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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gianforte reportedly bodyslams reporter on: Today at 06:53:44 pm
Well, he could've just thrown the whole election away.

Sanity can hope this is true.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bernie: "Americans are demanding we get to the bottom of Russia probe" on: Today at 04:37:47 pm
"May Turn Out Trump Did NOT Collude W/ Russia” - Bernie

At this point, whether or not Trump criminally colluded with Russia is secondary. He broke the law trying to stop the investigation of whether he did or did not.

The ONLY relevant question at this point is whether the Republican party has the moral character and strength of will to boot the deplorable crook out of the White House as soon as possible. If they don't, it will doom at least the GOP, and probably the United States.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: UPDATE: New CBO report: 23 million more uninsured over next 10 years on: Today at 04:04:02 pm
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 538: Donald Trump’s Base Is Shrinking on: Today at 03:32:36 pm
People we are only 4-5 months in

True, but this time period is suppose to the high point of a president's approval ratings.

This is what makes Trump's utter incompetence astonishing. A normal and competent president would be hovering at 50%+ by just showing some self discipline and control.

For Trump, self discipline means reading from a teleprompter instead of ranting, and staying off Twitter. And control means demanding loyalty oaths, bullying subordinates into humiliating displays, and denying reality in favor of his fantasies. And that's not enough for anyone outside his cult.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: WaPo: Russian intelligence tricked FBI into assuming Lynch - Hillary collusion on: Today at 03:29:00 pm
comey should just have indicted hillary one year ago and be done with it.....

Tough call. If he had, he may have been charging an innocent woman as part of a case he couldn't win. It would possibly also have resulted in a different Democratic nominee, and thus no President Trump. Hindsight in always 20/20.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Interesting hypothesis on Trump's reasons for firing Comey on: Today at 12:58:38 pm
Wow so your defense is "Trump isn't crooked he just has a rambling speaking style"? You really are desperate

Lets be fair. Claiming that Trump is a blithering idiot who comes in far closer to 'emits incoherent noises without meaning' than 'sentient being capable of intelligible speech' is a GREAT defense, because it has advantage of being essentially true.
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you consider terrorists to be evil losers? on: Today at 12:48:47 pm
Inaccurate. Misguided souls that need our help.
I'm a pretty intellectually curious person, but I am not sure I care to know or understand what combination of ideology and mental state motivates a man-- it's almost always a man or group of men-- to target women, young adults, and children.

To judge by a current prominent example, narcissism, ignorance and stupidity would all seem to play a role. Along with sociopathy.

8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who will be the 8th F.B.I. Director? on: Today at 09:21:25 am
So Keating and McCabe are the only ones left? I favor McCabe.
From what I've been reading, he has ruled everyone out and is starting over with the search.

They must have all refused the loyalty oath.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Trump lawyers up (more, with more Russia). on: Today at 09:08:27 am
"Trump retains longtime attorney Marc Kasowitz to aid in Russia probe"
President Donald Trump has retained his longtime attorney Marc Kasowitz as part of a still-forming outside legal team that will represent him in the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election.

Since the early 2000s, Kasowitz has represented Trump on some of his most nettlesome legal issues, including the Trump University fraud case. He has another client in the news: recently ousted Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly.

Kasowitz is founding partner of a giant legal firm that since 2013 has also included former Sen. Joe Lieberman, whom Trump recently interviewed as a potential head of the FBI.

Kasowitz also represents OJSC Sberbank of Russia, the country's largest bank, which is being accused in a U.S. federal court of conspiring with granite company executives and others to raid the assets of a competitor.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Chait: Trump budget relies on 2 Trillion $ Math Error on: May 23, 2017, 08:32:36 pm
He's using the same math he uses to calculate his net worth.

(What really scares me is that is probably true.)
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: THE ORB on: May 23, 2017, 03:14:50 pm
This is dark, dark magic folks. Probably explains why Trump is president.

You'll note that they're splitting up the world, too.  Based on where their hands are.

Supervillains for sure.
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rank Trump's cabinet. on: May 23, 2017, 12:19:08 pm
Better than expected:

Typical for the GOP:

Axis of Awful:

13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Brennan: We have been aware of Russia meddling and Trump camp. contacts on: May 23, 2017, 11:58:30 am
Of course he doesn't know for sure whether collusion happened. That's why there are investigations going on to find out if that happened, which they wouldn't need to carry out if they already knew the answer. When you have a foreign entity meddle in an election in favor of a particular candidate, and that candidate's campaign had multiple contacts with representatives of that foreign entity, you need to have an investigation.

Or you can just stick the word 'banana' in front of your republic. I'm sure Trump and the GOP would find that a whole lot easier.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How long until the Trump scandal machine goes idle? on: May 23, 2017, 12:15:28 am
Trump is quite capable of producing scandals until he is dead, buried and well dessicated.
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Please avoid making threats or wishing for violent crimes against any individual on: May 22, 2017, 07:17:07 pm
Civility is vastly overrated IMO.
Yea its kinda obvious that that's your opinion.

You're the epitome of "I'm a good person because I'm polite when I say brown people are scary"

Human being are dangerous animals. Human life in the days before there was such a thing as government was, as Thomas Hobbes famously and rightly pointed out, nasty short and brutish. After generations and centuries and millennia of being subject to a strong and many times harsh process of domestication  (similar in many ways to the domestication of animals)  human populations around the world have gradually become more peaceful and civilised. However it is important that that pressure of domestication, what you might call enforced civility, is kept up otherwise the process will quickly start to revert and human society move back towards the nasty short and brutish state.

That's certainly something the strongmen, and those with a vested interest in perpetuating the status quo of the state like to tell us.

But what we actually find when we look is that when people are content - when they're not hungry, not scared for themselves or their loved ones, not in pain - then we all treat each other pretty well.

The enemy isn't the other. The enemy is suffering.

And isn't it just amazing how good people who want to be in charge are at making sure there is fear and want?
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: WaPo: Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe on: May 22, 2017, 06:09:08 pm
People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.

Trump is a crook.

And if the GOP continues to back him, they deserve to be obliterated as a political party in this country.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Politico: Frustrated Republicans try to rewrite Congress’ rules on: May 22, 2017, 05:26:51 pm

Let them go right ahead, then the next time the Democrats have even a slim trifecta we can just smoother all their unpopular laws that benefits the rich and fricking steamroll an entire progressive policy agenda as established law in just a few short weeks.

What makes you think the Democrats would be interested in doing such a thing?

Oh, they'll be a few gestures, yeah. But there will be more talk of "bipartisanship" and "healing" and then they'll make sure to get Wall Street's sign-off on anything significant.

18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Tillerson gives press conference in KSA, US press not invited on: May 22, 2017, 05:24:22 pm
To respond to this at the same level that Team Trump operates at:

Why would he let the US press know? It's not like they're working for America or Americans.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: THE ORB on: May 22, 2017, 04:50:03 pm
Huh, is this a Wahhabite thing or something?

Nah, this is a 21st century ribbon cutting.

It's the opening ceremony for this place:

The Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology.

When King Salman touched the Orb, it was the signal to turn the Center on.

EDIT: The Center in operation:

So, they're de-programming the extremists by giving them unlimited internet access?
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: AP: Flynn to decline Senate Intel subpoena, will inovke the 5th later today on: May 22, 2017, 04:45:29 pm
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) would not have let retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn near the White House if he were president, he said Monday.


But did he tell us what we all really want to know? Would he have let him near any bridges?
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Stone and Manafort turn over documents to Senate Intel Committee on: May 22, 2017, 04:29:37 pm
None of it is going to show the top dog was involved in anything.  Next.

Related to running the campaign, probably not. It's pretty clear Trump would have difficulties running a vacuum cleaner. He may very well have told someone with ties to Russian exactly what they wanted to hear, though.

But how far back will the investigation go? How much of Trump's last round of playing real estate tycoon involved Russian shady money?

And then there's the cover-up, where he leaped onto center stage, all on his lonesome.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Amb. Haley: We "absolutely" need Russia investigation on: May 22, 2017, 02:04:33 pm
    Key phrase is "so that the administration can get back to work", i.e. Ambassador Haley expects President Trump to be exonerated by the probe.

Would she really know whether or not Trump is clean from any wrongdoing? There's not much reason to believe that she's completely in the loop on that, considering Trump misleads even his closest advisers.

It doesn't matter.

Pushing for the investigation is clearly a far better move going forward. If Trump is truly innocent (ha ha) can (apparently honestly) say how shocked she was and both looks good AND gets to move up the party ladder towards the WH.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Impeachment of Trump on: May 22, 2017, 01:55:46 pm
TD's post really emphasizes how much of a hole Trump has dug himself. Let's assume for a minute that Trump has absolutely no nefarious connections with Russians, that the whole pee tape is fake, and really this is all smoke without fire. Here's what would have happened:

- Trump occasionally does business with Russia, but nothing nefarious, or different than any other business magnate does.
- Trump sees on the news some day that the DNC's been hacked, loves it, and goes on to publicly cheer the attack. Nothing too weird there.
- Trump eventually finds out the Russians were behind the attack. Why should he care? What they did helped him, he like it at the time, and Putin seems like a guy who's generally got his back.
- Comey goes after Clinton and probably gives Trump a last-minute boost. Trump loves this too.
- Trump thinks about hiring Flynn. Obama tells him not to, so of course he's going to do it.
- Eventually Trump hears that there are accusations that Russia helped deliver the election to Trump so they could use him as a puppet. This infuriates him, since he thinks he did it all by himself, and he never even talked to a Russian contact at any point throughout the campaign. Clearly a witch hunt to destroy his presidency!
- Trump fires Flynn, seeing that he's become a liability in the PR sphere, but still thinks he's a good guy and will re-hire him once all these accusations get "exposed" and it all blows over.
- Trump hears Comey might be looking into these accusations. What a shmuck! He thought Comey was on his side! A total betrayal! He should know there's nothing to these Russia claims!
- Trump fires Comey, since he's clearly lost his senses, and figures someone else will be able to do the job with fewer distractions.

And even that is illegal.

Trump doesn't seem to realize that even if there is no there there, disrupting an investigation is still itself a crime. At this point, it doesn't even matter if Trump had any connection to the Russians, as long as there's evidence he committed obstruction of justice, just as it never really mattered if Nixon knew about the Watergate break-in beforehand.

It would be a crime for the traditional citizen, but Impeachment is not a matter of whether the law is broken, but whether the senate feels, by a 2/3 majority, whether the president's actions fall under the circumstances for Impeachment called for in the Constitution, which are Treason (not applicable here), Bribery (not applicable here), and "other high crimes or misdemeanors", which the senate can define however they like. Unless there's a direct connection between Trump and Russia, you aren't getting a conviction in the Senate due to the way to the 2/3 majority requirement being bottled up by republican loyalists.

And before you ask, no, the president cannot be removed from office via the courts. Aside from cases where the president is convicted by the senate and refuses to step down, or refuses to step down at the end of their term, the judicial branch has no authority to remove the president from office.

If the final result of Muller's investigation is "Trump is clearly guilty of obstruction" but the GOP Senate  refuses to impeach him, the end result will be a 2/3 Dem majority house (and eventually Senate) with a Dem President in 2021. And then Trump will spend his remaining years in jail for obstruction of justice.

Or the US implodes. Take your pick.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: AP: Flynn to decline Senate Intel subpoena, will inovke the 5th later today on: May 22, 2017, 01:35:24 pm
The Democrats must love this slow drip drip of revelations and stonewalling by Trump's people. Flynn looks guilty as hell without them lifting a finger and the Comey testimony is next week or this week. Meanwhile the Republican agenda is consumed by the RussiaGate controversy which may have crippled Trump for his first year or two (depending on how long Mueller takes).

Trump really needs to be completely exonerated here and quickly. Or found guilty so Pence can replace him.

On a political tactics level I agree, which makes the delaying tactics all the more inexplicable.

I'm inclined to take them as (circumstantial) evidence of guilt, but it's quite possible it's just an effect of the ship of fools that is the Trump maladministration
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: AP: Flynn to decline Senate Intel subpoena, will inovke the 5th later today on: May 22, 2017, 01:31:15 pm
Documents are not covered by the 5th.

No but a legal battle will ensue, certainly.

To the extent there is a claim of executive privilege, sure.

White Houses are notorious for making such a claim for the docs belonging to former staffers.  The campaign docs may be trickier.

In either case, the optics for Trump will be just terrible.
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