Trump presidency

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The Great Hippo
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 17, 2017 3:45 pm UTC

cphite wrote:No. We wouldn't expect that at all. We would expect them to do exactly what they are doing, which is to decline comment.
So, anyone who could back up your point can't back up your point. Their silence about this problem is evidence that it is a problem.

Of course, apparently no one with extensive experience in the intelligence community agrees with you, but what do they know? I'm sure you've got a way better grasp on this situation than veterans with twenty+ years of experience.

I should totally take your word over theirs.
cphite wrote:To put it in simpler terms: The whole reason the president was a fucking idiot for blurting this stuff out was that having it out there puts people in danger. You don't fix that problem by blurting it out to an even larger audience - especially if that larger audience includes the people you're worried about.
The media did not leak the information. The media only told us the information has been leaked; they have refused to say what this information actually was.
cphite wrote:And then, when time has passed, maybe you consider going public. A few days isn't responsible.
You have no clue regarding what is and isn't responsible in this situation.

You're basing all of this on your gut, and ignoring all the experts. But yeah, maybe you're onto something.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed May 17, 2017 4:01 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:From the New York Times.
In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling — and honest — defense of the president for divulging classified intelligence to the Russians: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of his briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or the knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would harm American allies.

Mr. McMaster all but said that publicly from the briefing room lectern.

“The president wasn’t even aware where this information came from,” Mr. McMaster said. “He wasn’t briefed on the source or method of the information either.”
I don't know that anyone can say one way or the other if anyone was put at risk. But that quote should frighten the hell out of you given the implications.


This only confirms the original Washington Post article. Trump knew the information, but not the source (ex: how sensitive the source is). So why would Trump hesitate when talking about the information in front of the Russians?

No one is claiming maliciousness here IIRC. We all are expecting Trump to just be a loud-mouthed dumbass and reveal a tidbit of information that the Russians could use to figure out something more. You would expect the President to "pretend to not know" some information in order to protect it. But Trump is incapable of doing that.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 17, 2017 4:33 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:So why would Trump hesitate when talking about the information in front of the Russians?
You're asking the wrong question. Considering that the knowledge came from a security briefing why would he share it with the Russians? It's a question of judgement.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Wed May 17, 2017 4:43 pm UTC

The best defence I've heard, re: Sourcesgate (to coin a term), is that it is known that Trump demonstrably doesn't properly read his security briefings, so he wouldn't have even known enough secure information to have revealed it. If he had mentioned anything in his "I have the BEST intelligence..." brag, it would have been off the top of his head and only actually correct in the manner of a stopped clock. Or a wildly spinning one!

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Wed May 17, 2017 4:56 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:You're asking the wrong question. Considering that the knowledge came from a security briefing why would he share it with the Russians? It's a question of judgement.


Well if the discussion actually was about laptop bomb threats to commercial airlines, then that in and of itself is reasonably something that could be shared with other governments who are both at risk and oppose ISIS. Now, the fact he gave information away that he wasn't supposed to share and that he gave away the city in which the threat was determined (thus likely giving away the city the source is in) is different. This is either ignorance in that he didn't know these were issues or it was lack of foresight in seeing how giving away this information could negatively affect the relationship with that source. Or that he preferred to get in Russia's good graces even if it meant burning the other intelligence source.

On a related note:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-come ... -1.4119250

I .... I just don't understand what's going on anymore. I mean is Russia trying show people that nothing was really given up? Are they trying to screw with Trump? Are they planning on sending fake transcripts so that Trump will HAVE to release the originals to congress? I'm sooo confused.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Wed May 17, 2017 5:04 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
cphite wrote:No. We wouldn't expect that at all. We would expect them to do exactly what they are doing, which is to decline comment.


So, anyone who could back up your point can't back up your point. Their silence about this problem is evidence that it is a problem.


No. Their silence is simply evidence that they are following proper protocol in regards to an alleged intelligence leak; they aren't speaking publicly about the issue. You are the one who implied that we should expect some kind of public statement from them, and that the lack of said statement, in and of itself, carried some sort of meaning.

It doesn't.

Of course, apparently no one with extensive experience in the intelligence community agrees with you, but what do they know? I'm sure you've got a way better grasp on this situation than veterans with twenty+ years of experience.


Agrees with me about what, exactly? I ask only because it's growing more and more difficult to tell what exactly it is that you disagree with. At first you seemed convinced that I was defending Trump in all of this; now you seem to be outraged by the notion that leaking potentially damaging information to the press is a bad idea.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 17, 2017 5:22 pm UTC

cphite wrote:No. Their silence is simply evidence that they are following proper protocol in regards to an alleged intelligence leak; they aren't speaking publicly about the issue. You are the one who implied that we should expect some kind of public statement from them, and that the lack of said statement, in and of itself, carried some sort of meaning.
We've had plenty of public statements from veteran members of the intelligence community (most of them retired, but still with active contacts) within the past few days regarding this. I've yet to hear a single one talk about the leak that led to us becoming aware of this story. All of them have been talking about the leak itself (Trump).

You, Alex Jones, and Fox News are apparently the only people who care that someone decided to leak this story. People with 20+ years experience in counter-intelligence don't care about this leak -- they care about Trump's leak. Precisely what special knowledge do you possess which makes your opinion more valuable than theirs?

Why should I trust you over the experts? How are you not just another crackpot with a theory?
cphite wrote:Agrees with me about what, exactly?
That leaking this story (that Trump leaked classified information) was irresponsible and dangerous.
cphite wrote:I ask only because it's growing more and more difficult to tell what exactly it is that you disagree with. At first you seemed convinced that I was defending Trump in all of this; now you seem to be outraged by the notion that leaking potentially damaging information to the press is a bad idea.
My only position is, was, and continues to be that it was not necessarily irresponsible to leak this story, and your presumption that it was irresponsible stands in defiance of numerous veterans of the intelligence community who apparently disagree with you.

Your position is that dozens of veterans of the counter-intelligence community are wrong -- this was irresponsible and dangerous -- and that the most important thing here isn't that the President might have leaked classified information to the Russians, but that somebody else told us the President leaked classified information to the Russians.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Puppyclaws » Wed May 17, 2017 5:32 pm UTC

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/1 ... ent-238505

"No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly."

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed May 17, 2017 5:41 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:You, Alex Jones, and Fox News are apparently the only people who care that someone decided to leak this story.


Not that I'm necessarily disagreeing with you Hippo. But note that the population size is roughly ~30% to 40% of the population that will come from this perspective (easily seen through Trump's approval ratings)

Even with Trump's historically awful approval ratings, we're talking about (slightly more than) 1 in 3 people who'd take Trump's side on this issue. That's a lot of people, both inside intelligence agencies and outside. Even in super-blue states like New York or California where Trump only got 30% of the vote... that'd be ~1 in 4 people who are on Trump's side on this issue. (EDIT: I misremembered some numbers. Edited for accuracy)

That's a lot of people.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 17, 2017 5:45 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Not that I'm necessarily disagreeing with you Hippo. But note that the population size is roughly ~30% to 40% of the population that will come from this perspective (easily seen through Trump's approval ratings)

Even with Trump's historically awful approval ratings, we're talking about (slightly more than) 1 in 3 people who'd take Trump's side on this issue. That's a lot of people, both inside intelligence agencies and outside. Even in super-blue states like New York or California where Trump only got 20% to 30% of the vote... that'd be ~1 in 5 people who are on Trump's side on this issue.

That's a lot of people.
I should have clarified: I meant that those are the only people in the media (as far as I can see, anyway) who are expressing the sentiment that the real story here is that the story was leaked in the first place.

I know there's (regrettably) plenty of people who buy it.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed May 17, 2017 5:49 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I should have clarified: I meant that those are the only people in the media (as far as I can see, anyway) who are expressing the sentiment that the real story here is that the story was leaked in the first place.


I'm pretty sure that was National-Security Advisor McMaster's official story yesterday. I heard it on CSPAN directly from him as it was going on. As such, I'd expect conservative websites and newspapers to take McMaster's side on the issue and echo his sentiment.

Another note: McMaster is an official in charge of the intelligence agencies to provide information to the President. Surely he counts as someone within "intelligence" who is publicly taking the side of Trump?

---------

I'm not saying you're fundamentally wrong here Hippo. I think I overall agree with what you're saying. But you are grossly underestimating the number of people who are taking Trump's side here.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 17, 2017 5:54 pm UTC

Well, I'm certainly not going to include members of Trump's staff as part of the media (though the cynic in me would like to). I also would like to think that the majority of conservative media (Fox News and Alex Jones aside) is intelligent enough to realize this is absolute horse-shit. I'm kind of making an assumption here -- I don't actually consume much conservative press. I'm just presuming they're not dumb enough to actually buy any of this.

Also, cphite, you do know that the Washington Post was in contact with the White House during the development of this story -- working with them to ensure that the story didn't, in fact, endanger American operatives or the operatives of America's allies, right?

I mean, the idea that this leak was irresponsible is already probably horse-shit for all the reasons I described above... but the fact that the White House worked with the Washington Post to make sure it wasn't irresponsible kind of blows your point right the fuck out of the water before it even manages to dip its toes into the pool.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed May 17, 2017 6:05 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote: I don't actually consume much conservative press. I'm just presuming they're not dumb enough to actually buy any of this.


The overriding message of conservative papers is that Obama has left a "Deep State" of advisors and bureaucrats who are stopping Trump from doing anything in the White House. They believe that the leakers are part of the "Deep State" and must be found and punished.

Its just an entirely different point of view. And the story McMaster is painting is just part of the narrative. I'd fully expect McMaster's complaints to resonate within conservative circles. The reason liberals are so mad about Comey's firing is because Trump is finally "draining the swamp" and cleaning out the "Deep State".

You gotta think like a conservative if you want to understand their actions.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 17, 2017 6:20 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Its just an entirely different point of view. And the story McMaster is painting is just part of the narrative. I'd fully expect McMaster's complaints to resonate within conservative circles. The reason liberals are so mad about Comey's firing is because Trump is finally "draining the swamp" and cleaning out the "Deep State".

You gotta think like a conservative if you want to understand their actions.
If that's what a significant majority of conservatives actually believe, I don't think I'm capable of making myself think like a conservative. Not unless I start drinking shots until Alex Jones makes sense.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed May 17, 2017 6:26 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote: I don't actually consume much conservative press. I'm just presuming they're not dumb enough to actually buy any of this.


The overriding message of conservative papers is that Obama has left a "Deep State" of advisors and bureaucrats who are stopping Trump from doing anything in the White House. They believe that the leakers are part of the "Deep State" and must be found and punished.

Its just an entirely different point of view. And the story McMaster is painting is just part of the narrative. I'd fully expect McMaster's complaints to resonate within conservative circles. The reason liberals are so mad about Comey's firing is because Trump is finally "draining the swamp" and cleaning out the "Deep State".

You gotta think like a conservative if you want to understand their actions.

Politically speaking, all these stories are being converted into an us vs them narrative, which is tightening Trump's grip on his core supporters. The best Democrats can hope for is to demoralize his marginal voters and sneak majorities through via the House and state elections. (Democrats are assumed to be motivated) Then you use your majority to halt legislation and start investigating the shit out of him to get a leg up on 2020. Redistrict the shit out of Republicans and go from there. There's risks of overplaying the hand Democrats are given (see impeachment and subsequent popularity of Clinton) but it's a better hand to play compared to anything else the Democrats have.
It's a bit early now, but Trump still has the loyalty of any Republicans that has power. The GOP will still vote with Trump, and Trump will still sign and appoint anything the GOP wants.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Wed May 17, 2017 8:01 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Your position is that dozens of veterans of the counter-intelligence community are wrong -- this was irresponsible and dangerous -- and that the most important thing here isn't that the President might have leaked classified information to the Russians, but that somebody else told us the President leaked classified information to the Russians.


My position is that if, in fact, Trump revealed the source of intelligence then that was stupid and irresponsible; you and I seem to agree on that point.

My position is also that if, in fact, Trump revealed the source of intelligence, then it was also stupid and irresponsible to confirm that fact, publicly, so soon after the alleged breach; this is where we disagree.

I have heard plenty of folks in the IC call out Trump for being stupid and irresponsible; I don't disagree with them at all on that point. I've heard some express support for whistle-blowing in a more general sense - and I don't disagree with them on that point either.

But I have not heard a single person in the IC express support for the tactic of publicly confirming that an allied covert operation may have been exposed, immediately following the alleged event. Not a one. Maybe you have - but I doubt it.

Also, cphite, you do know that the Washington Post was in contact with the White House during the development of this story -- working with them to ensure that the story didn't, in fact, endanger American operatives or the operatives of America's allies, right?


And you understand that I wasn't calling out the Post, but rather the people who gave potentially harmful information to the Post, right?

I mean, the idea that this leak was irresponsible is already probably horse-shit for all the reasons I described above... but the fact that the White House worked with the Washington Post to make sure it wasn't irresponsible kind of blows your point right the fuck out of the water before it even manages to dip its toes into the pool.


So by your estimation, the fact that a newspaper got information, and was concerned enough about the contents of that information that they took it upon themselves to contact the White House before making it known... this must mean that the information they received was entirely harmless. Including the information that they, via their own acknowledgement, refrained from releasing after consulting with the White House.

Yeah, okay. :roll:

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 17, 2017 8:13 pm UTC

cphite wrote:But I have not heard a single person in the IC express support for the tactic of publicly confirming that an allied covert operation may have been exposed, immediately following the alleged event. Not a one. Maybe you have - but I doubt it.
Have you heard a single person in the IC express even a mote of concern over the decision to leak this story to the press? No?

Then, again -- for the third time: What special knowledge do you possess that the IC does not?
cphite wrote:So by your estimation, the fact that a newspaper got information, and was concerned enough about the contents of that information that they took it upon themselves to contact the White House before making it known... this must mean that the information they received was entirely harmless. Including the information that they, via their own acknowledgement, refrained from releasing after consulting with the White House.

Yeah, okay. :roll:
So, I guess you're not aware that the Washington Post already knew the name of the city involved in this leak before they received this leak. Or, to put it another way: Nobody told the Washington Post, "Hey! The President leaked this [SENSITIVE DATA]!". Rather, they told the Washington Post: "Hey, you know that sensitive data you currently have? The sensitive data the White House asked you not to share? The President just shared it with the Russians."

The Washington Post just took the extra-super-careful step of talking with the White House before releasing this story -- to make sure that sensitive data was still sensitive, and still something they couldn't blab about. The White House informed them it was, so the Washington Post didn't blab. Unlike, y'know -- the President.

The only sensitive data that was leaked to the Washington Post was the fact that this sensitive data was leaked to the Russians. The sensitive data itself was not leaked to the Washington Post. Nobody needed to leak it to them. They already had it.

Now that I've explained to you what this leak actually was, do you understand why it's so ridiculous for you to insist that it was irresponsible to share it?

EDIT: Okay, I apologize for treating you like a jerk. This is a complicated story, and I can see how you would mistakenly think someone leaked this "sensitive data" to the Washington Post. I am just EXTREMELY frustrated with these perpetual attempts to make the story about the fact that there's a story at all.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Wed May 17, 2017 9:41 pm UTC

As an aside, I find it depressing that I believe Trump believes what he says when he says...

No politician in history has been treated as unfairly as Donald Trump, the president claimed as he struggled under the weight of a series of major controversies.

“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media,” Trump said on Wednesday during a speech to the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

Amazing.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed May 17, 2017 9:54 pm UTC

I can think of at least a couple who had it worse.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Wed May 17, 2017 10:43 pm UTC

I believe those were my first thoughts too, if you're not talking Buchanan (almost invariably last or near-last on various scholarly ratings of Presidents) and Bush Jr (headed into 4th quartile as he completed his term) but rather two others, based upon their rather directly enforced ending of their term by a pointedly personal critic. And let us not proceed into "there's still time" territory.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 17, 2017 10:50 pm UTC

This is a complicated story, and I can see how you would mistakenly think someone leaked this "sensitive data" to the Washington Post. I am just EXTREMELY frustrated with these perpetual attempts to make the story about the fact that there's a story at all.
A private conversation between a sitting President and visiting foreign dignitaries hits the front page. Yeah there was a leak, unless the WPo had the office bugged.

@Chen

Since I'm not smart enough to be in on those kind of talks this is a statement of my fantasy opinion on how this might work. President gets briefed. He and his advisors make a determination what can be shared without damage to our interests. They formalize this position in writing. This gets handed off to whoever needs it. Nothing that is not in that letter is relayed to anyone outside the intelligence community. This requires discipline and focus. Which Trump doesn't appear to have.

On the Russian's offer to share transcripts. This is fun, fantasy and confusion. How do you vet them? It confuses the issue without really offering any valuable insight.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Wed May 17, 2017 10:52 pm UTC

Morris: The point is that it wasn't sensitive information that was leaked, it was the fact that Trump leaked sensitive information that was leaked.

There is a huge difference.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Wed May 17, 2017 11:02 pm UTC

http://www.abc10.com/news/nation-now/do ... /440591715

Breaking: DOJ appoints special counsel to oversee FBI investigation of Russian govt efforts to influence 2016 election & "related matters."

Step in the right direction? I'm confused though, does this count as an independent prosecutor/investigation, or is it different?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed May 17, 2017 11:32 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:http://www.abc10.com/news/nation-now/doj-taps-former-fbi-director-robert-mueller-as-special-counsel-for-russia-investigation/440591715

Breaking: DOJ appoints special counsel to oversee FBI investigation of Russian govt efforts to influence 2016 election & "related matters."

Step in the right direction? I'm confused though, does this count as an independent prosecutor/investigation, or is it different?

The special counsel can file charges, which is great, but it's within the executive branch, so Trump could attempt to meddle with it (which would be a phenomenally bad idea, but who knows what he'll do).

It's honestly the best possible course of action without a Democratic Congress.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed May 17, 2017 11:41 pm UTC

I think Trump's Presidency is coming to an end soon.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 17, 2017 11:42 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:Step in the right direction? I'm confused though, does this count as an independent prosecutor/investigation, or is it different?
Independent prosecutor. Rosenstein (the Attorney General) has the authority to appoint special prosecution. This is basically what the Democrats were yelling for back when Comey first got fired.

EDIT: Or, am I wrong? Is "Special Counsel" different from "Special Prosecutor"?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Thu May 18, 2017 12:15 am UTC

They mean the same thing.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Thu May 18, 2017 1:10 am UTC

The NYT has a handy chart explaining the difference between them all.

It's not the same thing as the independent prosecutor that investigated Clinton. BUT Rosenstein can waive his oversight of the special counsel that he appointed, giving him virtually the same powers (I think). He hasn't done that yet, but I presume he would if deemed necessary.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu May 18, 2017 3:43 am UTC

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2 ... -community
I was curious how the Trump's recklessness with intelligence affects the spy agencies and it's much more widespread than I thought.
former Mossad chief, Shabtai Shavit, told the Times of Israel: "If tomorrow I were asked to pass information to the CIA, I would do everything I could to not pass it to them. Or I would first protect myself and only then give it, and what I'd give would be totally neutered."Not only would our allies by infuriated — remember, intelligence collection is a team sport — but our officers around the world would also have more difficulty recruiting new people to assist us.
Finally, Trump's behavior has also resulted in numerous leaks to the media. The intelligence community as an institution dislikes seeing classified material show up in the press: Secrets are secret for good reason.

Yes, some argue the leaks help keep this president in check. But what happens when Trump and his clique leave office? Will the leakers stop? As former CIA case officer Doug Patteson notes, the slipshod way intelligence is used at the highest levels is creating a "culture of leaking and disrespect for authority just because they do not like the nature of [Trump's] decisions."

The final point is what cphite was concerned about, though cphite is misdirecting his anger at the press. Trump is to blame for the leaks because Trump's reckless behavior is causing previously impartial, officers to start leaking. Trump is corroding the discipline and causing a disrespect for authority.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu May 18, 2017 3:53 am UTC

I'm very fond of these two articles in breaking down Trump. I find myself agreeing with the majority of points made in them.

Trump's not some sinister conspirator with deep, troubling links to Russia; he's also not some unfairly besmirched maverick trying to change the system from within. He's a petulant, impulsive child with a broken moral compass and zero impulse control.

My primary point of contention with the articles, though, is that -- unlike the author -- I think every Republican Senator and Congress-person who supported Trump really ought to resign.

There are not enough synonyms for 'disgraceful' to describe this fiasco. The men and women who sacrificed country for sake of party -- who not only allowed, but helped this screeching, dorito-flavored man-child to ascend to power -- are either too self-serving to be trusted or too incompetent to recognize the danger of letting a bigoted reality TV-star run the country. Either way, if he goes, they ought to go with him.

I mean, we all know they won't -- but I'd like to think that if he does go, it will at least give them cause for a moment of self-reflection.

(Probably not.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby LaserGuy » Thu May 18, 2017 5:17 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I'm very fond of these two articles in breaking down Trump. I find myself agreeing with the majority of points made in them.

Trump's not some sinister conspirator with deep, troubling links to Russia


Maybe he is.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 18, 2017 9:32 am UTC

elasto wrote:Morris: The point is that it wasn't sensitive information that was leaked, it was the fact that Trump leaked sensitive information that was leaked.

There is a huge difference.
What Trump told the Russians was foolish and possibly hazardous to American interests and sources. But in itself was not a leak by any definition of leaking that I have seen used in 40 or so years. Nor was it illegal. However without context in terms of knowledge of the material Trump conveyed to the Russians there could have been no story. That context was classified. It was leaked to the WPo. I would argue that the leaker acted in the National Interest. But it is what it is. If he was identified he would be subject to prosecution.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Diadem » Thu May 18, 2017 12:38 pm UTC

Trump is so consistently terrible that if I were a Machiavellian democrat I'd consider letting him off the hook for the current scandals, just so I could impeach him closer to the midterms. Also because Pence would probably be much more effective in pushing through terrible policies.

Trump is becoming an existential threat to the GOP. Unlike Nixon, I don't see him resign. He'll fight, and rile up his supporters against the Republican party.

In the midterm, if an impeached Trump maintains 20-30% of the Republican electorate as hardline supporters, and those supporters stay home or vote independent, then the Republican party will be absolutely slaughtered.

This is not a short term worry either. Many people habitually vote the same party all their lives, until and unless some very major event makes them doubt their choice. They might then return to the fold in a later election, but it will never be automatic again. You might get their votes again, but you'll have to work a bit harder for it for the rest of their lives.

And if Trump can keep the support of a minority of senators and representatives, the party could literally split.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu May 18, 2017 12:48 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Trump is becoming an existential threat to the GOP. Unlike Nixon, I don't see him resign. He'll fight, and rile up his supporters against the Republican party.


Trump is a symptom, not the cause.

The GOP fielded no less than 17 candidates. 3 of which were governors, and plenty of people who were Senators and/or otherwise competent at their job. (Maybe you didn't agree with their viewpoints... but they had a basic idea of what to do and what not to do to get something done. Trump simply doesn't have that)

The issue is that basic competence is not a core value that is espoused in the Republican Party anymore. Furthermore, the Republican electorate is deeply distrustful of organization as a whole, not just the US Government but the Republican Party in general. The symptoms extend beyond Trump, and towards the inability for Paul Ryan to pass substantial legislation in the House. Paul Ryan's emergency elevation to Speaker of the House is further proof of the party's weakness: John Bohner was unable to get things done and Paul Ryan basically had to be begged to accept the position.

If Trump were to disappear somehow, his supporters are still deeply distrustful of "standard" Republicans like Jeb, Rubio, and Kasich. They don't believe that the US Federal government got their backs either. Its a real concern of mine, because this group will not disappear even if Trump disappears.

In many respects, Trump's continual failures is the best way to demonstrate to this group of people that maybe... just maybe, you shouldn't be so cynical about politics and maybe you should actually elect someone competent. Trump continuing to be Trump is the only way to demonstrate to that group that their idea of governance is utterly broken and will damage the country if it continues.

And if Trump can keep the support of a minority of senators and representatives, the party could literally split.


Wrong order. Trump got in because he wasn't a career Republican. The party is already split. That's why Trump rose to power. #2 in the Republican Presidential running was Ted Cruz, a man who is not a standard Republican either. He has built his brand as bucking the trend as a Tea Party darling.

Fact of the matter is: significant portions of the Republican Party want chaos in the White House.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Thu May 18, 2017 12:56 pm UTC

Pence is certainly trying to keep himself, or being kept, insulated from Trump's Trumpy actions.

If he's on the ticket in 2020 though, he'll have a time getting away from accusations that he was at least complicit in defending Trump during his tenure - he didn't need to be in the know to know that intimidating witnesses and threatening journalists isn't great.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Thu May 18, 2017 1:08 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:There are not enough synonyms for 'disgraceful' to describe this fiasco. The men and women who sacrificed country for sake of party -- who not only allowed, but helped this screeching, dorito-flavored man-child to ascend to power -- are either too self-serving to be trusted or too incompetent to recognize the danger of letting a bigoted reality TV-star run the country. Either way, if he goes, they ought to go with him.


The congresspeople who supported him are in turn supported (and voted in) by their constituents. Shouldn't it fall to them to vote said people out?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu May 18, 2017 1:52 pm UTC

Chen wrote:The congresspeople who supported him are in turn supported (and voted in) by their constituents. Shouldn't it fall to them to vote said people out?
Dude, at this point, with the amount of gerrymandering and voter suppression that goes on in the United States? I'm not even sure any of them should be considered elected officials.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Thu May 18, 2017 2:23 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Dude, at this point, with the amount of gerrymandering and voter suppression that goes on in the United States? I'm not even sure any of them should be considered elected officials.


Way to move the goalposts there.

Leaving that completely separate topic for now, consider if someone like Trump came up on the Democrats side. Would you be willing to vote for anti-abortion, anti-LGBT etc republicans because you didn't believe in the President? Even if you did vote against the President, would you also vote against your house members and/or Senators? Because that is the situation you had now on the Republican side. The parties are so diametrically opposed on some issues that it's not choosing party over country but rather choosing against your own values for the more nebulous "country".

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu May 18, 2017 3:10 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Way to move the goalposts there.
I didn't think you were being serious.
Chen wrote:Leaving that completely separate topic for now, consider if someone like Trump came up on the Democrats side. Would you be willing to vote for anti-abortion, anti-LGBT etc republicans because you didn't believe in the President? Even if you did vote against the President, would you also vote against your house members and/or Senators? Because that is the situation you had now on the Republican side. The parties are so diametrically opposed on some issues that it's not choosing party over country but rather choosing against your own values for the more nebulous "country".
If that's your choice, then don't vote. Or vote for a third party candidate. Or, hell, go try to run for office yourself. There is no excuse for supporting Trump.

I'm sorry, but this is actually pretty fucking easy. Nobody was stuck between two hard choices. They supported the ex-reality TV star who's very likely committed a series of sexual assaults and who talked about executing the families of suspected terrorists. Why? Because they thought he might advance their political agenda.

No, I wouldn't vote for this turdwaffle *even if* he was a Democrat -- and doing otherwise meant giving the next Michael Pence a better shot at the candidacy. I wouldn't vote for Pence, either -- but as horrible as Pence would be, at least he *probably* wouldn't light the country on fire to try and collect the insurance money.

Any serious Washington politician who looked at Trump and thought, "yeah, that'll do for president" is either an incompetent judge of character or has the heart of a lizard. I'm not a Washington insider, and yet somehow *I* figured out that electing the reality TV star who thinks global warming is a plot by the Chinese would be bad for America. You're telling me they couldn't figure this shit out?

They put lives at risk over their stupid petty partisan bullshit. Fuck them. They deserve to be impeached as much as he does.

EDIT: Hell, maybe more. Trump is beyond awful, but he's also basically a cruel, vicious, bullying child. They're the ones that worked so hard to give that child a loaded gun.
Last edited by The Great Hippo on Thu May 18, 2017 3:26 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu May 18, 2017 3:25 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Leaving that completely separate topic for now, consider if someone like Trump came up on the Democrats side. Would you be willing to vote for anti-abortion, anti-LGBT etc republicans because you didn't believe in the President?


As a anti-abortion Republican who voted for Clinton... I'd hope that people would recognize the dangers of an erratic President regardless of the party and vote for the most possible alternative.

Bonus points: I can be self-righteous and rub the fact that I voted against Trump 2x more than most people, since I voted in the Republican primaries against him, and in the General Election as well. I'm not sure if this actually is any real benefit however...
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Thu May 18, 2017 3:30 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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