Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread.

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  • Any monster truck rally would do.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Monster truck rallies aren't cities or even regions. And if that "represents" Americans, how do we account for US dominance in Nobel prizes (granted that close to 40% of these folks are immigrants, but American immigrants nonetheless)?

    Of course, Nobel prize winners might be in those rally crowds, too . . .
  • Nobel prize winners are statistically more likely to be found at WWE events.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited November 5
    Nobel prize winners are statistically more likely to be found at WWE events.

    Well, this New Yorker wasn't a Nobel laurete, but he didn't exactly live and work in the polar-opposite circles, if you know what I mean.

    I do think it is often underappreciated just how blue-collar he was in his outlook.

  • Crœsos wrote: »
    New York is not exactly representative of the country.

    Just out of curiosity, what city or region is representative of the U.S.?

    Absolutely none.

  • Indeed.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    New York is not exactly representative of the country.

    Just out of curiosity, what city or region is representative of the U.S.?
    Any monster truck rally would do.


    A monster truck rally:
    Monster Jam’s choice to jam monstrously in Anaheim could be a deliberate one — Orange County is one of the only areas in Southern California that still leans Republican, even if the party’s stronghold on the area has waned with time. The vast majority of people at the event are white.

    <snip>

    Wheelies are popped, trucks are flipped, every single driver is white and all but one is a man.

    I'm not buying that the U.S. is an almost all white country with an all white (and nearly all male) work force.
  • You may not be interested in monster truck rallies, but monster truck rallies are interested in you.
  • Nobel prize winners are statistically more likely to be found at WWE events.



    While eating chocolate: Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function, and Nobel Laureates, while drinking milk, while doing arts and crafts.

    To save the hosts, only linking the first claim.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    The House Intelligence Committee continues to publish the testimony of various witnesses to Trump's Ukrainian shakedown. Yesterday it was Yovanovitch and McKinley. Today it's U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland (full version, excerpts) [PDF] and former U.S. Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker (full version, excerpts) [PDF], plus some more text messages from Volker (full version, excerpts) [PDF].

    Sondland's testimony is the one that's getting the most scrutiny right now. Sondland is not a career diplomat, just a big money donor to the Trump campaign, and Ukraine is not in the EU, so a lot of questions were raised about why he's involved with this at all. Also his testimony, what we knew of it before today, seemed to be at variance with everyone else's recollections of what was going on. For whatever reason the day it was announced that his Congressional testimony was going to be made public (i.e. yesterday) he "updated" his testimony with his sudden recollection that yes, the Trump administration* was withholding military aid from Ukraine until an investigation of Hunter Biden was announced by Zelensky. The last four pages of the full transcript of Sondland's testimony is this update, plus a cover letter from his lawyers. The phrase "refreshed my recollection" occurs in several places. I believe it's a magic spell intended to ward off charges of perjury or obstruction of Congress.
  • Hmmm...I guess the next surprise will be the heads of Big Tobacco going back to Congress and changing their testimonies...

    CEO:{slaps head} "Oh, golly gee whiz...I forgot! I *do* believe tobacco is addictive! Silly me."
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Excerpts from the Sondland Correction:
    . . . These two opening statements have refreshed my recollection about certain conversations . . .

    . . . the conversations described in Ambassador Taylor's and Mr. Morrison's opening statements have refreshed my recollection about conversations involving the suspension of U.S. aid, . . .

    Also, I now do recall a conversation on September 1, 2019 . . . I also recall some question as to whether the public statement could come from the newly appointed Ukrainian Prosecutor General, rather than from President Zelensky directly.

    That's quite an improvement in memory. It's not all perfect, though.
    . . . I do not specifically recall how I learned this . . .

    . . . I cannot specifically recall if I had one or two phone calls with President Trump in the September 6-9 time frame. . . . although I have no specific recollection of phone calls during this period with Ambassador Taylor or Mr. Morrison, . . .

    I guess Ambassador Sondland's memory can only be jogged by the specific sworn testimony of other parties to the events involved. What are the odds?
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    In Sondland's defense, it must be difficult to remember the details of EVERY violation of the Constitution that the Trump Administration is involved in...
  • It's like watching all the legal strategies and machinations on the legal drama "The Good Wife". E.g., very fine shadings between truth and lies; "we can't possibly *tell* you to say *that*; and suborning perjury, even though they say they aren't.

    That's before getting into the political versions of that on the show.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited November 6
    Sondland will have had legal advice over the words. They certainly read that way. I guess his legal advisers told him he was risking a charge of perjury and needed to do something.

    And the GOP are still saying either "nothing to see" or "even if there is, it's not really a big deal, certainly not enough for impeachment". Not much honour or objectivity on show.

    Did you see the dangerous nonsense from Rand Paul re the whistleblower? These guys seem to me to be so afraid of Trump's grip on the GOP faithful that whatever historical independence of mind they have had seems to have been washed away.
  • drip drip drip...
    And the GOP are still saying either "nothing to see" or "even if there is, it's not really a big deal, certainly not enough for impeachment". Not much honour or objectivity on show.

    I saw Ted Cruz take the 'not a big deal' line, and wondered whether we had worn through 'no quid pro quo' to the next layer of the defence.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Today's transcript release from the House Intelligence Committee is the testimony of Ambassador William Taylor, Chargé d’Affaires Ad Interim For U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine (full transcript, excerpts) [PDF]. Ambassador Taylor will also feature in the first public hearing by the Committee on this matter next week.

    Some highlights:
    Q: And when you say that, this was the first time I heard that the security assistance — not just the White House meeting — was conditioned on the investigation, when you talk about conditioned, did you mean that if they didn’t do this, the investigations, they weren’t going to get that, the meeting and the military assistance?

    A: That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President [ of Ukraine ] committed to pursue the investigation.

    Q: So if they don’t do this, they are not going to get that was your understanding?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: Are you aware that quid pro quo literally means this for that?

    A: I am.

    Latin lessons. How educational!
    Q: But Ambassador Sondland made it clear not only that he didn’t wish to include most of the regular interagency participants but also that no one was transcribing or monitoring the call as they added President Zelensky. What struck you as odd about that?

    A: Same concern. That is, in the normal, regular channel, the State Department operations center that was putting the call together would stay on the line, in particular when you were having a conversation with the head of state, they would stay on the line, transcribe, take notes so that there could be a record of the discussion with this head of state. It is an official discussion. When he wanted to be sure that there was not, the State Department operations center agreed. And they told us, they said — in response to his request, they said, we won’t monitor and will not — and we certainly won’t transcribe because we’re going to sign off.

    I'm sure the secrecy around this call was for perfectly innocent reasons. Maybe they were planning a surprise party for someone!
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I saw Ted Cruz take the 'not a big deal' line, and wondered whether we had worn through 'no quid pro quo' to the next layer of the defence.

    I think quite a few senators want to take that line, but it involves contradicting Trump's "perfect call" line.

    And now he has supporters wearing T shirts saying "read the transcript". Those who wear them just can't have done that. The transcript of the Trump call, even though not verbatim, is still damning.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    And now he has supporters wearing T shirts saying "read the transcript". Those who wear them just can't have done that. The transcript of the Trump call, even though not verbatim, is still damning.

    When Trump Tells You to 'Read the Transcript,' He's Telling You to Shut Up.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    edited November 7
    T suggested recently that he should read the transcript to the public in a "fireside chat". Presumably referring to FDR's fireside chats on the radio.

    Something I've wondered: Is T trying to recreate the world of his youth? (Or the world as he understood it to be.) Wanting to be a "strong man" leader, and to hang around with such leaders. Trying to make America for whites only. Continuing to implement the "positive thinking" teachings of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (Politico), who was T's pastor and also close to T's extended family. FDR's fireside chats. Etc.
  • Yes, I think so. I think he's compelled to earn the love of a parent that exists in his head, an impossible task.
  • His dad taught him and the other kids that only winners deserve to be loved.

    A horrible thing to do, and I periodically loathe his dad for it, and for the fallout. But his dad may not have known any better himself.
  • I’ve often thought Trump lives in some imaginary 1960s. Like one day when I heard him saying that nuclear weapons were the greatest threat facing the planet (admittedly this was bullshit to prove what a good job he was doing with Kim Jong Un).

    But no, no they really aren’t. Climate change is the biggest existential threat facing the planet.

  • I'm not convinced about that. I think nukes are just off the radar for the moment. They are still there, looming. But it's something for another thread I expect.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    But here we are, arguing over whether the ship's going to sink or blow up instead of raising a finger against either possibility when we clearly need to prevent both.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    With Ohher. Plus they aren't mutually exclusive catastrophes.

    Apparently Don Jr has claimed to 'out' the whistleblower by retweeting a bit of Breitbart. And he's proud of it.

    The powerful control-freaks hate protection for whistleblowers since that represents a loss of their control. I'm not surprised that Breitbart are supporting that view.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    LVER, climate change is a Chinese hoax. Didn't you know/
  • More "fun" and games:


    "'A Warning,' by Anonymous, accuses Trump of degrading women" (SFGate).


    This is not the activist group Anonymous, BTW. I'd hoped it might be.
    This anecdote comes from "A Warning," which The Washington Post obtained ahead of its Nov. 19 release. Described only as "a senior official in the [Froward, Hasty-witted Canker-blossom] administration," this book is by the same anonymous person who penned the September 2018 New York Times op-ed about resisting the president from the inside.

    And the anecdotes are...interesting. Some are more of the kind we've already heard, but some IMHO are worse.

    The Washington Post is quoted as saying:
    The Washington Post describes "A Warning" as a "chilling portrait of the president as cruel, inept and a danger to the nation he was elected to lead."

    So who put the Chinese curse of "May you live in interesting times" on the US and the wider world? I'd really like to have a private word with them.
    (:angry:)
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    While the exact specifics may be new to us, most everything I've seen put forward by Anonymous are things anyone could have predicted by reading the four years of Trump's twitter feed immediately prior to his run for president. I'm not sure we're getting any new insight here from someone who, by all indications, still works in the Trump administration*.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited November 9
    Crœsos wrote: »
    While the exact specifics may be new to us, most everything I've seen put forward by Anonymous are things anyone could have predicted by reading the four years of Trump's twitter feed immediately prior to his run for president. I'm not sure we're getting any new insight here from someone who, by all indications, still works in the Trump administration*.

    Not to mention that this is from last-year's self-proclaimed Resistance In This Administration, a Republican who likes Trump's policies in general, but disagrees on foreign-policy.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    And I gather we're supposed to be outraged by Trump saying that presidential pardons are "unlimited 'Get Out of Jail Free'' cards on a Monopoly board."

    Anybody offended by that description might wanna give some thought to changing the pardons system itself, because that is a pretty accurate description of what they are.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Doesn't that depend on the wording of the pardon? If it is for a specific crime or series of crimes for which someone has been imprisoned, that's one thing. If it covers crimes previously not discovered and/or prosecuted that's another. It's a get out of jail card, but is generally limited to what got someone in jail in the first place.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    For Nixon, it was a "never go to jail in the first place" card, as Ford granted:
    a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.
    (full text here)
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Doesn't that depend on the wording of the pardon? If it is for a specific crime or series of crimes for which someone has been imprisoned, that's one thing. If it covers crimes previously not discovered and/or prosecuted that's another. It's a get out of jail card, but is generally limited to what got someone in jail in the first place.

    Proclamation 4311:
    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
    A PROCLAMATION

    Richard Nixon became the thirty-seventh President of the United States on January 20, 1969 and was reelected in 1972 for a second term by the electors of forty-nine of the fifty states. His term in office continued until his resignation on August 9, 1974.

    Pursuant to resolutions of the House of Representatives, its Committee on the Judiciary conducted an inquiry and investigation on the impeachment of the President extending over more than eight months. The hearings of the Committee and its deliberations, which received wide national publicity over television, radio, and in printed media, resulted in votes adverse to Richard Nixon on recommended Articles of Impeachment.

    As a result of certain acts or omissions occurring before his resignation from the Office of President, Richard Nixon has become liable to possible indictment and trial for offenses against the United States. Whether or not he shall be so prosecuted depends on findings of the appropriate grand jury and on the discretion of the authorized prosecutor. Should an indictment ensue, the accused shall then be entitled to a fair trial by an impartial jury, as guaranteed to every individual by the Constitution.

    It is believed that a trial of Richard Nixon, if it became necessary, could not fairly begin until a year or more has elapsed. In the meantime, the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost by the prospects of bringing to trial a former President of the United States. The prospects of such trial will cause prolonged and divisive debate over the propriety of exposing to further punishment and degradation a man who has already paid the unprecedented penalty of relinquishing the highest elective office of the United States.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-ninth.

    Gerald R. Ford

    Just by way of an historically relevant example. There are a few limitations on the presidential pardon power. First, it only applies to federal crimes, not state ones. "[O]ffenses against the United States", to use Ford's term. The second is that it can only be applied to past crimes. You can't issue a preemptive pardon for crimes yet to be committed. As we can see from the Nixon example a pardon need not wait until conviction, or even indictment.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Yes I knew about Nixon's pardon. I think it's unique in its blanket protection. Most pardons are limited I think.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Yes I knew about Nixon's pardon. I think it's unique in its blanket protection. Most pardons are limited I think.

    Excerpt from Proclamation 6518 [PDF]:
    NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, pursuant to my powers under Article II, Section2, of the Constitution, do hereby grant a full, complete, and unconditional pardon to Elliott Abrams, Duane R. Clarridge, Alan Fiers, Clair George, Robert C. McFarlane, and Caspar W. Weinberger for all offenses charged or prosecuted by Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh or other member of his office, or committed by these individuals within the jurisdiction of his office.

    "[A]ll offenses charged or prosecuted . . . or committed by these individuals within the jurisdiction of [ the Independent Counsel's ] office" sounds pretty blanket-y to me. That's a pardon that covers not just convictions or indictments but anything that could conceivably be charged by Independent Counsel Walsh. So the Nixon pardon isn't unique.
  • Iran-Contra, google tells me...
  • Ah, Elliott Abrams, one of the old ghouls who resurfaced in the present administration.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    You learn something new ....
  • Ford: "Our long, national nightmare is [finally?] over".

    We still had a nightmare to deal with. But I sure wish *this* one were over.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    From the public testimony of Ambassador Bill Taylor:
    Last Friday a member of my staff told me of events that occurred on July 26. While Ambassador Volcker and I visited the front, a member of my staff accompanied Ambassador Sondland. Ambassador Sondland met with Mr. Yermak. Following that meeting, in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called president Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone asking about the investigations.

    Mr. Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward. Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland said that President Trump cared more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for. At the time I gave my deposition on October 22nd, I was not aware of this information. I'm including it here for completeness.

    This is new information. That staffer will probably be identified and called to testify. Sondland will probably be asked about this when he testifies. More importantly Sondland's phone records will likely be subpœnaed.
  • SPLC has dropped another bombshell into the mix: proof positive that Stephen Miller is a card-carrying white nationalist (aka Kentucky Fried Fascist). The linked article discusses over 900 leaked emails between Miller and Breitbart editors, I think in 2015 and 2016, during his tenure as an adviser to Sessions and while he was working on the Trump campaign. Hey, there was alot of good people on both sides in Charleston.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    And the bombshell is that ... a bear shits in the woods?
  • I'm not sure that there is a difference between an adviser to the POTUS being a suspected fascist, and an adviser to the POTUS being a proven fascist in Trump's Republican party, but there bloody well should be in the rest of the USA.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    But everyone already knew Stephen Miller was a white nationalist - it's why Trump likes him. There is absolutely nothing surprising or shocking about this.

    And that article says nothing about fascism, which usually is taken to entail strong regimentation of society and the economy. I haven't heard any claims that Stephen Miller cares anything about that.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Dave W wrote: »
    And that article says nothing about fascism, which usually is taken to entail strong regimentation of society and the economy. I haven't heard any claims that Stephen Miller cares anything about that.

    Here's the original SPLC article. Credit where credit is due and all that. Given Stephen "Shonda" Miller's obvious ethnonationalism, aspirations of palingenesis, and authoritarianism I'd say he hits most of the markers for fascism. It's always extra-troublesome to me when Jews conclude that this time the fascists won't come for them.

    On another Trump-related topic, Marie Yovanovitch is testifying before the House Intelligence Committee today. You can watch it live on C-SPAN or C-SPAN's YouTube feed for those who are interested in watching such things.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited November 15
    Dave W wrote: »
    And that article says nothing about fascism, which usually is taken to entail strong regimentation of society and the economy. I haven't heard any claims that Stephen Miller cares anything about that.

    When Mussolini first took power he got a lot of right-wing liberals on his side with an austerity platform- lots of tax and spending cuts, privatization, talk of balancing the budget, etc. One of his economists, Massimo Rocca, may have been the first person to use the term "neoliberalism". This was one reason why people like Churchill loved fascism. Of course things changed later.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    And speaking of Congressional testimony, Roger Stone has just been convicted on all seven charges against him, including lying to Congress and witness intimidation.
    Republican operative Roger Stone was found guilty Friday of all seven counts against him, including witness tampering and making false statements.

    Prosecutors portrayed Stone, 67, as a serial liar who tried to bully witnesses into not cooperating with authorities. They charged Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump, with making false statements, obstruction and witness tampering in a case that was an offshoot of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

    Stone is the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of Mueller's probe.

    His sentencing was set for Feb. 6, and he faces up to 20 years in prison. The jury deliberated for two days.

    Stone was allegedly the Trump campaign's conduit to Wikileaks.
  • No doubt Trump will pardon him to keep his mouth shut.
  • I nominate Ambassador Yovanovitch for president.
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