Trump presidency

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:47 am UTC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43727829

Trump tells Russia to get ready for missiles being fired into Syria. Russia responds that missiles will be shot down, and their launch sites targeted. So, Russia is going to attack US warships?

I'm starting to long for the days when Trump was a bit too cosy with Russia. He's a bit all-or-nothing, isn't he. Not so good at taking a firm line with a hostile power without escalating into a military confrontation.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:23 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:I'm starting to long for the days when Trump was a bit too cosy with Russia. He's a bit all-or-nothing, isn't he. Not so good at taking a firm line with a hostile power without escalating into a military confrontation.

Consider that Russia is only taking a reactionary action and Trump has no problem lying. If Trump is lying about bombing Syria then both sides win. Russia technically kept their promise to shoot down missiles, which makes any future promises they make appear more creditable; Trump says angry things about Russia, which makes the public believe that they two are not allies.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby SDK » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:10 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Consider that Russia is only taking a reactionary action and Trump has no problem lying. If Trump is lying about bombing Syria then both sides win. Russia technically kept their promise to shoot down missiles, which makes any future promises they make appear more creditable; Trump says angry things about Russia, which makes the public believe that they two are not allies.

Creating a little distance is standard mafia strategy. Just make sure it's all talk, then move on to lynching townies. And don't go telling me that's WIFOM.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:16 am UTC

So, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced today that he's not seeking re-election, so that he can spend more time with his kids.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:21 pm UTC

There is definitely much more to this story than that (besides the fact that this is always true in politics). Ryan is only 48 years old and has already gotten on of the most powerful positions in the U.S. government. To give that up is a major hit to his career and not something anyone would take lightly.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby eran_rathan » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:15 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:There is definitely much more to this story than that (besides the fact that this is always true in politics). Ryan is only 48 years old and has already gotten on of the most powerful positions in the U.S. government. To give that up is a major hit to his career and not something anyone would take lightly.


why? he'll make way more money as a lobbyist - all the power, none of the responsibility. Its perfect for a spineless toad like him.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:18 pm UTC

Yeah, the whole point of being a politician is the lucrative career you get afterwards.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:48 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Yeah, the whole point of being a politician is the lucrative career you get afterwards.

Do not forget about a hunger for power (cough cough Hillery cough cough) or stroking your own ego (e.g. Trump)
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:41 pm UTC

Plus, there's the lucrative wealth during! Look at all these career politicians with wealth far beyond what their position pays! Probably just lucky, right? All of them?

Also, full retirement at age 50, there is that.

Lots of reasons to be a politician.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Raidri » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:50 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Plus, there's the lucrative wealth during! Look at all these career politicians with wealth far beyond what their position pays! Probably just lucky, right? All of them?

To be fair (?) a lot of them were already rich before their political careers. Who better to represent the general public than somebody from the top 1% (0.1%?) ...

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:12 pm UTC

Yeah, to be fair they usually earn less during their political career than before it - low government salary, investments go into blind trusts etc. - but earning potential goes through the roof afterwards, as mentioned.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:19 pm UTC

Raidri wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Plus, there's the lucrative wealth during! Look at all these career politicians with wealth far beyond what their position pays! Probably just lucky, right? All of them?

To be fair (?) a lot of them were already rich before their political careers. Who better to represent the general public than somebody from the top 1% (0.1%?) ...


We want to elect the best and brightest, but expect them to be average joes like us.

We want the family man/woman who ignores their family and puts them through hell by running for office.

We want the experienced guy with decades of success yet the energy and beauty of a Hollywood actor.

We want the guy that always had an easy time getting women or was desired by every man but is faithful to their current spouse.

We want the guy that isn't afraid to admit when they are wrong, but is also never wrong.



Ultimately, we elect who we deserve.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:55 pm UTC

I cannot help but notice that you stayed gender neutral except for the 3rd and 5th sentence. Perhaps you subconsciously think only men can be successful and women always make mistakes. Perhaps it is a coincidence that I am reading way too far into for the purpose of humor. Only time will tell.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:45 pm UTC

In fairness, the political field in the US isn't super gender neutral.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:35 pm UTC

I think some people voted for Donald on the grounds that he promises to look better topless than Hillary. Still a bad look, but of the choices available they still prefer the right tit.

(Lucky for them, then, that they may well have got…)
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:35 pm UTC

You're right. He does make himself look a right tit.

jewish_scientist wrote:Perhaps it is a coincidence that I am reading way too far into for the purpose of humor.
You mean: "a coincidence into which I am reading too much," don't you?

Saw this today:

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:58 pm UTC

Old news. Since that tweet he backpedalled furiously like a trick-cyclist doing reversing loops on a fixed-wheel bike! That loss of 'nerve' alone should have lost him some of the more beligerant burn-the-worlders of his 'supporters'.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:49 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I cannot help but notice that you stayed gender neutral except for the 3rd and 5th sentence. Perhaps you subconsciously think only men can be successful and women always make mistakes. Perhaps it is a coincidence that I am reading way too far into for the purpose of humor. Only time will tell.


No, I used "guy" as gender neutral.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:04 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:So, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced today that he's not seeking re-election, so that he can spend more time with his kids.


I thought this was cute:

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:33 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Old news. Since that tweet he backpedalled furiously like a trick-cyclist doing reversing loops on a fixed-wheel bike! That loss of 'nerve' alone should have lost him some of the more beligerant burn-the-worlders of his 'supporters'.

Well, he has now sent the attacks in (or acquiesced to those who want to). Given the Cohen business, and his latest twitter-flapping, it might also be his idea of a good distraction from domestic (and personal) issues.

Hopefully it's a constructive distraction, in that case, militarily. And UK/French co-ownership of the missions make me feel happier that it is - though I know it's going to stir up undesirable collateral effects there and back home, it might keep the level-headed Russians out of that equation, depending on how China feels inclined to lean on the Security Council.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:32 am UTC

UK and Spanish involvement in a red-tied US President's decisions in the Middle East about 15 years ago didn't stop them going badly, did it?

Hey, on the bright side, maybe I'll get drafted. Another 6 years' service would make my pension ... noticeable.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Quercus » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:50 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Hopefully it's a constructive distraction, in that case, militarily. And UK/French co-ownership of the missions make me feel happier that it is - though I know it's going to stir up undesirable collateral effects there and back home, it might keep the level-headed Russians out of that equation, depending on how China feels inclined to lean on the Security Council.


I hope I'm wrong but to me this feels very much like a US and allies vs. Russia and Iran proxy war, dressed up in humanitarian language. I doubt this will end well for the Syrian people. Like I say, I really, really hope I'm wrong.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:19 pm UTC

It's not been turning out well for the Syrian people anyway. When it started out (well, when it simmered up to the boil) on the coat-tails of the various north-African 'Insert colour here' Revolutions the vocal Syrian forces were saying they wanted to topple Assad like others toppled Gaddafi/etc, but please could they do it on their own as it would be less messy with the perceived 'interference' of the 'west', and they'd seen the other regimes fall easily enough.

The problem being that Assad had also seen them fall easily enough, and what fate had befallen to Gaddafi and (unlike the North African dominoes), each of them as vulnerable to toppling so not much help in propping up, Syria has powerful near-neighbours who have competing but fortifying reasons to stop various popular (and perhaps westward-leaning) new regimes, muddying of the waters being the prefered alternative to merely promoting their own small segment of opposition against the diametric opposition and ignoring all the perpendicular and 'inferior' sidelong tugs to the socio-political landscape.

("My enemy's enemy is my friend" is a concept with only limited truth, in Syria. Various allied Kurdish forces are alternately good and bad in the West's eyes, Turkey is an ally but is nastily run itself and moved away from the West whilst still far from embracing Russia, Israel's pull and push in the region is troublesome (for reasons no-one needs to be told, but differs in intensity and direction per-person depending on world-view), multiple flavours of religious extremism can act against the secular in loose alliance or be even more fervently fighting between themselves.)

If there's a reset button, I'm not even sure that'd work. Probably just a different mess would arise, but no less messy for it.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:36 pm UTC

The Twitter feed of former Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub (who resigned in frustration with the Trump Administration not too long ago) had some pretty funny reactions to this tweet by Sarah Sanders (of a photo implying that Trump and directing Syrian missile fire together "Last night"):

Walter Shaub wrote:Fascinating tweet in which Sarah Sanders reveals that M i k e P e n c e was simultaneously in Peru and Washington. If this new capability doesn’t scare our enemies, nothing will. #QuantumEntanglementMike


When someone asked why the White House counsel was in the Situation Room:

Walter Shaub wrote:Concerned about the legal authority for the attack? Running out of people?


Other contributors to the thread helpfully posted photos showing that the clothing of people in Sanders' photo was worn by those people elsewhere last Thursday.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dark567 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:38 pm UTC

Haha holy shit.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/ ... ist-526288

The legal battle over federal investigators' raids on President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen took an unexpected turn Monday as an attorney identified Fox News host Sean Hannity as one of Cohen's legal clients.


If Hannity and Fox are actually part of the whole Trump conspiracy I am going to laugh myself to death.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:44 pm UTC

Hannity tipped his hand way the hell back last year when he was all "NOBODY BETTER INVESTIGATE MY INVOLVEMENT IN THIS THING I DEFINITELY WASN'T INVOLVED IN OR I'LL SUE!!!" on Twitter completely out of nowhere. I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop for so long that I'd almost forgotten about it when this announcement rolled in. I've been down with a fit of the giggles ever since.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:23 pm UTC

Trump puts the brakes on new Russian sanctions, reversing Haley’s announcement

But no, Putin's oligarchs aren't pulling Trump's strings, whatever would make you think that?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:58 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
Mutex wrote:I'm starting to long for the days when Trump was a bit too cosy with Russia. He's a bit all-or-nothing, isn't he. Not so good at taking a firm line with a hostile power without escalating into a military confrontation.

Consider that Russia is only taking a reactionary action and Trump has no problem lying. If Trump is lying about bombing Syria then both sides win. Russia technically kept their promise to shoot down missiles, which makes any future promises they make appear more creditable; Trump says angry things about Russia, which makes the public believe that they two are not allies.

Well, there goes my theory.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:19 pm UTC

You forgot to factor in Trump being Trumpy, regardless of other logical expectations.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bantler » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:34 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Haha holy shit.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/ ... ist-526288

The legal battle over federal investigators' raids on President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen took an unexpected turn Monday as an attorney identified Fox News host Sean Hannity as one of Cohen's legal clients.


If Hannity and Fox are actually part of the whole Trump conspiracy I am going to laugh myself to death.


Just because Hannity and Trump share an Infidelity-Fixer doesn't mean it's a conspiracy.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:58 pm UTC

bantler wrote:Just because Hannity and Trump share an Infidelity-Fixer doesn't mean it's a conspiracy.

This is true, and as yet we don't have the full details, so who knows. However: as someone on Reddit has pointed out, the list of Cohen's known clients/contacts in the last year is pretty much entirely comprised of people who were working to get Trump elected - and with Hannity, there was that whole thing recently where somebody pretending to be Hannity fooled Julian Assange into inviting them to discuss supposed dirt on Mark Warner through "other channels." So...it could be nothing but one of Trump's high-profile boosters getting into (say) a vanilla sex scandal and getting in touch with Trump's lawyer/"fixer" to make it go away (or whatever,) but it could also be (say) a group of people whom we know to have a loose understanding of attorney-client privilege trying to use that as a shield against scrutiny by using a common lawyer as their go-between. Either way, gonna be interesting to watch.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:23 am UTC

Hoo boy.

Sanctions Flap Erupts Into Open Conflict Between Haley and White House

I'm going to quote these two bits of the article out of order, because they make more sense that way. Basically, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley presented the White House's Russia sanctions, and Trump hurriedly scuttled those sanctions. Then:

The New York Times wrote:“She got ahead of the curve,” Larry Kudlow, the president’s national economics adviser, told reporters at a briefing in Florida before Mr. Trump welcomed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to his Mar-a-Lago estate. “She’s done a great job. She’s a very effective ambassador, but there might have been some momentary confusion about that.”

Ms. Haley took umbrage. A few hours later, she spoke with Dana Perino of Fox News, who quoted her response on air: “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”

Mr. Kudlow then called Ms. Haley to apologize. “She was certainly not confused,” Mr. Kudlow told The New York Times by telephone. “I was wrong to say that — totally wrong.”

He added: “As it turns out, she was basically following what she thought was policy. The policy was changed and she wasn’t told about it, so she was in a box.”

The New York Times wrote:The public disagreement embarrassed Ms. Haley and reinforced questions about Mr. Trump’s foreign policy — and who speaks for his administration.

At the very least, the episode highlighted the crossed circuits over foreign policy in an administration with no secretary of state, an increasingly marginalized White House chief of staff and a national security adviser who has only been on the job for a week and has pushed out many of the senior national security officials in the White House but has yet to bring in his own team.

Since Mr. Trump fired Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson last month, Ms. Haley has been the administration’s leading foreign policy figure. And yet she was not kept in the loop on a major decision involving perhaps America’s most powerful adversary.


Fortunately, the United States doesn't have any enemies who might take advantage of the fact that the Trump Administration doesn't know its ass from its elbow when it comes to foreign policy.

In other news, CIA Director Pompeo secretly met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Easter weekend. Trump is treating Pompeo as Secretary of State, even though he hasn't been confirmed by the Senate yet. And Pompeo may fall short of a majority recommendation by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I guess leaking the secret meeting is supposed to make Pompeo seem more palatable as a diplomat. Hmmm.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:11 am UTC

Trump really could choose better words in tweets

My emphasis..
Pastor Andrew Brunson, a fine gentleman and Christian leader in the United States, is on trial and being persecuted in Turkey for no reason. They call him a Spy, but I am more a Spy than he is. Hopefully he will be allowed to come home to his beautiful family where he belongs!


I don't need to look in that thread to be sure that I'm not the only one with thinking it.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:45 am UTC

It's amazing how many different ways Trump is connected to Russian organized crime and oligarchs.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/go ... ser-i-look

What I didn’t realize until now is that both Agron and his successor Balagula ran their operations out of an office in the El Caribe social club. So the El Caribe wasn’t just a mob hangout. From the 70s through the 90s at least, the bosses of the Russian mafia in the U.S. literally ran their crime organization out of the El Caribe.

So Michael Cohen’s uncle Morton Levine’s social club was the headquarters of Russian organized crime in the U.S.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:08 am UTC

I'm sure it's just coincidence.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:50 pm UTC

But Clinton was worse than the gilded slumlord and borderline rapist because she was delivering pizza out of an email server located in her foundation in Benghazi, or something.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:32 pm UTC

It's amazing how many different ways Trump is connected to Russian organized crime and oligarchs.

Is there a point where we expect to see fire, more than just smoke? For the last 2 years or so, there's constant talk about the crimes that Trump is going to get caught at, the tax fraud, other fraud, money laundering, working for the Russian mob, working for Putin, etc etc. And we get these connections, and investigations, people with plea deals. And Trump huffs and puffs, and his lawyers don't say 'theres nothing to find here' but ' they are loyal, they will never talk'. All suggestive that there really is bad stuff to be uncovered.

But it takes ages! In the mean time, what's the hardest stuff that got out? The email where his son wants to talk to talk Russian people about dirt on Clinton?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:27 pm UTC

It feels like it's taking ages because we're stuck living through it one day at a time. But for all the points of comparison to Watergate, we're blazing through this by that scale.

And as for hard evidence, well, A. it's worth remembering that what we've seen is not the entirety of what the investigators have, and B. what we do have is already pretty damning if you don't let the constant pressure to normalize it get to you. I mean, take Junior's email. That was already a direct indication that people not just within the campaign, but within his own family, were ready and willing to play ball with the Russians. And not only that, but Trump himself dictated the statement that they released lying about the nature of the meeting. George Papadopoulupagus tried repeatedly to arrange meetings with Russian contacts, and people in the campaign knew about it and either did nothing or encouraged him. There's all kinds of shit that would already have sunk this administration six ways from Sunday if we hadn't somehow ended up in Bizarro World the November before last. As it is, it's definitely taking longer than it has any right to, but it's still only a matter of time.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:01 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:It feels like it's taking ages because we're stuck living through it one day at a time. But for all the points of comparison to Watergate, we're blazing through this by that scale.

And as for hard evidence, well, A. it's worth remembering that what we've seen is not the entirety of what the investigators have,


Which means absolutely nothing, especially given how prevalent leaks have been.

and B. what we do have is already pretty damning if you don't let the constant pressure to normalize it get to you. I mean, take Junior's email. That was already a direct indication that people not just within the campaign, but within his own family, were ready and willing to play ball with the Russians.


Meeting with Russians isn't against the law. Meeting with Russians because you think they have information about your political opposition isn't against the law, either. If money or some other service, or a promise thereof, had been exchanged - that would been illegal and they would have been charged by now; but nothing has come of it after this much time?

Frankly, the fact that they accepted a meeting with a Russian who turned out to have nothing of value to offer them, may actually do more to refute the idea of collusion taking place than actually support it. If they had any real contacts within the Russian government, why did they agree to a meeting with some nobody who turned out to be trying to bullshit them?

And not only that, but Trump himself dictated the statement that they released lying about the nature of the meeting. George Papadopoulupagus tried repeatedly to arrange meetings with Russian contacts, and people in the campaign knew about it and either did nothing or encouraged him.


Again, if there was collusion going on, why all the half-assed attempts to arrange meeting that never panned out? If Trump or his campaign had access to real contacts within the Russian government, why all of these clumsy attempts to meet someone?

In all seriousness, the attempts we know about - we know about because of how careless they went about pursuing them. I find it hard to believe, quite frankly, that the same people who were so clumsy when trying to meet with people who couldn't actually help them, could have managed to be so air-tight when it came to colluding with actual assets, to the point where a full year of investigation has turned up no actual evidence.

There's all kinds of shit that would already have sunk this administration six ways from Sunday if we hadn't somehow ended up in Bizarro World the November before last. As it is, it's definitely taking longer than it has any right to, but it's still only a matter of time.


Yeah, that's what folks keep saying...

Don't take any of this as a defense of Trump... the man is a dirt-bag and a disgrace to the office. I certainly wouldn't be surprised to find out that he had illegal dealings with anyone. But loathe him or not, I for one still need to see more than innuendo before any conclusion.

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Koa
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Koa » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:42 am UTC

So all the desperate lies and obstructions to the investigation are... what? Raw stupidity directly from Trump poisoning his whole administration? Maybe Trump was so stupid that they were originally colluding but Russia distanced themselves further and further, perhaps especially after his whole "Russia, if you're listening..." thing, and Trump thought he was still a player (as if he ever was). I need to know what sort of stupidity I'm dealing with so that I know which hanlon razor to buy as mine doesn't work. Regardless of any actual collusion there was possibly intent, and regardless of either Trump is still very clearly compromised.

In all seriousness, the attempts we know about - we know about because of how careless they went about pursuing them. I find it hard to believe, quite frankly, that the same people who were so clumsy when trying to meet with people who couldn't actually help them, could have managed to be so air-tight when it came to colluding with actual assets, to the point where a full year of investigation has turned up no actual evidence.

This might bother me in other contexts but not here. Russia is all over the place. They're brazen, they're quiet, they're crude, they're genius, they're clumsy. Also, there are no laws about real-estate bribes. It's not difficult to be air-tight anymore. If a lot of different people make a cut off of legal real estate deals and the end benefactor happens to press certain familiar agendas, what are you going to do even if you could construct a perfectly clear pattern? The best angle is testimony and working through the chain until you hit the top and then bring down the head actors. The more people involved the more normalized it is and the more control Russia has over influential people in US politics and media, and, the longer it takes to investigate.


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