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Author Topic:   The Trump Presidency
Percy
Member
Posts: 17968
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 2656 of 2663 (844523)
12-01-2018 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 2655 by Percy
12-01-2018 9:17 AM


Re: Why Trump Will Be Impeached
An editorial in today's New York Times, Trump Is Compromised by Russia, describes Trump's problems with Russia much better than I have. Some excerpts:

quote:
One of the chief questions in the Trump-Russia scandal has been whether Vladimir Putin has leverage over the president of the United States, and, if so, what that leverage looks like. The significance of the fabled “pee tape,” after all, is not that it would reveal Donald Trump to be a pervert bent on defiling the place where Barack Obama slept. Rather, the tape matters because, if real, it would show the president to be vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
...
We still don’t know for certain if Russia has used leverage over Trump. But there should no longer be any doubt that Russia has leverage over him.
...
In a Jan. 11, 2017, news conference, Trump said that the “closest I came to Russia” was in selling a Palm Beach mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008. While we’re just learning precisely how dishonest this was, Putin has known it all along. That means that throughout Trump’s campaign and presidency, Putin has had the power to plunge him into political crisis.
...
There are still many shoes to drop in this scandal. “Given the extraordinary obsequiousness the president has shown in his relationship with Putin, it begs the question of whether there’s more leverage than this,” said Schiff [Adam Schiff (D-CA), taking over the House Intelligence Committee in January]. “That’s one of the reasons why we’re so determined to make sure that we look into any credible allegations of financial entanglements, whether that involves potential Russian money laundering in the Trump Organization or anything else.”

The Republicans who have been in control of Congress the past two years are complicit in all this malfeasance. If politicians had any shame then Republicans would be ashamed, but shame isn't in the politician's repartoir, from any party. Instead they will try to minimize the damage to their political careers.

Which is nothing new. When Watergate investigations first began Gerald Ford (House R-MI) called it a "political witch hunt," and he did pretty well, appointed vice-president, then succeeding to the presidency, and then nearly defeating Jimmy Carter in the 1976 election.

And Bob Dole (Senate R-KS) called the Watergate stories “a barrage of unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations by George McGovern and his partner in mud-slinging, The Washington Post.” Dole went on to a distinguished political career, including an unsuccessful run for the presidency in 1996. I guess shame's a waste of time when there's no penalty for being spectacularly partisan and wrong.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2655 by Percy, posted 12-01-2018 9:17 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2657 by Percy, posted 12-03-2018 9:22 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply
 Message 2661 by Taq, posted 12-03-2018 5:01 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17968
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 2657 of 2663 (844639)
12-03-2018 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 2656 by Percy
12-01-2018 12:40 PM


Re: Why Trump Will Be Impeached
This message should be subtitled "Trump lies and contradicts himself," which occurred during his helicopter comments before leaving for summit in Argentina. Many of you have probably already seen excerpts from this interview, here's a YouTube video of the whole thing, only the first five minutes are about Cohen. It's not necessary to watch it because I'm going to excerpt just a couple portions that show Trump lying and contradicting himself:

First excerpt, from right at the beginning of Trump's comments:

quote:
So Michael Cohen has made many statements to the House as I understand it, and the Senate. He put out a statement talking about a project which was essentially more or less of an option that we were looking at in Moscow. Everybody knew about it. It was written about in newspapers. It was a well known project.

Trump is referring to Cohen's recent plea deal revealing that Cohen worked on a deal to build Trump Tower Moscow up until mid-June of 2016, also stating that he briefed Trump and family on the Russia deal's status at least three times during the period from January of 2016 (when Trump began his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination) to mid-June of 2016. During this period Trump denied all involvement with Russia at every turn.

When Trump says that it was a well known project covered by the news media he is telling particularly blatant lies. Nobody knew about it until well after Trump became president when in October of 2017 Cohen testified before the Congressional intelligence committees. And the reason nobody knew about it before this is because Trump and everyone in his circle lied about Trump's involvement with Russia.

But the Russians definitely knew about it and knew that Trump was lying to the American people, so they had leverage over Trump because Trump knew the Russians could create political turmoil for him at any time by revealing this secret. They wouldn't reveal it directly, of course, but through Wikileaks or some similar group.

(Speaking of Wikileaks, I wonder if Julian Assange, holed up now in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for six years, realizes that he could have faced the music, served his time, and been out of jail by now. Same for Edward Snowden, he of the leaking of classified information about NSA surveillance programs, including domestic ones. He's been holed up in Moscow since 2013. If he'd faced the music he'd possibly be getting out of jail around now or the next few years. I wonder how he likes life in Moscow. Of course it must be much better than Assange's situation, who is restricted to a single room with his cat.)

Next excerpt:

quote:
He's a weak person [Michael Cohen]. And by being weak, unlike other people that you watch, he's a weak person, and what he's trying to do is get a reduced sentence. So he's lying about a project that everybody knew about. I mean we were very open with it.

Trump contradicts himself here. First he says that Michael Cohen is lying about there being a Russian deal during the campaign, then he confirms that there was a Russian deal during the campaign, just as Cohen said, so Cohen isn't lying.

What's important here is that Trump lied to the American people about his dealings in Russia from the beginning of his campaign up until just a few days ago. Would he have won the Republican nomination if instead of denying any Russian involvement he was truthful about it and had to defend it?

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Bolivian => Ecuadorian


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2656 by Percy, posted 12-01-2018 12:40 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 2658 by Tanypteryx, posted 12-03-2018 11:49 AM Percy has responded
 Message 2659 by caffeine, posted 12-03-2018 4:10 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1895
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 2658 of 2663 (844648)
12-03-2018 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 2657 by Percy
12-03-2018 9:22 AM


Re: Why Trump Will Be Impeached
(Speaking of Wikileaks, I wonder if Julian Assange, holed up now in the Bolivian Embassy in London for six years, realizes that he could have faced the music, served his time, and been out of jail by now.

Assange is in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2657 by Percy, posted 12-03-2018 9:22 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2660 by Percy, posted 12-03-2018 4:24 PM Tanypteryx has not yet responded

    
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1551
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 2659 of 2663 (844665)
12-03-2018 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 2657 by Percy
12-03-2018 9:22 AM


Re: Why Trump Will Be Impeached
(Speaking of Wikileaks, I wonder if Julian Assange, holed up now in the Bolivian Embassy in London for six years, realizes that he could have faced the music, served his time, and been out of jail by now. Same for Edward Snowden, he of the leaking of classified information about NSA surveillance programs, including domestic ones. He's been holed up in Moscow since 2013. If he'd faced the music he'd possibly be getting out of jail around now or the next few years. I wonder how he likes life in Moscow. Of course it must be much better than Assange's situation, who is restricted to a single room with his cat.)

I think I'd rather live in Moscow than North Carolina (provided I had money - it's well expensive).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2657 by Percy, posted 12-03-2018 9:22 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17968
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 2660 of 2663 (844667)
12-03-2018 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 2658 by Tanypteryx
12-03-2018 11:49 AM


Re: Why Trump Will Be Impeached
Gee, so close - Ecuador and Bolivia are only a thousand miles apart. Ah, well, at least I got the embassy location right. I'll correct it, thanks!

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2658 by Tanypteryx, posted 12-03-2018 11:49 AM Tanypteryx has not yet responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7610
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 2661 of 2663 (844669)
12-03-2018 5:01 PM
Reply to: Message 2656 by Percy
12-01-2018 12:40 PM


Re: Why Trump Will Be Impeached
Percy writes:

The Republicans who have been in control of Congress the past two years are complicit in all this malfeasance. If politicians had any shame then Republicans would be ashamed, but shame isn't in the politician's repartoir, from any party. Instead they will try to minimize the damage to their political careers.

You only have to ask yourself one question. What would Republicans be doing right now if Obama or Clinton had done 1/10th of what Trump has done? Look at what little it took for Republicans to impeach Bill Clinton.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2656 by Percy, posted 12-01-2018 12:40 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17968
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


(1)
Message 2662 of 2663 (845007)
12-10-2018 8:04 AM


Thw Washington Post Introduces the Bottomless Pinochio
Many know about the Washington Post's Pinocchio rating system, but here it is for those unfamiliar with it:


One Pinocchio

Some shading of the facts. Selective telling of the truth. Some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods. (You could view this as “mostly true.”)


 

Two Pinocchios

Significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily. A politician can create a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people. (Similar to “half true.”)

 

Three Pinocchios

Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions. This gets into the realm of “mostly false.” But it could include statements which are technically correct (such as based on official government data) but are so taken out of context as to be very misleading. The line between Two and Three can be bit fuzzy and we do not award half-Pinocchios. So we strive to explain the factors that tipped us toward a Three.

 

Four Pinocchios

Whoppers.

 

There are a few other categories, see their rating page, but they have just introduced a new category, the Bottomless Pinocchio:

Bottomless Pinocchio

The bar for the Bottomless Pinocchio is high: the claims must have received three or four Pinocchios from The Fact Checker and they must have been repeated at least 20 times. Twenty is a sufficiently robust number that there can be no question the politician is aware his or her facts are wrong. The list of Bottomless Pinocchios will be maintained on its own landing page.

 

Examples of claims receiving the Bottomless Pinnochio, all from Trump (no one else has achieved the necessary criteria:

  • The US pays for most of the cost of NATO.
  • Democrats colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
  • Robert Mueller has conflicts of interest and he and his staff are a bunch of "angry Democrats"
  • The tax cut was the largest in history (it was the eighth)
  • The US has the strongest economy in US history (maybe the fifth)
  • The US needs the wall to stem the flow of drugs (most drugs come through legal ports of entry)
  • US Steel is building 6-9 new plants because of his tariffs (they've so far announced the reopening of two existing plants)
  • The US gets $350-$450 million from Saudi Arabia deals (it's much less)

I also suggested they create a gif that is much less blurry.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Replace animated gif with the better version the Washington Post just put up. Remove comments about the non-working links that they've already fixed.


    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17968
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


(2)
Message 2663 of 2663 (845009)
12-10-2018 9:15 AM


Trump and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week
Many have probably seen the New York Post headline about Trump's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, but for those who haven't here's a very short YouTube video showing the headline:

The headline is a play on the children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, but for Trump it was much worse than just a bad day. It was an entire bad week. Here's a brief recap.

  • On Monday Trump tweeted that Michael Cohen had done terrible things "unrelated to Trump" and that he should receive maximum prison time, while praising Roger Stone for not testifying against him. Twitterland exploded with charges of witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

  • On Tuesday Mueller filed sentencing papers for Michael Flynn that mentioned three investigations to which Trump is connected or is a target:

    • Russian interference in the 2016 election
    • An unknown investigation (completely redacted)
    • An unknown criminal investigation (mostly redacted)

  • Also Tuesday Trump announced via Twitter that he is a "tariff man," casting further doubt that there was really any trade deal with China and sending the stock market into a tailspin.

  • On Thursday night Rex Tillerson, Trump's former Secretary of State, was extremely critical of Trump:

    quote:
    [I went to work for a man] who is pretty undisciplined, doesn't like to read, doesn't read briefing reports, doesn't like to get into the details of a lot of things but just kinda says, "Look, this is what I believe, and you can try to convince me otherwise, but most of the time you're not going to do that." So it was for me a challenge of, "Okay, I see your objectives, and I'll be very frank with you." I could sign on to just about all of his objections, they're good for America. Our differences were always on tactics. When the president would say, "Here's what I want to do, and here's how I want to do it." And I'd have to say to him, "Well, Mr. President, I understand what you want to do, but you can't do it that way. It violates law, it violates treaty." You know. He would get really frustrated when we would have those conversations.

    Naturally Trump retorted in typical Trump style: Tillerson was “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell.”

  • On Friday separate court filings by Mueller and New York prosecutors concerning the sentencing of Michael Cohen made clear that Trump had directed Cohen to pay off two woman with whom he had had affairs in order to keep them from the public before the 2016 presidential election to fraudulently obtain the office of president. This directly implicates Trump in campaign financing violations and in a conspiracy to defraud the people of the United States.

  • On Saturday Trump announced that Chief of Staff John Kelly would be leaving by the end of the year. It is unclear whether he resigned or was fired. More chaos in the White House.

  • On the Sunday News program incoming chair of the Judiciary Committee Gerald Nadler said:

    quote:
    Certainly they'd [paying women to be silent about affairs] be impeachable offenses because even though they were committed before the president became president they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office.

    Nadler went on to say that impeachment wouldn't necessarily be warranted, that they'd have to examine the gravity of the impeachable offenses to see if such action were warranted.

  • On Sunday Nick Ayers turned down the Chief of Staff job. White House chaos will end no time soon, especially as Trump pivots his attention to more fully address the Mueller investigation and the inevitable oversight that House Democrats will bring in 2019.

--Percy
    
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