I'm starting to loathe the actions of President Trump

Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 13970
Well, look at the USAToday stepping up to the journalistic plate. Trump continues to produce all kinds of strange side effects.

Their review today of the extensive ties between Russian and ex-Soviet state oligarchs and money laundering through Trump properties in America makes for quite a read, and conveniently compresses most of the actors into one sheet.

USATodayThe president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering.


USATodayDealings with Russian oligarchs concern law enforcement because many of those super-wealthy people are generally suspected of corrupt practices as a result of interconnected relationships among Russia's business elite, government security services and criminal gangs, according to former U.S. prosecutor Ken McCallion, as well as Steven Hall, a former CIA chief of Russian operations.

"Anybody who is an oligarch or is in any position of power in Russia got it because (President) Vladimir Putin or somebody in power saw some reason to give that person that job," Hall said in an interview. "All the organized crime figures I've ever heard of (in Russia) all have deep connections and are tied in with people in government."


USAToday"The FBI is always concerned if public officials can be blackmailed," McCallion said. "It's Russian-laundered money from people who operate under the good graces of President Putin. If these people pull the plug on the Trump Organization, it would go down pretty quickly."
Mar 29, 2017 3:32 PM
0 0
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 13970
Some of you may have seen the poll today that shows about 3/4s of Republicans believe Trump's allegations about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower. The wording of the question allows for a little wriggle-room, but essentially asserts active surveillance of Trump's campaign during the election. I probably don't need to point out that there's been to date zero evidence to back this claim up.

So I'll take issue with this particular article which has been getting linked around as proof for such suspicions. The headline makes it seem clear that "Trump was right after all", and rather than being some hack BreitPundit, it's written by a law professor who really should know better. In case you hear some of these rationalizations parroted around, there's some very easy responses to counter the flawed logic at work.

The primary issue is that if Trump were right after all, then that would mean that his assigning of intent to Obama, with his clear McCarthy/Nixon analogy, for ordering the wiretap was accurate. This is egregiously false, and even Devin Nunes has said so. Jonathon Turley, in this article, uses Nunes' revelation of incidental surveillance as proof that Trump was right, ignoring the fact that "incidental" is the opposite of "intentional". So, basically, with Trump's vague threats of legal recriminations for Obama's supposed surveillance, the main thrust of Trump's tweets are completely unfounded by this simple point. Trump was, in fact, quite wrong about his fundamental accusation, and I think that Turley is a grown-enough man to understand that rather than forge whatever "reasonable interpretations" suit his bias.

The second allegation - that Obama intelligence officials "unmasked" Trump cohorts incidentally intercepted - is currently hampered by Nunes so-far reluctance to show anyone else (other than the subject being investigated) the supposed evidence for this. "After all", this may indeed show such irresponsibility within the intelligence community, or it could be another example of breathless confabulation, as if we've been in need of constant examples of such behavior in order to rationally assume it. "After all", Nunes' collegues on the House Intelligence Committee all have the necessary security clearances to receive the same documents as himself, and he couldn't possibly be worried about leaks, as he himself has already publicly announced the substance of the documents to the press. It's a little early for Turley, or any other Republican surrogate, to claim vindication over documents unseen. (Turley's conscience gets the better of him as he parenthetically adds, "Nunes later suggested that he might not have actually seen the evidence of the surveillance", as if this was a minor detail.)

We can have a debate over whether or not intelligence officials were reckless with the privacy and identities of any Trump associate incidentally surveilled, but only as long as we can entertain the possibility that such communications may actually have alarmed officials because they contain incriminating information. Such incrimination would be harder for Republicans to excuse. If only someone with first-hand knowledge of some of these transcripts were set to testify to the House Intelligence Committee to clear up some of this confusion. Or rather, maybe such a hearing needs to be cancelled at last minute to make way for another as-yet unscheduled closed door meeting. I don't know how much dust it takes before people stop denying that they're in a dirty room.
Mar 29, 2017 4:42 PM
0 0
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 11231
It's gotten to the point that I think even if multiple pieces of evidence that clearly and irrefutably show that direct collusion was made by Trump and his administration with the Russian government, that the new line by the Republicans will be 'well, is collusion really that bad"?

If nothing changes with either the attitudes of the Republican senate or large swaths of the Republican base very soon, I think I''ve pretty much given up hope that anything is going to hold this ugly fuck accountable. The ugly fucking fuck.
Mar 29, 2017 5:06 PM
0 0
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 13970
crumbsroomIt's gotten to the point that I think if multiple pieces of evidence that clearly and irrefutably show that direct collusion was made by Trump and his adminstration with the Russian government, that the new line by the Republicans will be 'well, is collusion really that bad"?

This was the impression I got from Robin's post this weekend: "Is it even illegal to work secretly with a foreign power who wants to help you get elected?" And Paquito asked a similar question in the OT thread (which got some pristine EA sarcasm). Not that either of them (I think) are Republican, but you can already see this notion creeping out there.

crumbsroomIf nothing changes with either the attitudes of the Republican senate or large swaths of the Republican base very soon, I think I''ve pretty much given up hope that anything is going to hold this ugly fuck accountable. The ugly fucking fuck.

Unlike many, I guess (again, EA), I've actually been optimistic given the events of the past week and a half. There's still an ardent base of denialism, but I don't know anyone, even conservatives, who doesn't understand that the WH and Nunes shut down Yates' testimony in order to obstruct the congressional investigation. Innocent people don't do that. And we'll learn what Yates has to say eventually. I'm not in a place of despair just yet over this cover-up being successful.
Mar 29, 2017 5:20 PM
0 0
Moderator
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 41286
Hard to believe I would find myself saying this, but boy are we lucky that our "President" is a pathetic imbecile with the attention span of a hyperactive 3 year old. If he were even marginally more intelligent and/or competent the amount of damage he could do would be far greater.
Mar 29, 2017 5:27 PM
0 0
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 11231
Janson JinnistanUnlike many, I guess (again, EA), I've actually been optimistic given the events of the past week and a half.?

I'll admittedly say that EA's post is what made me feel my despair may be more legitimate than I hoped. I had actually been feeling optimistic that things are flowing in the right direction, and that it has got to be fucking impossible that this isn't eventually going to blow up in his face, but the last 24 hours have just felt extremely frustrating what with Ryan's complete unwillingness to call out what Nunes has been doing, no matter how blatantly fucked up it is all seeming at this point.

Seriously, is Ryan's goal at this point to just cash in his remaining integrity. Where can he possibly go from this point? Guy's a fucking joke.
Mar 29, 2017 5:50 PM
0 0
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 13970
crumbsroomSeriously, is Ryan's goal at this point to just cash in his remaining integrity. Where can he possibly go from this point? Guy's a fucking joke.

I think that Ryan's ultimate end game is still his tax reform ambitions (repealing Obamacare was only a small part of this larger agenda), and I think as long as his eye is on that prize, he'll be willing to endure Trump's humiliations for the time being. Maybe Ryan even reminded Trump after the health-care fiasco that he could remove Nunes at any time, and this would explain why Trump publicly reversed himself very quickly on the health of their "relationship". But I'm probably giving Ryan too much credit. He seems to enjoy the abuse.
Mar 29, 2017 5:54 PM
0 0
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 11231
Janson Jinnistan
crumbsroomSeriously, is Ryan's goal at this point to just cash in his remaining integrity. Where can he possibly go from this point? Guy's a fucking joke.

I think that Ryan's ultimate end game is still his tax reform ambitions (repealing Obamacare was only a small part of this larger agenda), and I think as long as his eye is on that prize, he'll be willing to endure Trump's humiliations for the time being. ?Maybe Ryan even reminded Trump after the health-care fiasco that he could remove Nunes at any time, and this would explain why Trump publicly reversed himself very quickly on the health of their "relationship". ?But I'm probably giving Ryan too much credit. ?He seems to enjoy the abuse.

But does he need to protect Trump to do this? If Trump is out, wouldn't he still be able to do whatever kind of tax reform is on his radar, anyway? I don't imagine that this is particularly contingent on Trump staying in office. Then again, it does turn out there is an awful lot about the American presidency that I had no idea I had no idea about.
Mar 29, 2017 6:15 PM
0 0
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 11231
King Elessar 8Hard to believe I would find myself saying this, but boy are we lucky that our "President" is a pathetic imbecile with the attention span of a hyperactive 3 year old. If he were even marginally more intelligent and/or competent the amount of damage he could do would be far greater.

It's shocking to think of what a little bit of competency could allow someone to get away with in this situation. Shocking enough to make any future presidencies kinda terrifying if this level of hostile bipartisanism and ideological extremism maintains.
Mar 29, 2017 6:17 PM
0 0
Moderator
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 41286
I don't get the political calculation on Ryan's part either. He clearly doesn't like Trump, and realistically a lot more of the GOP agenda in theory could be enacted with a President Pence at the helm, if for no other reason that he isn't a cretin. In a worst case scenario where Pence goes down with Trump, that gives Ryan the BIG Prize. Why protect Trump at all?
Mar 29, 2017 6:20 PM
0 0
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 13970
crumbsroomBut does he need to protect Trump to do this? If Trump is out, wouldn't he still be able to do whatever kind of tax reform is on his radar, anyway? I don't imagine that this is particularly contingent on Trump staying in office. Then again, it does turn out there is an awful lot about the American presidency that I had no idea I had no idea about.

It depends on the fallout at this point. Ryan will need a Republican pen to sign the bill, unless he attempts a veto-override which he probably doesn't have the votes for. I suppose Pence, if he's seen as a stand-in for a removed Trump, would be willing to do it. I'm honestly not sure to what extent an impeached president's administration will remain in tact, since, you know, we've never really been here before. We've never had a national election declared invalid due to foreign interference. Whatever is entailed in this kind of reset is pretty much up in the air. That alone may be enough to dissuade Ryan from dealing with the confusion and debris. Ryan, instead, seems as if he's trying to get his tax agenda finished before something happens to Trump, or at least before what is shaping up to be an inevitable Trump-backlash in the 2018 that will cost Pubs important seats in Congress. There's desperation behind those blue eyes.
Mar 29, 2017 6:23 PM
0 0
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 28599
Janson Jinnistan
crumbsroomBut does he need to protect Trump to do this? If Trump is out, wouldn't he still be able to do whatever kind of tax reform is on his radar, anyway? I don't imagine that this is particularly contingent on Trump staying in office. Then again, it does turn out there is an awful lot about the American presidency that I had no idea I had no idea about.

It depends on the fallout at this point. ?Ryan will need a Republican pen to sign the bill, unless he attempts a veto-override which he probably doesn't have the votes for. ?I suppose Pence, if he's seen as a stand-in for a removed Trump, would be willing to do it. ?I'm honestly not sure to what extent an impeached president's administration will remain in tact, since, you know, we've never really been here before. ?We've never had a national election declared invalid due to foreign interference. ?Whatever is entailed in this kind of reset is pretty much up in the air. ?That alone may be enough to dissuade Ryan from dealing with the confusion and debris. ?Ryan, instead, seems as if he's trying to get his tax agenda finished before something happens to Trump, or at least before what is shaping up to be an inevitable Trump-backlash in the 2018 that will cost Pubs important seats in Congress. ?There's desperation behind those blue eyes.

It's also worth noting that Ryan's party is not united right now, thanks to the schism wrought by the Tea Party. You've got a bunch of small-government, free market orthodox fanatics clashing with more entrenched moderates. Selling out your party's president in such an environment isn't likely to garner much loyalty from any direction. No matter how transparent a fool Trump is, almost every Republican must be looking at him as their useful fool.

Ryan's real mistake in the health-care debacle was that he bought into his own PR, thinking he was such a respected master of policy and procedure that the party would line up behind whatever legislation he hastily slapped together behind closed doors. Now his reputation as a wonk is badly damaged if not sunk and Republican congressmen of any ideological bent are probably going to put even more scrutiny to his next pitch even earlier on, knowing he tried to push a fatally compromised hunk of shit that raised the ire of their constituents the last time.
Mar 29, 2017 7:11 PM
0 0
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 863
Is it naive of me to think that nothing is going to happen, Trump won't be impeached and the Republican will still hold onto the House and Senate come midterms? I think this is just going to be the status quo for the next four years. It really comes down to the perspective I have where my generation cannot be bothered to vote purely because it's a hassle, and that the vast majority of people I deal with just accept politicians are corrupt and there's nothing they can do about it. This whole "investigation" feels like a charade to me that will fade come next big controversy, rinse and repeat until 2020.
Mar 29, 2017 9:50 PM
0 0
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 63687
Evan SolomonIs it naive of me to think that nothing is going to happen, Trump won't be impeached and the Republican will still hold onto the House and Senate come midterms? I think this is just going to be the status quo for the next four years. It really comes down to the perspective I have where my generation cannot be bothered to vote purely because it's a hassle, and that the vast majority of people I deal with just accept politicians are corrupt and there's nothing they can do about it. This whole "investigation" feels like a charade to me that will fade come next big controversy, rinse and repeat until 2020.


It's 90 days into his presidency and he's already being attacked from all sides for lying, Russian ties, golfing, and general idiocy. At this rate he'll have a death sentence by 2018.

Mar 29, 2017 10:29 PM
0 0
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 13970
Evan SolomonIs it naive of me to think that nothing is going to happen, Trump won't be impeached and the Republican will still hold onto the House and Senate come midterms? I think this is just going to be the status quo for the next four years. It really comes down to the perspective I have where my generation cannot be bothered to vote purely because it's a hassle, and that the vast majority of people I deal with just accept politicians are corrupt and there's nothing they can do about it. This whole "investigation" feels like a charade to me that will fade come next big controversy, rinse and repeat until 2020.

"Naive" isn't the word that comes to mind, but none of them are nicer so I'll let it stand.

I think we can all agree that millennials are the worst, and their inability (unwillingness) to accept adult citizen responsibility must seem like such a soul-crushing chore for the thumbsuckers, but luckily they won't fully inherit the world for another decade or so. Hopefully they'll learn that doing something is always infinitely preferable to doing nothing.

Either way, I can't really sympathize with apathy. It does nothing for me.
Mar 29, 2017 10:33 PM
0 0
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 366
Death Proof
Evan SolomonIs it naive of me to think that nothing is going to happen, Trump won't be impeached and the Republican will still hold onto the House and Senate come midterms? I think this is just going to be the status quo for the next four years. It really comes down to the perspective I have where my generation cannot be bothered to vote purely because it's a hassle, and that the vast majority of people I deal with just accept politicians are corrupt and there's nothing they can do about it. This whole "investigation" feels like a charade to me that will fade come next big controversy, rinse and repeat until 2020.


It's 90 days into his presidency and he's already being attacked from all sides for lying, Russian ties, golfing, and general idiocy. At this rate he'll have a death sentence by 2018.


nah, 68 days, not even 90. although I'm mentally steeling myself for at least 365 days of President Trump just in case.

for Evan: will any of your senators/state reps be hosting any town halls in the near future? I suppose you could always go to one of those, maybe cajole any friends into joining you.

Mar 29, 2017 11:32 PM
0 0
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 863
Oxnard Montalvo
Death Proof
Evan SolomonIs it naive of me to think that nothing is going to happen, Trump won't be impeached and the Republican will still hold onto the House and Senate come midterms? I think this is just going to be the status quo for the next four years. It really comes down to the perspective I have where my generation cannot be bothered to vote purely because it's a hassle, and that the vast majority of people I deal with just accept politicians are corrupt and there's nothing they can do about it. This whole "investigation" feels like a charade to me that will fade come next big controversy, rinse and repeat until 2020.


It's 90 days into his presidency and he's already being attacked from all sides for lying, Russian ties, golfing, and general idiocy. At this rate he'll have a death sentence by 2018.


nah, 68 days. although I'm mentally steeling myself for at least 365 days of President Trump just in case.

for Evan: will any of your senators/state reps be hosting any town halls in the near future? I suppose you could always go to one of those, maybe cajole any friends into joining you.? ?



I have 3 friends and two of them do vote. The third will not be convinced. My coworkers hate the government and several voted Trump. I live in New Jersey now and the bar I work at hosts town halls bi-weekly for Democratic candidates trying to take Christie's spot, but that's really the extent of what I can be involved in.
Mar 29, 2017 11:39 PM
0 0
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 863
Oxnard Montalvo
Death Proof
Evan SolomonIs it naive of me to think that nothing is going to happen, Trump won't be impeached and the Republican will still hold onto the House and Senate come midterms? I think this is just going to be the status quo for the next four years. It really comes down to the perspective I have where my generation cannot be bothered to vote purely because it's a hassle, and that the vast majority of people I deal with just accept politicians are corrupt and there's nothing they can do about it. This whole "investigation" feels like a charade to me that will fade come next big controversy, rinse and repeat until 2020.


It's 90 days into his presidency and he's already being attacked from all sides for lying, Russian ties, golfing, and general idiocy. At this rate he'll have a death sentence by 2018.


nah, 68 days. although I'm mentally steeling myself for at least 365 days of President Trump just in case.

for Evan: will any of your senators/state reps be hosting any town halls in the near future? I suppose you could always go to one of those, maybe cajole any friends into joining you.? ?



Double post by accident.
Mar 29, 2017 11:39 PM
0 0
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 63687
Evan Solomon
Oxnard Montalvo
Death Proof
Evan SolomonIs it naive of me to think that nothing is going to happen, Trump won't be impeached and the Republican will still hold onto the House and Senate come midterms? I think this is just going to be the status quo for the next four years. It really comes down to the perspective I have where my generation cannot be bothered to vote purely because it's a hassle, and that the vast majority of people I deal with just accept politicians are corrupt and there's nothing they can do about it. This whole "investigation" feels like a charade to me that will fade come next big controversy, rinse and repeat until 2020.


It's 90 days into his presidency and he's already being attacked from all sides for lying, Russian ties, golfing, and general idiocy. At this rate he'll have a death sentence by 2018.


nah, 68 days. although I'm mentally steeling myself for at least 365 days of President Trump just in case.

for Evan: will any of your senators/state reps be hosting any town halls in the near future? I suppose you could always go to one of those, maybe cajole any friends into joining you.? ?



I have 3 friends and two of them do vote. The third will not be convinced. My coworkers hate the government and several voted Trump. I live in New Jersey now and the bar I work at hosts town halls bi-weekly for Democratic candidates trying to take Christie's spot, but that's really the extent of what I can be involved in.


Which bar?
Mar 30, 2017 1:16 AM
0 0
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 20405
Evan SolomonIs it naive of me to think that nothing is going to happen, Trump won't be impeached and the Republican will still hold onto the House and Senate come midterms? I think this is just going to be the status quo for the next four years. It really comes down to the perspective I have where my generation cannot be bothered to vote purely because it's a hassle, and that the vast majority of people I deal with just accept politicians are corrupt and there's nothing they can do about it. This whole "investigation" feels like a charade to me that will fade come next big controversy, rinse and repeat until 2020.

I don't think it's naive at all. I think it's very likely that Trump will move past this without having to leave office.
Mar 30, 2017 2:26 AM
0 0