Trump presidency

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:27 pm UTC

(Not in direct reply to the last few posts…) I'm now waiting for the Trump Tweet about this..

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:22 pm UTC

Kind of related, at least to the image accompanying that article:

Prince Harry sidesteps question over royal wedding invite for Barack Obama amid concern over Donald Trump snub

Prince Harry has said he and Meghan Markle are yet to workout the guest-list to their wedding, following reports of a political spat over the attendance of Barack and Michelle Obama. Earlier this week it was claimed that the British Government is concerned that Donald Trump may feel snubbed if Mr Obama makes the guest-list. Prince Harry is close to the Obamas following their collaboration during the Invictus Games, a sporting event for war veterans, in September.
However, the Prince did say he had a close relationship with Mr Obama, explaining that he was the “easiest” interview to get for his special edition of the Today programme. He went on: “We share the same kind of mind-set and the outlook on the charitable sector, on foundations and mainly on the youth of today.”
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:47 pm UTC

https://www.npr.org/2017/12/07/56908095 ... s-complica
I finally got around to listening to Jeffrey Toobin's analysis on possible crimes of Trump and his campaign. It's fascinating to see how the minutiae of criminal white collar political crimes work, but it's also horrifying how much an entrenched president can get away with.
Tidbits that I didn't know:
There are two possible crimes the president already admitted to: Conspiracy to aid and abet foreigners who interfere in the US election, and conspiracy to aid and abet Russian hacking. Conspiracy is a crime to aid and abet another crime. Hacking is a crime, and interfering in US elections is a crime.
A. It's illegal for a foreigner to contribute to American election campaigns. Favorable election coverage is a contribution. But, you can't charge foreign people at CNN with the crime of aiding and abetting the Trump campaign because first amendment rights. Wikileaks calls itself a foreign journalistic organization. Therefore, you can't charge them.(Aka decreases chance of jury convicting Trump)

B. If you're too stupid to cover your tracks, then it's not a crime to solicit coverage. Why? Because if nobody can prove you knew it was a crime, then it's not criminally prosecutable. For example, if Trump were to blatantly ask Wikileaks for help, and then admitted it on TV, he could defend himself by saying he was a moron and didn't know it was a crime.[/list]
C. When a foreign government interferes with the US election, it's up to the president to deter and respond to them...not the criminal court system.
Mueller's best chance at action is to arrest and charge as many people as possible, and then release a damaging report to force the issue with Congress.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:17 am UTC

sardia wrote:For example, if Trump were to blatantly ask Wikileaks for help, and then admitted it on TV, he could defend himself by saying he was a moron and didn't know it was a crime.
This new learning amazes me. Tell me again how the earth is banana shaped.

Seriously - picture traffic court: "I was a moron and didn't know that red meant stop".

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby DaBigCheez » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:31 am UTC

I'd always heard the opposite, that "ignorance of the law is no excuse"...
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:22 pm UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:I'd always heard the opposite, that "ignorance of the law is no excuse"...

That would apply if you were directly doing something criminal, but not if you were indirectly assisting someone else doing something criminal when you didn't know they were breaking the law.

It's like if you lend your car to a friend and they then rob a bank with it: If you know they are planning to rob a bank you have committed conspiracy, but if you don't then you haven't broken any law at all.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:36 pm UTC

But whether or not they knew bank robbery was illegal is irrelevant in your example.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:15 pm UTC

sardia wrote:A. It's illegal for a foreigner to contribute to American election campaigns. Favorable election coverage is a contribution. But, you can't charge foreign people at CNN with the crime of aiding and abetting the Trump campaign because first amendment rights. Wikileaks calls itself a foreign journalistic organization. Therefore, you can't charge them.(Aka decreases chance of jury convicting Trump)


First off, the idea that "favorable election coverage" is a contribution is simply incorrect. If Trump saves a puppy, and CNN reports that Trump saved a puppy, and as a result Trump gains a boost in the polls, that isn't a campaign contribution - it's simply reporting news. CNN doesn't need any legal protection in that instance, and neither does any foreign entity. Unless CNN is showing clear bias towards one candidate or another, they are free to report on factual events related to candidates. Likewise, the BBC or whoever else can report that Trump saved the puppy.

The legally questionable activity in the case of Wikileaks is that they used hacked information, illegally obtained, and reported it with the clear intent to influence the election.

B. If you're too stupid to cover your tracks, then it's not a crime to solicit coverage. Why? Because if nobody can prove you knew it was a crime, then it's not criminally prosecutable. For example, if Trump were to blatantly ask Wikileaks for help, and then admitted it on TV, he could defend himself by saying he was a moron and didn't know it was a crime.


Trump could simply claim that he was encouraging journalists to provide factual information, as news, and that he had no way of knowing that they obtained their information illegally. Unless someone comes forth with evidence showing otherwise, there is no case for aiding and abetting.

If someone has evidence of Trump asking them to provide biased coverage, or coverage based on information he knew to be falsified or illegally obtained, then that's another story.

C. When a foreign government interferes with the US election, it's up to the president to deter and respond to them...not the criminal court system.
Mueller's best chance at action is to arrest and charge as many people as possible, and then release a damaging report to force the issue with Congress.


No, at this point Mueller needs to find clear evidence of a crime. A damaging report is not going to be enough. Several members of Mueller's team have demonstrated political bias, and Strzok being formally dismissed from the investigation for his "insurance policy" texting was the real kicker. At this point, even if Mueller and the rest of his team are completely sincere and by the book, any damaging report that they present will be met with the argument that it's politically motivated. The result will be a big mudslinging match that ultimately results in nothing.

The only way they're going to take out Trump or anyone close to him is if they present hard evidence of a crime. And even then, the Mueller team has made things very difficult for themselves because, again, the defense is going to push really hard on the "politically motivated witch-hunt" argument. And the sad part is, Mueller handed them most of what they need to make that argument.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:52 am UTC

cphite wrote:
sardia wrote:A. It's illegal for a foreigner to contribute to American election campaigns. Favorable election coverage is a contribution. But, you can't charge foreign people at CNN with the crime of aiding and abetting the Trump campaign because first amendment rights. Wikileaks calls itself a foreign journalistic organization. Therefore, you can't charge them.(Aka decreases chance of jury convicting Trump) B. If you're too stupid to cover your tracks, then it's not a crime to solicit coverage. Why? Because if nobody can prove you knew it was a crime, then it's not criminally prosecutable. For example, if Trump were to blatantly ask Wikileaks for help, and then admitted it on TV, he could defend himself by saying he was a moron and didn't know it was a crime.C. When a foreign government interferes with the US election, it's up to the president to deter and respond to them...not the criminal court system.
Mueller's best chance at action is to arrest and charge as many people as possible, and then release a damaging report to force the issue with Congress.


First off, the idea that "favorable election coverage" is a contribution is simply incorrect. If Trump saves a puppy, and CNN reports that Trump saved a puppy, and as a result Trump gains a boost in the polls, that isn't a campaign contribution - it's simply reporting news. CNN doesn't need any legal protection in that instance, and neither does any foreign entity. Unless CNN is showing clear bias towards one candidate or another, they are free to report on factual events related to candidates. Likewise, the BBC or whoever else can report that Trump saved the puppy.
The legally questionable activity in the case of Wikileaks is that they used hacked information, illegally obtained, and reported it with the clear intent to influence the election.
Trump could simply claim that he was encouraging journalists to provide factual information, as news, and that he had no way of knowing that they obtained their information illegally. Unless someone comes forth with evidence showing otherwise, there is no case for aiding and abetting.
If someone has evidence of Trump asking them to provide biased coverage, or coverage based on information he knew to be falsified or illegally obtained, then that's another story.
No, at this point Mueller needs to find clear evidence of a crime. A damaging report is not going to be enough. Several members of Mueller's team have demonstrated political bias, and Strzok being formally dismissed from the investigation for his "insurance policy" texting was the real kicker. At this point, even if Mueller and the rest of his team are completely sincere and by the book, any damaging report that they present will be met with the argument that it's politically motivated. The result will be a big mudslinging match that ultimately results in nothing.

The only way they're going to take out Trump or anyone close to him is if they present hard evidence of a crime. And even then, the Mueller team has made things very difficult for themselves because, again, the defense is going to push really hard on the "politically motivated witch-hunt" argument. And the sad part is, Mueller handed them most of what they need to make that argument.

You have point A wrong. For one thing, it's not illegal to show clear bias towards a candidate, or else Fox News would be indicted several times over. Secondly, if you were to reclassify a journalistic business, into say...an arm of the Russian government *cough * RT* cough*, then you could charge Trump with a crime IFF he were to conspire with Russia to cover that up. That's just a plausible example, but that's further away from the annoying nuance behind Trump's case.
To go over Toobin's analysis:
the Mueller investigation appears to consist of three areas of inquiry. What are they?

TOOBIN: Well, the first relates to the whole issue of illegal lobbying and the sort of related aspects of it. This is the case against Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates for illegal lobbying on behalf of Ukraine. Michael Flynn was also investigate - under investigation for his lobbying activities on behalf of Turkey, though he wound up pleading guilty to something else. That's one area.

The second area is the area that I think most people are familiar with - is the whole area of so-called collusions. Like, what was the relationship between the Trump campaign and Russia, and people and organizations affiliated with Russia, including, for example, WikiLeaks? So that's the second area.

And the third area relates to obstruction of justice - you know, the question of whether the president's firing of James Comey when the FBI was investigating the president - whether that and related activities constitute obstruction of justice. So you have sort of the whole lobbying investigation, you have the collusion investigation, and you have obstruction of justice. Those are the three areas. GROSS: So what do you think Mueller's best case now is that Trump committed obstruction of justice?

TOOBIN: That he fired James Comey to stop the investigation of himself. You know, I think, you know, the news cycle works so quickly that we sometimes move on to the next thing and don't absorb the magnitude of what we have seen. And, you know, the idea that the president of the United States having asked the FBI director repeatedly, you know, am I under investigation? Help me out here. I want your loyalty - that out of the blue then on May 9th, 2017 fires the FBI director and then essentially confesses in a series of interviews, whether first with Lester Holt of NBC and then, you know, in comments that he made to the Russian ambassador that he fired James Comey because he was investigating the Trump campaign, I think that remains a very serious case for obstruction of justice. Now, there are other aspects of the case that reinforce the president's possible liability for obstruction of justice. But the core allegation, firing the FBI director because he's investigating you, remains for me the central aspect of any possible obstruction of justice case against the president. GROSS: You know, it's just - if the president did obstruct justice like that to protect himself, what does it say if he can't be held responsible for that until he leaves the White House?

TOOBIN: Well, he can be held responsible, by the House of Representatives, by impeaching him. the Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives will never investigate the president for obstruction of justice in an impeachment proceeding.
Long story short, Mueller can provide a very compelling case that the President obstructed justice. It is up to the Congress to impeach him. GOP controls congress and refuses to impeach him. End of story. That's why it's so important for Mueller to build up such a damaging report, and charge as many people as possible. It's to force Congress's hand in this. Republicans may not want to impeach Trump, but they want to keep their seats even more, which is why they are trying so hard to keep their base willfully ignorant. Luckily, it doesn't take many swing voters to make Congress switch hands. (But they're aren't enough swing voters to get Democrats (or coalition of GOP & Democrats) to 67 senators for impeachment. It would take Trump doing something so awful that voters started deserting him, which would cascade into Republicans ditching him, would lets them get a weakened Pence into office (better than not impeaching him in this hypothetical.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:40 pm UTC

sardia wrote:You have point A wrong. For one thing, it's not illegal to show clear bias towards a candidate, or else Fox News would be indicted several times over. Secondly, if you were to reclassify a journalistic business, into say...an arm of the Russian government *cough * RT* cough*, then you could charge Trump with a crime IFF he were to conspire with Russia to cover that up. That's just a plausible example, but that's further away from the annoying nuance behind Trump's case.


FOX isn't any more biased than MSNBC or ABC, or CBS; they're just biased in the other direction. Likewise, it's always amusing to hear the left complain about conservative talk radio, and conveniently ignore NPR. Or complain about the New York Post and forget about the Times, etc, etc. There is bias to be found in all media, towards either side, and to only complain about one and not the other is, at best, disingenuous.

As for the second point... the only solid evidence of Russian involvement, so far, suggests that they played both sides. Frankly, it's beginning to look more and more like Russia didn't so much want Trump to win, but wanted there to be second-guessing no matter who won. And if that's the case, they've succeeded brilliantly.

Long story short, Mueller can provide a very compelling case that the President obstructed justice.


Based on what? The entire argument that Toobin makes is that IF Trump was under investigation, and that IF he can be shown to have fired Comey to end that investigation, then there is a case against him. He also alludes that Comey was fired out of the blue, which is clearly not the case as there are written recommendations from DOJ that Comey be fired in advance of the actual firing. Comey had already stated publicly that Trump wasn't the target of his investigation, and the key component of obstruction - that the investigation be stopped - is clearly missing because we've had an ongoing special prosecutor investigation for over a year now.

Honestly, anyone who thinks that this is a "strong" case for obstruction, particularly against a sitting US president no matter what kind of a shit he is, is deluding themselves.

It is up to the Congress to impeach him. GOP controls congress and refuses to impeach him. End of story.


He hasn't been charged with anything yet. On what grounds should they be considering impeachment? The Constitution doesn't allow for a sitting president to be impeached because he's a dickhead.

That's why it's so important for Mueller to build up such a damaging report, and charge as many people as possible. It's to force Congress's hand in this.


Which, again, isn't going to work because A) any report that is merely damaging will be met with the (not altogether wrong) argument that Mueller and company are politically motivated; and B) the Congress cannot impeach a sitting president just because he's hurting them politically. There needs to be an actual crime, otherwise you're going to set off a bigger shitstorm than you can imagine. Roughly half the country still supports this president, and around a third strongly support this president... you really think they're going to just sit on their hands while a president is removed from office based on politics?

Republicans may not want to impeach Trump, but they want to keep their seats even more, which is why they are trying so hard to keep their base willfully ignorant. Luckily, it doesn't take many swing voters to make Congress switch hands. (But they're aren't enough swing voters to get Democrats (or coalition of GOP & Democrats) to 67 senators for impeachment. It would take Trump doing something so awful that voters started deserting him, which would cascade into Republicans ditching him, would lets them get a weakened Pence into office (better than not impeaching him in this hypothetical.)


Well, again, not how impeachment works...

As an aside, are you sure you really want Pence? Dude has an even stronger pull on evangelicals, would likely enjoy more support with the GOP as a whole, and would probably even have greater support from the democrat side - or at least, would see less overt hate from the democrat side. Frankly, having Trump out of the picture might be an overall boost for the GOP. Why do you think Pelosi and the rest of the DNC leadership keeps trying to hush calls for impeachment?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:43 pm UTC

cphite wrote:FOX isn't any more biased than MSNBC or ABC, or CBS; they're just biased in the other direction. Likewise, it's always amusing to hear the left complain about conservative talk radio, and conveniently ignore NPR.


Are you fucking serious?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:00 pm UTC

cphite wrote:The entire argument that Toobin makes is that IF Trump was under investigation, and that IF he can be shown to have fired Comey to end that investigation, then there is a case against him.

I think my first clue to that end was when Trump said outright that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:42 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
cphite wrote:The entire argument that Toobin makes is that IF Trump was under investigation, and that IF he can be shown to have fired Comey to end that investigation, then there is a case against him.

I think my first clue to that end was when Trump said outright that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.


Sure, but there are a couple of problems with that... first of all, there was not an ongoing criminal investigation; the FBI was conducting an intelligence investigation, but had already stated on record that neither Trump nor his team was the subject of that investigation. Second, in the statements Trump makes, he also said that he considered the investigation to be pointless and politically motivated; in which case firing Comey is completely within his rights as president. And third, firing Comey did not - and would not be reasonably expected to - stop any ongoing investigation in the first place. If anything the investigation intensified, which was a completely predictable result.

It certainly looks bad from a public image standpoint, but that's not the same thing as having a solid case.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:53 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Long story short, Mueller can provide a very compelling case that the President obstructed justice.
The only person who KNOWS that is Mueller, and he hasn't said any such thing.
cphite wrote:Well, again, not how impeachment works...
Impeachment works however Congress wants it to work. It would be a dangerous thing for SCOTUS to try and declare an impeachment proceeding unconstitutional.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:55 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:
cphite wrote:The entire argument that Toobin makes is that IF Trump was under investigation, and that IF he can be shown to have fired Comey to end that investigation, then there is a case against him.

I think my first clue to that end was when Trump said outright that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.


Sure, but there are a couple of problems with that... first of all, there was not an ongoing criminal investigation; the FBI was conducting an intelligence investigation, but had already stated on record that neither Trump nor his team was the subject of that investigation. Second, in the statements Trump makes, he also said that he considered the investigation to be pointless and politically motivated; in which case firing Comey is completely within his rights as president. And third, firing Comey did not - and would not be reasonably expected to - stop any ongoing investigation in the first place. If anything the investigation intensified, which was a completely predictable result.

It certainly looks bad from a public image standpoint, but that's not the same thing as having a solid case.

What exactly do you know about the Trump campaign possible crimes based on what you read and/or believe? Like you think the Comey firing is shady, but legit?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby idonno » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:22 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
cphite wrote:The entire argument that Toobin makes is that IF Trump was under investigation, and that IF he can be shown to have fired Comey to end that investigation, then there is a case against him.

I think my first clue to that end was when Trump said outright that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.
Hasn't Trump constantly maintained that the Russia investigation was basically a witch-hunt? Firing someone to shut down a witch-hunt is a perfectly legitimate action. Maybe they can prove Trump didn't really think it was a witch-hunt but short of Trump saying something stupid, which admittedly is not a very far-fetched scenario, I doubt it.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:49 pm UTC

The Russia connection to Trump is indeed a witch hunt, but one with an actual witch.

Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they arent out to get you, just because it's a kangaroo court doesn't mean the defendant is innocent, just because many Democrats are grasping at every straw to avoid the reality that Clinton was a terrible choice of nominee doesn't mean that Trump isn't a writhing mass of tapeworms in a flesh suit.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:15 pm UTC

idonno wrote:Hasn't Trump constantly maintained that the Russia investigation was basically a witch-hunt? Firing someone to shut down a witch-hunt is a perfectly legitimate action.

I...I am sitting here trying to comprehend the theory of law enforcement where an authority figure can act to shut down an investigation into themselves or their cronies based on nothing more than their own assertion that it's unwarranted (despite there being ample evidence that something deserving of investigation was going on,) and this is somehow "perfectly legitimate." I'm fairly boggled by the suggestion that that is not some banana-republic shit.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby speising » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:25 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
idonno wrote:Hasn't Trump constantly maintained that the Russia investigation was basically a witch-hunt? Firing someone to shut down a witch-hunt is a perfectly legitimate action.

I...I am sitting here trying to comprehend the theory of law enforcement where an authority figure can act to shut down an investigation into themselves or their cronies based on nothing more than their own assertion that it's unwarranted (despite there being ample evidence that something deserving of investigation was going on,) and this is somehow "perfectly legitimate." I'm fairly boggled by the suggestion that that is not some banana-republic shit.

as i understood it, trump could go out on the street with an automatic weapon, gun down a dozen passers-by, and get away wih it by issuing a presidential pardon for himself.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:42 pm UTC

Presidential pardons are only for federal, not state crimes. Not sure how that works in DC.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby natraj » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:55 pm UTC

anyone who commits a felony in d.c. is tried in d.c. court but sent to federal prison if convicted. the trial & sentencing are still done locally though so i dunno how that would interact with pardoning? hmm.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:21 pm UTC

So... If Trump is best buds with a particularly nasty governor, could they both pardon each other while going on a crime spree?

I think I just wrote a movie.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby idonno » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:51 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
idonno wrote:Hasn't Trump constantly maintained that the Russia investigation was basically a witch-hunt? Firing someone to shut down a witch-hunt is a perfectly legitimate action.

I...I am sitting here trying to comprehend the theory of law enforcement where an authority figure can act to shut down an investigation into themselves or their cronies based on nothing more than their own assertion that it's unwarranted (despite there being ample evidence that something deserving of investigation was going on,) and this is somehow "perfectly legitimate." I'm fairly boggled by the suggestion that that is not some banana-republic shit.

Comey's testimony said he assured Trump three times that he wasn't under investigation. If Trump thought Comey was wasting resources with an unjustified witch hunt, he has every right and if he thought Comey was doing it to advance a political agenda, he probably had a responsibility to fire him. As long as Trump keeps his mouth shut, it will be very difficult to prove what he thought.

CorruptUser wrote:So... If Trump is best buds with a particularly nasty governor, could they both pardon each other while going on a crime spree?

All it would take is one cop that feared for his life to end the spree. I think any minority cop could make a persuasive enough argument.
Last edited by idonno on Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:54 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:54 pm UTC

...There are just no words.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby idonno » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:55 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:...There are just no words.

I don't believe that is what happened. I just think that is a legitimate legal defense. Proof is a tricky thing.
The pretty much impossibility of policing this sort of behavior is why we have special prosecutors. They make it much harder to use corruption to shut down investigations.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:30 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
sardia wrote:You have point A wrong. For one thing, it's not illegal to show clear bias towards a candidate, or else Fox News would be indicted several times over. Secondly, if you were to reclassify a journalistic business, into say...an arm of the Russian government *cough * RT* cough*, then you could charge Trump with a crime IFF he were to conspire with Russia to cover that up. That's just a plausible example, but that's further away from the annoying nuance behind Trump's case.


FOX isn't any more biased than MSNBC or ABC, or CBS; they're just biased in the other direction. Likewise, it's always amusing to hear the left complain about conservative talk radio, and conveniently ignore NPR. Or complain about the New York Post and forget about the Times, etc, etc. There is bias to be found in all media, towards either side, and to only complain about one and not the other is, at best, disingenuous.


That is true, but ultimately only supports Sardia's point. Biased reporting is clearly not illegal, and we have MANY examples of it to draw from. What sort of bias is ultimately unimportant here.

Anything that relies on that logic is going to ultimately be a disappointment.

sardia wrote:https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/ ... ace-316206
There's another special election March 13 cuz the incumbent resigned after requesting abortion of their love child. You would wager that the candidates will perform 2 to 6 points worse than predicted for a conservative, right? 538 will assume a +10 to 12 points worse for a conservative compared to (2016 +2012 averaged vote). Given the spread, the margin of victory should strengthen or weaken either your case or mine.
a conservative-leaning stretch of western Pennsylvania that Donald Trump won by 20 points is the next big test of whether a Democratic wave will sweep the party into the House majority

My hot take is Democrats should only lose by 10 points instead of 20 points. I'll look up the wiki for 2012 later.


That'll be interesting to watch. Haven't looked at the actual district itself yet, but naive take is yeah, sure, it'll probably nudge democratic by a handful of points. If it DOES go 10, that's interesting.

CorruptUser wrote:So... I'm starting to fear Trump 2020.

Long story short, there was a trillion or so profits sitting overseas, because democrats had raised taxes so the companies decided to wait for a better deal to come through, their greed helping themselves while indirectly making democrats look worse than they were. So now, the recent tax deal. Companies are repatriating billions into the US, perhaps all of it eventually, not because of brilliant strategies by government but due to gaming the system. Result would be lower interest rates, stronger dollar, stronger economy, all "caused" by Trumps "smart" leadership. And as completely fucked up as Trump is, what I've learned from Putin and Erdogan is that the electorate will put up with some seriously fucked up shit as long as they have money in their wallets.

I feel like I'm overlooking something. Someone please, tell me I'm wrong and how, so I can sleep better.


What works, works.

Capital DOES seek to avoid taxes, and folks have known about it for some time. Trump's plan could be a LOT better in many ways, but some aspects probably will be functionally decent. The economy is not bombing, and doesn't seem as if it's about to. Economy's big, and it's not just a Trump thing. It always has been. A strong economy has always reliably favored the party in power, and a weak economy is a reason for discontent. All the talk in the world about economic equality does little compared to being unemployed *now*. This isn't an accident, but it's not a brilliant plan, either. It's just something that's been left on the table until now.

CorruptUser wrote:
sardia wrote:Democrats are favored to win the House, so that should let them dig up more dirt on Trump, and cut off further legislation.


Dirt? The guy is a proven con artist, a proven thief, a businessman too incompetent to run a hotdog stand let alone a country, a tax evader, a sex offender, an all but admitted Russian asset, and I don't know what else to add to that list that is already proven, yet still is in power with a disturbingly loyal base. What possible dirt could the Democrats find that would make him look worse than we already know him to be?


Eh, you need actual criminal wrongdoing.

And he certainly does not have the level of incompetence you propose. He was, on the average, generally successful as a businessman. Shortcomings? Certainly, but your hyperbole is definitely going too far.

The house also matters because more marginal issues can become impeachment issues. Clinton was impeached, in large part, because he didn't have enough folks in the house. Yes, yes, technical lies or whatever, but let's not pretend that partisanship has no effects. Even in areas where voting is unimportant, number of voices matters. So, right now, any scenario of Trump getting thrown under the bus requires at least a decent faction of Republicans to play along, which they may or may not do. This becomes generally easier to visualize actually happening with more democrats.

Control of the house remains a big deal.

Plasma_Wolf wrote:In addition to that, the best thing got the democrats is probably to keep Trump in office. Let him make sail after fail after fail.

If course they have to come up with a good plan for the US themselves but the biggest help to get a democrat into office comes from the man sitting there now.


I will remain skeptical of any explanation that manages to describe a loss as a win. It's suspiciously universal, and everyone can somehow justify one of these for any election.

The democrats ought not rely on unforced Republican error, but on gaining some power and getting some wins themselves.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:12 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:So... If Trump is best buds with a particularly nasty governor, could they both pardon each other while going on a crime spree?

I think I just wrote a movie.


My Fellow Americans 2! With Hugh Quarshie as fictional!#43 and Hugh Laurie/Jackman/Grant/Bonneville/Simon/Dancy /Keays-Byrne/Fraser* as fictional!#44…


* - your choice. Any of these.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:03 am UTC

Couldn't they also be stopped by someone with diplomatic immunity?
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:01 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:Couldn't they also be stopped by someone with diplomatic immunity?

"It's just been revoked…"

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby MartianInvader » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:56 pm UTC

Then explain how FOX News was the only network brave enough to report on the conspiracy behind Seth Rich's murder, huh? Or have a minister from Sweden on to explain what's really happening with Muslims in that country?

Checkmate.
Let's have a fervent argument, mostly over semantics, where we all claim the burden of proof is on the other side!

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:58 pm UTC

Poe's law.
EDIT: Nevermind.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:15 pm UTC

Susan B. Glasser has published an article in POLITICO evaluating Trump's (in)effectiveness in the foreign policy realm: Trump's year of living dangerously: it's worse than you think.

If you don't have time to read the full article, Jack Holmes of Esquire has conveniently boiled Glasser's article down into 6 Disturbing Takeaways from a New Report About Trump's Place in the World, with quotations from Glasser to support his reading.

I'm further boiling that down by taking just Holmes's headings:

1.) Allied diplomats openly wonder whether the President of the United States is "insane."
2.) This has had immediate consequences. [Basically, US allies are considering whether they should turn to other powers like China, because the US is such a disturbingly unreliable partner these days.]
3.) America's adversaries have been emboldened.
4.) This is a result of some combination of arrogance and incompetence by Trump's team.
5.) Many of the problems stem from personal feuds among Trump's advisers.
6.) Trump's own team have little faith in him—and say as much to representatives of our allies.

Three more years of this chaos. Maybe more. Oy.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Ginger » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:07 am UTC

I consider President Trump to be more of a joke than a Real Mr. President. I don't respect him because he constantly mouths off about how great he and the USA are and we'll go to war and bomb all dissidents! And build a wall to keep out evil-evil Mexican people and Make Mexico Pay for It! Those points on Trump's failings are enlightening. His own team doesn't trust him? Well, I don't trust him either, I wish he'd go away and he even promised to protect LGBTIQQA people and HE ISN'T. In fact I even heard he refuses to use the word "Transgender" in his political speeches. That's just a rumor I heard once however. Anyways: Trump sucks as President and if his own people won't trust him and just feud constantly then we need new staff in the White House to replace him and his incompetent friends.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:04 pm UTC

Ginger wrote:I even heard he refuses to use the word "Transgender" in his political speeches. That's just a rumor I heard once however.
Report: Trump Bans 'Transgender,' 'Fetus,' 'Science-Based' From CDC Documents

In an astonishing order, the Trump administration has banned the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using seven words — including “fetus,” “transgender,” “diversity” and “science-based” — in any documents used to prepare the agency’s budget, The Washington Post has reported.

CDC policy analysts were reportedly informed of the forbidden words in a 90-minute meeting in Atlanta on Thursday with senior CDC officials. The other banned words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement” and “evidence-based,” according to the Post, citing an unnamed policy analyst. The meeting was led by a senior member of the CDC’s Office of Financial Services. She didn’t know why the words were forbidden and said she was merely relaying information, the Post reported.

Instead of the words “science-based” or “evidence-based,” analysts were told they could use instead: The “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the newspaper reported.
I've heard less scary rumours. Heck, I've heard rumours about my wife that were less scary than that one, and until I heard them I didn't even know I was married.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:19 pm UTC

The nuclear pissing contest escalates yet again:

Donald Trump boasts that his nuclear button is bigger than Kim Jong-un's

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:30 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:The nuclear pissing contest escalates yet again:

Donald Trump boasts that his nuclear button is bigger than Kim Jong-un's
I'm still bitter and angry over the fact that anyone here ever disagreed with me about this man being a fucking moron.

I mean, here we are -- it's 2018. We've elected a reality TV star as our president, and we might end up having a nuclear war on account of his fucking Twitter account.

If we all die over this shit, I just want the alien archeologists who are reading this to know that we were just as baffled by all of it as you are.

"So their civilization collapsed because their leaders couldn't stop shit-talking each other on some sort of social media application?"

"Yep."

"Wow. Okay. Wow."

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:38 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:Trump Bans 'Transgender,' 'Fetus,' 'Science-Based' From CDC Documents

Worth noting this is not true - it is not a direction from administration, and there's no official policy on any of this. It's the other way around - people trying to figure out ways to still get their funding in an anti-scientific atmosphere suggested not including those words to try and increase their chances. It's ridiculous people get this desperate, and the underlying reason is the populism and absurdity of this regime, but it's not a decision on Trump's part.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:46 pm UTC


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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:42 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:The nuclear pissing contest escalates yet again:

Donald Trump boasts that his nuclear button is bigger than Kim Jong-un's
I'm still bitter and angry over the fact that anyone here ever disagreed with me about this man being a fucking moron.

I mean, here we are -- it's 2018. We've elected a reality TV star as our president, and we might end up having a nuclear war on account of his fucking Twitter account.

If we all die over this shit, I just want the alien archeologists who are reading this to know that we were just as baffled by all of it as you are.

"So their civilization collapsed because their leaders couldn't stop shit-talking each other on some sort of social media application?"
"Yep."
"Wow. Okay. Wow."

You're worried over the wrong thing, mostly because you are complaining about what he might do instead of what horrible thing he's doing now. The entire federal government is being run by ass kissers with big wallets. For example, the USDA didn't have a transition leader for weeks, and when Trump was embarrassed by that revelation, he picked somebody just to say it had a leader. That guy did nothing but troll the humane society and defend puppy mills. The entire government is staffed by either incompetent people, or literal foxes in hen houses. And worse,1/3 of all judges are appointed by Trump.
You got people whining about how Trump inconsequential shit, but are quiet about the real damage Trump is causing.

Trump is bad because
Power vacuum as he cedes power to China and Russia through all channels of US strengths such as immigration, trade, and allies.
Judges are conservative and or incompetent.
Regulations are wholesale being removed to promote profits.
Hurting poor, an minorities via tax cut and law enforcement.
Those are real things that Trump is hurting America with.
You're random Trump tweet of the day just doesn't compare. Go look back at your posts about Trump, and see which ones still matter 12 months later.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:46 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I'm still bitter and angry over the fact that anyone here ever disagreed with me about this man being a fucking moron.


He's wildly arrogant, dangerously insane, emotionally stunted, morally undeveloped, NPD personified, and a giant manbaby. Any one of those would make him unfit to be president. None of them require that he's a moron, and frankly you ought to apologize to other morons for comparing them to the bag of day old piss with a toupee that is the president.


Ok, I'm being harsh to day old bags of piss. Sorry bags of piss. And sorry toupees.


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