from people in Ukraine. Now, Ukraine is not a hostile power, and Russia is. But it could still be an offence, and I don't think it can be dismissed. It has no bearing on the moral culpability of Trump's actions.

All this suggests that while Jr. might have been convicted in the court of public opinion (along with everyone else associated with Trump), he's still a long way from being sent down by a real court.

I'm still going to heckle the bastard about making sure he packs a toothbrush if I get a chance. I'm working on a raft of insults.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
A few weeks ago a story broke that Trump had framed fake TIME Magazine covers of himself hung in several of his resorts.

This past Friday two Democratic congressman brought into the House of Representatives an enormous printout of Don Junior’s actual TIME cover.

I’ll bet that one doesn’t get hung up all over Trump properties.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
As everyone knows, Australia has the best TV shows about American politics. They're great. They're really great. The ratings are great. They're very impressive. Everything's great.

Planet America, which I have just switched off, tells me that if Donald Trump Jr merely solicited stuff of value from a foreign power in an election campaign, then that's a low-range offence for which he could expect a fine of up to US$5,000. That's not nothing, but it's not very much. Traps for young players stuff.

They also talked a little about Paul Manafort, and mentioned the allegations against the Clinton campaign that they might have breached campaign finance laws in receiving information about him from people in Ukraine. Now, Ukraine is not a hostile power, and Russia is. But it could still be an offence, and I don't think it can be dismissed. It has no bearing on the moral culpability of Trump's actions.

All this suggests that while Jr. might have been convicted in the court of public opinion (along with everyone else associated with Trump), he's still a long way from being sent down by a real court.

I'm still going to heckle the bastard about making sure he packs a toothbrush if I get a chance. I'm working on a raft of insults.

Yes, Jr. is probably guilty only of a breach of ethics-- "only" being the operative word because to the Trumps an ethics breach is roughly equivalent to picking one's nose in private.

But SIL/BIL Jared Kushner may in fact be guilty of a criminal act for failing to disclose his multiple Russian contacts.

Which raises the intriguing question again of the strange sibling dynamics, and why Jr. released this infamously incriminating email. Was he trying to take down the guy who seems to have more than eclipsed him in daddy's eyes? Or is he just that stupid?
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I went to the exhibit about Ernest Shackleton's expedition at Greenwich, and bought a tee shirt with this well-known quote on it: “For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.”

From this we can derive the larger rule that, when disaster does strike, find yourself Mr. Shackleton and tie yourself to his right ankle. And so it is if you really want to see God: find Mr. Carter. Because if any man alive today is going to stand before the throne of the Father and hear 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant,' it's Jimmy Carter.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Wow, that's quite a testimonial, Brenda.

I gather, from Wikipedia (so it must be True), that Mr. Carter's presidency was not entirely well-regarded, despite the many Good Things achieved.

However, he certainly hasn't let the grass grow under his feet during his post-presidential years, and his commitment to Christ, and his humanitarian work, do him great credit. Long may he continue to teach in Sunday School!

O, America - what a contrast with the current incumbent (or should that be encumbrance?)...

IJ
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Was he trying to take down the guy who seems to have more than eclipsed him in daddy's eyes? Or is he just that stupid?

Yes.
 
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
 
Ms. Clough.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
All this suggests that while Jr. might have been convicted in the court of public opinion (along with everyone else associated with Trump), he's still a long way from being sent down by a real court.

Absolutely. But criminal activity isn't the significance of the event. It is a step on the road.

Take an analogy. The police suspect a group of robbing a bank. That group swears that they have had nothing whatsoever to do with that bank, much less stole anything from it. Then video evidence emerges that clearly shows one of the group entering the bank on the day of the robbery. Now defenders of the group will say, accurately, that it is no crime to enter a bank. True. But in light of the prior denials of any contact with the bank, it is suspicious and warrants further investigation. It is a step on the path.

The Trump Campaign denied that they had ANY contacts with the Russian government. Now Junior's e-mails show that they were told the Russian government wanted to help Trump win the presidency and Junior was so excited about this that he happily agreed to a meeting to get more info, bringing in other members of the campaign staff.

It may not be illegal, but it is suspicious. He walked into the bank. It warrants further investigation. If only to see what else Trump and his people have brazenly lied to the American people about.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Wow, that's quite a testimonial, Brenda.

I gather, from Wikipedia (so it must be True), that Mr. Carter's presidency was not entirely well-regarded, despite the many Good Things achieved.

Among Republicans. Because he had the audacity to be a Christian and mean it.
 
Posted by jedijudy (# 333) on :
 
I remember when Jimmy Carter was president, and how pleased I was with his very obvious Christian heart. My brother, who I did not know at the time was a conspiracy theorist, insisted that Carter was the antichrist. That, along with the Republicans' rants about him puzzled me greatly. Too bad I didn't know then what I know now.

How many of these little "oops" things have to happen with the Trump guys before there is any accountability? Had President Obama done just one of these oopses, he'd have been strung up. Yeah, I'm a broken record, and a very frustrated one.
 
Posted by Prester John (# 5502) on :
 
President Carter's approval ratings over the course of his presidency. That's a lot of Republicans.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
At this terribly late date, if Jimmy Carter is the Antichrist, he's totally missed the train. The man is in his mid-90s and frail; he becomes dehydrated and ill building houses for the homeless. How can he grind the world under his iron heel now?

(And where is that Muslim Caliphate? Obama has totally let us down, I am bitterly disappointed. He didn't even take all the guns.)
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
At this terribly late date, if Jimmy Carter is the Antichrist, he's totally missed the train. The man is in his mid-90s and frail; he becomes dehydrated and ill building houses for the homeless. How can he grind the world under his iron heel now?

(And where is that Muslim Caliphate? Obama has totally let us down, I am bitterly disappointed. He didn't even take all the guns.)

And the conspiracy theorists will just conveniently forget their failed conspiracies and find new ones to obsess over. And never see the disconnect.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
not taking the guns was a big mistake.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I go to the Walmart and cruise the parking lot fruitlessly, looking for those prison camps. You just cannot rely on antichrists these days.
 
Posted by HCH (# 14313) on :
 
"You just cannot rely on antichrists these days."

(although Trump is trying hard)
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
"You just cannot rely on antichrists these days."

(although Trump is trying hard)

Nonsense. From a conversation about this today with a UK evangelical antichrist-obssessed acquaintance from my university days:
quote:
Trunp is pro Christian so not very likely [to be the antichrist]...
he defends Christian values, is anti abortion and anti homosexual, good guy

[brick wall]

[ 17. July 2017, 15:58: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Fëanor (# 14514) on :
 
Jimmy Carter is indeed the least odious of the recent US Presidents, but please let's not forget that he helped to oversee the US providing a quarter of a billion dollars worth of military assistance to a genocidal dictator in Indonesia. Citation here

Maybe when he gets to the pearly gates, there will be a sort of mock-trial wherein the recipients of the houses he helped build act as his defense lawyers vs the 200,000 (or so) East Timorese he helped fund the extermination of.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fëanor:
Jimmy Carter is indeed the least odious of the recent US Presidents, but please let's not forget that he helped to oversee the US providing a quarter of a billion dollars worth of military assistance to a genocidal dictator in Indonesia. Citation here

Maybe when he gets to the pearly gates, there will be a sort of mock-trial wherein the recipients of the houses he helped build act as his defense lawyers vs the 200,000 (or so) East Timorese he helped fund the extermination of.

Why are all the marginal websites done up in such contrasty themes?
Not defending Carter, but if one is going to cite information, it should more comprehensive than a collection of disembodied quotes.
East Timor from Wiki.
Carter might well have done evil here, actively or passively. But the situation appears more nuanced than "Carter exterminates".

[ 17. July 2017, 17:21: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
I have always thought the conventional wisdom on Carter was accurate: He was not one of our greatest presidents. But he is one of our greatest former presidents. It is what he has done since he was no longer president that impresses, not his time in office.
 
Posted by Fëanor (# 14514) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
<snip>
Carter might well have done evil here, actively or passively. But the situation appears more nuanced than "Carter exterminates".

For the record, your rhetorical technique of saying "well the situation is more nuanced than this bullshit quote I pulled out of thin air" sucks. Pardon me for pointing out that this guy you're thirsting to canonize has some blood on his hands.

[ 17. July 2017, 17:46: Message edited by: Fëanor ]
 
Posted by Prester John (# 5502) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
I have always thought the conventional wisdom on Carter was accurate: He was not one of our greatest presidents. But he is one of our greatest former presidents. It is what he has done since he was no longer president that impresses, not his time in office.

Agreed. He is proof that being a good person - which I believe he is- does not automatically provide the skills necessary to being a great leader - which I believe he was not.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
I have always thought the conventional wisdom on Carter was accurate: He was not one of our greatest presidents. But he is one of our greatest former presidents. It is what he has done since he was no longer president that impresses, not his time in office.

Agreed. He is proof that being a good person - which I believe he is- does not automatically provide the skills necessary to being a great leader - which I believe he was not.
Nor does being a foul person, as the present incumbent proves.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fëanor:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
<snip>
Carter might well have done evil here, actively or passively. But the situation appears more nuanced than "Carter exterminates".

For the record, your rhetorical technique of saying "well the situation is more nuanced than this bullshit quote I pulled out of thin air" sucks. Pardon me for pointing out that this guy you're thirsting to canonize has some blood on his hands.
I'm not campaigning for or against Carter. All I am saying is use more complete sources.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
"You just cannot rely on antichrists these days."

(although Trump is trying hard)

Nonsense. From a conversation about this today with a UK evangelical antichrist-obssessed acquaintance from my university days:
quote:
Trunp is pro Christian so not very likely [to be the antichrist]...
he defends Christian values, is anti abortion and anti homosexual, good guy

[brick wall]

Wolves will appear among you to deceive even the very elect, if that were possible.

Pretending to be Christian MUST BE the Antichrist's M.O. There is no way a non-Christian could fool the elect.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is a longish article Financial Times.
A quote:

“To be sure, every politician has some element of narcissism, but he [Trump] has perfected narcissism, he has made it the supreme element of his life, and not only that, evangelicals have responded in an almost messianic way that he is the saviour, which makes him feel really good because he does believe he is the saviour,” Flynt says. “It is kind of curious evangelicals would not be offended by this. I am as an American Christian. I’m offended because I already thought following Jesus was going to make us great again.”
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Nonsense. From a conversation about this today with a UK evangelical antichrist-obssessed acquaintance from my university days

I have a few antichrist-obsessed individuals who are acquaintances or past friends. Prior and just post the election that constituency was pushing various articles/videos/etc by (largely) Charismatic leaders pushing the 'Trump is chosen by God' line in various variations ("Trump is like Cyrus" was what they resorted to once the 'baby christian' line became worn).

So I'm not at all surprised to see your report of his reaction.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Pretending to be Christian MUST BE the Antichrist's M.O. There is no way a non-Christian could fool the elect.

Agreed. In my more dispensationalist moments of anxiety I worry more about Macron, who is getting similar Messiah treatment, albeit from different quarters.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Pretending to be Christian MUST BE the Antichrist's M.O. There is no way a non-Christian could fool the elect.

If you assign numbers to letters you can easily get the letters Ayn Rand to add up to 666. Just saying.
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
Does anyone know if anyone in the press has done profiles of all of the Trump children, their personalities, political positions, relationships with their father and each other, etc., in particular of Donald Jr. vs. Eric vs. Ivanka? I've seen lots written about Ivanka and Jared but much less about Donald Jr. and Eric, let alone side by side comparisons of them all (and Tiffany is written about least of all, but as has been noted in this thread and elsewhere she is in the outer orbit of Trump children). Barron is too young to have much worth writing about him other than the irresponsible speculation I have seen into his mental health, so I'm not interested in any profiles of him.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Both bringing out the worst in, and cynically exploiting, modern evangelicalism. That's a hat trick.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Pretending to be Christian MUST BE the Antichrist's M.O. There is no way a non-Christian could fool the elect.

If you assign numbers to letters you can easily get the letters Ayn Rand to add up to 666. Just saying.
And there are some contemporary Christians who don't realize she's not a Christian.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
I have always thought the conventional wisdom on Carter was accurate: He was not one of our greatest presidents. But he is one of our greatest former presidents. It is what he has done since he was no longer president that impresses, not his time in office.

Agreed. He is proof that being a good person - which I believe he is- does not automatically provide the skills necessary to being a great leader - which I believe he was not.
Some of us think he was a better leader than we wanted or deserved.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Eutychus--

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Nonsense. From a conversation about this today with a UK evangelical antichrist-obssessed acquaintance from my university days:
quote:
Trunp is pro Christian so not very likely [to be the antichrist]...
he defends Christian values, is anti abortion and anti homosexual, good guy

[brick wall]
Right, he defends Christian values like sexually assaulting women, voyeuristically invading the dressing rooms of young female pageant contestants, not paying his workers...

Might suggest your acquaintance reads something other than Hal Lindsey and the "Left Behind" series. Rob Bell's "Love Wins" might be a good place to start...
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
mt--

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Pretending to be Christian MUST BE the Antichrist's M.O. There is no way a non-Christian could fool the elect.

Serious, sarcastic, or mixed, please? There are grounds for each. Thx.

[ 18. July 2017, 02:11: Message edited by: Golden Key ]
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
mt--

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Pretending to be Christian MUST BE the Antichrist's M.O. There is no way a non-Christian could fool the elect.

Serious, sarcastic, or mixed, please? There are grounds for each. Thx.
Quite serious, assuming that such a beast as "the Antichrist" exists, or will exist. I'm not sold on that. But given that as a presupp, the A-C will perforce have to be (or appear to be) Christian, and a very charismatic one at that.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Both bringing out the worst in, and cynically exploiting, modern evangelicalism. That's a hat trick.

Hang on, a Hat Trick is a run of three. Am I missing something. [Confused]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Both bringing out the worst in, and cynically exploiting, modern evangelicalism. That's a hat trick.

I'm favourably impressed with how Vox has analysed the Christian community here.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I'm favourably impressed with how Vox has analysed the Christian community here.

Yes, I certainly think that that article has got a lot of things spot on - in terms of the general dynamics of the movement.

The other thing worth highlighting is the particularly conspiratorial type of mindset that generally buys into extreme end-times thinking, and again the article does well at showing how this mind-set influences the culture of the movement.

On which note, and further to the post about your anti-Christ obsessed acquaintance above I'd link here:

http://barthsnotes.com/2017/07/18/claim-donald-trump-has-secretly-arrested-3000-elite-paedophiles-and-satanists/

These are tangential figures in the scene - but they have links to the more influential, and such things tend to circulate third hand via magazines like Charisma and so on.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
If there is an anti-Christ currently, it would be Mitch McConnell.

[ 18. July 2017, 14:01: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
If there is an anti-Christ currently, it would be Mitch McConnell.

Agreed, but he has done one good thing! Trump wants to end the filibuster and change Senate voting rules so that 51 votes make a majority instead of the current 60 votes.

According to The Hill, as well as other sources, McConnell slammed the door on ending the filibuster in May, saying it “will not happen.”

“There is an overwhelming majority on a bipartisan basis not interested in changing the way the Senate operates on the legislative calendar,” he said.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Thanks be to God.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
That didn't keep him from bringing forward legislation under the reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority.

A new thing, on the "Oops, I did it again" theme: Trump had a previously unreported hour-long meeting with Putin at the G20. I wonder what else they had to talk about, given that their earlier meeting had gone 4 times longer than planned.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
A new thing, on the "Oops, I did it again" theme: Trump had a previously unreported hour-long meeting with Putin at the G20. I wonder what else they had to talk about, given that their earlier meeting had gone 4 times longer than planned.

Now be fair, Ruth. Since the election, it has been MUCH harder for Putin to give his little toady instructions. They needed that extra time so that Putin could make sure that Trump understood what was expected of him. And you can imagine how hard that is, Trump being Trump. I imagine several times Putin had to shout "Pay freakin' attention, you moron! What are we paying you for?!?!?!"
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
A new thing, on the "Oops, I did it again" theme: Trump had a previously unreported hour-long meeting with Putin at the G20. I wonder what else they had to talk about, given that their earlier meeting had gone 4 times longer than planned.

Now be fair, Ruth. Since the election, it has been MUCH harder for Putin to give his little toady instructions. They needed that extra time so that Putin could make sure that Trump understood what was expected of him. And you can imagine how hard that is, Trump being Trump. I imagine several times Putin had to shout "Pay freakin' attention, you moron! What are we paying you for?!?!?!"
This is when I feel all the emojis
[Snigger] [Frown] [brick wall] [Help]

and finally [Votive]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
A new thing, on the "Oops, I did it again" theme: Trump had a previously unreported hour-long meeting with Putin at the G20. I wonder what else they had to talk about, given that their earlier meeting had gone 4 times longer than planned.

This is close enough to some of my interpreting assignments for me to offer an opinion.

On the one hand, it doesn't surprise me too much that an ad hoc meeting was arranged during the course of a larger dinner (source) to discuss (or continue to discuss) some matters that had arisen earlier.

On the other hand, it does surprise me that Trump did not have his own interpreter on hand during the larger dinner at which this private meeting took place (that part of the story appears to need clarification yet) and it surprises me even more that Trump did not enlist his own interpreter for the private meeting. While one is technically enough for such an encounter and I have served in similar capacity on occasion, at this level of diplomacy and given the stakes in US-Russia relations, I would have expected two, one from each side.

The lack of a US interpreter can be seen as conspiracy (nobody else there with Trump) or simply incompetence/hubris (they couldn't be bothered to book one for the evening) but what is for sure is that Trump is a fool for agreeing to the meeting on that basis.

Aside from language considerations, it's really bad psychologically to be going into such a meeting in the minority. One may dismiss the interpreter as just a piece of machinery but that is far from the reality in such settings.

That certainly tells us something about who has the upper hand in the Putin-Trump relationship.

[ 19. July 2017, 05:23: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
Do you think Putin asked Trump for a loyalty pledge?
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
No, I think that's tinfoil hat territory.

My most plausible explanation of the circumstances of this meeting is simply that Trump is completely out of his depth, probably believing that he knows how to handle such a situation.

Regardless of the actual status of the relationship between Putin and Trump, there's plenty to be alarmed about right there. His diplomatic corps must be in meltdown.

From personal experience I would add that it's more than likely that in any meeting with this degree of sensitivity, the interpreter will have had a briefing by their client (here, Putin), at the very least covering the key items the client wants to get across and where they want the meeting to go. The client may well ask the interpreter for their take on the meeting afterwards. Moreover, I wouldn't be in the least surprised if Putin's interpreter was also an intelligence officer. To go into such a meeting without a similar person on one's own side is just dumb.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
To go into such a meeting without a similar person on one's own side is just dumb.

I wonder if interpreters can be forced to testify to investigations ongoing in Congress. I have no idea - but if so, maybe it wasn't such a stupid idea to conveniently forget to take one with him.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
No, it was still stupid. Unless the OOO speaks fluent Russian. How does he know the interpreter was telling him what Putin was really saying? How can he be sure that his own words were accurately translated?

[ 19. July 2017, 08:03: Message edited by: Jane R ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
No, it was still stupid. Unless the OOO speaks fluent Russian. How does he know the interpreter was telling him what Putin was really saying?

Maybe it didn't matter. If the Kremlin interpreter was saying something different to Putin then that's his problem.

Maybe the point here is that the Trump wanted to show that he was listening to the message rather than saying something important.

Of course the optics are bad, but why else would you go to a meeting with a world leader without your own translator?
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
No, it was still stupid. Unless the OOO speaks fluent Russian. How does he know the interpreter was telling him what Putin was really saying?

Maybe it didn't matter. If the Kremlin interpreter was saying something different to Putin then that's his problem.

Maybe the point here is that the Trump wanted to show that he was listening to the message rather than saying something important.

Doing this kind of thing and doing it well is part of how I make a living. What you're saying is not how any of this works.

quote:
Of course the optics are bad, but why else would you go to a meeting with a world leader without your own translator?
In my view, as stated above, Trump did so because he is too full of hubris to realise that doing so is dumber than dumb.

He thought Putin was offering him a spontaneous chat and was too self-assured and self-important to get appropriate support in place to accompany him.

Like I say, this reveals who has the better handle on the relationship, regardless of tinfoil-hat-territory speculation as to whether Trump is in the pay of Putin. The former is enough to panic any seasoned diplomat. Trump is totally unreliable in international relations.

[ 19. July 2017, 08:16: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
mr cheesy:
quote:
Of course the optics are bad, but why else would you go to a meeting with a world leader without your own translator?
Yes, "the optics are bad". That is the point. Further proof, if any were needed, that Ozymandias still fails to grasp the difference between politics and business. In a business deal you can say anything you like in preliminary negotiations and none of it is binding until the lawyers draw up the contracts and everyone signs on the dotted line. Politics doesn't work like that. He's just pissed off every other world leader in the G20 and given his political enemies at home more ammunition. For what? A cosy chat with his best mate? Nobody is going to believe there was nothing more to it than that. If there really was nothing more to it than that, then he's a fool.

Of course, we already knew that...
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Chuckles sovietly...
 
Posted by Eirenist (# 13343) on :
 
I wonder if Putin offered him a 'great' deal?
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Doing this kind of thing and doing it well is part of how I make a living. What you're saying is not how any of this works.

I am not disparaging translators, I am trying to see into the mind of Trump beyond just calling him dumb. I'm sure it isn't how things are normally done, that's kind of irrelevant given that Trump seems to do things however he thinks at any given moment.

I appreciate calling him dumb is the easiest way to understand his actions, but I think it might help to think about why he might be doing things. Of course, YMMV.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Politics doesn't work like that. He's just pissed off every other world leader in the G20 and given his political enemies at home more ammunition. For what? A cosy chat with his best mate? Nobody is going to believe there was nothing more to it than that. If there really was nothing more to it than that, then he's a fool.

It looks like he thought that nobody was going to know and therefore it didn't matter. And that when he said it didn't matter, that would end the discussion.

I suspect the more he gets away with doing things like this, the more he is going to be emboldened to do it.
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
This is possibly my favourite youtube video ever.

Sméagol reads Donald Trump’s tweets
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I'm sure it isn't how things are normally done, that's kind of irrelevant given that Trump seems to do things however he thinks at any given moment.
(...) I think it might help to think about why he might be doing things.

To my mind the whole point is that he does indeed think on his feet with no concern for precedent or protocol.

(As I've said before, his "genius" or cunning is that he is incredibly good at capitalising on whatever mess his on-the-hoof actions have landed him up in - something I have observed in con artists before. This has served him well in business and even in domestic politics, but as Jane R correctly points out, international relations are another ball game entirely).

I've not done interpreting at G20 level, but I have done it at high enough levels to have learned, rather against my own personal instincts and preferences, that there are actually good reasons for protocol, and that breaching it (as the arrangements for this meeting did) is extremely perilous, not just for the person concerned, but for multilateral stability.

Nobody on the American side apart from Trump (not well-known for his reliable reporting) knows anything about what he said to Putin, for an hour. Think about that for a bit.

And just look at the precedent this meeting sets for other countries and their diplomatic relations with the US. The scariest aspect of the Trump presidency for me is his total unpredictability in, and one-man-band approach to, international relations, and the repercussions that might have in the short and long term.

As far as the "why" goes, my preferred explanation of this incident is simply that Trump is too disdainful of anybody else's advice or opinions to realise how foolish he's being. This example speaks to me very powerfully because of my experience in this field - it's probably more telling than Joe public may realise.

The only alternative explanation I can see is that Trump is so in bed with the Russians that he either a) saw them as being so much on the same side as him that the interpreter was effectively neutral in his eyes or b) had no choice but to comply with Putin's one-sided terms for the meeeting, but I think this explanation of his actions is in the realms of fantasy.

Besides, the more mundane explanation is plenty scary enough.

[ 19. July 2017, 08:57: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
mr cheesy:
quote:
It looks like he thought that nobody was going to know and therefore it didn't matter.
Somebody always knows (a fact conveniently forgotten by conspiracy theorists, who have failed to realise that if the Moon landings had been faked the Soviet Union would have told the world back in the 60s). The man is a fool.

quote:
And that when he said it didn't matter, that would end the discussion.
He ought to know by now that only his toadies will shut up when he tells them to. Everyone else will go right on pointing and laughing. Still a fool.

quote:
I suspect the more he gets away with doing things like this, the more he is going to be emboldened to do it.
He hasn't got away with it: everybody knows about his 'private' meeting with Putin. However, he seems to be incapable of learning from experience (see above) so he will probably carry on regardless.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Somebody always knows (a fact conveniently forgotten by conspiracy theorists, who have failed to realise that if the Moon landings had been faked the Soviet Union would have told the world back in the 60s).

A tangent, but can't pass up the opportunity to link to this
quote:
Most Directors would have been content to use a large sound stage, but Kubrick insisted on shooting on location.
(and LVER, loving the Sméagol video!)
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Most Directors would have been content to use a large sound stage, but Kubrick insisted on shooting on location.

Hahaha. That's excellent: the moon landings were faked on the moon!
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
It appears that the US has decided to give a terminally ill child citizenship so he can travel for treatment. If this is true, it shows the contempt that the WH has for British legal and medical processes [Frown]
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Do you think Putin asked Trump for a loyalty pledge?

The pattern of interactions suggests he got that years ago
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
After the tumults of this year (God, has it only been nine months since the election? It feels like an eternity) we here have accepted it. What you see is what you get. There is no inner Donny, no secret master plan, no deep well of cunning that is laying spiderwebs for his foes to tumble into. It's all on the surface, plainly in view, less than a millimeter deep.
It does not even rise to the level of stupidity -- for that you need Rick Perry and the other members of the cabinet. (You've seen the meme, "We can get a better cabinet at Ikea.") It's all impulse, the need of the moment never linking to the need of the next moment. The only root is ego, the self, and even that isn't a deep tap root. There is no point in appealing to Lyin' Don's legacy, or his place in history, or his party. It's as deep as his wallet, the thickness of a Visa card, at the very uttermost.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
No secret master plan?

Is Outrage!

[Paranoid]

IJ
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
After the tumults of this year (God, has it only been nine months since the election? It feels like an eternity) we here have accepted it. What you see is what you get. There is no inner Donny, no secret master plan, no deep well of cunning that is laying spiderwebs for his foes to tumble into. It's all on the surface, plainly in view, less than a millimeter deep.

I am not convinced. I think we're seeing more and more evidence of a deep, years-long partnership with Russian money-laundering schemes that has culminated in foreign influence over our election. That is a deep, secret-- and insidious-- "master plan" if ever I heard one (not that we haven't done the same to others...) otoh, I doubt very much if he was or is the mastermind behind such plan, and would agree that his grasp of the seriousness of his actions, their consequences, and the current situation appears minimal at best.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
I think it's stretching credibility to think that of some long game master plan - absent much direct evidence of that in itself.

I think the reality is that Trump ran a family business which centred around property deals and construction - all factors that increase the possibility of corruption of various sorts. I suspect that its impossible to operate for long in Russia - at any sort of scale - without further getting involved in at least low levels of corruption.

Furthermore, it's perfectly possible that Russia tried to manipulate the election - but then it's fairly likely that this isn't the first election they've tried to manipulate, and I have difficulty believing that they suddenly got good and succeeded (equally the US has tried to manipulate Russian elections in the past - at least since the 1990s).

So I don't think it's worth speculating conspiratorially, because it distracts from attempts to build a real case, and long term doesn't do the opposition to the system that led to Trump much good.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Most Directors would have been content to use a large sound stage, but Kubrick insisted on shooting on location.

Hahaha. That's excellent: the moon landings were faked on the moon!
Well, it did provide a marginal cost savings.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
I think the reality is that Trump ran a family business which centred around property deals and construction - all factors that increase the possibility of corruption of various sorts. I suspect that its impossible to operate for long in Russia - at any sort of scale - without further getting involved in at least low levels of corruption.

When you couple this with the fact that Trump has had trouble securing credit from Western banks due to his frequent bankruptcies (Deutsche Bank was the last one willing to extend him loans, and they were starting to get hesitant about it) and that investing in expensive American real estate is a favored method among Russian oligarchs and mobsters for laundering their money, the partnership seems obvious. Of course, having an American president whose fortune is in hock to a foreign dictator (or his close cronies, which amounts to the same thing) is problematic regardless of whether it was part of a long-term plan or merely an opportunistic move taking advantage of an existing situation.

I suspect the old Watergate methodology of "follow the money" will be just as applicable today.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
I think the reality is that Trump ran a family business which centred around property deals and construction - all factors that increase the possibility of corruption of various sorts. I suspect that its impossible to operate for long in Russia - at any sort of scale - without further getting involved in at least low levels of corruption.

When you couple this with the fact that Trump has had trouble securing credit from Western banks due to his frequent bankruptcies (Deutsche Bank was the last one willing to extend him loans, and they were starting to get hesitant about it) and that investing in expensive American real estate is a favored method among Russian oligarchs and mobsters for laundering their money, the partnership seems obvious. Of course, having an American president whose fortune is in hock to a foreign dictator (or his close cronies, which amounts to the same thing) is problematic regardless of whether it was part of a long-term plan or merely an opportunistic move taking advantage of an existing situation.

I suspect the old Watergate methodology of "follow the money" will be just as applicable today.

Not just investing in "some real estate" but specifically several documented examples of Russian oligarchs investing in Trump-owned properties at millions over market value.
 
Posted by Soror Magna (# 9881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
... He thought Putin was offering him a spontaneous chat and was too self-assured and self-important to get appropriate support in place to accompany him......

There's also the possibility that Cheeto-in-Chief thinks that translators are for wussies who can't speak English. If Putin really was a great man, he'd be able to speak English, right? A bigly powerful leader should be able to talk to Cheeto one-on-one, man-to-man. What kind of loser doesn't speak English or needs help to figure out what's going on in a meeting?
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Well, yes, that's possible. Merkel and Macron both speak fluent English. No particular reason why Putin should bother to learn it, though. I've never heard he was fond of Western films.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Well, yes, that's possible. Merkel and Macron both speak fluent English. No particular reason why Putin should bother to learn it, though. I've never heard he was fond of Western films.

As far as we know, Putin speaks (in rough order of descending fluency) Russian, German, and English.

I can think of several reasons besides a fondness for Western films why a former KGB agent might have wanted to learn English.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Many years ago, I remember watching a press conference where Yasser Arafat berated the official translator and continued to translate his own speech into English. Of course, YA was a complete arse in many ways.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that our favourite ex KGB officer understood English. I bet he has all kinds of ploys to put others onto the back foot and gain something on them.

Trump may be a dumbass, but Putin is pretty good at playing these kinds of games IMO
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Switching hats from interpreter to prison chaplain for a moment, it is a favourite ploy of non-French inmates to enlist the services of a court interpreter even if they speak reasonable French: it gives you twice as long to consider your answers and/or a chance to hear the question twice.

[ 19. July 2017, 21:12: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
That can back-fire if the witness gets so fired up that they forget that they are supposed to wait for the interpreter. It goes to credibility.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
trump's only way of operation seems to be 'attack attack'.

Does he really feel so safe in his position that nothing causes him to pause for thought?

Trump is now attacking his own administration, including Jeff Sessions.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
That can back-fire if the witness gets so fired up that they forget that they are supposed to wait for the interpreter.

I imagine Putin has sufficient self control to avoid that - I thought it was relatively common knowledge that his English was relatively fluent.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Well, I didn't know <Lady Bracknell voice> but I am not COMMON. <\Lady Bracknell voice>

There are other reasons for insisting on speaking through an interpreter besides not knowing the language of your interlocutor. A display of power. A fear of misunderstanding what's being said to you. A desire for support.

[ 20. July 2017, 15:48: Message edited by: Jane R ]
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
There are other reasons for insisting on speaking through an interpreter besides not knowing the language of your interlocutor. A display of power. A fear of misunderstanding what's being said to you. A desire for support.

. . . The recognition that a professional interpreter might be able to pick up on nuances a fluent but non-native speaker might miss. This is particularly true of idiomatic expressions.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
This brought out interesting and confusing reactions for me.

Lots of criticism is floating around against Trump for handing Russia the upper hand in Syria. However two wrongs don't make a right.

Russian meddling in Middle-Eastern geopolitics doesn't make it a good idea for the US to meddle, and arming the enemy of my enemy has got the Middle-East more heavily armed and partisan, and less inclined towards actual democracy.

Even if Trump is doing it for completely the wrong reasons, the outcome is one I can agree with. So while two wrongs don't make a right apparently one wrong sometimes can. Confusing.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is an excellent character analysis of the incumbent and a free click to boot. It's a pity we have to devote so much energy to analyzing this worthless intellect, when we could be reading good books and thinking about worthwhile people. But Fallows has been a sharp observer for a long time.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Multiple sources are now reporting that Trump has his lawyers looking into presidential pardoning powers, for his aides, his family, and himself. Mueller is going to look into Trump's finances, which is likely to push Trump toward pressuring Rosenstein to fire him. Pundits have been predicting a full-blown constitutional crisis for months, and now I think we're starting to see what shape that might take.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Multiple sources are now reporting that Trump has his lawyers looking into presidential pardoning powers, for his aides, his family, and himself. Mueller is going to look into Trump's finances, which is likely to push Trump toward pressuring Rosenstein to fire him. Pundits have been predicting a full-blown constitutional crisis for months, and now I think we're starting to see what shape that might take.

The shape of a really poor episode of 'The Apprentice'?
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
Bits of this seem relevant:

quote:
A French political scientist, Alain Rouquié, advances the term hegemonic democracy to describe regimes such as Erdoğan’s Turkey. He suggests these are not liberal democracies, because the rights of the minorities and the rule of law are not respected; but neither are they dictatorships as elections are held thus political alternation remains possible...Turkey, therefore, is split down the middle...Turkey has always been a divided nation but the rise of Erdoğan since 2002 has fuelled polarisation in the country. Indeed he has turned polarisation – ethnic, sectarian and cultural – into a political strategy. The opposition seems weak and divided.



[ 21. July 2017, 11:21: Message edited by: mark_in_manchester ]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Does Trump by any chance own any horses? One named Incitatus, for example?

[ 21. July 2017, 11:36: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Croesus:
quote:
. . . The recognition that a professional interpreter might be able to pick up on nuances a fluent but non-native speaker might miss. This is particularly true of idiomatic expressions.
...or in other words, fear of misunderstanding what's been said to you?

The First Lady of Japan has demonstrated another reason for using an interpreter...
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
A most prudent and sagacious lady. Her English seems rather more articulate and fluent than Trump's.

[Overused]

IJ
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Does Trump by any chance own any horses? One named Incitatus, for example?

He doesn't need them. He has Eric, Don Jr., Ivanka, etc. Want to bet that the next Supreme Court opening that appears dear Jared will step up?
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Multiple sources are now reporting that Trump has his lawyers looking into presidential pardoning powers, for his aides, his family, and himself.

"Fun" legal fact: People who have received a pardon cannot refuse to testify on Fifth Amendment grounds, as they face no legal jeopardy for their truthful testimony. They do, however, face legal jeopardy for perjury if they lie or contempt of court if they refuse to answer questions.

Before handing out pardons it's usually wise to parse out who knows what and what damage their unfettered testimony could do to the as-yet unpardoned. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) no one in the Trump administration seems to be able to plan beyond the current news cycle.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Maybe a lawyer could answer this question (I will ask my daughter, in law school): isn't asking for a pardon tantamount to an admission of guilt? Clearly if you committed no crime you don't need to be pardoned.
Here is the POST's roundup of the current state of play.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
[Eek!]
You couldn't make it up.

America, you need to get rid of this incubus. Somehow. And soon.
[Help]

IJ
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Maybe a lawyer could answer this question (I will ask my daughter, in law school): isn't asking for a pardon tantamount to an admission of guilt?

I guess that depends on who is getting the pardon.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Maybe a lawyer could answer this question (I will ask my daughter, in law school): isn't asking for a pardon tantamount to an admission of guilt? Clearly if you committed no crime you don't need to be pardoned.
Here is the POST's roundup of the current state of play.

I'd say no, it means you think other people think you're guilty, to the point where they might act on it. Begging for a pardon as you're led to the scaffold for a crime you didn't commit isn't an admission of guilt, it's a desire to not be hanged.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Maybe a lawyer could answer this question (I will ask my daughter, in law school): isn't asking for a pardon tantamount to an admission of guilt? Clearly if you committed no crime you don't need to be pardoned.

Not necessarily. The implication is there and common sense would seem to lean in that direction, but while we may construe with our wits, courts must construe with the law.

One interesting fact is that, after receiving a pardon, the recipient is considered legally innocent of whatever they were pardoned of. For example, if they were filling out a form and were asked "have you ever been convicted of a felony" they could, legally, check the box that says "no", provided the only felonies they were convicted of they'd received pardons for.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Maybe a lawyer could answer this question (I will ask my daughter, in law school): isn't asking for a pardon tantamount to an admission of guilt?

I guess that depends on who is getting the pardon.
The Heritage Foundation is not exactly on the top of my list of reliable news sources, particularly in regards to Hillary Clinton.

fwiw, (this may prove to be an equally debatable source) Rachel Maddow's report last night included an expert suggesting that Ford carried with him always the words from the constitution that indicate that accepting a pardon is an admission of guilt (to counter charges that he let Nixon off, Ford suggested that he was the one who got Nixon to admit guilt.)
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
I did read an article that said a person who has received a pardon cannot plead the 5th Amendment to avoid testifying, but can be charged with perjury. So, pardoning Jr. Cheeto et.al., might not be the soundest legal strategy. Though use of the word sound in this manner, applied to this administration; is extremely optimistic.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Breaking news here in Ukland is that Sean Spicer has resigned:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40687521

Comments?

IJ
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

Lots of criticism is floating around against Trump for handing Russia the upper hand in Syria. However two wrongs don't make a right.

Russian meddling in Middle-Eastern geopolitics doesn't make it a good idea for the US to meddle, and arming the enemy of my enemy has got the Middle-East more heavily armed and partisan, and less inclined towards actual democracy.

Even if Trump is doing it for completely the wrong reasons, the outcome is one I can agree with. So while two wrongs don't make a right apparently one wrong sometimes can.

I agree that if the Clinton administration had won the Election then there is little doubt the Alleppo meat grinder would still be churning, and a possible flare up between the US and Russia over Syrian intervention a greater risk than it is at present.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Breaking news here in Ukland is that Sean Spicer has resigned:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40687521

Comments?

IJ

Seems like a postmature decision. Of course Spicer (apparently) didn't resign over principle, unless you count "careerism" as a principle.
 
Posted by romanlion (# 10325) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

Lots of criticism is floating around against Trump for handing Russia the upper hand in Syria. However two wrongs don't make a right.

Russian meddling in Middle-Eastern geopolitics doesn't make it a good idea for the US to meddle, and arming the enemy of my enemy has got the Middle-East more heavily armed and partisan, and less inclined towards actual democracy.

Even if Trump is doing it for completely the wrong reasons, the outcome is one I can agree with. So while two wrongs don't make a right apparently one wrong sometimes can.

I agree that if the Clinton administration had won the Election then there is little doubt the Alleppo meat grinder would still be churning, and a possible flare up between the US and Russia over Syrian intervention a greater risk than it is at present.
Russia's upper hand in Syria was courtesy of Obama. That point is beyond debate. Since Trump took over, their influence has been confronted and IS is scrambling. That is also beyond debate.

Maybe they colluded with the Trump campaign just for the nice NYC flats...
[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Breaking news here in Ukland is that Sean Spicer has resigned:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40687521

Comments?

IJ

Yep, front page headline on the POST. His replacement will be an argumentative wealthy financier, one Anthony Scaramucci. I suppose it is too much to hope that he closely resembles Melissa McCarthy. Poor Spicey surely had one of the worst jobs in Washington, and all for nothing. His reputation is now gone, he may have legal troubles, and he's going to go down in history tied to Lyin' Don's pants leg.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
But is it bad news for The Odious Orange Ozymandias?

I do hope so.

[Two face]

IJ
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
It shows (even more) flailing, bailing of the bilge, and rearranging of the deck chairs on the sinking ship. Every switchout of major personnel leads to some inefficiency, as the handover progresses. And he's popping new people in and out on a weekly basis, further crippled by the (sensible) inclination of all candidates of honesty and integrity to not want to climb onto the burning vessel. Crooked Don has always been toxic, hellish to work for, even agonizing to sit next to at dinner. He's never been able to attract top-tier people, and now he's down to the bottom of the barrel.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
More fun:

Trump thinks health insurance costs $12/year (PopSugar, referencing NY Times interview).

This may explain a lot. [Frown]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
(sigh) Every time we think we've hit bottom...

'Source close to WH press shop tells me Trump "wanted to give Scaramucci something to do because he likes him on TV"'
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
How on earth do you manage to put up with this idiot?

How on earth did you (general American you) manage to elect him as your President?

Six months in, and I still can't believe he's for real.

IJ
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
How on earth did you (general American you) manage to elect him as your President?

Through the magic of the Electoral College!
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Thank you. I think...
[Paranoid]

Mind you, we Uklanders didn't even bother to elect our Prime Monster - we just got landed with her, willy-nilly.

IJ
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
Russia's upper hand in Syria was courtesy of Obama. That point is beyond debate. Since Trump took over, their influence has been confronted and IS is scrambling. That is also beyond debate.

I don't know about beyond debate, but I think that these are in fact cogent points and deserve to be acknowledged.

I felt Obama was weak in not following up on his "red line" re: use of chemical weapons by Assad, was upset that he failed to close Gitmo, increased the number of drone strikes, and continued with extrajudicial killings. I don't think foreign policy was his strongest suit.

However, I would frankly be surprised if the recent successes in Syria are attributable to Trump personally, even given only the firsthand evidence we have of his character (i.e. not including allegations and hearsay).

I suspect what we see is the result of US chiefs of staff getting their way.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
However, I would frankly be surprised if the recent successes in Syria are attributable to Trump personally, even given only the firsthand evidence we have of his character (i.e. not including allegations and hearsay).

I suspect what we see is the result of US chiefs of staff getting their way.

We haven't seen any huge shifts in Syria, either in American policy or in battlefield momentum. Since Trump took office Syria has mostly been following the same rough trajectory it was in the months prior to January 20, 2017. The one exception is a spike in civilian casualties. That could be because the Americans are being less careful in their drone strikes, or it could simply be a result of the ISIS being pushed from Mosul and Raqqa.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
On another matter, a Nixon-era memo from the Office of Legal Counsel on the question of whether the president can pardon himself has surfaced for some reason.

quote:
Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the President cannot pardon himself.
It was dated August 5, 1974. Four days later, Nixon resigned without pardoning himself. By what I am sure is sheer coincidence, one of the scenarios contemplated in the memo was the pardon of a president by his successor.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is worth one of your Washington POST clicks. It is profoundly sad: people scrambling for donated health care because they have no other way to get it.
The United States should not be this way.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I felt Obama was weak in not following up on his "red line" re: use of chemical weapons by Assad, was upset that he failed to close Gitmo, increased the number of drone strikes, and continued with extrajudicial killings. I don't think foreign policy was his strongest suit.

And I would prefer he was weaker still in some areas. I don't believe that drone strikes targeted on Assad are useful in dealing with a complex situation, and risks the apparent message that we care more about Sunni children dying in Syria than Shia children.

But the argument that he handed Russia an upperhand in Syria and Trump has sorted this out is hardly credible - Trump has given Russia the whole hand now. Not that I think that's a problem, I don't believe superpowers should be trying to get upper hands in the Middle East.

The choice in Syria at the moment is between Assad and ISIS. I don't believe we should be using military intervention in favour of either one. Attacking both is effectively a move in favour of establishing a failed state. (A more failed state then).
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
From day one of the noble, (some may sat naive), Syrian popular uprising the West has consistently said it was nervous of what would replace the Assad regime if it fell.

It's whole policy has been one of observation, tinkering, and maintaining this gruesome limbo we have seen for the last six years. The only reason the West did not want Russia to butt in on the side of Assad was because it knew the limbo bar would be removed.

However, if trump is going to deal friendly with putin then a Syrian Dictatorship need not be a problem to our, (oil), interests. Conversely if their relationship should fail; Well, cheap air travel and plentiful fuel for our vehicles will be the least of our worries.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
The only reason the West did not want Russia to butt in on the side of Assad was because it knew the limbo bar would be removed.

Given the problems that Syrian refugees have given the politics of many European nations I very much doubt that the West prefers the state of war and chaos. Objecting to self-serving support given to a murderous dictator isn't necessarily suspicious.

To be honest, I can't think of a single useful thing the West can do in Syria apart from butt out and offer humanitarian help where it can.
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
To be honest, I can't think of a single useful thing the West can do in Syria apart from butt out and offer humanitarian help where it can.

Which to be be fair was former foreign secretary Hague's chant from the start. The suspicion is though that moderate rebels have been backed by someone with a vested interest in wanting Assad gone.
I think anyone with just one shred of knowledge in this apparently broken region can agree that it has desended such a fractured and dangerous mess that a general consensus, or anything remotely resembling democracy, is as far away ever.
It is a failed experiment and that same someone, other than neighboring countries and mainland Europe, is obliged to help pick up the pieces.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
To be honest, I can't think of a single useful thing the West can do in Syria apart from butt out and offer humanitarian help where it can.

Which to be be fair was former foreign secretary Hague's chant from the start. The suspicion is though that moderate rebels have been backed by someone with a vested interest in wanting Assad gone.

Largely the West and NATO - initially supporting a number of disparate groups under the umbrella of the FSA, later other groups who were directly linked to extremist tendencies (such as Al Nusra)

When the Israeli Army - one of the best equipped in the region - has gone to war in the past, they generally need re-supply from abroad within a few weeks. The Syrian Civil War has now been going since 2011, with fairly wide spread action daily - that alone tells you about the amount of supplies being shipped in from abroad.

[ 22. July 2017, 14:02: Message edited by: chris stiles ]
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
Quite. The problem with the Middle-East is not some fundamental flaw in the drawing up of country borders or impossibility of consensus because of the DNA of the humans living there, rather it is propping up murderous dictators for geo-political advantage and throwing generous arms supplies into whichever group is the current enemy of my enemy.
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
How on earth do you manage to put up with this idiot?

How on earth did you (general American you) manage to elect him as your President?

Six months in, and I still can't believe he's for real.

IJ

I find that the BBC4 political satire that's like Rubbery Figures but with voices is an excellent salve for my occasional existential Trump crises. (DEAD RINGERS!!!) They have an excellent routine involving Trump and Spicer, with Spicer playing the role of nurserymaid. But never fear, there's plenty of other hilarity, including the exploits of David Davis the Brexit Bulldog and Michael "Govey here" Gove.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Quite. The problem with the Middle-East is not some fundamental flaw in the drawing up of country borders or impossibility of consensus because of the DNA of the humans living there, rather it is propping up murderous dictators for geo-political advantage and throwing generous arms supplies into whichever group is the current enemy of my enemy.

Proxy wars for oil, or bananas or french fries. Killing brown people. From east to west, from the Middle East to Indo-China to Guatemala. Same as it ever was. It is what makes us Great.

There's nothing in the DNA of anyone anywhere like you say. It is stupid and immoral to not consider everyone part of our human family. No one wants to see their house blown up, their mother and sister raped, father beheaded, their child shot. This very idea has been called out before: no, those "other people" are human. No, the DNA problem, if there is such a thing, it is within us Pogo*. trumpy is just more obvious about it.

Maybe it is more honest to be personally despicable, tweeting it to the world, than to appear to be polite and otherwise normal like his predecessors. So thank you trumpy for being as personally despicable as your nation"s policies since at least Johnson ordered troops into Vietnam. And, yes, we all benefit from the killing and resource transfer. Me included.


* We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us (Walt Kelly)
 
Posted by simontoad (# 18096) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
Russia's upper hand in Syria was courtesy of Obama. That point is beyond debate. Since Trump took over, their influence has been confronted and IS is scrambling. That is also beyond debate.

Maybe they colluded with the Trump campaign just for the nice NYC flats...
[Roll Eyes]

Mate, if the substance don't get ya, the cover-up will
[Big Grin] Just ask Tricky Dicky. Maybe Trump should just save time and money and hand everybody a pardon with their White House Orientation package.

[ 24. July 2017, 07:11: Message edited by: simontoad ]
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Bishop's Finger:
quote:
Mind you, we Uklanders didn't even bother to elect our Prime Monster - we just got landed with her, willy-nilly.
Not true. The electors of her constituency voted for her, when they had fine upstanding alternative candidates like Lord Buckethead to choose from instead.

Parliamentary elections are still run on the assumption that all the candidates are basically sane people who will Do The Right Thing if they get into power (even if they happen to like wearing buckets on their heads). This is clearly no longer true. If it ever was.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Dear Jared pretestifies, so we don't have to have an open session. He's not going to be under oath, but perhaps for this family oaths are irrelevant.
 
Posted by Hedgehog (# 14125) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Dear Jared pretestifies, so we don't have to have an open session. He's not going to be under oath, but perhaps for this family oaths are irrelevant.

Nonsense. They adore loyalty oaths. It is the only way to make sure that everybody works for your good rather than the good of the country.
quote:
Jared Kushner stated:
"Let me be very clear - I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. I had no improper contacts."

It doesn't quite have the catchy cachet of "I am not a crook," but it will do.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Michele Bachmann assures us that Trump is a man of God. This is why Christianity in the US is in the decline.
 
Posted by MaryLouise (# 18697) on :
 
I wonder who thought it would be a good idea to let the President loose at a boy scout jamboree.

Still feeling shocked and bemused by each morning's fresh hellish headlines and live videos.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MaryLouise:
Still feeling shocked and bemused by each morning's fresh hellish headlines and live videos.

I think that part's by design. The opposition gets distracted and worn down by endless scandals and Twitter storms.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think that part's by design. The opposition gets distracted and worn down by endless scandals and Twitter storms.

Yes, I don't see the point of the endless speculatory news stories for the same reason. It diverts energies down the worst of conspiratorial thinking - even if a fraction of this proves to be correct, the energy required to defend it saps people from doing other things.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
...and there you have the point. Sapping the energy of the opposition so we don't have any left for addressing serious issues...
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
I'm torn. There is Napoleon's dictum that one should never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. On the other hand, it would be a devilish clever strategy of "Look over there."

I heard a portion of the Boy Scout speech this morning, and was appalled, but it sounded as though there was some booing. I hope to catch it on CNN to verify this.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Sorry, I think I missed something. Ozymandias managed to screw up a speech at a BOY SCOUT JAMBOREE? How is that even possible?

Just to clarify; I don't think OOO is particularly bright himself. I think the people in charge of the media are. I give you the Daily Heil and Faux News as examples.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
...ok, I found something about Trump's speech to the Boy Scouts.

I would say 'he's completely lost the plot' but I have yet to see evidence that he ever found it.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Sorry, I think I missed something. Ozymandias managed to screw up a speech at a BOY SCOUT JAMBOREE?

Transcript here

Starts out well:
quote:
Tonight we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C.
but as we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
 
Posted by Pangolin Guerre (# 18686) on :
 
Perhaps there wasn't booing. the guardian has this summary which is cringe-inducing. Have at.
 
Posted by MaryLouise (# 18697) on :
 
I hear the arguments around deliberate creation of distractions and that may be a regular ploy. But the unhinged and inappropriate weirdness is what gets me. In a an odd way it reminds me of Hunter S Thompson going Gonzo under the influence of a drug cocktail, but without the zany creativity.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I think that like Brexit, it's the end product of a culture that prefers narrative over facts.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
Has anyone reviewed Ozymandias' medication lately?

[Eek!]

Dear God, what a load of inconsequential rubbish the man doth spew out. Worse than some sermons I've heard...

IJ
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
&nb